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MOHARRAM 28, 1431 AH

Bollywood star highlights plight of Indian widows

Iran speaker accuses Obama of state terrorism

Fresh snow heaps more woe on shivering Europe



NO: 14609

150 FILS

Outsiders Zambia hold Tunisia to draw PAGE 19


Massive quake rocks Haiti More than 100,000 feared dead • Scenes of horror, devastation in capital

KUWAIT: MPs Aseel Al-Awadhi (left) and Rola Dashti hold a joint press conference at the National Assembly yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 3)

Dashti, Awadhi blasted over labor law ‘forgery’ Case filed against calcined coke project By B Izzak KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi yesterday ordered a probe into claims that certain articles of the new labor law have been altered amid allegations of forgery against MPs Rola Dashti and Aseel Al-Awadhi, which they categorically denied. The issue came to limelight when MP Saadoun Hammad said that the final copy of the labour law, passed by the Assembly last month, included information that is contradictory to what the Assembly approved. He specifically said that the number of holi-

days for Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha has been reduced from three days each as passed by the Assembly to only two days in the final copy sent to the government. Hammad charged Dashti and Awadhi of committing forgery and called for an investigation, adding that there could be other differences in the law’s final draft. Khorafi said he has asked deputy speaker MP Abdullah Al-Roumi to investigate the matter by comparing the final draft with the Assembly’s minutes to make sure that the draft that was sent to the government is Continued on Page 14

P O RT- AU - P R I N C E : Thousands were feared dead in a major earthquake that destroyed the presidential palace, schools, hospitals and hillside shanties in Haiti, its leaders said yesterday, and the United States and other nations geared up for a big relief operation. A five-storey UN headquarters building was also demolished by Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude quake, which the US Geological Survey said was the most powerful in Haiti in over 200 years. Many casualties were feared in the UN building. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told Reuters that thousands of buildings had collapsed in the capital, Portau-Prince, and said he believed the casualties would be “in the range of thousands of dead.” He added he could give no clear official estimate. Soon after, however, Bellerive told CNN he believed well over 100,000 people could have died. “I hope that is not true, because I hope the people had the time to get out. Because we have so much people on the streets right now, we don’t know exactly where they were living,” Bellerive said. “But so many, so many buildings, so many neighborhoods totally destroyed, and some neighborhoods we don’t even see people, so I don’t know where those people are.” President Rene Preval called the damage “unimaginable” and described stepping over dead bodies and hearing the cries of those trapped in Continued on Page 14

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: A Haitian woman is covered in rubble Tuesday after a huge earthquake rocked this impoverished Caribbean nation. — AFP

Israel apologizes to Turkey JERUSALEM: Israel yesterday caved in to demands from Turkey and apologized over an insult to its ambassador in an attempt to defuse the latest crisis between the two nations, a government statement said. On Monday, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, summoned the Turkish ambassador to

complain about a TV show. The ambassador was forced to sit on a low sofa without a handshake, while Ayalon explained to local TV stations that the humiliation was intentional. Outraged, Turkey threatened to recall the ambassador. Late yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said a letter

of apology has been written, and the premier “hopes this will end the affair”. Israeli officials said the letter was delivered to Turkish officials in Ankara. According to quotes obtained by AP, the letter said in part, “The disputes between Continued on Page 14

Google threatens to quit China Yemeni forces kill Search giant defies Beijing over cyber attacks

A scan made Jan 11, 2010 of a 2,000 rial Iranian banknote shows the Islamic Republic’s revered founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a handwritten pro-opposition graffiti in Farsi in green reading “We are countless” and showing the “V” for victory sign. — AP

BEIJING: Google’s threat to pull out of China over censorship is a rare display of defiance in a system where foreign companies have long accepted intrusive controls to gain access to a huge and growing market. Dismayed by the prospect of a China without Google, visitors left flowers at its Beijing headquarters yesterday as websites buzzed with words of support and appeals to stay. “I felt it’s a pity and hope it will not withdraw from the Chinese market,” said a man who left flowers at the building in the high-tech Haidian district and would give only his surname, Chang. “Google played a key role in the growth of our generation. The control (of the Internet) is excessive.”

China-based cyber spies struck the Internet giant and at least 20 other unidentified firms in an apparent bid to hack into the email accounts of activists around the world, Google said Tuesday. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Beijing to explain the cyber attacks. “We look to the Chinese government for an explanation,” the chief US diplomat said in a released statement. “The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy.” In industries from automaking to fast food, companies have been forced to allow communist authorities to influence - and sometimes dictate - their choice of local part-

ners, where to operate and what products to sell. Web companies have endured criticism for cooperating with a communist system that tightly controls information. Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, Microsoft Corp and others have acceded to pressure to block access to politically sensitive material. “The Internet is like media, and the media are under tight government control, so that poses additional challenges for foreign Internet companies compared with, say, manufacturers of TV sets, mobile phones or autos,” said Edward Yu, president of Analysys International, an Internet research firm in Beijing. Continued on Page 14

In Iran, money talks Saudi, Syrian leaders meet with protest slogans DUBAI: Facing hard-line forces on the streets, Iran’s anti-government demonstrators have taken their protests to a new venue: writing “Death to the Dictator” and other opposition slogans on banknotes, while officials scramble to yank the bills from circulation. There’s no way to calculate how much Iranian currency has been scribbled on or stamped with dissident messages in recent months in response to efforts to halt public demonstrations or choke off the Internet and cell phone messaging. But it’s been enough to bring public denunciations from financial overseers as senior as the central bank governor. Another top regulator said banks will no longer accept defaced bills in an attempt to discourage merchants and others from

taking the protest-tagged money. “What did they die for?” asked one message on a bill, referring to the estimated dozens of demonstrators killed in the wake of vote-rigging allegations in last summer’s re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Another bill seen by AP carried a stamped image of a hand flashing the “V-for-victory” sign with a slogan underneath in the signature green color of the opposition movement: “Fear the storm of dust and dirt” - a reference to the dismissive description used by Ahmadinejad toward the protesters shortly after the vote. A 2,000 rial bill - worth about 20 cents - also had the “V” sign with the message: “We are countless.” Continued on Page 14

RIYADH: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad started talks with Saudi King Abdullah yesterday that could see a renewed push for reconciliation between Iran-backed Hamas and the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority. Riyadh has been trying to convince Syria to loosen its alliance with Iran and adopt a more Arab-focused foreign policy, with Saudi officials hinting at financial aid for Syria and a resumption of investment there in return. Iran’s growing influence in the Arab region since the USled invasion of Iraq in 2003, and its links to Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hamas and various groups in Iraq, have alarmed US-allied Continued on Page 14

Al-Qaeda kingpin Ahmadinejad slams Saudi role SANAA: Yemeni security forces have killed an AlQaeda kingpin in an eastern province in operations against the group held responsible for the botched bombing of a US airliner, an official said yesterday. “Abdullah Mehdar was killed last night (Tuesday) by security forces which had besieged the house he hid in,” Shabwa’s provincial governor Ali Hassan Al-Ahmadi told reporters. Mehdar was the leader of an Al-Qaeda cell in the Al-Houta district of Shabwa province, 600 km east of the capital Sanaa. Security forces were hunting for the remaining members of the cell, Ahmadi said. The Al-Qaeda branch in

Abdullah Mehdar Yemen claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day attack on a US airliner, with the United States accusing the group of training the alleged perpetrator, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Continued on Page 14

NY cabbie returns $21k to passenger

RIYADH: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad (left) speaks with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz upon his arrival yesterday. — AFP

NEW YORK: A Bangladeshi taxi driver in New York City said he returned a lost purse containing more than $21,000 in cash and expensive jewelry because his mother always advised him to be honest. “I’m broke, but I’m honest,” 28-year-old Mohammad “Mukal” Asadujjaman said Tuesday. Felicia Lettieri, of Pompeii, Italy, and six relatives had taken two cabs from Continued on Page 14

Mohammad Asadujjaman



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Termination of citizens’ contracts

Grilling motion ‘cooking’ against Oil Minister KUWAIT: A parliamentary grilling motion is “cooking” against Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, according to a National Assembly official. The parliamentary insider said that Tuesday’s session featured discussion among a number of MPs of a possible grilling motion against the minister over oil ministry-related questions “This cannot go unaccounted for,” AlDeqbasi said, warning that he might submit an interpellation motion against the minister over the issue. “Many Kuwaitis are fully experienced and qualified for a large number of senior positions in the oil sector,” the MP asserted, “so why insist on hiring expatriates instead?” Another MP, Musallam Al-Mubarak, submitted a number of questions to the minister concerning claims that the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) lost many clients, along with valuable contracts worth a total of KD 3 billion, in 2009. Among the 40 questions Al-Mubarak put to Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah were

KUWAIT: At Bayan Palace yesterday, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received Sheikh Khaled Al-Yousef Al-Sabah, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah and Athbi Khaled AlSabah. — KUNA

Law for the disabled needs amendments KUWAIT: Led by the Kuwaiti Association of the Blind (KAB), a number of non-profit associations who focus on assisting those with special needs hosted a seminar at the KAB headquarters to discuss the law for the disabled. Several MPs took part including Adnan Al-Mutawaa, Ali Al-Deqbasi and Saleh Aashour. Head of the KAB, Fayez Al-Azmi, said that several amendments to the law proposed by the disabled community were rejected by a National Assembly (NA) committee. He called on MPs to give more attention to the perspective of the disabled and said that the blind are suffering from several injustices, reported Al-Watan. He pointed out having to assign a trustee to allow them to make transactions to their own bank accounts as one of the inequalities that needs to

change. Al-Azmi also said that the law should remove listing slow learners as disabled people that deserve privileges provided by the state because it creates an extra burden on the government. Head of the Kuwaiti association for people with special needs, Ayed Al-Shemmari, criticized a clause in the law which identified people with depression as a disabled person who can seek state aid. He added that the disabled community was shocked to learn that the law, while passed by the NA, has yet to be enforced. Head of the Kuwaiti Association for the Hearing Disabled, Hamad AlMerri, expressed hope for Jan 21 to mark the beginning of the enforcement of the law. He also called on the government to allocate sign language

specialists to all of the country’s hospitals. MP Al-Mutawaa stressed the importance of listening to the opinions of the disabled community for the new law at the seminar. MP Al-Deqbasi said that the NA committee has discussed all the proposed amendments to the law and are working on drafting a final state for the law that will address many of the concerns of the disabled. He added that they are still willing to listen to suggestions from the community. MP Ashour suggested that the law should be amended periodically in order to cope with modern developments, much like several other laws. He stressed the importance of making sure that the Cabinet commits to enforcing the new law.

which he has reportedly failed to answer satisfactorily to date. The motion is to be filed within the next fortnight, the official said. MP Ali Al-Deqbasi has already warned Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah against “going too far” in terminating the contracts of Kuwaiti oil ministry employees, reported Al-Rai.

queries over what measures the minister had taken to prevent these losses, whether the reasons behind them had been studied and what action had been taken to remedy the situation. Meanwhile, in his first major act of 2010, Attorney General Hamid AlOthman has given new powers to prosecutors in the Public Prosecution Department’s subdivisions, entitling them to deal directly with the cases submitted to their own prosecution departments. Al-Othman has also ordered major reshuffles of prosecution staff within all the various sections under the PPD’s aegis, reported Al-Qabas. The Attorney General’s decision, which will come into

effect from Jan 17, entitles prosecutors in all the department’s local sections, as well as those in the financial and commercial affairs, alcohol and drugs prosecution, juveniles prosecution and the criminal sentences implementation departments, to handle cases directly rather than having to submit them to their superiors at the main department. The staff reshuffles will see the financial and commercial affairs section having the highest number of personnel, with the criminal sentences implementation department having the smallest number of employees among all the sections under the Public Prosecution Department.

Kuwaiti acquitted in degree forgery case KUWAIT: The Criminal Court has acquitted a Kuwaiti man charged with faking an academic certificate from an Indian university, although it sentenced a second accused man in the case to five years imprisonment. The case was filed after a Ministry of Education (MoE) employee who contacted the

Indian embassy in Kuwait to verify the main suspect’s academic qualification that his degree certificate was fraudulent. The ministry subsequently brought legal charges against the man, arguing that its investigations proved his prior knowledge of the certificate’s counterfeit nature.

The defendant’s attorney, Bashar Al-Nasser, told the court, however, that his client had been unaware that the certificate was a forgery, having been led to believe by the second accused man that the procedures carried out to obtain it were correct. Al-Nasser said that the second suspect had convinced his

client to obtain the degree certificate, misleading him into believing in its legitimacy, reported Al-Watan. The court, led by Consultant Mohammad Khalaf, found Al-Nasser’s client Not Guilty, finding no evidence that he had been an accomplice to the certificate’s forgery.

Extending insolvency fund better: CB head KUWAIT: The governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait has asserted that expanding the eligibility criteria of the government’s insolvency fund would be a better way of helping citizens struggling with debt than introducing legislation to write off the monies they owe. CBK chief Sheikh Salem Al-Abdulaziz Al-Sabah revealed that new proposals to make insolvency fund resources available to a wider range of people would be revealed shortly. Speaking after a meeting with senior management figures from local banks and financial institutions, Sheikh Salem expressed optimism at the national economy’s and the banking sector’s performance, reported AlWatan. He explained that the meeting had focused on the importance of working to safeguard the wellbeing of the banking sector, which he said is the mainstay of the Kuwaiti economy. During the meeting, the CBK head and banking chiefs reviewed all the issues tabled for discussion, focusing largely on increasing the banks’ capital, as well as studying the subjects of the insolvency fund and the draft legislation to write off citizens’ loans. The meeting did not address the banks budgets or their 2009 financial results, however, since some of the banks have yet to issue their annual financial reports for this period. The banking heads agreed on the importance of increasing local banks’ capital in order to enable them to commit to pursuing their strategies and the meeting concluded with an agreement to hold periodic meetings to discuss the latest events in the banking field.

Former MoC official faces legal action KUWAIT: Shareholders in a major local firm are apparently unsatisfied by the threeyear prison sentence given to former Ministry of C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Undersecretary Hamad Khaja over his issuing of a dud KD 1 million cheque and plan to launch a further lawsuit against the disgraced official. The lawyer acting for the disgruntled shareholders, Yaqoub Al-Sane’, said that his clients are accusing Khaja of wasting company funds, including their own investment in it.

KUWAIT: The Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs, Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Rashed Al-Hammad laid the cornerstone of the new Quran Dar (House) in Al-Qosoor on Tuesday. A number of senior government officials attended the ceremony. A photography exhibition was also held on its sidelines. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh


Thursday, January 14, 2010

3 ‘Calcified coal project’

Prosecutor to investigate fraud charges against MP Dashti By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: MP Saadoun Al-Otaibi and Lawyer Nawaf Al-Fuzai filed a report to the Public Prosecutor’s office against MP Rola Dashti accusing her of illegally acquiring a large loan from a government owned bank. They claim that she obtained the loan in order to establish a company that will illegally buy

KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlSabah receiving yesterday at Bayan Palace Chairperson of the Kuwait Voluntary Action Center Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (top). Sheikh Nawaf also received head and members of the executive board of the National Union of Kuwait Students (NUKS). His Highness stressed on the importance of knowledge in building nations and stressed that students should comply with the Islamic principles and the Kuwaiti traditions. — Photos by KUNA

Ministry to update phone subscribers’ details KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications (MoC) has established a committee to oversee the updating of telephone services subscribers’ data. Announcing the move on Tuesday, Dr. Walid Al-Najjar, the ministry’s Deputy Assistant for Planning and Development, explained that it came at the instructions of communications minister Dr. Mohammed AlBusairi. Subscribers can update their data at their local Private Branch Exchange (PBX) offices

in the news School hours KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) is reportedly planning to increase the number of school hours for pupils at all levels. An education ministry official explained that the move is planned in order to bring Kuwaiti school hours into line with those elsewhere in the world and raise educational standards. Under the new system, elementary level pupils would spend an additional three and a half hours per week at school above their current hours, while intermediate level pupils would have a further 2.6 hours per week of classes and secondary school pupils would have an extra three and three-quarter hours of classes weekly. Cop accused KUWAIT: In an unprecedented case in Kuwaiti legal history, a policeman has filed a legal complaint against a fellow officer at Khaitan police station for allegedly illegally releasing a detainee. The accuser claims that the detainee in question, an Asian man, was initially arrested on charges of public drunkenness. On checking his record, it was discovered that he was wanted in connection with several other cases, and he was taken into custody at Khaitan police station. Two days later, however, according to the complainant, a senior police officer ordered him to release the prisoner, and he complied with instructions, freeing the man, reported AlShahed. The complainant alleges that the following day, his colleague who had issued the order denied giving any such instructions and blamed all the other officers who were present at the time of the prisoner’s release for the incident. An investigation has been launched into the allegations.

without having to visit the ministry’s headquarters, the senior MoC official added. Al-Najjar was speaking following a tour of the Ras AlSalmiya PBX office, during which he observed the work taking place there, taking particular interest in the printing and mailing of customers’ phone bills, reported Al-Qabas. He explained that much of the problem behind the delays in updating customer data lies in the PBX staff being unauthorized to carry out such procedures, adding that ministry per-

sonnel will soon be assigned to each of the PBX branches to carry out the work. Al-Najjar emphasized the need to ensure that the process of printing and mailing invoices is correctly carried out, saying that this helps to eliminate delays in payment from subscribers. He also revealed that a new online billing system is to be introduced shortly to help in updating the billing process and improve the collection of payments for services, which provides 90 percent of the MoC’s revenue.

“The loan was taken to purchase material from Kuwait’s oil sector even though the Kuwaiti constitution forbids selling any kind of natural resource without a voted law,” Al-Fuzai told Kuwait Times. The attorney said that they filed the report after the National Assembly violated the charter by forwarding a report made by a designated committee about the project’s violations to the Audit Bureau instead of voting on it. “That is completely illegal because the Audit Bureau is an authority that falls under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly. It cannot give its opinion on the rulings of the Assembly and it seems as though there are attempts to hide the truth from the Kuwaiti people,” Al-Fuzai said. The two reports urge the Public Prosecutor’s office to investigate any legal or constitutional violations surrounding the establishment of the calcified coal project. Reports to the Public Prosecutor are only used to notify the department of possible illegal activities. If the prosecution finds any violation to the law then the accused party is taken to trial, otherwise the report will be ignored.

government owned calcified coal without following legal procedures. In his report, Al-Fuzai said that the Industrial Bank of Kuwait issued a KD 50 million loan to Dashti without any guarantees. “The so called ‘calcified coal project’ was established on illegally acquired government owned land without existing bonds and exceeds the amount this bank is allowed to give to anyone.

KUWAIT: MP Saadoun Al-Otaibi and attorney Nawaf Al-Fuzai on their way to submit reports to the general prosecutor.— Photo by Yaser Al-Zayyat

Bad luck bonanza for young bedoon KUWAIT: An enterprising but unfortunate young bedoon (stateless) resident of Kuwait who recently decided to covertly sneak into Saudi Arabia in an attempt to start anew after becoming depressed at his failure to progress in Kuwait discovered that his run of bad luck

was not yet over. The young man, who as a bedoon was denied a passport, decided to smuggle himself over the border by stowing away in the space under a heavy goods vehicle, reported AlShahed. Unfortunately, the driver of the lorry he was hiding

beneath was detained by Saudi customs officials at a border checkpoint after they found bullets in his possession, leaving the young stowaway stranded under the vehicle for more than eight hours. Apparently despairing at his constant misfortune, the young

man eventually emerged from his hiding place after this lengthy period, reportedly yelling, “What kind of bad luck is this? Even the truck I’m hiding under has problems!” At this point, Saudi customs officials arrested him and took him into custody.

kuwait digest

Kuwait’s lack of political party system


n his column which appeared in Al-Watan daily, writer Rashid AlRadaan wrote that the country’s current chaotic state was mostly caused by the lack of a political party system. Parties usually chart out programs and goals that reflect reality rather than feed false hopes and dreams. The absence of constructive criticism from a formidable Opposition has left a great void on the political scene.

However, this paved way for the unruly behavior to rule the roost at the Parliament, Al-Radaan feels. He wrote, “Although I am not against any bloc or political group, I believe that the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) has played a great role in the political scene. They work with clear-cut goals and also has a political office that oversees their activities. The National Democratic Movement is an

advocate of liberalism that has gained the popular support.” The public political groups used to express nationalist sentiments in the past, avoiding taking up sectarian stances and included people from all sectors of the society. The worst experience that a society goes through is when segregationist feelings are fanned among its members. Rifts between bedoons and hadars has turned into a reality, Al-

Radaan wrote He concluded his article by saying that the country’s best interests can be achieved only by elevating political group’s work that deal with national action. Their absence has caused the country to descend deeper into confusion. Prominent figures have helped flare up the situation in order to evade accusations of negligence, the writer believes.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Traffic violators in custody

Police officers assaulted by detained man’s family KUWAIT: A group of police officers were assaulted by the family of a man who was recently detained by authorities. The incident occurred in Taima after police approached the home of a suspected criminal. While attempting to search the residence for the wanted man they were attacked by the suspect’s father. Authorities arrested the father and

Traffic campaigns In a traffic campaign in Hawally on Tuesday morning police issued 86 tickets and apprehended four vehicles. Advanced radar equipment was used on Shaab Road to monitor and catch traffic violators. Meanwhile, Mubarak AlKabeer police arrested five drivers for reckless driving in Sabhan and issued 18 traffic citations. The campaign also resulted in the arrest of a fugitive wanted for a previous crime. The arrested person was referred to the proper authorities.

Drug dealers held

KUWAIT: Acting Premier, Defense Minister and Chairman of the Higher Council for the Environment, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah, chaired the council meeting at Bayan Palace yesterday. Environmental Public Authority (EPA) Director and spokesman of the Higher Council, Dr Salah Al-Mudhi, said that the council approved the appointment of eight specialists to the EPA’s board.

Violations found at 36 Shuaiba factories Eight specialists join EPA board KUWAIT: Thirty-six factories out of a total of 57 installations in the West-Shuaiba industrial zone were violating Kuwait’s environmental regulations during extensive inspection tours that were recently conducted by the Environment Public Authority (EPA), said a senior official. “The inspection tour in the area represented the first phase of the EPA procedure. The second stage of the process will cover over 127 factories that will be inspected soon,” said Dr Salah Al-Mudhi, EPA Director General and the Convener of the Higher Environment Council during a high-profile meeting at the Bayan Palace yesterday. The meeting was presided by Acting Premier, Defense Minister and Chairman of the council Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah. Al-Mudhi added that the council approved the appointment of eight specialists to the EPA’s board. He pointed out that the council also reviewed a memorandum compiled by the EPA regarding the enforcement of penalties against

industrial installations situated in the WestShuaiba industrial zone. He explained that the Higher Environment Council decided to comply with the proper legal measures to enact the penalties stipulated by the Environment Law against violating factories. Al-Mudhi said that the council also studied measures that have been taken regarding the halt of operations at the Mishref Sewage Treatment Plant and damage inflected on the plant as a result of the halt. “The Higher Environment Council referred a recommendation to the EPA to immediately conduct a survey on the impact of the plant halt of operation on the marine environment, especially after diverting part of the untreated sewage water to the sea,” the official added. The council also reviewed a study that was conducted by the Ministry of Public Works regarding the establishment of a plant to treat water from industrial facilities in Sabhan. He added that liquids coming out of these factories have been proven to inflect serious damage on the environment.

Mubarak Al-Kabeer police arrested two drug dealers after a brief chase on Fahaheel Highway. They were found in possession of heroin, illegal pills and syringes. Police began pursuing the drug dealers after they refused to pull over. They were taken to the proper authorities.

Hit-and-run A 6-year-old was left in serious condition after being hit

by a car driven by an Asian man in Al-Waha. The driver fled the scene after the incident and the boy was taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance. He was admitted to the ICU and police are still searching for the runaway driver.

Fire Firefighters put out a fire in a 30 square meters chalet located in Al-Subahiya. The area was being used by workers to store lumber and construction material. No injuries were recorded in the incident and an investigation was opened to determine the cause of the blaze.

Thieves arrested Ahmadi police solved a case regarding more than 15 violated vehicles in Haddiya. Incident reports described vehicles being raided by thieves who would steal the contents of cars before fleeing. The culprits were caught while attempting to steal items from a car after a trap was set for them. Investigations revealed

Ambassador hosts dinner for Jordanian delegation KUWAIT: Jordan Ambassador to Kuwait, Jumaa AlAbbadi, hosted a dinner reception at the Marriot Hotel in honor of the General Director of the Jordanian Police Force, Lieutenant General Tawfeeq Al-Tawalbeh. AlAbbadi welcomed the General Director and his accompanying delegation on the occasion of their invitation from Kuwait’s National Guard. The delegation included members from Jordan’s Ministry of Education who are participating in the conference, ‘Quality in Education,’ held in Kuwait recently.

IOC issues new demands KUWAIT: In what can be viewed as a step that aggravates Kuwait’s sports crisis, the International Olympic Committee has referred a new letter addressed to the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Dr Mohammad AlAfasi demanding that a new sports law be issued. The law should comply with Olympic committee’s and the international sports unions’ regulations, it demanded, reported Al-Anba. The Committee has also demanded that the board of directors be restored for the clubs that were dissolved.

MoE imports department ordered to settle bill KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) imports and warehouses department has been instructed by senior ministry officials to pay the KD 7,227 that it has owed local companies since March 2009 for work carried out on a control system. Hanaa Al-

Sharrah, the head of the education ministry’s information center, contacted Walid Al-Qattan, the head of the import and warehouses department, to instruct him to facilitate payment of the monies owed as soon as possible. Meanwhile, MoE Undersecretary

Tamadher Al-Sdairawi has ordered the creation of committee to monitor the participation of students in all the country’s directorates in the fourth annual ‘schools robotic’ contest. The committee will be assigned with preparing the schedules for the compe-

tition and preparing the locations where the finals will be held, reported Al-Qabas. On another issue, the MoE’s Council of Deputies is set to discuss the project to provide catering facilities at all elementary schools at a forthcoming meeting.

were then ambushed by further family members while trying to bring him to the police station. The assaulters escaped police after officers fired shots in the air to scare off the assailants. One officer suffered fractures to his hand as a result of the attack. The father has been detained for further questioning regarding his son and his accomplices.

that the two thieves were citizens and the pair admitted to the crimes while being questioned. They led authorities to some of the stolen goods before being sent for further investigation.

Body found Farwaniya police, criminal investigators and paramedics responded to a call regarding a man who was found dead inside his home in Khaitan. Investigations revealed that the 48-year-old Pakistani man died from natural causes and no signs of criminal activity were detected.

Shuyoukh police were led to three other individuals responsible for selling the fake documents. The three Asians sold forged passports for KD 50 and admitted to carrying out other similar activities. The three men were also arrested after it was discovered that their passports contained stamps from the ministry of interior of their home country. They were sent for further investigations

cation center for adults in AlSubahiya physically assaulted the school’s headmaster after being sent to his office for disturbing class. After the headmaster threatened the student with expulsion he was attacked and suffered injuries requiring medical attention from Al-Adan Hospital. The student was arrested af ter a case was opened against him.

Airport altercation

Brutal attack


A civil aviation employee and an officer of the Interior Ministry filed complaints against each other at the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh police station. They reported an altercation at the Kuwait International Airport after officers refused to let the employee inside the customs zone without showing his permit, which he claimed to have left at home. After reporting to airport security to settle their dispute they were instructed to the nearby police station.

After questioning an Asian man for being in possession of a forged passport, Jleeb Al-

A student studying at an edu-

A Kuwaiti man in his 20’s was left in critical condition in AlJahra hospital af ter being assaulted by nine people armed with knives. The incident occurred in an area of AlRahhiya which is usually used for camping sites. According to reports the man arrived to the location in order to confront his foe and settle a dispute. He was then confronted by nine armed men and beaten while trying to escape. Nearby campers brought him to the hospital following the brutal attack. A case was opened and police are searching for the assailants.

Sexual harassment A Kuwaiti man went to the AlFerdous police station to file a case against his neighbor’s driver. He accused the man of sexually harassing his 7-yearold son. The driver was put under arrest and is under investigation.

Headmaster attacked

Major drugs bust, dealer may face execution By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Drugs Control General Department (DCGD) has arrested an Iranian drug dealer, who smuggled two kilograms of heroin and 2.5 kilos of opium into the country from Iran by hiding the drugs in a car tire. The drugs confiscated from the man, who security officials say may face the death penalty, had a street value of KD 135,000. An investigation was launched into the man’s activities after DCGD director General Brigadier Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalifa received a tip-off from an informant, telling him that the man, a textile trader, was dealing in large quantities of drugs. A team was formed to monitor the dealer’s activities, with an undercover officer posing as a customer to arrange to buy five grams of heroin for KD 150. The dealer was arrested red-handed during the handover in Sharq and took the officers to a rented flat where they found the heroin and opium. Brigadier Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalifa said that the arrest of the Iranian man, named only as ‘Taqi,’ and the confiscation of this major drugs haul, demonstrates the fact that DCGD officers remain the strongest force against the penetration of drugs into the country and their users. The support received by the DCGD from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the country’s political leadership, the National Assembly and the people makes all the department staff proud and strengthens their resolve to redouble their efforts to protect Kuwait, the DCGD chief added.

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

kuwait digest

A bedoon’s life llah created Earth and gave us endless stories and moral lessons in the Holy Quran while we, human beings, have been fighting the products of human nature, writes Turki Al-Azmi in his Al-Rai column. Contemporary Kuwait has been invaded by alien values and ideas, he said, questioning whether today’s politicians could be inspired by the values of their ancestors thirty years ago. Surra 13 of the Holy Quran, known as AlHujurat, states, “...Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is all-knowing, attentive,” said AlAzmi, adding that this means all Kuwait’s people should be treated equally and that citizenship is not solely for only those whose families have historically been accorded Kuwaiti nationality. He pointed out that many original citizens have misused public funds and fled Kuwait in times of distress and were “absent when discussing the bedoons


KUWAIT: DCEO Sheikha Al Bahar with Athba Anwar Al-Ayaf

KUWAIT: Athba Al-Ayaf and her father with DCEO Sheikha Al-Bahar, Public Relations Manager Manal Al-Matar and Ebtihaj Al-Roomi Executive Manager at Consumer Banking Group.

Kuwaiti girl brings home medal earned at Science Olympics KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, commemorated the first Kuwaiti female aged 15, for winning for the first time in Kuwait’s history, the Bronze Medal in Olympic Sciences.

Athba Anwar Al Ayaf was invited to meet with Mrs. Shaikha Al Bahar DCEO at her offices to tell her more about what the prize stands for. “The bronze medal was a third runners up position that I earned in Chemistry and Physics, at the Science Olympics held in Azerbaijan

stated Athba, “I am the first Kuwaiti girl who studies at a government school in Kuwait to enter and win this medal, I was running against people from 53 participating countries” she added. “I had to take an 8 hour long exam to enter which took me a year

and half to study and prepare for, and to have come this far makes me proud to have been the one to put Kuwait on the map in terms of passion for the sciences that myself and others have.” I plan on furthering my education to become a surgeon one day, this event has given me the dri-

ve and commitment required to do so”. NBK is the leader in supporting the community and stepping in to bring awareness to the talent of the local youth, the bank is constantly recognized for its contributions to society and to worthwhile causes.

issue in parliament.” AlAzmi also expressed amazement at the attitudes of some opposition MPs who he said were purposefully contrarian, only adopting their position in order to be controversial. “If you can’t make up your mind...quit!” he suggested to them, adding that a number of MPs have suggested amendments to the proposed bill on bedoons’ civil and social rights. “The bedoons are poor...and everybody knows that the prayers of the aggrieved can be easily heard by Allah,” the columnist added, stating that even though some bedoons’ ancestors had come from neighboring countries, their descendants had been born and raised in Kuwait and defended it bravely. Given this, he said, “how dare you deprive them of their simplest rights as proposed by MPs on January 7th?” Citizenship should be immediately given to all those who deserve it, he said, while being withdrawn from those who don’t.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Mechanism to assess quality of health care

Expat doctors may get salary increase KUWAIT: The Ministry’s Undersecretaries Council discussed a proposition to grant specialist expatriate doctors with privileges in order to encourage them to work better. The Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health Dr. Ibrahim AlMeanwhile, a national-level mechanism to assess the quality of health care according to set standards will greatly improve the quality of medical services rendered in the country, said Secretary of the Supreme Committee for National Assesment of Healthcare, Dr. Buthayna Al-Madhaf. She said that during the upcoming period more emphasis will be laid on placing effective methods. Al-Madhaf was speaking during the committee’s recently concluded first meeting. Waleed Al-Falah, the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Assistant for Planning and Quality was also present during the event. A surge in interest in

the field of health care can be attributed to its importance. She went on to explain that the committee’s work will be based on assessing the standard of hospitals after making field visits. A certificate of recognition with a one year validity will be issued. Furthermore, she asserted on the agreement signed between the Ministry of Health and a Canadian firm two years ago, with the aim of improving the standard of health care facilities. She further indicated that the Minister Dr Hilal AlSayer, and his assistant Dr Ibraheem AlAbdulhadi are working toward ensuring that the agreement is being followed.

Abdul Hadi made the relevant announcements, reported Annahar. Abdul Hadi added that the Civil Services Commission’s (CSC) approval is pending on the issue. In another development, decisions pertinent to appointing the heads of medical departments at hospitals are considered to be among the most important that the Health Ministry makes. This is because they (decisions) make a direct impact on medical service rendered to people. Therefore, the qualifications of a department’s head should be reviewed from a purely professional viewpoint, and not an administrative one. In recent years, several mechanisms have been put in place to elect heads of departments. While some have received praise, others have drawn flak, especial-

ly those related to allegations of favoritism. In the meantime, the Ministry is trying to devise new election mechanism by conducting a comprehensive study on several negative aspects. The Health Minister, Hilal Al-Sayer and his assistant Ibrahim Al-Abdul Hadi have been urged to avoid pitfalls and elect candidates in accordance with their qualifications, reported Al-Qabas. Although, many officials have preformed great service to the country and deserve to retain their positions, the minister and his deputy have been asked to make bold decisions to eliminate the presence of incompetent employees.

Kuwait to lead the way in patient safety

KUWAIT: Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer yesterday patronized a ceremony to honor former ministry’s undersecretary for Public Health Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Saif. In a speech which he delivered on the occasion, Al-Sayer praised Al-Saif’s long commitment and many efforts which he exerted in various ministry sectors. “Al-Saif performed a distinguished role in the ministry and left behind clear fingerprints in various ministry departments,” the minister added. The ceremony was attended by a number of former health ministers including Dr. AbdulRahman Al-Awadhi, Dr. Mohammad Al-Jarallah and Dr. AbdulWahab Al-Fouzan, in addition to some senior ministry officials.— Photos by KUNA

PAAAFR head slams farmers’ milk dumping KUWAIT: The head of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) has condemned local dairy farmers for throwing away large quantities of perfectly good surplus milk by dumping it in local drainage channels or in open areas. PAAAFR chairman Jassem Al-Badr said that the farmers should donate the surplus to charitable organizations rather than disposing of it in such a wasteful way. Al-Badr added that although the PAAAFR continues to subsidize their milk production financially, the dairy farmers are still demanding the same market prices that they were getting

before the recent massive blaze at Kuwait’s major milk processing facility, which has left them without a buyer for the time being. In response to Al-Badr’s comments, the head of one local dairy goods firm pointed out that it would be impossible to donate the milk being thrown away to charity because for health and safety reasons it first needs to be pasteurized, which is impossible without the specialist equipment that was used the milk processing plant. The businessman also blamed the government for the current problems faced by dairy farmers, asserting that it “would have provided solutions if it was serious

KUWAIT: Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Suleiman Al-Jarallah received here yesterday the US Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Anti-terrorist Financing Affairs David S. Cohen and the delegation accompanying him. The two officials discussed during their meeting the mutual stance of both countries in fighting terrorism. The meeting also touched on means to develop bilateral relations, issues of common interest, and the latest developments in the regional and international arenas.

Lebanon mufti lauds Kuwait BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Mufti Shaikh Mohammad Al-Qabani lauded yesterday the continuous Kuwaiti support for Lebanon, affirming that the Gulf country was always there when Lebanon was in need. Al-Qabani‘s statements came during an event sponsored by the Lebanese Zakat (Alms) House which aimed at honoring Arab media outlets. Kuwait truly believed in the notion of Arab and Islamic unity and this fact was amplified by the actions of the Kuwaiti leadership and people, indicated Al-Qabani. During the event, KUNA was honored for its efforts in covering news of humanitarian essence. —KUNA

about [dairy farmers’] concerns.” Al-Badr made his comments while inaugurating a massive new broiler chicken production farm in Wafra, which will also house a research facility to provide farmers with advice about improving production levels, reported Al-Qabas. The new 4.6 million square meter intensive farming facility, built at a cost of KD 3.7 million, houses a total of 15 enormous buildings and aims to produce 10 million chickens annually, one-tenth of Kuwait’s yearly consumption. The new facility is one of the projects listed on the cabinet’s five-year development plan.

KUWAIT: Kuwait will be among the first countries in the world to introduce a comprehensive national patient safety program in state hospitals, said a senior Ministry of Health (MoH) official on Tuesday. MoH Undersecretary for Planning and Quality Affairs Dr. Walid Al-Falah said that health minister Dr. Hilal AlSayer gives great priority to patient safety in state hospitals. This is demonstrated by the ministry including the patient safety program in the first stage of its work program. Dr. Al-Falah revealed that work is currently underway on the second stage of the program after the issuing of a ministerial decree to implement the nine proposed measures to ensure patient safety in public hospitals, reported Al-Jarida. The ‘nine solutions program’ was originally put forward by World Health Organization (WHO) experts, who asked all member countries to implement it in the interests of hospital patients’ wellbeing, the undersecretary explained. Dr. Al-Falah said that although the program is extremely important, the MoH considers it just one of the health service ‘risk management program’ strategies that it is implementing in all of Kuwait’s public health facilities.

Major events in Kuwait history on display KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti history researcher has created an impressive montage of more than 250 photographs documenting the major events and historic changes that took place in Kuwait during the 20th century. Mohammad Al-Ahmad explained that his artwork contains photos depicting 750 of Kuwait’s major political, religious, artistic,

environmental, sporting and scientific figures. The montage documents the struggles of the Kuwaiti people to develop the nation and the massive changes witnessed by Kuwaiti society during the 20th century, he explained, adding that he went to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of all the

information displayed. The artwork depicts the sovereignty of the country’s Amirs throughout the century, from the time of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, who ruled between 1896 and 1915, up to the reign of the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who ruled between 1977 and 2006. — KUNA

in the news KJA invitation KUWAIT: The Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) yesterday invited local newspapers’ editors in chief for a consultation meeting next Monday to discuss reformations on the current press law. The Secretary General of the association, Faisal Al-Qanaei said in remarks to the media that the meeting will tackle the latest developments in the field of media, especially on governmentsuggested reforms on the press law to impose tougher sanctions and restrictions on the freedom of expression. New EPA head KUWAIT: At Bayan Palace yesterday, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received the Acting Prime

Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah, who introduced the newly-appointed Director General of the Environment Public Authority (EPA) Dr. Salah AlMoudhi on the occasion of his new appointment. MEW pilot study KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is conducting a pilot study on channelizing alternative sources of renewable energy in Abdaliya. It will be supervised by international experts and expanded gradually once its efficacy is proven. The ministry seeks to use more environment friendly fuel to various power plants in accordance with the Q2 treaty signed to reduce emission of toxic gases.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Norwegian FM seeks help for Palestinians

Arabs urged to follow example of Kuwait

Beit Abdullah to provide free medical care KUWAIT: Beit Abdullah, a humanitarian project specializing in providing care to children with chronic diseases, will be opened this year. The idea of the project is based on the story of a Kuwaiti child called Abdullah, who suffered from cancer and sought medical care in various hospitals in Europe, and he underwent chemotherapy, but did not recover. Abdullah’s family came back to the

country and decided to stay with their child at home, to offer him the warmth of family atmosphere after all the pain he and his family went through, until he passed away. The Beit Abdullah will substitute the original house of the child and his family, and will be providing free daily medical care to its residents in an intimate atmosphere, in its multi-purpose facilities on 22,000 square meters, including medical

services and emergency units, playing yards, gardens, health club, swimming pools, restaurants and chalets. The house will give the child the chance of being surrounded by his family to reduce the tension and stress the child goes through due to separation from family and living away from the house. It will be receiving children with last stages of cancer, to live with their families. — KUNA

KISR plans to develop performance, capabilities

KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar held a meeting with local officials, discussing with them the steps to finally launch operations at the Reqie sanitation plant at the end of January. A statement by the Ministry said that Safar met with Ministry’s officials from the sanitation department, focusing his meeting with them on the Reqei plant which would be replacing 29 old sewage water pumping stations. The plant would handle the pumping of sewage water for the upcoming 50 years through its vast network of tunnels and pipes. — Photos by KUNA

in the news MoE compensation KUWAIT: The Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Education to compensate the father of an elementary school student with KD 5,001 after being physically assaulted by a Bangladeshi worker at the school. The father’s attorney, Nawaf Al-Mutairi, said that it is the Ministry’s responsibility because the worker is employed by an institution that falls under its supervision, reported Al-Watan. He added that the Ministry should be penalized for failing to control and prevent the harmful actions of their employee. Al-Mutairi praised the court order and said the decision has proved that no one is above the law. He concluded by saying the decision sends the message that institutions should be held accountable for the actions of their employees and that citizens should feel more safe from injustice. Handicrafts expo KUWAIT: The Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) female pensioners’ club will hold its Fourth Annual Handicrafts Exhibition on 28 to 30 January. It will be held under the patronage of Sheikha Sheikha Al-Abdullah AlKhalifa Al-Sabah. The Head of the Club, Fatima Al-Awadhi, invited female pensioners and housewives to participate in the exhibition by displaying their creations. They added that certain conditions have been set for subscription, which can be reviewed by contacting the Society on the number 1820000

(extension 121). On a separate note, 48 retired women embarked on their first Umrah pilgrimage that was organized by the club.

Emergency team reshuffle KUWAIT: A decision to rearrange the leaders of Municipality emergency team located throughout the country’s governorates was put on hold. The decision was suspended for fear of resulting in an administrative violation that could be registered against the Municipality, reported Al-Qabas. This decision was recently endorsed by the Municipality’s higher administration and each emergency team leader was to be repositioned as leaders of other governorates. According to the approved plan, team leader of the Capital, Ali Al-Quwaidhi, was supposed to be sent to AlJahra while head of the Farwaniya team, Riyadh Al-Rabeeei was to be sent to Hawally. Head of the Hawallly team, Tariq Al-Qattan, was expected to be moved to the Capital and Abdullah Al-Meea, head of the Jahra team, was scheduled to be team leader in Mubarak AlKabeer. Duaij Al-Sanafi, head of the Ahmadi team was to be placed in Al-Farwaniya, and the head of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer team, Meshaal Al-Safi, was to be repositioned in Al-Ahmadi. A resolution to keep the current leaders in their positions was agreed upon until a way to solve the problem could be found.

KUWAIT: The National Center for Scientific Information and Technology, an affiliate of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) is keen on supporting scientific research and development in Kuwait by offering sophisticated information technologies and knowledge-based solutions. The center devotes much attention to the cause of support information sources and scientific applications of information technology, and the improvement of communication networks as well as the dissemination of technological awareness, the Center’s Director, Nader Maarefi said. The center has set strategic goals to meet in the coming stage, chiefly by developing and boosting the performance and capabilities of its consultancy services and devising digitalization projects, he said. It also seeks to work out and introduce manpower development programs in the fields of information technology, libraries, computer and communication technology, he added. Furthermore, the center, through its distance learning center, provides advanced services in the field. — KUNA

BRUSSELS: Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store has urged Arab and Gulf countries to follow the example of Kuwait in giving financial support to the Palestinian Authority. “The Gulf states, the Arab states, the Europeans, the Americans and Japan made pledges for the Palestinian Authority sometime back at the Paris donors conference for

the Palestinians,” Store said in Brussels. “My first message is that we should live by our pledges. We did a lot, the parties stood up at the end and delivered on their pledges,” said the Norwegian foreign minister who hosted a meeting of key donors to Palestinians, the so-called Paris Group, at the Norwegian embassy in Brussels Tuesday night.

“Now we are in 2010 and my message is the same. As Europe and Norway and the US will frontload and pay their pledges early this year, I hope I will see Arab friends and partners and the Gulf friends and partners, just as Kuwait did recently, and support the Palestinian Authority core budget,” he said. Store explained that the money for the budget is needed for salaries for teachers and doctors and so on. “We also need to divert and direct our money towards investments so that we can have value creations jobs and welfare,” he added. The donors meeting was also attended by Catherine Ashton EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, George Mitchell, US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Miguel Angel Moratinos, Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain (country which holds the EU Presidency), Tony Blair, Middle East Quartet Representative, and Bernard Kouchner, French Foreign Affairs Minister. Norway is chair of the Donors meeting for the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Kuwait is ready to cooperate with the international community in ending the crisis in Afghanistan, said a Kuwaiti official in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Ambassador Mohammad Al-Mijrin Al-Roumi, the head of the Kuwaiti Foreign

had stressed that the problems in Pakistan and Afghanistan are not related to Islam, which calls for tolerance, love, and cooperation. Terrorism has no religion, color, sect or race, he emphasized. He also briefed the participants on the aid provided to Pakistan and Afghanistan by Kuwait, through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to fund projects of developing electricity, bridges, roads, schools and hospitals.

BRUSSELS: Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store meets the Paris Group, at the Norwegian embassy in Brussels. Ministry’s Asia Department, told KUNA that a meeting held here on Tuesday evening saw discussion of the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and ways to ensure stability in the two countries. At the meeting, foreign ministers and representatives from 40 countries discussed coordination to support the two countries in developing their infrastructure, he revealed. The Kuwaiti official said that during the meeting, he

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) chairing of the meeting and the attendance of member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Kuwait, its current chairman, shows the importance that these countries give to the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he noted. Ambassador Al-Roumi emphasized that the Kuwaiti leadership is keen to cooperate with other Arab and Islamic countries in all fields. — KUNA

CSC rejects MP’s pay-for-leave swap proposal KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has rejected a proposal from MP Saadoun Al-Otaibi to allow Kuwaiti civil servants to receive payment in lieu of leave if they do not use up

their allocated holiday period. The MP put forward the proposal recently, arguing that many Kuwaiti civil servants who have been negatively affected by the recent loan crisis, as well as high prices,

would prefer to be paid to work rather than take annual leave, reported Al-Anba. The CSC said in its response that it is part of its basic policy to urge staff to take a period of leave annually

or every two years at most for a number of reasons, including a need for rest and recuperation. The commission added that all personnel need a regular vacation for rest and relaxation purposes.

Maintenance work to cause power outages KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has announced that it will carry out maintenance operations at high-voltage secondary power transformers located in residential areas across the country. This will be done to improve the quality and level of performance. The Ministry has said that as result of these operations several areas may experience brief power outages. It will take place between 7:00 am and 11:00 am from January 17, 2010 until January 23, 2010, reported AlQabas. These operations come as part of the Ministry’s efforts to maintain the safety standards of their facilities.

KUWAIT: Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf Adel Al-Falah addressing the press conference.

Kuwait plans ‘intellectual capital’ conference KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is to hold a conference on the development of “intellectual capital” on Jan 18. The symposium, entitled, ‘Towards a New Strategy for Governmental Departments,’ will be held under the sponsorship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Ahmad AlSabah. Around 100 Kuwaiti and Arab experts and scholars in the fields of human development and human resources have been

invited to attend the conference, Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf Adel Al-Falah told a news conference. The gathering will advance institutional development in Arab governmental and non-governmental institutions with a view to supporting Arab development, the official said. Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry for Planning and Development Ibrahim Al-Saleh revealed, meanwhile, that the ministry is in the process of

updating its strategic plan for the next five years as part of Kuwait’s efforts to become a financial and trade center by 2035. The forthcoming conference will provide an excellent opportunity for turning this vision into reality and for boosting the skills and efficiency of the country’s human resources, he added. The event will focus on the link between intellectual capital and knowledge management, as well as the role of the ideas underpinning these concepts, he explained. — KUNA

Jordan sets to produce insulin with Kuwaiti investments AMMAN: Al-Kindi Pharmaceutical Industries Co. (Al-Kindi Pharma) said yesterday it is set to produce insulin for the first time in Jordan with Kuwaiti investments amounting to 55 percent of the capital of the project. This strategic product will be available on the Jordanian market soon,

Reem Modar Badran, Vice Chairperson of the of Al-Kindi Pharma’s Board of Directors affirmed in statements to the press after inspecting the manufacturing site in the King Abdullah II Industrial estate in Sahab, a few kilometers from downtown Amman. Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain

owns 55 percent equity in the capital of the project, Badran, also representative of Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain in the Hashemite Kingdom, affirmed. The technical know-how has been supplied by two European companies, Bioton, of Poland, and Aguettant, of France, with the latter providing intra-

venous fluids technology, she revealed. As Al-Kindi now comes into full operational mode, it plans to take a considerable slice of the growing insulin market both in Jordan and in the target markets of the Middle East and North African regions, Badran added. — KUNA


Thursday, January 14, 2010


US-based pro-monarchy group claims responsibility for Iran attack TEHRAN: Iran received information days ago that Israeli and US intelligence intended to carry out terrorist acts in Tehran, its parliament speaker said yesterday, after the killing of a university scientist. Washington has rejected Iran’s allegations of US involvement in Tuesday’s bombing that killed professor Massoud AliMohammadi near his home in the Iranian capital as absurd. Iranian officials and state media described the slain man as a nuclear scientist, but a spokesman said he did not

work for the Atomic Energy Organization at the centre of Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Iran’s influential parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, said a US-based pro-monarchy group had claimed responsibility for the attack, adding it was controlled by the CIA. Iran’s Fars News Agency on Tuesday said such an exile group had claimed the bombing in a statement, without saying how it obtained it. “An American-based monarchy group ... claimed responsibility for this ter-

rorist act,” Larijani said, the state broadcaster reported. “Maybe the CIA and the Zionist regime (Israel) thought they can mislead us with such an absurd statement.” “We had clear information several days ago that the intelligence apparatus of the Zionist regime and the CIA wanted to implement terrorist acts in Tehran,” he said. Using such a “rootless group” as a cover was a new “disgrace” for U.S. President Barack Obama, Larijani said. “Why do you host this terrorist group in America?” he

asked. In Washington on Tuesday, a U.S. intelligence official said the CIA played no role in the bombing in Tehran. Tuesday’s bombing-a rare attack in the Iranian capitaloccurred at a time of heightened tension in the Islamic Republic, seven months after a disputed presidential election plunged the major oil producer into turmoil. It also coincided with a sensitive time in Iran’s row with the West over its nuclear ambitions, with major powers expected to meet in New York on Saturday to discuss

possible new sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to halt its atomic work. A list of AliMohammadi’s publications on Tehran University’s website suggested his specialism was theoretical particle physics, not nuclear energy, a Western physics professor said on Tuesday. The West suspects Iran’s nuclear work is aimed at developing bombs. Tehran says it seeks only to generate electricity. State media described AliMohammadi as a “committed and revolutionary” professor, suggesting he backed

the government of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But an opposition website, Jaras, said he was an opposition supporter who backed moderate candidate Mirhossein Mousavi in last June’s disputed election, which plunged Iran into turmoil. Iran has been convulsed by its most serious domestic unrest since the Islamic revolution in 1979, as protests by opposition supporters against the election result have turned violent. Authorities deny opposition allegations that voting was rigged. — Reuters

Poverty impedes Yemen’s struggle with al Qaeda Sanaa still working for return of Guantanamo inmates BEIRUT: Yemen needs security assistance from the United States and other allies to help combat al Qaeda militants, but only economic rescue can ensure success in the long term, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said

LEBANON: Lebanese troops and police officers stand guard outside a building at the scene of explosion in the southern village of Kfar Fila north of the Litani River, Lebanon, yesterday. A bomb blast in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon yesterday wounded at least three students who were waiting for their school bus, military and security officials said.— AP

Bomb hurts three in south Lebanon Hezbollah stronghold BEIRUT: A bomb apparently meant for a Hezbollah figure went off yesterday in a southern Lebanese stronghold of the militant group, wounding his daughter and two other students waiting for their school bus, military and security officials said. The officials said the bomb exploded around 7.30 am at the entrance of an apartment building in the village of Kfar Fila. The three wounded students - two girls and a boy, whose ages range between seven and 16 _ were opening the building’s entrance door at the time of the blast. The village is located in an area known as a stronghold of the Iran and Syria-backed Shiite militant group. The region, north of the Litani River and far from the border with Israel, is not part of a volatile border zone in which Hezbollah has been banned from having weapons under a U.N. resolution that ended the 2006 war between the militant group and Israel. Security officials said the target was likely a Hezbollah security official who lives in the building. Another Hezbollah supporter also lives in the same building, they said. The Hezbollah official’s 16-year old daughter and the Hezbollah supporter’s son and daughter were wounded, the security officials said. They

Jordan opp demands end to cooperation with CIA AMMAN: Jordan’s Islamist-led opposition called on the government yesterday to stop cooperating with the US Central Intelligence Agency, saying that the US-led war in Afghanistan “is not our war.” “The American empire’s war in Afghanistan is not our war. It’s not in Jordan’s interest,” 78 opposition figures, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Said and outspoken former MPs Leith Shbeilat and Tujan Feisal, said in a joint statement. “Jordanian policies should be reviewed. Jordan should stop cooperating with American and Zionist intelligence. It should pull out any troops in Afghanistan or any other place,” they added. The opposition statement came after the death in a January 30 suicide bombing in Afghanistan of senior intelligence officer Captain Ali bin Zeid, a member of the royal family, along with seven CIA agents spotlighted Jordan’s role in the international coalition there. The opposition leaders said the “real fascist terrorism is the Zionist terrorism that threatens world peace and Jordan’s future.”“Jordan should not be dragged into wars of others and should not turn into a battlefield,” they added. During a visit to Washington on Friday, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh openly acknowledged for the first time that Jordan had a counterterrorism role in Afghanistan and planned to enhance it. On Monday, Prime Minister Samir Rifai defended the kingdom’s engagement overseas in the war against terror, insisting: “We will deploy wherever it is necessary.” — AFP

were rushed to hospitals in the market town of Nabatiyeh and the nearby village of Toul. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said the building’s metal door was not damaged but its glass window was shattered. Blood could be seen on the floor of the entrance of the two-story building. Lebanese troops and police officers later cordoned off the building and an investigation got under way, security officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Attacks against prominent Hezbollah figures are not uncommon. Hezbollah’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in Syria in 2008. In 2005, a senior Hezbollah instructor escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb blew up his car seconds after he got out of the vehicle in Lebanon’s eastern city of Baalbek. A year earlier, a car bomb killed veteran Hezbollah commander Ghaleb Awali in south Beirut. In 2003, another car bomb killed Ali Hussein Saleh, believed to have been a Hezbollah explosives expert. The militant group, which has in the past blamed Israel for the attacks, did not comment on yesterday’s bombing. — AP

“Our security agencies are capable of tackling terrorist threats,” Qirbi said in response to emailed questions, adding that anti-terrorism and coastguard units needed outside support in training, equipment and exchange of intelligence. “However, a security or military solution is not sufficient. So the international community has to pay more attention to the economic and development needs of Yemen and this is the concrete approach for tackling terrorism,” Qirbi said. Islamist militancy, such as that espoused by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is only one of myriad economic and security challenges facing President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A Shi’ite revolt in the north and southern secessionism are other symptoms of central government weakness in a country where rampant corruption and declining oil income undermine any effort to tackle poverty, unemployment and failing water resources. Qirbi said the number of al Qaeda militants in Yemen had been exaggerated and probably did not exceed 300. Al Qaeda’s stated support for northern rebels and southern separatists showed “a kind of coordination between these three parties despite their different ideologies”, the minister said. “What brings them together is their hostility to the government. Besides, the former jihadist Tariq al-Fadhli is a now a leader of the southern movement, and (is) harbouring some Al Qaeda militants in their areas.” The northern rebels, known as Houthis after their leaders’ clan, deny links to Al Qaeda, as does the Southern Movement at the forefront of unrest in the once-independent south.—Reuters

yesterday.The impoverished Arab country has drawn close international scrutiny since a Yemen-based al Qaeda wing said it was behind a botched Dec. 25 attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner.

YEMEN: Yemeni men walk at the Bab el-Yemen in the ancient part of the capital Sanaa, Yemen Tuesday. Yemen’s foreign minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi says an upcoming international conference on combating Al-Qaeda in his country should not address the nation’s other internal conflicts or issues of human rights and corruption. — AP



GENEVA: The tarmac is freed from snow at the airport Geneva-Cointrin, yesterday as the airport was temporarily closed because of heavy snow. Heavy snowfall had caused severe traffic backups on the ground and in the air. Flights had to be canceled or took off with several hours of delay. Much of Europe remains in the grip of icy weather with more forecast. — AP

Thursday, January 14, 2010

LONDON: The clock tower of Wesminster Palace, ‘Big Ben’, is seen partially covered with snow in London yesterday. Cold weather continue to affect the whole of UK. — AP

New snowfalls heap more misery on shivering Europe LONDON: Fresh snowfalls heaped further misery on parts of Europe yesterday, closing airports and schools and disrupting road and rail links notably in Britain and France. As overnight snow and plummeting temperatures brought a recent thaw to a halt, British business leaders said the worst winter in decades is costing the country hundreds of millions of pounds a day. In the latest disruption to air transport, London’s Gatwick airport was closed for snow clearance until 4 GMT-notably delaying an emergency rescue team heading for Haiti after a devastating earthquake there. London Heathrow reported the cancellation

of 84 mostly short-haul inbound and outbound flights. “Our airfield team is working round the clock to keep both runways clear but the threat of further snow and ice at the airport remains,” the world’s busiest international passenger air hub said. London City, Birmingham, Cardiff and Southampton airports reopened following closure. There was similar disruption for air travellers in France. In Paris, 40 percent of all flights from the main Charles de Gaulle airport were cancelled due to snow and sleet

showers, while half of flights were scrapped at Orly. Regional airports across France were also forced to close or reduce traffic because of snow. French road authorities issued a ban against heavy commercial road traffic from midnight until noon on Wednesday in eight departments around Paris as the winter storm dumped three to five centimetres of snow across northern France. More than 4,000 trucks were forced to park west of the capital region. Eurostar rail services between Britain and continental Europe were “running a near-normal ser-

vice”. Two trains from London to Brussels, one from London to Paris and the same numbers in the opposite directions were not running, though customers with tickets had seats reserved for them on the next train. In Britain, the Federation of Small Businesses estimated that the bad weather was costing the economy at least $975 million a day. “Small businesses have been particularly hard-hit during the recent bad weather, with staff unable to make it to work because of school closures and snowbound roads,” said FSB chairman John Wright. In Germany, one

of the countries worst hit by the big freeze, temperatures were reaching minus six degrees Celsius, with fresh snow in the south, while some secondary roads in the north were still blocked. Switzerland’s main publicly owned salt works said that it had turned down new orders from the snowbound Netherlands and Germany in order to cater for booming domestic needs. “The situation is so fragile that we can’t take the risk of delivering abroad,” said Armin Roos, sales manager at Schweizer Rheinsalinen. “We’re running round the

clock.” In Iberia, temperatures were on the rise again in Spain, but nearly all of Portugal was put on orange alert for high winds and heavy rain expected yesterday. A month of heavy rainfall has seen nearly all the country’s dam reservoirs fill up, with the Alqueva dam reaching its maximum capacity for the first time since it opened in 2002, forming Europe’s biggest artificial lake. Parts of Balkans have been hit by flooding caused by downpours. In Montenegro, a hippo was found wandering in village of Plavnica on Lake Skadar after flooding at a private zoo led him to escape from his pen. —AFP

Darfur rebels say attack govt town after bombings Sudan army, rebels clash in Darfur KHARTOUM: Sudanese forces clashed with rebels yesterday in a key area of the troubled western region of Darfur, rebels and peacekeepers said. “We have taken Gulu,” in Jebel Marra, the fertile plateau in the heart of Darfur, Ibrahim Al-Hillu, spokesman for the Sudan Liberation

Army faction of Abdel Wahid Nur, said. Sudanese aircraft had earlier bombed rebel positions in the Jebel Moon and Jebel Marra areas, Hillu said, adding that clashes had left casualties among civilians as well as rebels and government troops.

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, listens to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow yesterday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sat down for talks in Moscow to focus on projects for Europe-bound energy pipelines via Turkey. —AP

Erdogan in Russia for talks on pipeline rivals MOSCOW: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is involved in competing gas pipeline projects, held talks with Russian leaders yesterday in a bid to soften the bitter rivalry between future energy transit routes. Turkey in August agreed to allow Moscow to start surveys in its territorial waters in the Black Sea for Russia’s South Stream pipeline, which aims to pump Russian gas to Europe via a new route that by-passes Ukraine. But Ankara is also a leading player in the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline which aims to carry gas from the Caspian Sea region to Europe and is seen as a way of reducing European reliance on Russian gas. “The energy sphere has a very important significance. In this, we share a very developed cooperation,” Erdogan told Russian President Dimitry Medvedev in talks at his country residence outside Moscow. “Not only in the sphere of natural gas but in crude products there exists a whole series of opportunities.... I see this meeting as a huge opportunity.” Medvedev in turn hailed the countries’ “serious and major” cooperation. “The Russian-Turkish relationship is improving. It is really a strategic partnership,” he said. Erdogan will later also meet with his Russian

counterpart and close personal friend Vladimir Putin for talks that underscore the warming relations between the former Cold War-era foes. NATO member Turkey, which has long pursued EU membership, has sought to downplay rivalry between the pipelines. The Kommersant daily said there is speculation Ankara wants Moscow to participate in Nabucco and believes the need for South Stream may be lessened once Viktor Yushchenko, a foe of Russia, departs the Ukrainian presidency. “However Moscow is not prepared to give up its beloved child,” the newspaper added, referring to South Stream. It is unclear whether gas supplies are sufficient to fill two pipelines and Moscow is keen to complete South Stream ahead of its rival, with plans to go online with the pipeline’s section in Turkish waters as early as 2013. Russia, which supplies over a quarter of Europe’s gas imports, has sold South Stream as an alternative to gas transits via Ukraine after a price row with Kiev last winter disrupted supplies to Europe. The construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plants and plans to extend the existing Blue Stream gas pipeline linking the two

countries are also on the agenda, the Kremlin said in a statement. Turkey in turn is seeking Russian support for a planned Turkish oil pipeline to be built from the Black Sea port of Samsun to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. Russia will play an active role in the project and the two sides are in talks over Moscow taking a stake, Russian deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told reporters on the sidelines of the meetings. Talks are also expected to focus on security in the Caucasus region — where Turkey is increasingly presenting itself as a major diplomatic player. Turkey and Russia have joined efforts to broker peace between ex-Soviet states Azerbaijan and Armenia, which are still technically at war over the mountainous NagornoKarabakh region. Shared concerns over stability in the Caucasus were tested as Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in August 2008, but Moscow has since played a role in the recent rapprochement between Turkey and its ally Armenia. Russia is one of Turkey’s top trading partners and its main gas supplier, accounting for about 60 percent of the country’s gas imports. The countries had bilateral trade ties of 33.8 billion dollars in 2008, the Kremlin said. — AFP

“Today, there were clashes between the army and SLAAbdel Wahid,” an official with the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) said but did not confirm if the rebels had taken control of Gulu. “Some NGOs are on the ground assisting the local population,” the official added. Sudanese warplanes have also bombarded positions of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Jebel Moon over the past few days. The Darfur conflict that erupted in 2003 initially pitted two rebel groups against the Khartoum government and its Arab militia allies. But both the rebels and the pro-government militias have since splintered into an array of factions. The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died from the combined effects of war, famine and disease, and that another 2.7 million have fled their homes. The government puts the Darfur death toll at 10,000 people. Darfur rebels said they attacked a government-held town in the Jabel Marra area of western Sudan yesterday in retaliation for army bombardment of their areas, a move likely to hinder peace talks set to open this month. Tensions were already high in oil-producing Sudan which is gearing up for presidential, parliamentary and state governor elections in April. The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) loyal to founder Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur said they attacked Golo in Jabel Marra in retaliation for government bombings of rebel-controlled areas there and in the Jabel Moun area on the border with Chad. “The government started this with bombing in Jabel Moun and in Jabel Marra,” said SLA commander Ibrahim el-Helwu. “We attacked Golo this morning-we have casualties and the government has many casualties,” he added. The joint U.N.-African union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) does not have troops in the area but said aid workers caught in the crossfire had sought refuge in their compound. “For the time being they (aid workers) are safe,” said Balla Keita, UNAMID commander for West Darfur. A government intelligence source said fighting was still going on, but Sudan’s army was not immediately available to comment. — Agencies

VOLODYMYR-VOLYNSKIY: In this photo taken on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister and the Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko greets her supporters during a campaign rally in the small western Ukrainian city of Volodymyr-Volynskiy.—AP

Election tension mounts as Ukraine PM cries foul PM accuses rival of planning election fraud KIEV: Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko drove up tension yesterday ahead of a weekend election for president, accusing her main rival of preparing to carry out “monstrous” poll fraud to win power. Her broadside against former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, seen as her main challenger, raised the temperature further around the Jan. 17 presidential poll, the first since the mass unrest of 2004 sparked by a rigged election. Tymoshenko was herself the subject on Tuesday of a vehement attack from President Viktor Yushchenko, her erstwhile ally in the 2004 “Orange Revolution” which propelled them both to power. “A conscious disruption of the election process is going on,” Tymoshenko told a government meeting, saying that Yanukovich’s party was organising mass fraud in the east of the country, his main power base. “Such monstrous falsification didn’t even happen in 2004,” she said. Yushchenko became president in an unprecedented third round of voting after mass protests against electoral fraud led to victory being denied to the Moscow-backed Yanukovich. The last opinion polls published show Yushchenko has little chance of being re-elected. Yanukovich and Tymoshenko are expected to face each other in a Feb. 7 run-off vote. Yanukovich, on a campaign trip to Crimean capital Simferopol, shrugged off Tymoshenko’s accusations. “Tymoshenko’s comments ... show that a guilty mind betrays itself,” he told journalists. “How can the opposition falsify results? Only the authorities

have that ability-they have the mechanism, structure, the interior ministry.” No repeat of 2004 At stake in the election is the ex-Soviet republic’s future place in Europe and relations with former Soviet master, Russia, which have deteriorated under Yushchenko. The country of 46 million is deep in economic recession and the political feuding, particularly between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, has imperilled a $16.4 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The pro-Western Yushchenko made a dramatic appeal on Tuesday for the electorate to have faith in his “European policies” and said victory for either Tymoshenko or Yanukovich “will return us to the swamp for decades”. He renewed a charge that Tymoshenko and Yanukovich were part of a single Kremlin coalition of forces. The bickering among the political elite in the run-up to Sunday’s election has highlighted the extent to which the “Orange” euphoria of 2004 has faded. As Tymoshenko spoke during her cabinet’s meeting, several thousand supporters of Yanukovich’s Regions Party demonstrated outside the government building listening to World War Two-era songs and demanding higher wages and pensions. But despite the mud-slinging and occasional protests, analysts doubted that mass rallies like that seen on Kiev’s Independence Square in 2004 would be repeated. —Reuters

Pope gunman leaves Turkish prison ANKARA: The gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II said yesterday he would answer questions about the 1981 attack after he is released from prison next week. Little is known about what led Mehmet Ali Agca to shoot at the pope while he was greeting the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, but rumors have swirled about whether foreign powers had conspired to have the Polish-born pontiff killed. “I will answer to all of these questions in the next weeks,” Agca said in a letter written in English and released by his lawyers. Historians, law enforcement officials and John Paul’s followers have long sought answers about the attack, including whether it was a plot to assassinate the pope whose championing of Poland’s Solidarity labor movement figured in the demise of communism in the Soviet bloc. When Agca was arrested minutes after the attack, he declared he had acted alone. Later, he suggested Bulgaria and the Soviet Union’s KGB were behind the attack, but then backed off that line. His contradictory statements, including claims

to be a Messiah, have frustrated prosecutors over the decades and raised questions about his mental health. The pope met and forgave Agca in 1983 while the gunman was serving a 19-year sentence in an Italian prison. On Monday, Agca ends another 10year prison sentence for killing a Turkish journalist in 1979. Italian magistrate Rosario Priore has said he was convinced there was a plot against the pope and that Agca did not act alone, but he failed to convince a jury in Rome in 1986 that Bulgaria and the Soviet KGB were involved. The Italian jury acquitted six defendants - three Bulgarians and three Turks _ in the “Bulgarian connection” case. An appeals trial in 1987 reached the same conclusion. John Paul himself gave his take on the question, saying during a 2002 visit to Bulgaria that he never believed there was a Bulgarian connection. But in his book “Memory and Identity: Conversations Between Millenniums,” the pope said of his attacker and the shooting: “someone else planned it, someone else commissioned it.— AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Guatemala attorney orchestrated own killing GUATEMALA CITY: A Guatemalan lawyer who accused the country’s president of his murder in a video made before his death actually contracted the hitmen to kill him, U.N. investigators announced Tuesday. Attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg contacted cousins of his first wife to help him find a hitman to deal with an extortionist —when he really was orchestrating his own slaying amid severe personal problems, according to a special international group commissioned by the government. “We have to conclude that it was Rodrigo Rosenberg himself who asked for help from ... intimate friends and said to them: ‘I have an extortionist who is threatening me and I want to kill him,”’ said Carlos Castresana, head of the probe into the May

10 killing. “They received his request and looked for someone capable.” Castresana said evidence shows Rosenberg bought two cellular phones: one to communicate with his killers and another to deliver threatening messages to his own personal phone. Distress over personal problems and Rosenberg’s suspicion that the government was behind the murder of two close friends appear to have motivated the Harvard-educated corporate lawyer, the investigation suggested. “Why the video?” Castresana said. “We don’t have all the answers. But we have a theory.” In the video, Rosenberg is seen looking into the camera and saying, “If you are watching this message, it is because I was assas-

sinated by President Alvaro Colom.” The 47-year-old attorney, who served as assistant dean at a private university, claimed Colom’s government was linked to a corruption scandal at a government bank and said any attack on him would be an attempt to cover that up. Colom has denied any involvement in the killing. Rosenberg’s accusations were distributed to reporters on DVDs at his May 11 funeral and immediately set an already polarized country into a frenzy of protests, allegations of corruption and calls for Colom’s resignation. Castresana said the commission’s theory is that Rosenberg was motivated by a sense of guilt and frustration over what he believed was the government’s involvement and failure to properly investigate

the killing of his client and girlfriend, Marjorie Musa, along with her father, Khalil Musa. Rosenberg had advised Khalil Musa to accept a seat on the board of directors of the private- and government-sponsored Rural Development Bank. In his video, Rosenberg said if he were slain, it would be to silence him for discovering the killings were linked to money laundering at the bank. Castresana said that blaming Colom apparently was a way of shaking up the powers that be and “opening up a Pandora’s box that would result on change in the country.” Rosenberg also appeared to be depressed about the recent death of this mother and losing custody of his children, the investigation said.

His posthumous accusations of corruption became a rallying cry for members of Guatemala’s dominant elite, many of whom are angry over Colom’s attempts to eliminate tax loopholes for corporations and criticize his inability to reduce high rates of violent crime. Colom is overwhelmingly backed by Guatemala’s mostly Mayan Indian poor for his efforts to tax the rich and build schools and clinics for disadvantaged communities. Colom has suggested that criminal or political interests were behind the video and expressed relief on Tuesday. “The day has arrived that I have waited for in silence and patience, where this crime finally been clarified,” Colom told reporters. The commission’s investigation has led

to 11 arrests with three of those people working with investigators as protected witnesses. The commission said it was able to identify suspects in the killing using security camera footage from where Rosenberg was shot on his bicycle and by tracing cell phone calls. The cousins implicated in the investigation, Francisco and Estuardo Valdes Paiz, are considered fugitives from justice. Investigators allege they contacted the head of security at their pharmaceutical company to help them find someone to carry out the killing for $40,000. “The information that (witnesses) have given us coincides down to the millimeter with our investigations,” he said. — AP

US urges Japan to keep commitment on military base Clinton aims to boost Pacific ties as China rises HONOLULU: The United States urged Japan on Tuesday to keep its commitment to move a US military base on Okinawa island but the two vowed not to let the row derail their security alliance in the face of rising Chinese power.

MEXICO CITY: Teodoro Garcia Simental, known as “El Teo”, center, is guarded by federal police as he is presented to the press in Mexico City, Tuesday. Garcia, one of Mexico’s most wanted drug traffickers, was arrested before dawn Tuesday at a home he owned in the city of La Paz on the Baja California peninsula, according to Mexican federal police authorities. — AP

Mexico drug kingpin arrest highlights new strategy TIJUANA: Federal troops stormed a seaside vacation home and captured one of the country’s most brutal drug lords Tuesday, the second time in less than a month that Mexico has taken down one of its most powerful traffickers. The arrest was considered another victory for enhanced surveillance techniques that are being cultivated with the assistance of the United States. American anti-drug officials had been helping Mexican authorities track Teodoro Garcia Simental for more than five months. Garcia, known as “El Teo,” was arrested before dawn near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, where his gang had been bringing in planeloads of drugs to smuggle across the U.S. border, said Ramon Eduardo Pequeno, head of the federal police’s anti-drug unit. Garcia, in his mid-30s, is connected to the deaths of at least 300 people, authorities say, and ordered his rivals disposed of in especially grisly ways: beheading them, hanging their bodies from bridges or dissolving them in caustic soda. He took hefty ransom payments from kidnapping Tijuana business leaders. He is also believed to be behind many of the dozens of assassinations of Tijuana police officers over the last two years. Pequeno said Garcia had

recently stepped up efforts to kill Baja California’s attorney general, Rommel Moreno, and Tijuana’s public safety chief, Julian Leyzaola. President Felipe Calderon launched an all-out war upon taking office in December 2006, sending thousands of troops out to combat the drug gangs. But until recently the government had little success in taking down the top kingpins, and Mexicans have been growing increasingly frustrated with a war that has left more than 15,000 casualties. That changed on Dec. 16, when another drug lord, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in a raid by Mexican marines in the colonial city of Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City. Authorities said U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials had been helping them track Beltran Leyva as well. On Jan. 2, federal officials arrested his brother, Carlos Beltran Leyva. “The government is being more subtle with regard to its pursuit of drug traffickers,” said George W. Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. “It’s relying much more on electronic techniques, eavesdropping, inspection of one’s lifestyle. It’s also paying pretty good money to informants.” U.S. — AFP

ECUADOR: The Tungurahua volcano erupts in Cotalo in Ecuador’s Andes region, early yesterday. The Tungurahua has been active since 1999. — AP

“We look to our Japanese friends and allies to follow through on their commitments, including on Futenma,” Clinton told a news briefing after the meeting at which both sides affirmed their commitment to the 50-year-old security pact. “This is an issue that we view as very important,” she said. “But we are also working on so many other aspects of the global challenges that we face and we are going to continue to do that.” A senior administration official later said the US side was moderately encouraged by the meeting, although he noted that no new Japanese proposals were put on the table. “We recognise that this is not going to play out over a couple of days but rather a couple of months,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The talks came at the start of Clinton’s nine-day visit to the region, part of a drive to boost Washington’s engagement with its Pacific partners as China’s influence grows. In a later speech in Hawaii, Clinton described the Obama administration as eager to participate in regional institutions like the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), saying that after sometimes lukewarm US interest under former President George W. Bush, “the United States is back”. Okada repeated Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s pledge to resolve the Futenma issue by May and said Tokyo remained committed to the broader US -Japan security pact, telling Japanese reporters he wanted to avoid a loss of trust. Thorny problem But the Futenma issue is a major irritant, with Hatoyama’s new Democratic Party (DPJ) government striking a more independent line and stalling on an agreement by a previous administration to move the base to a less crowded part of Okinawa. Hatoyama is under domestic pressure to get US ties back on track, with media polls showing many voters are concerned about his handling of the relationship, ahead of an upper house election many expect in July. He underlined Japan’s reliance on the United States in a speech to Defence Ministry officials in Tokyo yesterday. “As a non-nuclear power, can Japan defend itself on its own in a world which has countries that remain nuclear states and nations that have ambitions to go nuclear?” Kyodo news agency quoted him as saying. “We should be grateful for the presence of the Japan-US security treaty to protect our country,” Hatoyama said. Residents of Okinawa, 1,600 km south of Tokyo, are reluctant host to about half the 47,000 US military personnel in Japan. They have long resented what they see as an unfair burden in maintaining the US -Japan security alliance. The dispute over where to put a replacement facility for Futenma comes amid deepening questions about how China’s rising military and economic clout will reshape the alliance. The senior US official said leaders of the DPJ, who vowed to build a more equal relationship with the United States in the run-up to their election victory last year, were still “finding their sea legs” on the US alliance. — Reuters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she had asked Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to adhere to an agreement to relocate the Futenma Air Station, home to about 4,000 US Marines in crowded Ginowan City.

HAWAII: Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, left, listens as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a news conference in Kapolei, Hawaii on Tuesday. — AP

Top bankers admit missteps in financial crisis WASHINGTON: Top US bankers yesterday acknowledged mistakes that led up to the global financial crisis as a special commission launched its inquiry into the economic calamity. The congressionally mandated 10-member panel, which has been compared to the 9/11 panel that studied the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, began its first hearings yesterday. “While we were able to withstand the crisis and I believe emerge as a stronger institution, we, like many others, made mistakes,” admitted Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. Phil Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, said the forum “may be our last best chance to take stock of what really happened so that we can learn from it and restore faith in our economic system. “If we ignore history, we’re doomed to bail it out again,” said Angelides, a former California state treasurer.

The crisis, which peaked in September 2008 triggered by a home mortgage meltdown, sent a financial tsunami across the globe, slamming the brakes on growth and plunging the United States and many other nations into the worst recession in decades. The government pumped trillions of dollars into the system to save the world’s biggest economy from collapse. More than seven million Americans lost their jobs in the recession and nearly 25 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed because they could not find full time work, or have given up looking for work, a commission report said. In addition, more than two million families have lost their homes in the last three years and over 10 million have been in the foreclosure process during that period. Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said one of the problems was that many financial institutions and investors “outsourced” their risk management. “Rather than under-

take their own analysis, they relied on the rating agencies to do the essential work of risk analysis for them. This was true at the inception and over the period of the investment, during which time they did not heed other indicators of financial deterioration,” he told the panel. He called for more efforts “to enhance and improve scenario analysis and stress testing.” Almost all of the losses that financial institutions sustained over the course of the crisis revolved around bad lending practices, particularly in real estate, Blankfein said. The vast majority of the losses can be traced to bad credit decisions in general, and most of those can be traced back to bad real estate loans, he said. But Blankfein cautioned against overregulation, including erasing financial risk taking. “Taking risk completely out of the system will be at the cost of economic growth. We know from economic history that innovation- and the new industries and new jobs that result from it-require risk taking,” he said. — AFP

MOREHEAD CITY: Firefighters and emergency workers gather at the entrance of the Morehead City, N.C., port Tuesday. Officials shut down a busy port and urged people to get out of town after a forklift operator accidentally punctured containers of PETN, the highly explosive substance used in a Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. — AP



Thursday, January 14, 2010

North Korea says it will allow more US tourists BEIJING: North Korea said yesterday it will begin to allow in more American tourists after years of heavy restrictions on visits to the reclusive regime. The United States has never had diplomatic relations with North Korea since the Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. More recently, tensions have remained high over the North’s nuclear program. Americans have been allowed to visit North Korea only during the country’s Mass Games, a synchronized spectacle with a cast of 100,000 that the regime uses

for propaganda. Only about 2,000 tourists from the U.S. have visited since the country opened to Western tourism in 1987, according to the founder of a China-based tour group that says it has taken most of those visitors into the isolated country. But the Koryo Group, which specializes in North Korea tourism, said it received an email from the state-run Korea International Travel Company yesterday afternoon saying the country will accept more American tourists this year. The e-mail said more specifics would

come later, the founder of the Koryo Group, Nicholas Bonner, said. “This is a big, big change,” he said, but the e-mail gave no explanation for the move. It comes after North Korea said this week that it would not resume negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear weapons program until its relations with the U.S. improved and international sanctions against it were lifted. Pyongyang specifically suggested a peace treaty might be signed this year - a long-held demand. The U.S. rejected the proposal. The U.S. State

Department has no travel warning for North Korea. “If we don’t have a presence in a country, then obviously it’s difficult for us to respond if Americans get into trouble,” said Susan Stevenson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. “But we do work through the Swedish Embassy there, so there are ways the U.S. can still find out what’s going on. That’s the general caution.” Bonner said his Beijing-based tour group has taken in more than 90 percent of

the U.S. tourists to North Korea in the past eight years, and he said it took about 280 Americans last year for the Mass Games. North Korea remains a highly controlled society, but Bonner estimated that the number of Americans visiting North Korea likely would jump to close to 1,000 a year under the new relaxed restrictions. Three Americans have recently been detained for allegedly crossing illegally into the North from China. In August, North Korea freed two U.S. journalists arrested in March whom it had sentenced

to 12 years of hard labor for trespassing and engaging in “hostile acts.” The women were released to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who went to Pyongyang to negotiate their freedom. On Christmas Day, a Korean-American missionary named Robert Park walked into the country carrying a Bible, intent on preaching Christianity. Park has not been heard from since, though North Korea later announced that an American was in custody, without identifying the person. —AP

N Korea warns South over propaganda leaflets We will never tolerate acts of undermining our leadership’s absolute authority: N Korea SEOUL: North Korea’s military warned yesterday that it would retaliate against South Korea if Seoul doesn’t stop activists from launching propaganda leaflets across their divided border. The two Koreas agreed in 2004 to end decades of propaganda warfare across the Demilitarized Zone

dividing the neighbors. However, the South Korean government says it cannot prevent activists from sending the leaflets, citing freedom of speech, though it has urged them to stop so that they don’t damage relations on the peninsula.

PAJU: In this file photo taken on Tuesday South Korean activists release a huge balloon with some leaflets denouncing North Korean’s human rights conditions at the Imjingak Pavilion, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Panmunjom that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea. —AP

Indonesia rages over luxury jail cells for wealthy JAKARTA: It’s a bedroom most poor Indonesians can only dream about - air conditioned with a spacious double bed, flatscreen television, private bathroom, adjoining karaoke suite and serviced by maids and assistants. But this bedroom is the prison cell of a woman serving a five-year sentence for bribing an Indonesian prosecutor. News that business tycoon Artalyta Suryani had bought comfort behind bars using the same tactics for which she was punished has enraged ordinary Indonesians and embarrassed authorities in a country already known as one of the world’s most corrupt. The details of the luxury living conditions of Suryani and other rich prisoners have been splashed across the front pages of national newspapers and dominated television coverage this week, the result of a surprise visit to Jakarta Pondok Bambu women’s penitentiary by a team set up by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to eradicate the so-called “Judicial Mafia.” “We found a number of wealthy inmates had been provided with exclusive facilities,” team member Denny Indrayana said Wednesday. “They allegedly paid some corrupt individuals in the prison to get all they want. It shows the weakness of our judicial system.” Yudhoyono’s government has made fighting corruption the centerpiece of its agenda, securing the convictions of several governors and legislators in recent years. But progress is slow in a country where graft is endemic especially among poorly paid law enforcers. Transparency International still ranks the Southeast Asian nation among the most corrupt

in the world, and scandals like this one still regularly embarrass the government. Suryani was sharing her 8-by-8 meter (26-by-26 foot) room with her adopted child, who slept in a cot and was cared for by a full-time nanny. A normal Indonesian prison cell is a cement cubicle a fraction of the size, often shared by dozens of inmates. Overcrowding is a serious and

widespread problem. Other perks in Suryani’s cell included unlimited and unregistered visitors, private drivers to collect and drop off goods, beauty treatments, a private office with leather chairs and sofas, Tempo magazine reported. “This total madness,” Tri Agustine, a Facebook user, said in a posting on the popular social networking site. “Corruptors will not be

deterred for committing graft again and again if the prison cells provided are like this.” Suryani has reportedly been moved to a general population cell, shared with three other prisoners, since the details became public. “Investigation into other prisons is now under way to eradicate such practices,” said Untung Sugiyono, director general of prisons at the Justice Ministry. — AP

JAKARTA: In this Sunday photo Artalyta Suryani, a corruption convict serving a five year prison sentence for bribing an Indonesian prosecutor, sits in her luxurious room during a raid by the anti-judicial mafia task force at Pondok Bambu prison in Jakarta, Indonesia. — AP

The North’s military said it “will never tolerate even the slightest acts” of undermining “our leadership’s absolute authority.” The comments came in separate statements issued in Korean and English that were carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The North demanded South Korea immediately punish activists engaged in sending leaflets and disband their organizations, saying hundreds of thousands of propaganda leaflets were flown to the North on Jan. 1. “The separatists at home and abroad will never be able to flee from a stern punishment by the nation for challenging history,” the English-language statement said. The North has issued similar threats in the past, including one late last year. Chun Hae-sung, a spokesman at South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said Wednesday that the South has no law that could ban activists from launching leaflets. He didn’t elaborate. The North’s threat came two days after it again proposed peace talks to formally conclude the Korean War, which ended with an armistice in 1953, not a peace treaty, thus leaving the peninsula technically in a state of war. The country, which says it was compelled to develop atomic bombs because of U.S. threats, said its return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks depends on better ties with Washington and the lifting of international sanctions on it. On Jan. 1, about 70 South Korean activists tied tens of thousands of leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to balloons and launched them across the border. Some protesters also burned large North Korean flags with Kim’s picture printed on them. “We’ll continue to send leaflets because we must convey voices of hope to our North Korean compatriots,” Choi Woowon, an activist and university professor who helped organized the leafleting, said Wednesday. “We must help North Koreans to develop the power to rise up against the Kim Jong Il regime.” A separate group of South Korean activists unsuccessfully tried Tuesday to send thousands of leaflets by balloon to the North to let residents know about a U.S. Christian missionary believed detained in the communist country. The balloons, however, burst before crossing the border amid strong winds blowing from North Korea. Robert Park, a 28-year-old Korean-American from Arizona, slipped into the North in late December to call international attention to the country’s alleged human rights abuses, according to South Korean activists. North Korea subsequently said it had detained an American for entering the country illegally but has not identified him. Relations between the Koreas turned sour after a pro-U.S., conservative government was inaugurated in Seoul in early 2008 with a tough policy on the North. Pyongyang responded by suspending reconciliation talks and joint projects. The North, however, has tried to reach out to Seoul and Washington since last summer in an about-face that some analysts say shows the regime is feeling the pain of U.N. sanctions imposed following its second nuclear test in May last year. —AP

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Sikh walks in front of Sikh temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. Vandals threw stones at a Sikh temple, adding to religious tensions over a string of attacks on churches in this Muslimmajority country, police said. —AP

Malaysian home minister vows to impose emergency laws Sikh temple hit with stones amid tensions KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein vowed to impose emergency laws against those undermining religious and racial solidarity, which negatively effects national unity. The warning came after the recent spate of church attacks in the country, as Malaysian Muslims burnt down eight churches and catholic schools in protest to the Catholics using “Allah” in their writings and prayers. “Police are probing further into the recent spate of church attacks before making any arrests, so far, it seems as the attacks were isolated. If they were coordinated by certain groups, it is worrying for us, but if they were isolated cases, we can curb it,” Hussein said in statements to the local press yesterday. He advised the public to be rational and wise in dealing with the situation, adding that the majority of Malaysians are mature and despised chaos and polemics. The country’s highest court overturned a ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. Malaysia’s High Court ruled in favor of the Catholic Church on December 31, allowing it to use “Allah” for Christian services. Muslims, who make up 60 percent of the local population, have insisted “Allah” can only refer to the god of Islam. Some of the vandalized churches have been subject to arson attacks. Other assaults have been less severe, such as paint thrown on doorways. The High Court has suspended its ruling while the government prepares its appeal. Government officials have condemned the violence, while disagreeing with the court’s decision and siding with the Muslim majority on the use of “Allah.” Most Muslims are ethnic Malays, whereas the rest of the nation consists of Chinese and Indian minorities, who are Christian, Hindu and Buddhist. Meanwhile, vandals threw stones at a Sikh temple, adding to religious tensions over a string of attacks on churches in this Muslim-majority country, police said yesterday. The church attacks - since

Friday eight have been hit with firebombs and one with paint - came after a court overturned a government ban and allowed a Catholic newspaper, the Herald, to use the word “Allah” to refer to God. Some of the Sikh scriptures also use the world “Allah,” but that is a little-known fact outside the community. Some 20 small stones were thrown into the compound of a gurdwara, or Sikh temple, late Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur’s Sentul neighborhood, district police chief Zakaria Pagan told The Associated Press. He said only a mirror in the front portion of the temple, which is more than 100 years old, was damaged and there were no injuries. Stones also were thrown at a telecom building next door. A temple volunteer and office building security guard were alerted when the stones hit the buildings, but didn’t see any suspects, he said. Pagan said police believe the incident was “mischief,” and unrelated to attacks on the churches. Temple chief Gurdial Singh said he was surprised by the attack but not concerned, describing it as an isolated incident by “someone taking advantage of the situation.” “We have already done our prayers,” he said. “To us, it’s a small issue.” However, Sikhs are not going to stop using “Allah,” he said. Singh said Sikhs are adamant about using Allah. He said there are some 120,000 Sikhs in Malaysia. Some of their holy scriptures use the word “Allah” to refer to God. “We cannot change our scriptures... I think the government has not handled it properly. We need dialogue - As far as we are concerned we are doing our prayers (using Allah). There is no way any law is stopping us,” he said. The Muslim-dominated government argues “Allah” is exclusive to Islam and forbids nonMuslims from using it. The Arabic word, which predates Islam, is routinely used by Christians in other Muslim countries such as Egypt, Syria and Indonesia. —Agencies

Top activist backs Hong Kong democracy campaign HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s best-known democracy activist yesterday backed a plan by opposition lawmakers to resign from the legislature in a bid they hope will pressure Beijing to speed up democratic reforms for the territory. Martin Lee said that he will set up a committee to help promote the resignation plan. Two pro-democracy parties said Monday they will have five of their legislators - one from each of Hong Kong’s five electoral districts _ submit resignations on Jan. 27. They will then field candidates in the subsequent special elections who will run on a platform that calls for direct elections to happen sooner. The idea is to turn the territory-wide by-election into a de facto referendum on the issue. This former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a separate political system that protects Western-style civil liberties. But its leader is chosen by an exclusive committee stacked with Beijing loyalists. The legislature is half-elected, half chosen by interest groups. Beijing ruled in 2007 that Hong Kong can’t elect its own leader until 2017 and its legislature until 2020 - a timetable democracy activists have denounced as too slow. They want direct elections for both the leader and the entire legislature for the 2012 election cycle. “We hope to back up the referendum. We hope it will do a better job. We

hope we can urge more people to vote,” Lee said in an interview aired on Hong Kong’s radio RTHK yesterday. “Democracy needs citizen participation. It needs them to cast a vote. This is a movement that doesn’t require a huge effort but is very meaningful,” Lee later told The Associated Press in a phone interview. The public endorsement by the 72-year-old activist, considered a troublemaker in Beijing but widely hailed in the West for his advocacy, is a boost to the resignation plan, which has drawn criticism from other opposition par-

ties. Lee’s own party, the Democratic Party, decided not to take part, fearing the pro-democracy camps may lose seats, threatening an already thin hold on veto power. The opposition currently holds 23 seats in the 60member legislature _ just enough to block government proposals that require two-thirds passage. Hong Kong’s leading proBeijing party has called the resignation a political gimmick that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. The Hong Kong government said it was unnecessary and urged the pro-democracy camp to support limited reform instead. —AP

HONG KONG: Pro-democracy protesters hold a candle light vigil as they support recently jailed mainland dissident Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong Tuesday. The prominent dissident sentenced to 11 years’ jail in China after co-writing a daring call for reform has appealed to have his subversion conviction overturned. —AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Pakistan vexed over Indian arms buildup ISLAMABAD: Pakistan expressed concern yesterday about a “massive” buildup of arms by old rival India, warning that it could jeopardize a regional balance. The statement by the National Command Authority (NCA), which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, came a day after Russian and Indian officials announced that Russia would lease its new Nerpa nuclearpowered submarine to India this year. Relations between nuclear-armed

India and Pakistan have been strained since Pakistan-based militants raided the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008, killing 166 people. Recent reported remarks by India’s army chief General Deepak Kapoor that his country was capable of fighting Pakistan and China at the same time, raised alarm in Pakistan. The NCA said while Pakistan wanted to avoid an arms race, it would not compromise on its security interests and the impera-

tive of maintaining a credible minimum nuclear deterrence. “Massive inductions of advanced weapon systems including installation of ABMs (antiballistic missiles), build-up of nuclear arsenal and delivery systems ... tend to destabilize the regional balance,” the NCA said in a statement. “This relentless pursuit of military preponderance will have severe consequences for peace and security in South Asia as well as for the Indian

Ocean region. Pakistan cannot be oblivious to these developments,” it said. The Indian army chief was also reported to have said in his recent remarks that India was capable of conducting conventional military strikes “under a nuclear umbrella”. “Such irresponsible statements reflected a hegemonic mindset, oblivious of dangerous implications of adventurism in a nuclearised context,” said the NCA, which is headed by Prime Minister

Yusuf Raza Gilani. Pakistan tested nuclear devices in 1998 in response to tests by India. Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, since their independence from British rule in 1947. Their relations improved after they launched a peace process in early 2004. But India suspended the peace process after the Mumbai assault. Pakistan and Indian leaders and senior

officials have met several times on the sidelines of international gatherings but New Delhi insists Pakistan must take forceful action against militants before talks are resumed. Analysts say Al-Qaeda and its Islamist militant allies want to provoke confrontation between India and Pakistan which would force Pakistan to withdraw troops from its western border and deploy them on the eastern frontier with India. — Reuters

9 dead in Quran protest shooting in Afghanistan Violence erupts over rumors that NATO-led forces had defiled copy of the Quran KANDAHAR: Nine people were killed when shooting broke out during a mass demonstration in a provincial Afghan town over the alleged burning of a Quran by foreign troops, police said yesterday. The violence erupted on Tuesday in the Garmsir district of the southern province of Helmand over

ALLAHABAD: A Hindu devotee bathes in river Ganges, which is holy to Hindus, during the annual traditional Magh Mela fair yesterday. — AP

Hindus ready for cold dip in Ganges during festival HARIDWAR: Thousands of devotees gathered in one of northern India’s holiest cities yesterday, a day before the start of a month’s long Hindu festival expected to attract more than 10 million people. The Kumbh Mela, touted as the largest religious gathering in the world, is celebrated every three years and rotates among four Indian cities. Today, it comes to Haridwar, a temple-filled town at the foothills of the Himalayas where the sacred Ganges river enters the sprawling plains of northern India. Thousands of police - equipped with closed-circuit television and metal detectors were on alert for terrorist attacks, stampedes and crime among the pilgrims, who will crowd into tents or sleep outside during the more than 100day festival. Hundreds of green, blue and brown tents have been spread out over a vast 80-square-mile (130square-kilometer) area where more than 15,000 makeshift toilets have been erected and 10,000 people employed to keep the tent city clean, Chandra Shekhar Bhatt, one the festival organizers told The Associated Press. “The pilgrims have been advised to carry identity cards” due to terrorist threats, said Alok Sharma, the area’s

deputy inspector general of police, adding that closed circuit television will monitor the entire festival area. The festival has no history of terrorists attacks, but police are taking precautions. Stampedes are also a danger with so many people in the area. About 3 million people will bathe in the icy, cold waters of the sacred river today, the first of 10 auspicious days over the next three months when devout Hindus believe a dip will cleanse them of their sins and free them from the cycle of life and rebirth. “Why complain of the cold when we have come to wash away our sins. A dip in Ganges would have a soothing affect on body and soul,” said devotee Avnish Rastogi. The Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, derives its name from a mythical fight over a pitcher of holy nectar. According to Hindu mythology, gods and demons waged a war over the nectar they needed to achieve immortality and victory. Four drops spilled, landing in the four cities that host the festival: Allahabad, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythic Saraswati rivers; Nasik, in the western state of Maharashtra; Ujjain, in central India, and in Haridwar. — AP

Indian army vacates Kashmir hospitals SRINAGAR: The army has vacated all hospital, school and college buildings in Indian Kashmir in a further bid to lower its profile in the volatile region, Defence Minister AK Antony said yesterday. He also revealed that India’s home ministry had ordered federal police to take over security of a key road connecting the Kashmiri summer capital Srinagar with the rest of India from the military. The 300-kilometre (186 mile) highway-a main conduit for

military convoys-winds through the Himalayan foothills and is prone to militant attacks. “This has been done to reduce the visibility of the army, without in anyway diluting out counter-militant grid,” said Antony, who was on a visit to review the security situation in the region. A 20year insurgency against Indian rule in the region has claimed more than 47,000 lives. The army had commandeered a number of hospital

and school buildings in Kashmir after it assumed counter-insurgency duties in 1990, a year after the insurgency began. India has recently pulled 30,000 troops out of Kashmir following a fall in militant attacks in the Muslim-majority region bordering Pakistan, where the strong military presence has alienated many moderate residents. “The process of winning hearts and minds of people is never an easy one,” Antony said. — AFP

COLOMBO: Disabled Sri Lankan soldiers demonstrate in support of presidential candidate and their former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka yesterday. The general who led the offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels last year has come forward as the main opposition challenger to incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 presidential election. — AFP

“Eight protesters were killed when the protesters attacked national security officials in Garmsir,” deputy provincial police chief Kamaluddin Khan told AFP. The protesters were shot after an Afghan guard outside a nearby building was killed by gunfire “from the demonstrators’ side,” he said. Khan said 13 civilians and two Afghan policemen were also wounded in the incident. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Tuesday that its troops had shot dead only one “insurgent sniper” who had killed an Afghan official in the Garmsir area. But a spokesman for the force said there was no information to back up claims of civilian deaths in the incident, adding that investigations with Afghan security officials were under way. “We are continuing with our investigation of the reports that have appeared in media,” Sergeant Jeff Loftin said yesterday. “The only shot we know that was fired was from a compound rooftop. The gunman was positively identified as a sniper and we took him out. “Other than that we don’t know of any other shooting or where these figures come from,” he said. ISAF said in a statement on Tuesday that during the protest, “an insurgent sniper shot an Afghan official who was within FOB (Forward Operating Base) Delhi in Garmsir district”. “ISAF service members identified the insurgent sniper, shot and killed him. There were no other injuries or shots fired,” it added. The incident occurred when more than 1,000 Afghan villagers gathered in Garmsir to protest over the alleged burning of a Quran during a NATO operation on Monday, local residents and police said. A doctor at the emergency hospital in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that more than 10 people had been brought in “with gunshot wounds to the stomach, head and legs”. “Two of them are in serious condition,” he said. Helmand provincial governor Daud Ahmadi has sent a delegation of police and government officials to Garmsir to investigate the incident, a spokesman for his office said. The delegation had begun interviewing eyewitnesses, and would also meet tribal elders, the spokesman said, adding: “Officers from the US Marines forces have also been taking part in these meetings. “The investigation has begun and the delegation is expected to come back with a report to the governor by this evening,” the spokesman said. — AFP

rumors that NATO-led forces had defiled a copy of the Muslim holy book during a military operation, local residents and police said. NATO said it had no information confirming the civilian deaths, but that it was investigating the incident along with Afghan security officials.

MULTAN: Pakistani volunteers transport a child injured in a bus accident, upon his arrival at a local hospital yesterday. — AP

6 children dead as train hits Pakistan school bus MULTAN: At least six children were killed and 15 injured yesterday when a passenger train hit a bus packed with school children in central Pakistan, officials said. The crash took place at an unmanned crossing near Mian Channun town, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of the central city of Multan in Punjab province, which suffers from heavy fog in the early

mornings. “The Lahore-bound Jaffer Express collided with a van carrying 24 children, killing six of them and wounding 15 others, four of them critically,” senior railway official Bashir Ahmad Khan told AFP. “The accident happened at an unmanned crossing,” he added. The primary school children were aged around eight to ten years old, and one

girl and five boys were killed, officials said. Mushtaq Ahmad, a senior doctor at the government’s main hospital in Mian Channun, confirmed the number of casualties, while Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered an enquiry into the “tragic” incident. “The prime minister expressed deep grief and concern over the tragic road accident in which several school children lost their

lives,” a statement issued by his office said. Gilani also asked state-owned Pakistan Railways to “ensure proper vigilance at their unmanned crossings, particularly during times of fog.” Pakistan has one of the world’s worst records for fatal rail and road accidents, blamed on poor infrastructure, badly maintained vehicles and roads, and reckless driving. — AFP

in the news One child killed in Pak park bomb PESHAWAR: A bomb blast killed at least one child and wounded five others yesterday at a playground near northwest Pakistan’s Taleban stronghold of South Waziristan, police said. The blast took place in the town of Tank, which sits about 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of the lawless tribal belt that runs along the Afghan border and has become a sanctuary for Taleban and Al-Qaedalinked militants. “Some children were playing at a playground and a blast took place in a nearby garbage heap, killing one child and wounding five others,” Tank police chief Ejaz Abid told AFP, confirming it was a bomb. Local police official Mohammad Ali Khan confirmed the toll, and said bomb disposal experts were rushing to the scene. “The child who died in the blast is nine years old, and the wounded are between five and twelve years old,” Ali said. Pakistan has in recent months seen a wave of deadly bombings blamed on Taleban insurgents avenging multiple military offensives against them across the northwest, including an ambitious assault into South Waziristan. On January 1, a suicide bomber killed 101 people when he rammed a car packed with explosives into a crowd of men, women and children watching a volleyball match at a village in Lakki Marwat district, also close to South Waziristan. Blasts caused by mines

and other unexploded ordnance have also been reported in the past in Tank district, which unlike the semiautonomous tribal areas is part of the North West Frontier Province and under direct government control. Truck bomb rocks Afghan district KANDAHAR: A truck bomb has exploded near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, with initial reports indicating that several people have been injured, a regional official said yesterday. The bombing in Daman district, about 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Kandahar, the capital of Kandahar province, bore the hallmarks of a Taliban attack, though the militants usually use smaller passenger vehicles, said district chief Sirajuddin. “A truck filled with explosives blew up. We don’t know yet if it was a suicide attack or if the truck was detonated (remotely),” he told AFP. He said initial reports indicated that two police officers and several civilians were wounded. Investigations were underway, he said. Several cars and the district administration building were also damaged, said Sirajuddin, who uses only one name. Kandahar province, along with neighboring Helmand, is seething with an insurgency which has intensified in the past year as international and Afghan forces have taken the fight to the Taleban. The 113,000 international troops leading the fight under US and NATO command are being supplemented with another 40,000 over the course of this year.

Bangladesh PM hails India trip NEW DELHI: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday hailed her four-day visit to giant neighbor India as a success that would usher in stronger economic and development cooperation. Hasina, on her first visit to India since coming to power in December 2008 polls, secured one billion dollars of credit from Asia’s fourth-largest economy for bolstering infrastructure in Bangladesh. “We feel it will open a door, a new era,” Hasina told reporters before concluding her India trip. Crossborder ties have warmed considerably since Hasina came to power a year ago and the Awami League leader has received strong support from New Delhi. India, which signed five accords with Bangladesh in areas ranging from cultural exchanges, security, preventing crime and power supply, also deemed the visit as “extremely fruitful.” “This is one of the most successful visits in recent times. It is a major step forward that will transform bilateral ties,” an Indian foreign ministry official told AFP. New Delhi has often accused Dhaka of providing shelter to militant groups active in India’s northeast, but Hasina has detained several senior rebels and handed them over to India.



Thursday, January 14, 2010


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Tusk weighs costs of presidential bid By Gareth Jones


rime Minister Donald Tusk seems increasingly unsure whether to run in Poland’s presidential election this year, and the stakes for him and his party could not be higher. Until recently, few had doubted that Tusk, Poland’s most popular politician by far, would take a fresh tilt at the presidency this autumn, five years after he lost to his conservative archrival Lech Kaczynski. Now, things look less clear. Tusk’s main worry is that if he became president his ruling centre-right Civic Platform (PO) would lose its biggest electoral asset, internal party rivalries might surface and PO could fail to win the solid majority in the 2011 parliamentary election that it needs to promote economic reforms. “I would now put the chances of Tusk running for president at 60 to 40, still quite high but much less than a few months ago,” said Pawel Swieboda, head of the demosEuropa think-tank. “Tusk has sometimes given the impression recently that he is trying to convince himself that he does not have to run for president, that PO can afford to field a different candidate.” Tusk has said he will announce his decision before the end of the winter. Maverick PO lawmaker Janusz Palikot urged him to remain as prime minister in comments published in Tuesday’s edition of the daily Rzeczpospolita. He also said Tusk should announce his decision soon because prolonged hesitation could hurt his party. A poll published on Tuesday indicated that support for PO has already declined by nine percentage points to 37 percent since November, eroded by an economic slowdown and a recent gambling scandal, though it remains well ahead of its rivals. “Some associates are urging Tusk not to run for president. The real levers of power in the country, after all, are with the prime minister. And he also has to consider that he is the only one who can ensure the cohesion of PO,” said Swieboda. Under Poland’s constitution, power lies mainly with the prime minister and the government, but the president is not just a figurehead as in, say, Germany. A Polish president can veto laws and also represents the country on the global stage. Kaczynski, whose twin brother leads the main opposition party, the right-wing, eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party, has wielded his veto to block government reforms in areas including health, pensions and public media. Tusk has blamed Kaczynski for expected increases this year in the state budget deficit and public debt because the president, with an eye on his own re-election chances, has opposed the government’s spending cuts. Rising debt is the biggest challenge facing Poland, whose economy has otherwise

earned praise as the only European Union member state to survive the global financial crisis without tipping into recession. Tusk’s frustration with Kaczynski led him late last year to propose constitutional reforms to turn the president into a ceremonial figure. But public reaction was cool, forcing Tusk to back away from more radical parts of the plan. The proposals were widely interpreted at the time as signalling that Tusk might no longer be interested in becoming head of state. “I was pretty sure he wanted to promote the constitutional changes in order to have an excuse not to run for the presidency. But there has not been much backing for them within his party or beyond,” said political analyst and former PO MP Pawel Spiewak. Opinion polls suggest Tusk could unseat Kaczynski as president. If he does not run, the most likely PO candidate is Bronislaw Komorowski, speaker of the lower house of parliament, but he lacks Tusk’s charisma and common touch and might not win. Other PO politicians mooted as possible candidates include Jerzy Buzek, a former prime minister who is now head of the European Parliament. But he is unlikely to return to Poland so soon after clinching a top EU job. Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is also popular, but analysts say PO officials worry that the acerbic Oxford-educated right-winger cannot be trusted to toe the party line. So the debate turns full circle back to Tusk again. “Tusk made a mistake by encouraging the expectation that he would run for the presidency. If he backs away, he will stoke criticism that he lacks ambition, that he gives up too easily,” said Radoslaw Markowski of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Echoing that comment, analyst Spiewak said it had become a matter of honour for Tusk to become Poland’s next president. “I was with him during the 2005 presidential campaign when he lost to Kaczynski ... Psychologically he wants to prove to himself and to others ... that he is able to win any top post in Poland,” said Spiewak. If Tusk is duly elected as president, investors will be glad that Poland has finally overcome the institutional conflict that has hampered reforms, economists say. But they will have to wait until at least after the parliamentary election in 2011 for real progress, assuming PO can return to power with a strong mandate. Tusk’s own preferred successor as prime minister, analysts say, would be Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, a former premier who recently quit as head of Poland’s second biggest bank, Pekao. “Everything points to Bielecki as prime minister under a President Tusk because he is somebody Tusk trusts entirely. He helped to invent Tusk politically,” said Swieboda. — Reuters

All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

CIA bomber video publicity coup for Pak Taleban By Michael Georgy


video of the CIA bomber in Afghanistan sitting beside the Pakistani Taleban leader created the impression that the group may have played a key role in the second biggest attack in agency history. But analysts say Hakimullah Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), or Taleban Movement of Pakistan, could have only provide organisational support at most for the operation, which was likely masterminded by Al-Qaeda. Until the video raised questions about the capabilities of the TTP, Mehsud was known mainly as a particularly brutal Taleban leader determined to topple Pakistan’s proAmerican government, not infiltrate CIA stations outside the country. The TTP has carried out sophisticated attacks against Pakistani security force facilities, and has benefited from ties with Al-Qaeda, but there has been no evidence to suggest it has joined the big league of international militant groups. At most, analysts say, the video illustrates that the TTP can provide logistical support to militants like the Jordanian double agent who probably moved through its territory to get to the US base in eastern Afghanistan where he blew himself up. “They totally operate in Pakistan and I think they got lucky that this guy approached them,” said Kamran Bokhari, regional director for the Middle East and South Asia at STRATFOR global intelligence firm. The double agent, Humam Khalil Abu Mulal Al-Balawi, blew himself up on Dec 30 inside Forward Operating Base Chapman, a well-fortified US compound in Khost province in southeast Afghanistan, killing seven CIA employees and a Jordanian officer. In the video, which could not be immediately verified, Al-Balawi sits crosslegged in a green camouflage jacket explaining how the United States and its Arab ally Jordan had offered him millions of dollars to spy on militant groups. Instead, he says, he handed

over US and Jordanian state secrets to Muslim comrades. Mehsud sits quietly, barely moving as Balawi says the attack was in revenge for the killing of Pakistan Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud - in a US drone aircraft attack last year - and calls for attacks in and outside the United States. Why would a Jordanian blow himself up to avenge the death of a Pakistani Taleban leader? The answer lies in the murky militant alliances that often lead back to AlQaeda, which experts say provides leadership and guidance. Balawi needed organisational support. The TTP was the logical choice, analysts say. It is the most well-known militant group in Pakistan and apparently easiest to contact. Although the TTP probably vetted Al-Balawi extensively, getting past Al-Qaeda after having said you worked with the CIA would have been far more difficult, if not impossible. In return for organisational support, analysts say, Balawi probably agreed to appear in the video, and tie one of the most dramatic hits ever against CIA to the death of Baitullah Mehsud, raising the profile of the TTP, even though few doubt that AlQaeda chose the CIA as the target and ran the operation. The video raised the media-savvy Hakimullah’s stature in militant circles and sent a message of defiance to the Pakistan’s military, which destroyed his bases in South Waziristan. It’s not clear where and when the video was made. “Hakimullah is definitely exploiting it. The TTP is trying to get mileage out of it,” said Bokhari. Pakistan is under relentless US pressure to crush all militant groups on its northwest border with Afghanistan, even Afghan Taleban fighters it sees as strategic allies. Analysts predict that the video tape will only encourage the United States to step up drone attacks in the region, even though that could strain relations with Pakistan and inflame antiAmerican sentiment in the US ally. “From the American point of view

there are a lot of bad guys in the Pakistani northwest that need to be whacked. This video doesn’t really change anything,” said Bokhari. One of the burning questions the CIA is likely to ask is whether the AlQaeda-linked Afghan Haqqani network

based in northwest Pakistan was involved. To get to the US base, Balawi would have needed to get through the Haqqani group’s turf. If Washington determines that Haqqani gave a green light, it will put even more pressure on Pakistan to crush

the network, something Islamabad has long resisted for strategic reasons. “It will increase pressure on Pakistan because it will be seen that there will be close coordination between these groups,” said Zahid Hussein, an expert on militant groups. — Reuters

Despair in West over Ukraine By David Brunnstrom


he West is hoping for more political stability in Ukraine after Sunday’s presidential election but quick entry into NATO or the European Union are off the agenda whatever the outcome. Infighting among Ukraine’s leaders and economic crisis have shattered the optimism inspired in the West by the former Soviet republic’s “Orange Revolution” in 2004, and Ukrainians say Western leaders have lost interest in their country. “Ukraine has gone from being a darling of the EU to a complete and utter nightmare,” said Tomas Valasek at the Centre for European Reform think tank. “A few years ago most EU states were convinced it should be in the European Union within a few years. All that has changed.” Ukraine, which is squeezed between Russia and the European Union and carries Russian energy to Europe, is vital to its Western neighbours’ economic and security interests. Governments from Europe to the United States hope the vote will at least provide some clarity as to who is running Ukraine after years of squabbling between the president, prime minister and main opposition leader. But there is little optimism that either of the two main candidates - opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - can bring any quick turnaround. There is also considerable nervousness that the election, expected to go to a runoff between Yanukovich and Tymoshenko on Feb 7, could generate further political strife. Lack of Ukrainian support for joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has pushed membership off the immediate agenda, despite the Western military alliance’s pledge that Kiev will one day become a member. The political turbulence in Kiev has also seriously damaged hopes harboured by both the main candidates that Ukraine could one day join the 27-country EU, which could offer a country such as Ukraine more protection during future economic crises. Kiev’s handling of a gas supply crisis in Europe last year, when Russia turned off the taps of pipelines running through Ukraine, damaged its reputation in the EU as a reliable partner. The political bickering that led to suspen-

sion of emergency International Monetary Fund loans had a similar effect. Ukrainians say the problems are not entirely of their own making, and accuse the West of suddenly losing interest in their country. The EU and NATO became more wary after sabre-rattling by Russia and Russian suggestions that drawing Kiev into the Western orbit would damage business ties with Moscow. Valasek said the election could be a last chance for Ukraine to revive its EU prospects. “With the economy being in such terrible shape, the appetite and desire among EU member states to consider Ukraine as a potential member has decreased correspondingly,” he said. “We are all looking at the election and hoping for a little more stability, a little more clarity about who’s actually running the country.” Andrew Wilson of the European Council on Foreign Relations said EU-Ukraine economic cooperation remained essential and Kiev’s future membership prospects could be revived, but relations were at a low ebb. “The ball is very much in Ukraine’s court. Whoever is elected will have to restore a reputation for policy coherence and policy delivery pretty soon - within the first 30 or 100 days, particularly on items already on the table,” he said. “There are indications that Tymoshenko, at least, would try to revive those issues were she to be elected,” he said. Wilson said the EU too could move to improve the atmosphere, but added: “All that depends on what type of election we get ... it has to be more or less free and fair with no crazy provocations or obvious fraud, or the loser refusing to accept the result - all of which are possible.” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told a European Parliament hearing on Monday that “clear European interests are at stake” in the election. But the next Ukrainian president will also have to find a balance in dealings with the East and West. “Tymoshenko would probably play that game of balance slightly more to the West than the East ... she certainly talks more warmly of the EU and IMF,” Wilson said. A senior EU official described dealing with Ukraine’s leaders as one of his most frustrating experiences and saw little reason for optimism whatever the outcome. “It’s hard to see anything changing while the same leaders remain in power,” he said. —Reuters

Brazil election could change more than expected By Raymond Colitt


razil’s October presidential election looks the least threatening to economic stability in 25 years, but vital differences between the two main candidates mean much will be at stake for businesses and investors. Seven years of stability and prosperity under the popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have established a new consensus on economic policy in Brazil that neither of the two front-runners are seen as breaking. Both Lula’s chief of staff Dilma Rousseff of the ruling Workers’ Party and Sao Paulo state Governor Jose Serra of the opposition PSDB party are committed to the principles of a floating exchange rate, inflation targets and a primary budget surplus that have anchored Brazil’s economic renaissance. That is a relief to business executives, who long associated Brazil elections with intense uncertainty during the hyperinflation and economic crisis in the decade that followed the country’s return to democracy in

1985. “Elections are no longer the ghost they used to be. Whoever wins, there will be a certain continuity,” said Claudio Miccieli, executive director of Giraffas, a chain of 300 fast-food restaurants. Lula, who is legally barred from seeking a third straight term, helped forge a minimum consensus on economic policy in Brazil when he abandoned many leftist proposals in favor of market-friendly policies after taking office in Jan 2003. Despite a booming economy, critics say he failed to tackle growth barriers such as an unwieldy state and poor education. Rousseff, who trails Serra by a wide margin in polls, has much in common with her rival, including their past as left-wing activists during the 1964-85 military dictatorship. Trained economists, both favor heavy government regulation and lack Lula’s obvious charisma that has helped him broker shifting allegiances of corruption-prone legislators. Still, important differences between the two leading candidates could significantly change the country’s investment

climate. Rousseff is expected to adopt a more expansive state role, a trend that began during the global financial crisis. The former guerrilla fighter helped draft a bill now in Congress to boost state control over vast new oil finds and has endorsed Lula’s push to expand state banks. By contrast, Serra last year authorized the sale of Sao Paulo state bank Nossa Caixa. His centrist party, which

privatized inefficient state companies in the 1990s, has warned Lula’s oil bill would reduce private investment. Serra is far from being a free-market ideologue - as health minister under Lula’s predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, he won popularity by breaking the patents of multinational pharmaceutical companies. But analysts say he would be more open to private firms in

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva attends the launching of the bill to create the Federal University of Latin American Integration (UNILA) in Brasilia on Tuesday. – AFP

sectors such as sewage treatment, still widely unavailable. “While a Rousseff administration would probably extend the current government’s strategy of relying more heavily on stateowned enterprises, a Serra administration would likely rely heavily on private investments,” Eurasia Group consultancy said in a report. Serra is seen as running a tighter budget and streamlining the state apparatus more than Rousseff, who wants to modernize the state but not reduce its size or civil servants’ benefits. “Serra would be stricter on the budget,” said Roberto Piscitelli, finance professor at the University of Brasilia. Spending cuts could help Serra lower interest rates and combat a strong currency, the real, aides said. “He’ll be assertive on the currency and interest rates,” said Luiz Paulo Vellozo Lucas, PSDB expert on economic policy. The prime lending rate fell sharply last year but at 8.75 percent remains one of the highest of any major economy. That helped fuel a 34 percent rise in

the real against the dollar last year and is likely to narrow the trade surplus in 2010. Rousseff has said the central bank should consider economic and job growth in pursuing inflation targets. Serra appears to be the preferred candidate of investors. A December survey by the MCM consultancy in Sao Paulo showed that 73 percent of its 154 clients supported Serra for president against only 5 percent for Rousseff. “Serra is not the market’s dream candidate but he is the preferred one,” said Ricardo Ribeiro, an MCM political analyst. On foreign policy, a Serra administration is expected to have cooler ties to US adversaries such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He could also take a harder line on trade disputes with neighbors, which critics say Lula has avoided as he has sought regional harmony. “Serra would be tougher - right now we’re giving in on all terms,” said Jose Augusto de Castro, director of the Foreign Trade Association in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Work begins on first planned Palestinian city By Ben Hubbard


ork crews have broken ground on what they hope will be the first modern, planned Palestinian city - a step officials say will help build an independent state in spite of the current deadlock in the peace process with Israel. But without Israeli approval of a short stretch of road, the $500-million project may never get off the ground. “We could build the whole city, but the question is, would people live in a city that doesn’t have an access road?” said Bashar Masri, managing director of the company behind the project. “Obviously, the answer is no.” Since last week, machine operators have been hard at work, taking chunks out of a rocky hillside near this West Bank village. If the project goes according to plan, it will provide 40,000 Palestinians with homes in an American-style development. Palestinians say Israel has not responded to their requests about the access road. The Israeli Defense Ministry, which is in charge of the area, did not return calls from AP about the issue. Israel’s stated policy is to promote economic development in the West Bank, and construction of the new town would appear to fall within that goal. But three kilometers of the road would have to be built through a part of the West Bank that Israel controls, within view of a Jewish settlement, raising possible complications. Western-backed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, an internationally respected economist, has announced plans to build institutions regardless of progress in peace talks, aiming to be ready for statehood in two years. The new city, known as Rawabi, would be a key part of that plan. Rawabi, about 30 km north of Jerusalem, is designed to look much

like an American suburb. Standing over a working model in the office of Bayti Real Estate Investment Company in Ramallah, Masri pointed to the city’s egg-shaped, hilltop center, saying it will hold office and residential towers, a conference center and hotel, shops, cafes and a movie theater. The center will be a pedestrian zone with an underground car park, he said. Cities like Ramallah and Nablus have sprawled into the West Bank countryside over the last

century, leaving them with insufficient roads, infrastructure and parking space, producing daily traffic jams that snarl their centers. In Rawabi, by contrast, a series of roads will loop down the hillside, lined with residential buildings connected by footpaths, designed for the Palestinian middle class, Masri said. Residents will have ample parking and access to parks, schools, mosques and a church. Masri declined to give condo prices, but said 5,000 units are designed for

Palestinians who can afford monthly mortgage payments of between $400 and $700. Another 1,000 deluxe units will sell for more, he said. The project is being funded by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co and Ramallahbased Massar International. To help families purchase homes, the US Overseas Private Investment Corp, an investment arm of the US government, is helping establish a mortgage assistance project. Masri’s company plans to start pouring foundations in

three months, he said, and says the first residents should move in by 2013. That is, assuming the city gets its access road. Reaching the site now means following a narrow, winding road through a number of Palestinian villages. Planners have laid out a new access road, but about three kilometers of it cross an Israeli-controlled zone, said Amir Dajani, Bayti’s deputy director. Dajani said the Palestinian Authority has asked Israel to put the stretch of road under Palestinian jurisdiction, but has yet to get a response. “The access road is an artery for the project,” Dajani said. “It is critical for its success and future growth and a prerequisite for its sustainability.” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev declined to comment on the project, but said Israel considers economic growth in the West Bank “the best antidote to extremism and terrorism.” For now, the project is moving ahead. Last Wednesday, a team of tractors carved a local road into the rocky hillside, while orange-vested surveyors and engineers in hardhats prepared other sites. Standing on the hilltop slated to host the future downtown, site manager Maher Sawalha pointed to where he hopes to build the city’s roads, condos and sewage treatment plant. Palestinian villages stood clustered on adjacent hilltops, and the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast was clearly visible, about 40 km to the west. “If it’s clear and you have a sunny day, you can see all the way to the sea,” Sawalha said. Sawalha, a 45-year-old father of six, said he planned to move from his rented apartment in Ramallah to Rawabi as soon as possible. “It’s a dream to own a house here, in a new city where you work and live quietly with your kids,” he said. “It will be similar to life in the US.” — AP

Google’s China retreat resets expansion plans By Alexei Oreskovic


oogle Inc delighted free-speech advocates as it threatened to pull out of China over censorship and cyber attacks, but the move upends one of the company’s most important growth initiatives. Analysts said Google’s decision is tantamount to exiting the world’s largest Internet market, with more than 360 million users, since it is highly unlikely the Chinese government would allow Google to operate an unfiltered search engine. But the decision does not necessarily mean Google will abandon China entirely, as it could follow the footsteps of other US Internet companies that have chosen to partner with local companies instead of maintaining their own sites. “China is in our view one of the most attractive consumer Internet markets. We think it (Google) is generating $200 million in annual revenue from China,” said Sandeep Aggarwal, analyst at Collins Stewart. “But this kind of attack they cannot afford to have as a global player. That’s why I think they’re evaluating whether they should basically withdraw from the country.” Google controls about 31.3 percent of the Chinese search market, versus 63.9 percent for local search powerhouse, Baidu Inc, according to Analysys International. Annual search revenue in China is estimated to be more than $1 billion. Google’s second-place standing in China means it won’t feel an immediate sting if it does close shop there. Analysts estimate revenue from China to be a fraction of the roughly $22 billion in annual revenue Google generated in 2008. Google said on Tuesday it may pull out of China after uncovering a sophisticated

cyber attack on the email accounts of human rights activists. The company said the attack originated from China, but would not speculate on whether the Chinese authorities were involved. However, with growth slowing in mature markets such as the United States, Google needs all the sources of growth it can find and China is a strategic market for most technology companies. “Just about every earnings call recently has been that they are focused on the long term growth opportunities for China and that they are committed,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Ju, describing Google’s move as a “complete 180”. “Others have pulled out already, so I guess Google pulling out would not be model breaking,” he said, but nonetheless described Google’s move as very surprising. In 2005, Yahoo Inc handed over exclusive rights to the “Yahoo China” brand and folded its Chinese mail, messaging and other operations into the Alibaba Group, in a $1 billion deal that gave Yahoo a 40 percent stake in Alibaba. In 2006, eBay Inc folded its Chinese operations into a new venture controlled by a local partner as it switched tack in a fast-growing market where it has struggled. The US-based Web auction giant put its China business, acquired when it bought local auction site EachNet for $180 million, into a joint venture with Tom Online, a Beijing-based Internet portal and wireless services firm that is partly owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing. Google launched its Chinese-language search engine in 2006, and the site complies with local laws requiring censorship of certain items such as pornography and “vulgar comment”.

“There were a lot of problems that hamstrung Google, but not all of them had to do with Google being picked on by the Chinese government,” said Kaiser Kuo, China Internet commentator and former

director of digital strategy at Ogilvy China. Analysts have said that working with a local partner in China could help Google get a better competitive footing in a for-

eign market with different languages and customs. But it could also expose Google to some criticism after having taken the stand it would not countenance Chinese censorship. — Reuters

Case lays bare China challenge By Allison Jackson


oogle’s threat to pull out of China could force a broader rethink by foreign Internet firms that made uncomfortable compromises to operate in the world’s largest online market, analysts say. The announcement that the US Internet giant might abandon China after a spate of cyber-attacks might also just be good business, as it has never matched up to its local rivals, they say. “This is a very politically charged environment,” Duncan Clark, an analyst at Beijing-based high-tech consultancy BDA, told AFP. “Multinationals have been complaining about ‘Buy China’ policies, unfair restrictions and hacking... and this is going to be very damaging if there isn’t a solution.” The online espionage against human-rights activists has led Google to reconsider its business operations in China, and it said it would no longer filter Internet search results in the Asian country. The announcement was applauded by campaigners who had accused Google of trashing its unofficial motto “Don’t Be Evil” when it began censoring search results in China in 2006 to appease the authorities. Beijing tightly polices cyberspace, employing tens of thousands of people to monitor online postings, chatrooms and blogs. It also requires companies including Google and Yahoo! to block web users from accessing information about subjects deemed politically sensitive such as Tibet and the banned Falungong sect. When such searches are carried out, some web pages are filtered out by the companies themselves. Other content listed in the search results may be blocked by government censors and cannot be opened. “There’s a feeling that China is emboldened and that

they don’t need to have the same sort of dialogue (as before),” Clark said, noting Google’s decision to go public could suggest the authorities were not open to further talks. “This is the mismatch - people here think no one can do without China, and I think now some companies are thinking no one can deal with China.” Beijing-based political analyst Russell Leigh Moses said “the closer Google got to what the Chinese government demanded, the weaker Google looked”. “It is surprising that it took the corporate leadership at Google so long to recognise that their company was no different than any other venture in a market where politics still dominates,” he told AFP in an email. Officials at Microsoft and Yahoo! did not immediately respond to requests for comment on for their own plans in China in light of Google’s announcement. The Chinese government said it was seeking more information about Google’s intentions, state news agency Xinhua reported. To get around the so-called “Great Firewall of China” erected by government censors, savvy web users use proxy servers or VPNs (virtual private networks) to access blocked websites. Yesterday, searches for sensitive subjects like the Dalai Lama and Tiananmen revealed photos and results that are often blocked on, indicating Google may have already stopped filtering. Elinor Leung, an analyst with Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia in Hong Kong, said the departure of Google China president Kai-Fu Lee in September may have contributed to the deterioration in the firm’s relations with Beijing. She said Lee had been able to “smooth ties with the government” after Beijing accused Google of illegally spreading pornographic content. — AFP

Angola war on terror to bolster president’s power By Henrique Almeida


deadly ambush on soccer players in Angola has embarrassed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on the world stage but it will help him tighten his 30-year grip on power in one of Africa’s biggest oil producers. The Jan 8 gun attack on a bus carrying the Togo soccer delegation in Cabinda, which Angola called a terrorist act, could see dos Santos’ already substantial presidential powers increased further, analysts said. They say the attack has given dos Santos’ government more power to pursue and destroy the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), which it accuses of staging the bus ambush that killed two members of the Togo delegation to the African Nations Cup. The FLEC have waged a three-decade long war against the government for independence of Cabinda, a small geographically separated exclave that pumps half of Angola’s oil. “The attack last Friday has exposed that there is a continued low intensity separatist problem ongoing,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House in London. “After the matches are

Angolan children wash a motorcycle near a pond in Cabinda in northern Angola yesterday. – AP over, I expect we will see a crackdown on sympathisers, separatists, and counter insurgency operations in the north of the country,” Vines said. In the search for FLEC members, Angola is expected to renew ties with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, which turned sour after it expelled thousands of Angolan

immigrants in a tit-for-tat wave of expulsions, and with France. Both countries have said they will pursue FLEC leaders that have been living in exile on their territory. “The government is willing to use this tragedy to get rid of FLEC once and for all and to win international support to do so,” said Rafael Marques, a political

analyst in Angola who is an expert on Cabinda. The French Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that remarks by the FLEC’s secretary general, Rodrigues Mingas, who is part of its leadership in exile, in which he pledged to pursue an insurgency, were “unacceptable and will have consequences”. Congolese gov-

ernment spokesman Lambert Mende said the Democratic Republic of Congo - whose territory separates Angola from the Cabinda enclave - regarded FLEC as a “terrorist organisation” and would strip its members of their refugee status. One Angolan political analyst said dos Santos could use the war on FLEC as an excuse to approve a new constitution that will enable him to be elected through an indirect vote instead of a popular vote, as is currently the case. The 67-year-old ruler said last month that a presidential election would only take place in 2012 and has rushed to approve a new constitution that will increase his powers. He has failed to hold an election ever since the end of Angola’s 27-year civil war in 2002, despite repeated promises to do so. “This is another distraction that will help the government approve the new constitution that will maintain or even increase the president’s powers,” said the analyst, who declined to be named. The ruling MPLA party has submitted a draft charter that keeps the president as the head of government and commander in chief. The draft constitution will enable the president to be elect-

ed as head of the list of the most popular party in an election. While dos Santos’ ruling MPLA party won over 82 percent of the vote in the 2008 parliamentary election, it is not clear whether dos Santos himself enjoys such a high level of popularity in a country where two thirds of the population live on less than $2 a day. Most Angolans have long endured their woes in silence after their country emerged from the civil war to rival Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer. The FLEC attack may also signal that patience is running out. The roots of the 30-year-old conflict between the government and FLEC are deep and complex but one of the separatists’ main grievances is that Cabindans see few benefits from the oil produced from their homeland. Antonio Bento Bembe, a former senior FLEC leader who is now Angola’s minister in charge of Cabinda, told Reuters in an interview that some of the separatists prey on individuals who are unhappy with their living conditions. “A lot of things have been changing without a need to pick up a knife or a gun,” said Bento Bembe. “They (the attacks) come from people who are frustrated because they could not realise their dreams.” — Reuters


Yemen economy fuels extremism By Omar Hasan


emen’s crumbling economy has created fertile ground for the spread of extremism and the rise of a secessionist movement in the south and a Shiite rebellion in the north, officials and analysts say. Economic woes in one of the poorest nations on earth have been aggravated by widespread corruption, social injustice and a steep decline in oil income, which makes up 70 percent of total state revenues. “Yemen’s deteriorating economy is the main driving force behind events in the country, including the spread of Al-Qaeda,” Mohammad Al-Muthaimi, economy professor at Sanaa University, told AFP. He said “the terrorism and extremism market” in Yemen is flourishing with the Al-Qaeda network attracting “desperate, unemployed youths.” “Sixty-five percent of young people are without job opportunities, and extremist organisations are exploiting the chance to recruit them by handing out much-needed money,” Muthaimi said. Unemployment in Yemen’s workforce of 6.5 million has jumped to 34 percent, while per capita income remains one of the lowest in the region at just above $1,000, according to official data, compared with more than $70,000 in Gulf state Qatar. The United Nations’ 2008 Arab Human Development Report said poverty affects 59 percent of Yemen’s 24-million-population, while according to International Monetary Fund reports and government data 45.2 percent of Yemenis live below the poverty line. “The slumping economy is certainly contributing to the rise of Al-Qaeda and rebel movements. Corruption is another key problem. Both these factors make foreign assistance and investments difficult to come by,” Saudi analyst Anwar Eshki said. “Social injustice within parts of Yemen and internal tribal feuds are also helping AlQaeda in Yemen, which is under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Eshki, head of the

Jeddah-based Middle East Strategic Studies Centre, told AFP. The decline in oil income “has had an influence on all conditions from the viewpoint of the economy, finance and security,” said presidential office head and chairman of Yemen’s National Security Agency Ali Muhammad Al-Anisi. “This creates a fertile environment conducive to the spread of extremist ideas and an increase in criminal and terrorist acts,” he told an International Institute for Strategic Studies regional security summit in December. Oil production in Yemen has declined from around half a million barrels per day in 2000 to less than 300,000 bpd last year coupled by a sharp drop in oil prices from its peak of 147 dollars a barrel in the summer of 2008. The country’s already scarce crude oil reserves could be depleted in 10-12 years in the absence of any major new discoveries, the IMF said in its latest assessment of Yemen’s economy. The start of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in November gave Yemenis rare cause to celebrate. The 4.5-billion-dollar project is expected to boost economic development and generate between $30 and $40 billion over the next 25 years. But the IMF said this would only partly compensate for the decline in oil revenues. “Yemen faces considerable challenges in dealing with the transition to a non-oil economy, generating strong nonhydrocarbon economic growth, ensuring fiscal and external sustainability, and reducing poverty and unemployment,” the fund said. Other major economic challenges include high inflation, down from 20 percent at the end of 2008 but still around 10 percent, and a chronic budget shortfall despite the government’s reform program. The current account deficit stands at seven percent of Gross Domestic Product, estimated at $28 billion, following a small surplus between 2002 and 2006, while foreign debt stands at six billion dollars. — AFP

Attack wins notoriety for forgotten conflict By Alexandra Lesieur


abinda’s once-forgotten separatists won new notoriety with their deadly attack on Togo’s football team, embarrassing Angola’s government which has long tried to quell the movement, analysts said. The gun attack killed two members of Togo’s squad and left a third in intensive care, just as the world’s attention was turning to the country’s hosting of Africa’s top football tournament. “The Africa Cup of Nations was always going to be bigger than just the soccer. It’s very intimately linked to national pride. This was Angola’s coming out party” after decades of civil war, said Nomfundo Ngwenya of the South African Institute of International Affairs. “The kind of attack they suffered in Cabinda is egg on their face. It’s humiliating,” she said. In a country where media is tightly controlled, the separatists struck just as Angola was allowing in scores of foreign press to cover the tournament. “The attack obtained what they wanted, which was to draw international attention to their forgotten conflict in Angola,” said Alex Vines, from the British think tank Chatham House. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has claimed the region’s independence since colonial power Portugal withdrew in 1975, arguing that it had never been administered as part of Angola. The dispute has an outsize importance for a territory just one third the size of Wales as it pumps 60 percent of the oil that has made Angola the top producer in Africa, while most of the 300,000 residents live in poverty. But the long conflict had fallen off the radar overseas, as the separatists fractured into small groups whose individual actions became less visible, and Angola sharply limited access to the province. Divisions among the guerrillas complicate efforts to end the conflict. A 2006 peace deal with

the government was signed by only one group, FLECRenovada, whose members are now seen as sell-outs by rivals. The internal squabbling erupted again over the shooting that killed Togo’s assistant coach and media spokesman, as two separate groups claimed they were behind the attack. “The aim was to attack the Angolan security forces escorting the Togolese team,” said Rui Neumann, a specialist on Cabinda and reporter for the Portuguese News Network. He said the separatists no longer have the forces they commanded during the 1990s, when they controlled up to 70 percent of the territory. “FLEC uses a military strategy of deployments in small groups, commandos, who are still very much present in the Mayombe forest,” Neumann told Radio France International. Their attacks, rarely reported in the media, still target “mainly security forces and the Angolan Armed Forces, and pressure foreigners” working in the oil industry, he said. Chevron maintains a large staff base in Cabinda. Limited access to Cabinda curbs the flow of any information about violence there, allowing Luanda to paint the province as a peaceful region ready to welcome its seven matches in the Nations Cup this month. Despite Togo’s decision to withdraw from the tournament after the attack, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos refused to move any matches from Cabinda. “If they decide to move the matches, then it will mean they are playing into the rebels hands,” said Thatisi Machaba, an historian at the University of Pretoria. “The message they are communicating now is that ‘we have this under control’.” Analysts expect a major crackdown in Cabinda, rather than a new effort at negotiations. “The Angolan authorities are expected to react with a new offensive against the separatists after the football tournament,” Vines said. “For the time being, their focus is on security on the football stadium.” — AFP

NEWS 14 Iran speaker accuses Obama of terrorism Google threatens to quit China TEHRAN: Parliament speaker Ali Larijani, Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator, yesterday accused US President Barack Obama of state terrorism over the killing in Tehran of a leading atomic scientist. In an angry address to Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament, Larijani reiterated Iranian charges that the US Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad were behind the scientist’s death in a bombing on Tuesday. “Such filthy actions are easy to carry out but such adventurism will do you no good,” the ISNA news agency quoted Larijani as saying in reference to Obama. “You have practically promoted acts of terrorism,” he said. Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at prestigious Tehran University, was killed by a bomb strapped to a motorcycle in the capital’s well-to-do northern suburbs on Tuesday. Neither the police nor the intelligence services have yet reported any leads in their investigation, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stopped short of explicitly accusing Washington of being behind the bombing. “The action taken yesterday by the enemies of logic, justice, humanity and the Iranian people is being investigated by relevant authorities,” Mottaki told reporters when asked about accusations of US and Israeli involvement. Larijani, however, was explicit in pointing the finger of blame at the CIA and Israel’s

Mossad. Similar allegations by other Iranian officials of US involvement in the attack have been dismissed out of hand by Washington. Former Iranian presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami yesterday condemned the killing. But the two politicians, who backed defeated opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election which saw hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected, did not blame the CIA and Israel. Islamist students and the volunteer Basij militia also condemned the killing of Ali Mohammadi, whom they described as “a Basiji professor”. In an open letter members of the victim’s his family called Ali Mohammadi a man who followed the path of the supreme leader. “We, as children and wife of the martyr Ali Mohammadi, give condolences to the caring officials of the regime, the noble people of iran, and especially the nation’s academia over the martyrdom of a dedicated husband, a kind father and a Valai (supporter of the supreme leader),” the letter said. But Ali Mohammadi’s name was also reported as appearing on a list of pro-Mousavi academics. However, according to Ali Moghara, who heads the physics faculty at Tehran University, Ali Mohammadi was just a “world famous” physicist who engaged in “no political activity”. Tuesday’s rare assassination

came as the government of the Islamic republic faced the most sustained period of protest since the revolution of 1979, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets of Tehran after the election. The opposition charges that the vote was massively rigged in Ahmadinejad’s favour. For the past seven months, the opposition has mounted anti-government protests at every opportunity, many of which have been broken up by police who have arrested hundreds of demonstrators. The killing in broad daylight also came amid an increasingly bitter standoff between Iran and world powers over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, which the West suspects is cover for an atomic weapons drive. Tehran officials have repeatedly accused the United States and Israel, neither of which has ruled out a military strike to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, of seeking to foment unrest inside the country. Larijani insisted yesterday that the scientist’s murder would have no impact on Iran’s program. “Now they seek to eliminate nuclear scientists. You will see that these terrorist actions will achieve nothing and the Iranian nation will safeguard its nuclear success,” he said. Last month, Iran accused the United States of seizing an Iranian scientist while he was on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, a claim Washington refused to comment on and that Riyadh denied. —AFP

Yemeni forces kill Al-Qaeda kingpin Continued from Page 1 Yemen’s national security chief Ali Anisi said Mehdar was an “important member of the network” and boasted of successful attacks on AlQaeda militants even before the failed plane bombing. “We are on the offensive and the terrorists are terrified and in hiding,” he told AFP. “Yemen is not Afghanistan, nor Pakistan, where terrorists constantly launch attacks while the authorities try to respond. Here, we anticipate the threat. Yemen is not a hideout for the terrorists and will never be,” he added. Ahmadi told AFP on Tuesday that security forces had arrested four Al-Qaeda suspects, two of them wounded in a firefight. A tribal source said 18 suspects in the same area managed to escape a police raid and fled to a neighbouring mountain. The Yemeni government has sent troop reinforcements to some eastern provinces in recent weeks as it has intensified its fight against AlQaeda militants. Separately, two policemen were killed and four wounded in an ambush by unknown gunmen in Al-Nuqbah area of Shabwa province, Ahmadi said. The governor announced on Sunday that dozens of Al-Qaeda fighters, including Saudis and Egyptians who have fled Afghanistan, were hiding in Shabwa. Among them are the Yemeni leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Nasser Al-Wahishi, his Saudi number two, Saeed Ali Al-Shehri, and radical US-Yemeni cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi, he added. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the role of Saudi Arabia, which joined the fighting against the Shiite rebels on the Saudi-Yemeni border in November, saying Riyadh should use its military power against Israel instead. “We were expecting that Saudi Arabian officials act like a mentor and make peace between brothers, not that they themselves enter the war and use bombs, cannons and machineguns against Muslims,”

Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech. “If only a small part of the weapons of Saudi Arabia were used in favour of Gaza and against the Zionist regime (Israel), today there would be no sign of the Zionist regime in the region,” he said on state television. Yemen, whose five-month-old offensive has failed to crush the rebels, says they get support from Iran, a charge it denies. Ahmadinejad also said he believed the United States, Britain and Israel were behind the Yemen conflict, aiming to “set the whole region on fire” in a bid to dominate the Middle East. “I hope that my Yemeni brothers sit down and talk and negotiate and solve the problems,” he said. The Iranian leader was speaking a day after a Saudi defence official said Saudi forces had killed hundreds of Yemeni rebels in a slice of Saudi territory. Four Saudi soldiers were killed. “I don’t know where he (Ahmadinejad) got this accusation ... that the kingdom is waging war on the Houthis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said. “The real accusation is that Iran is the one that meddles in Yemen’s internal affairs” he told reporters in Riyadh. The Houthis, named after their leaders’ clan, say they had crossed the border in November only because the kingdom was letting Yemeni forces use its territory to attack them. Ahmadinejad also accused the West of seeking to dominate the region, terming the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States as “suspicious”. “All their planning is aimed at this goal. Human rights, fighting nuclear weapons and terrorism are all a big lie,” he said. “With the pretext of Sept 11 they started the fire of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and today in Yemen.” Speaking a day after a bombing killed a Tehran scientist in an attack Iran blamed on Israel and the United States, Ahmadinejad also said the Jewish state was collapsing, state broadcaster IRIB reported. “The supporters of Zionists should know that the Zionist regime is

on the way down to collapse and no one can save it,” he said. “The Iranian nation will cut from the arm any hand that has been extended to it with the aim (of committing) a crime.” On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr AlKurbi renewed an offer to talk to Al-Qaeda loyalists provided they lay down their arms but warned that the government would hunt them down if they spurn the offer. But a foreign ministry official said yesterday that dialogue with militants would only take place through the government’s program to rehabilitate penitent rebels. Yemen insists it can win the war against the militants without US military intervention, but analysts doubt it can tackle the jihadists on its own. The Arabian peninsula country is under pressure to rein in the extremists, with the United States and Britain announcing plans to fund the country’s counter-terrorism unit. But US President Barack Obama has said he has “no intention” of sending American troops to Yemen, or to Somalia, in the Horn of Africa just across the Bab Al-Mandab strait. Radical Yemeni cleric Abdulmajeed AlZendani, branded a “global terrorist” by the United States, warned on Monday that any US military intervention in Yemen to fight Al-Qaeda would be considered an occupation. Yemen insists it is winning the war against the jihadists, pointing to two separate air raids in December that killed more than 60 suspected Al-Qaeda militants. A week ago, officials announced the capture of key Al-Qaeda leader Mohammed AlHanq and two other militants believed to be behind threats against Western interests in Sanaa that caused embassies to close for several days. Anisi said an air raid on Dec 17 on what he termed an Al-Qaeda base in the southeastern province of Abyan had caused the “destruction of a main site of Al-Qaeda” in Yemen. “This was the only place which they could have called a training camp,” Anisi said. — Agencies

Israel apologizes to Turkey Continued from Page 1 Israel and Turkey will be solved in a respectful and mutual manner between the two governments. There was no intention to humiliate the ambassador personally. I apologize for the way Israel’s protest was presented.” There was no immediate response from the Turkish government. The crisis erupted Monday, when Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador, Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, to complain about a Turkish television drama that has been perceived as antiSemitic. The show, “The Valley of the Wolves”, depicts Israeli security forces kidnapping children and shooting old men. Ayalon’s detailed explanation of his insult to Israeli TV cameras in the room was made in Hebrew, and the ambassador did not react. Asked yesterday what would

have happened if Ayalon had made the comments in English instead of Hebrew, Celikkol said, “The meeting would have ended there, and I would just have left.” He was interviewed in Tel Aviv by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency. Earlier yesterday, Ayalon issued a statement admitting that his behavior was undiplomatic, but falling short of an apology. Turkey rejected that and threatened to withdraw its ambassador if a formal apology was not forthcoming. Over the past decade, the two states had built up a strong relationship, including military cooperation and tourism, making Turkey Israel’s closest ally in the Muslim world. Lately, however, Israel has been troubled by harsh statements from Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was outraged by the high Palestinian civilian death toll. Israel is also concerned with a

perception that Turkey is moving closer to Iran, considered by Israel as a strategic threat. Days after the Gaza offensive began, Erdogan stalked off a stage he was sharing with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the parting shot: “You kill people.” Turkey also canceled a high-profile military exercise with Israel last fall. Erdogan reignited tensions on Monday by accusing Israel of threatening world peace, just before Ayalon summoned Celikkol for the public insult. The statement from Netanyahu’s office was said the Israeli leader “supported the essence of (Ayalon’s) protest but distanced himself from the inappropriate style”. It expressed concern over the deterioration of relations between the two countries and said the Israeli government would work “to find ways to prevent the continuation of this trend.”— AP

Massive quake rocks Haiti Continued from Page 1 the collapsed Parliament building, where the senate president was among those pinned by debris. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them,” he told the Miami Herald. “All of the hospitals are packed with people. It is a catastrophe.” Sobbing and dazed people wandered the streets of Port-au-Prince, and voices cried out from the rubble. “Please take me out, I am dying. I have two children with me,” a woman told a Reuters journalist from under a collapsed kindergarten in the Canape-Vert area of the capital. The presidential palace lay in ruins, its domes fallen on top of flattened walls. Preval and his wife were not inside when the quake hit. The quake’s epicenter was only 16 km from Port-au-Prince. About 4 million people live in the city and surrounding area. Many people slept outside on the ground, away from weakened walls, as aftershocks as powerful as 5.9 rattled the city throughout the night and into yesterday. The devastation crippled the government and the UN security and assistance mission that had kept order, and there were no signs of any organized rescue efforts. Haitian Red Cross spokesman Pericles Jean-Baptiste said his organization was overwhelmed. “There are too many people who need help ... We lack equipment, we lack body bags,” he told Reuters yesterday. Reports on casualties and damage were slow to emerge due to communication outages. In New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said those unaccounted for at the UN mission headquarters included the chief of the mission, Hedi Annabi, but he could not confirm reports Annabi had died. He said 100 to 150 people were in the building when the quake struck. Jordan reported that three of its peacekeepers were killed and 21 wounded in the quake. Brazil said 15 of its peacekeepers were killed while eight Chinese soldiers were

buried in rubble and 10 were missing, state media said. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is ill-equipped to respond to such a disaster, lacking heavy equipment to move debris and sufficient emergency personnel. “I am appealing to the world, especially the United States, to do what they did for us back in 2008 when four hurricanes hit Haiti,” Raymond Alcide Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview. “At that time the US dispatched ... a hospital ship off the coast of Haiti. I hope that will be done again ... and help us in this dire situation that we find ourselves in.” US President Barack Obama said his “thoughts and prayers” were with the people of Haiti and pledged “unwavering support.” Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said its three hospitals in Haiti were unusable and it was treating the injured at temporary shelters. “The reality of what we are seeing is severe traumas, head wounds, crushed limbs, severe problems that cannot be dealt with with the level of medical care we currently have available with no infrastructure really to support it,” said Paul McPhun, operations manager for the group’s Canadian section. In Geneva, UN officials said they expected the world body would issue an international emergency appeal for funds and other assistance, once needs on the ground had been assessed. Germany was sending €1 million in immediate aid, and the EU’s executive European Commission pledged €3 million ($4.37 million) of fasttrack funding. The United States, Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg and Netherlands were sending reconnaissance and rescue teams, some with search dogs and heavy equipment, while other government and aid groups offered tents, water purification units, doctors and telecommunications teams. The quake hit at 5 pm (2200 GMT), and

witnesses reported people screaming “Jesus, Jesus” running into the streets as offices, hotels, houses and shops collapsed. Experts said the quake’s epicenter was very shallow at a depth of only 10 km, which was likely to have magnified the destruction. Witnesses saw homes and shanties built on hillsides tumble as the earth shook, while cars bounced off the ground. “You have thousands of people sitting in the streets with nowhere to go,” said Rachmani Domersant, an operations manager with the Food for the Poor charity. Preval’s wife, First L ady Elisabeth Preval, told the Miami Herald she had seen bodies in the streets of Port-au-Prince and had heard the cries of victims still trapped in the rubble of the parliament building. “I’m stepping over dead bodies. A lot of people are buried under buildings. The general hospital has collapsed. We need support. We need help. We need engineers,” she said. Media reports said the archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, has been found dead in the wreckage of the archdiocese office. UN officials said normal communications had been cut off and the only way to talk with people on the ground was via satellite phone. Roads were blocked by rubble. Some 9,000 UN police and troops are stationed in Haiti to maintain order and many countries were trying to determine the welfare of their personnel. As well as virtually destroying PortAu-Prince, the earthquake also caused widespread destruction in the resort town of Jacmel, south of the capital, a witness said yesterday, saying he saw an entire mountain almost collapsed. “It is a complete devastation here. Personally, I am lucky to be alive,” said Emmet Murphy, local head of the US non-governmental organization ADCI/VOCA. “I was driving back to Jacmel in the mountains when the entire mountain seemed to fall down all around me.” — Agencies

Continued from Page 1 Google’s decision even to talk publicly was rare in a system where Chinese officials react angrily to criticism. Officials have wide regulatory discretion and companies avoid saying anything that might prompt retaliation. China’s foreign ministry and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not respond to requests for comment but the state Xinhua News Agency cited an unidentified official as saying the government was seeking more information from Google. Phone calls to Google spokespeople in Beijing and Hong Kong were not answered. Comments left on Chinese Internet bulletin boards praised Google’s stance and appealed to the Mountain View, California-based search giant not to leave. “Google is a great soldier of freedom. You don’t bend to the devils,” said a note on the site A posting on pleaded, “Google please don’t go. We can’t let you go. Real man, we support you.” A photo on a Chinese website showed a visitor outside the Google building bowing in a traditional gesture of respect. China’s growing consumer market is especially important to many companies at a time when global demand has plunged. The government is forecasting 8.3 percent economic growth for 2009 and China is on track to overtake Japan as the second-largest economy. China has the world’s most-populous Internet market, with 338 million people online as of June, and foreign Internet companies eager for a share of that. But

Thursday, January 14, 2010

despite risking damage to their reputations by cooperating with the government, they have struggled to make headway against intense competition from Chinese rivals. Yahoo, eBay Inc and others have given up and turned over control of their China operations to local partners. Google is the last global Internet company to manage its own China arm. Google trails local competitor Baidu Inc but has gained market share at the expense of smaller competitors. Google had 31.8 percent of search revenues in 2009, versus 60.9 percent for Baidu, according to Analysys.’s US shares rose 14 percent in trading yesterday morning, while Google stock dipped 2.5 percent. Google created its Chinabased site in 2006, agreeing to censor results by excluding sites to which access was blocked by government filters, popularly known as the Great Firewall of China. Despite that cooperation, Beijing accused Google last year of spreading pornography and access to the site was temporarily blocked. The company’s video site,, is unavailable to users in China. Google said Tuesday it would stop censoring search results on That would allow users to find politically sensitive photos and websites abroad, though downloading them might still be barred by government filters. It also said it had discovered that computer hackers had tricked human-rights activists into exposing their email accounts to outsiders. Yesterday, said its top search term of the day was “Tiananmen”,

possibly due to Web surfers looking for material on the government’s violent crackdown on 1989 pro-democracy protests. The No. 2 search topic was “Google leaving China”. The iconic “Tank Man” photo taken during the Tiananmen crackdown and banned in China was also available on yesterday. The picture of a Chinese man who boldly stood in front of a line of tanks during the crackdown on pro-democracy protests made headlines around the world. It is banned in China where the event is still hugely sensitive. But appeared to be still censoring results. A search for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement returned a message saying the browser could not open the page. A notice on the site says some results were deleted in line with regulations. Google managers told employees to go home and they did not know whether to come back today, said an employee who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to reporters. Google is a sought-after employer and has long had its pick of China’s brightest university graduates. Ran Yunfei, a magazine editor and blogger in Sichuan province in China’s southwest who is known for his liberal views, likened Google’s threatened departure to that of a dissident leaving China for freedom. “I don’t support the departure of all dissidents. Only those obedient to the officials would remain. That would too well suit the taste of the dictatorial regime,” Ran wrote on his blog, which is hosted outside China.— Agencies

Dashti, Awadhi blasted over labor law ‘forgery’ Continued from Page 1 exactly the same as the one approved by the Assembly. Dashti and Awadhi categorically denied the allegations and called on Hammad to apologize and warned that they will take the issue to court. Awadhi explained that the legal advisor of the health and labor committee inquired about the article on public holidays, saying the final verdict on the article was not clear in the minutes of the Assembly. Awadhi added that she and Dashti told the advisor that they thought the number of Eid holidays was only two days because of the confusion and chaos that prevailed during the Assembly session in which the law was debated. Khorafi also added that he has asked the government not to publish the law in the official gazette until the law has been thoroughly revised. He regretted the

sharp exchanges between some MPs and called for restraint and urged MPs to show more respect to each other. Meanwhile, Hammad said he had filed a lawsuit at the public prosecutor regarding the controversial calcined coke plant project, charging that Dashti is a board member in the company and that the firm obtained low-interest industrial loans worth KD 50.5 million from the stateowned Industrial Bank. In his lawsuit, Hammad called for a full investigation into how the project was awarded to a private company in violation of the law which forbids private investments in natural resources, especially oil. The contract was awarded in 2004 to a private firm by Kuwait Petroleum Corp for the utilization of raw material, which after processing is used in aluminum manufacturing. Hammad also claimed that one of the partners of the plant is a board

member of the state Public Industry Authority which facilitated the awarding of the contract and provided state land of more than 250,000 sq m. He claimed that all the procedures regarding the investment and awarding the contract were in clear breach of the constitution and other laws. Dashti on her part challenged Hammad to provide any document to prove that she had obtained any loan from the Industrial Bank. Hammad responded by saying that Dashti did not personally obtain the loan but she had a power of attorney from her partners and used that to get the loan for the factory. In another development, the National Assembly is scheduled to hold a special session today to discuss the state’s five-year development plan after it failed to hold the session on Tuesday for a lack of quorum.

NY cabbie returns $21k to passenger Continued from Page 1 midtown Manhattan to Penn Station on Christmas Eve. The 72-year-old Lettieri left her purse behind, with more than $21,000 of the group’s traveling money, jewelry worth thousands more, and some of their passports. Police advised the tourists they had little chance of recovering the lost goods. Felicia Lettieri returned to Pompeii and could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. Her sister, Francesca Lettieri, 79, of Long Island, told Newsday that the honest driver had saved her fami-

ly’s vacation, and said “We really love what he did.” The driver, a native of Bangladesh, saw the rolls of euros when he opened the bag to look for an address, but didn’t even count the money. “My mother is my inspiration,” the soft-spoken cabbie said. “She always said to be honest and work hard.” The driver called a friend with a car and drove some 80 km to a Long Island address in the purse. No one was home, so Asadujjaman left his cell phone number and a note. His phone rang a short time later and he drove back to return the bag. “They were so, so, so happy,”

Asadujjaman beamed. The immigrant is a full-time student at a city college near his apartment in Jamaica, Queens. He began driving a cab a few days a week about three months ago, after his hours were cut back at a former factory job. Asked if he was tempted to keep the cash, Asadujjaman acknowledged the money would have allowed him more time to study, “but my heart said this is not good”. He also turned down a reward, saying he could not accept it as an observant Muslim. “I’m needy, but I’m not greedy,” said Asadujjaman. “It’s better to be honest.” — AP

Saudi, Syrian leaders meet Continued from Page 1 powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Weaning Syria away from Tehran is seen by some as a key to getting Hamas to soften its position in reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah party, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Saudi state news agency SPA said Syrian President Assad had arrived in Riyadh and would stay in Saudi Arabia for “several days”. At a news conference with his Chinese counterpart, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said Assad and King Abdullah would discuss “Arab reconciliation”, but declined to say if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would join the talks.

Reaching a positive outcome could hinge on the participation of Mubarak whose country’s efforts at brokering a deal between the main two Palestinian factions have been hurt by what it perceives as an unconstructive approach from Syria. “The aim is to reconcile the Palestinians with the help of the Syrians. But it is a triangle: Egyptians should also be here which means we need to reconcile them with the Syrians. If Mubarak joins the talks then we will achieve a breakthrough,” said Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi senior diplomat who is editor of AlWatan newspaper. The Islamist Hamas defeated Fatah in a 2006 parliamentary election. A power-sharing agreement, brokered by Riyadh in 2007, broke down and Hamas seized control of

Gaza after routing Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Abbas. The lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which depends in part on a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation - is strengthening the hand of hardliners backed by Iran, Saudi and Egyptian officials fear. Officials gave few details about the agenda of the Riyadh talks. The visit followed intense diplomatic efforts leading to a rare visit earlier this month to Riyadh by Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Syria. Diplomats say Iran’s nuclear energy program will also feature in the talks. Washington is threatening more United Nations sanctions against a program it fears could allow Tehran to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such intention. — Reuters

In Iran, money talks with protest slogans Continued from Page 1 Others were stamped with the imprint of a red hand, signifying the images of protesters showing bloodstained palms, or the slogans “Death to the Dictator” and “Down with Khamenei” scrawled across the edges. All Iranian bank notes feature a portrait of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s predecessor, the Islamic Revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. On a 20,000-rial note - worth about $2 - someone crossed out Khomeini’s image and put an “X” through the word “Islamic” in the country’s official name: Islamic Republic of Iran. It’s part of a wider campaign of backto-basic tactics - such as pamphlets and graffiti - that has frustrated Iranian officials with their simplicity and displayed the ingenuity of protest groups trying to organize their next major rally to coincide with next month’s anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. “The irony is that these kinds of things, such as fliers and pamphlets, were used in the revolution,” said Alireza Nourizadeh, chief researcher at the Center for Arab-Iranian

Studies in London. “It’s still an effective tactic.” The first written rants against Iran’s leaders began appearing on money shortly after the disputed June elections. But they have increased in recent months as authorities tighten controls on the Internet and text messaging, which were the original lifeblood of protest organizers. Lately, the messages on Iranian money have included calls to join anti-government marches on Feb 11, the date that the last forces loyal to Iran’s Westernbacked shah collapsed as he watched from exile. The anniversary is highlighted by a massive pro-regime rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square. But protesters now use important religious and political commemorations to stage their own rallies, which have brought bloody confrontations with security forces and unprecedented acts of defiance against Khamenei. In the last major protest marches timed to overlap with an important Shiite day of mourning in late December - at least eight people died in clashes, including a nephew of opposition leader Mir

Hossein Mousavi. Since the first days after the disputed election, Iranians wanting to vent their anger have taken to their rooftops after dark to shout “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is Greatest” - repeating one of the protest rituals of the Islamic Revolution. A top banking official, Ebrahim Darvishi, said that as of Jan 7, banks would no longer accept cash with graffiti or stamps, state media reported. Some banknotes with protest messages, however, were noticed days after the deadline, according to witnesses in Tehran who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of arrest. Last month, the Central Bank of Iran governor, Mahmoud Bamani, said writing slogans on money would be considered a crime. But the images of the bills have become a favorite posting on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - the same Internet sites that Iranian officials are trying to muzzle. It’s the simple-but-potent aspect of the money campaign that captured most praise. One Farsi blogger featured pictures of the protest cash under the heading “Money Talks”. — AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


NHL results/standings Results and standings from the NHL games on Tuesday. Carolina 4, Toronto 2; NY Islanders 6, Detroit 0; New Jersey 1, NY Rangers 0 (SO); Philadelphia 6, Dallas 3; Atlanta 6, Ottawa 1; Tampa Bay 7, Washington 4; St. Louis 4, Columbus 1; Nashville 5, Edmonton 3; San Jose 3, Phoenix 1. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF New Jersey 32 11 1 127 Pittsburgh 28 18 1 149 NY Rangers 22 17 7 120 Philadelphia 23 19 3 140 NY Islanders 20 19 8 124

GA PTS 94 65 130 57 123 51 128 49 144 48

Buffalo Boston Ottawa Montreal Toronto

Northeast 28 11 22 15 22 21 22 21 15 23

Division 5 123 7 114 4 127 4 119 9 125

102 107 147 126 164

61 51 48 48 39

Washington Atlanta Tampa Bay Florida Carolina

Southeast 27 12 20 19 18 17 18 20 14 24

Division 6 166 6 143 10 118 7 128 7 114

128 150 136 140 154

60 46 46 43 35

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 31 11 4 152 102 Nashville 28 16 3 136 132 Detroit 23 16 6 115 116 St. Louis 19 19 7 119 131 Columbus 18 21 9 125 158

66 59 52 45 45

Calgary Colorado Vancouver Minnesota Edmonton

Northw est 26 14 26 15 27 17 23 20 16 24

Division 6 125 6 138 2 147 3 126 5 124

111 134 112 137 152

58 58 56 49 37

Pacific Division San Jose 30 10 7 152 119 67 Phoenix 26 16 5 121 115 57 Los Angeles 25 18 3 135 130 53 Dallas 19 16 11 131 147 49 Anaheim 20 19 7 129 143 47 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

GLENDALE: Dany Heatley No.15 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck past Petr Prucha No.16 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 3-1.—AFP

Devils roll over Rangers as Sharks sink Coyotes NEW YORK: Patrik Elias scored the only goal of a shootout and Martin Brodeur earned his fourth shutout in the last 10 games as the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 1-0 in the NHL on Tuesday. Elias connected in the fourth round, snapping a shot past Henrik Lundqvist’s glove. With the shutout, Brodeur extended his NHL record to 107, making 51 saves through overtime and four more in the shootout. Lundqvist stopped 45 through overtime to earn his second shutout this season.

Sharks 3, Coyotes 1 At Glendale, Arizona, Patrick Marleau scored two more goals to stay ahead of the NHL with 31 and added an assist to help lead San Jose past slumping Phoenix. Dany Heatley scored his 27th goal and Joe Thornton added his league-leading 49th assist for the Sharks, who won their second straight and third in a row over the Coyotes. The Coyotes, which had pulled within three points of the Sharks for the Pacific

Division lead two weeks ago lost for the fifth time in six games (1-3-2) to fall 10 points behind San Jose. Phoenix has lost three straight for the first time this season.

Thrashers 6, Senators 1 At Atlanta, Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists as Atlanta got its first regulation victory in 21 games. The Thrashers, who had lost 11 of their previous 12, were coming off an embarrassing 8-1 home loss to Southeast Division rival Washington on Saturday. Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves and the Thrashers held Ottawa to 0 for on power plays. Already without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who’s recovering from a separated shoulder, the Senators played their second straight game without defenseman Filip Kuba (upper body) and third straight without Milan Michalek (upper body). Centers Jason Spezza (knee) and Jesse Winchester (knee) are out indefinitely.

Lightning 7, Capitals 4 At Tampa, Florida, Martin St. Louis

scored the go-ahead goal as Tampa Bay ended a 12-game losing streak to Washington. After the Lightning blew a three-goal lead, St. Louis’ 250th career goal put Tampa Bay up 5-4 lead with 2:32 left in the second. The right wing extended his point streak to 11 games (11 assists, 17 points). Steven Stamkos had a pair of powerplay goals as the Lightning took a 4-1 firstperiod lead. Vincent Lecavalier, Stephane Veilleux, Kurtis Foster and Jeff Halpern had the other Lightning goals. St. Louis added two assists. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay’s Steve Downie had a confrontation late in the third, but Washington right wing Matt Bradley skated in front of Ovechkin and fought Downie.

the Red Wings reached Long Island to conclude a five-game trip, could bail out the defending Western Conference champions. Detroit is below the playoff cutoff and is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 1990. Matt Moulson started the scoring for New York just 1:11 in, and Schremp made it 2-0 before the first period ended. A blatant giveaway in front by defenseman Brad Stuart set up Schremp for his second of the night, and Mark Streit beat Howard’s replacement, Chris Osgood during a late second-period power play to push the lead to 4-0. Kyle Okposo scored his 10th goal 9:22 into the third, and defenseman Bruno Gervais closed the onslaught with 3:08 remaining to make it 6-0 for the Islanders, who have won four of five.

Islanders 6, Red Wings 0 At Uniondale, New York, Rob Schremp posted his first two-goal game in the NHL, and Dwayne Roloson earned perhaps the easiest shutout of his career. Not even hot goalie Jimmy Howard, who earned three wins out West before

Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen, and Claude Giroux also scored goals, and Matt Carle had two assists for the Flyers who are 8-1-1 in their last ten games. Steve Ott scored twice and James Neal added the other goal for the Stars, who last won on the road at San Jose on Dec. 11 in a 3-2 shootout. Philadelphia’s Michael Leighton made 27 saves. Leighton has started 10 straight games and has gone 8-0-1.

Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 2 At Toronto, Patrick Dwyer scored with less than five minutes remaining as Carolina downed Toronto. Eric Staal, Brandon Sutter and Ray Whitney also scored for Carolina, which won on the road for the fourth time in 22 games. Lee Stempniak and Nikolai Kulemin scored for Toronto, which has lost four straight.

Flyers 6, Stars 3 At Philadelphia, Simon Gagne, Darroll Powe and Ian Laperriere each had a goal and an assist to help Philadelphia win its fourth straight game and send Dallas to its eighth straight road loss.

Blues 4, Blue Jackets 1 At St. Louis, Jay McClement had a goal and assist in the first period to help St. Louis beat Columbus and end a five-game home losing streak.

US team learn from Curl Girls’ failings at the Turin Games NEW YORK: The failures of the United States’ “Curl Girls” at the Turin Games gave this year’s team a lesson in what not to do in preparing for Vancouver, says Olympian Nicole Joraanstad. The heavily-hyped 2006 US women’s curling team, dubbed the Curl Girls, flopped to eighth place due to overconfidence and lack of preparation, Joraanstad told Reuters in an interview and she vowed the twin sins would not be repeated next month. “The Curl Girls? In my personal opinion, they didn’t prepare like they should have prepared,” the 29-year-old Joraanstad said during a visit to Manhattan. Joraanstad said she and her team mates had worked overtime to get ready for what promises to be one of the most boisterous events at the Feb. 12-28 Vancouver Games. Tickets are already at a premium for the sport beloved by Canadians. “With curling, you’ve got to get on the ice, play a lot of games, play against a lot of different competition,” she said, noting that the 2006 US Olympians played only five events leading up to the Winter Games. “You’ve got to travel and unfortunately they did well in the worlds the year before, got the silver in 2005, and thought it would not be different. But it is completely different. “I think that was how we modelled our performance plan for the last eight months: make sure we get a lot of ice time.” Joraanstad said her team had been busy on the curling circuit, making two or three trips to Canada each month to keep sharp and putting in a whole summer of practice. She said the prospects of competing in Olympic curling in British Columbia was a bonus, providing an atmosphere that would help to lift her team. “It will be sold out and it’s going to be loud and that’s how we play best, so we’re pretty excited about that. The louder the better for me,” Joraanstad said. A search for the right curling atmosphere has already helped to shape her life with a move from her native Seattle to Wisconsin so she could develop her skills. “In Seattle, if I said ‘I curl’ people would go: ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’, or they’d think I’m curling my hair or curling a dumb bell, which wouldn’t make much sense because I’m not the biggest person ever.” Joraanstad, who caught the curling bug at the age

of 15 from her father, who competed in the 1987 world championships in Vancouver, settled on the University of Wisconsin for her academic and sports education. “In Madison they know what it is, and there’s a lot of support in that area for curling,” she said. “There’s a large club in Madison I play out of. And within a 30-mile radius there’s probably another 10 clubs. People know what it is.” Joraanstad’s judgment was impeccable. “Now I’m on a team the last five years and we’ve kind of dominated, won the last four national championships.” Curling, a popular recreational sport in Canada and in pockets of the United States, is a cross between shuffleboard and bowls played on ice called curling sheets with a heavy granite stone that is delivered with a push then coaxed along by sweepers into a scoring zone. Each competitor on the four-person team gets to throw two stones from each end of the curling sheet. “I throw the third and fourth stones, so they call me the second,” she explained. “When I’m not throwing I get to sweep, which I like because I feel like I can be part of the game and help drag rocks further or keep them a little bit straighter.” Joraanstad has shown determination in that regard, too, as smoothing ice to affect a sliding 40pound (18-kg) stone is strenuous work. “I’ve been training really hard the last eight months to get stronger so I can sweep. We’ve tested that I can sweep a rock and make it go about 12 feet (3.7 m) further than what someone would release it at, which is a lot.” Joraanstad, who juggles her curling with a full-time job as corporate recruiter for a telecommunications company, relishes the raucous reception she expects in Vancouver’s curling arena. “They make noise verbally, but also cowbells are popular,” she said. “My dad brings three. Or air horns or things that make different noises, and chanting. They’re a rowdy bunch; they love it.” Joraanstad said Canada were among the favorites along with 2006 Olympic champions Sweden and the Swiss. “And China has evolved. They won the worlds last year for the first time. They’ve been training in Canada and been playing year-round so they’re a force to be reckoned with. Everyone thinks it’s going to be a dogfight.” The American remains optimistic about her own team’s chances. —Reuters

The Blues took a 3-0 lead on nine shots against Mathieu Garon, who was benched in favor of Steve Mason after one period. BJ Crombeen and Alex Steen also scored in the opening period for St. Louis, which has won two straight under interim coach Davis Payne and ended Columbus’ first three-game winning streak since midNovember. Fedor Tyutin scored in the second period for the Blue Jackets, who have lost 14 of 17 on the road but had won their previous two including Garon’s second shutout of the season Sunday at Dallas. Columbus outscored opponents 9-4 during its winning streak.

Predators 5, Oilers 3 At Edmonton, Alberta, Ryan Jones had a goal and two assists to help Nashville beat struggling Edmonton. Shea Weber, Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist and JP Dumont also scored for the Predators, who won for the second night in a row and have won six of eight. JF Jacques, Ryan Potulny and Dustin Penner replied for the Oilers, who have lost five straight and 12 of their last 13.—AP

Vancouver greets one month countdown with shrug, caution

GREEN BAY: US Olympic curling team coach Wally Henry and his daughter and skip Debbie McCormick are seen at the Green Bay Curling Club in this file photo. —AP

VANCOUVER: Vancouver greeted the one month countdown to the Winter Games with a shrug on Tuesday while Olympic organisers confronted their two biggest potential headaches-transportation and weather. While it was business as usual on drizzly Vancouver streets, inside the VANOC headquarters the sprint to the finish was on as organisers raced towards their Feb. 12 deadline and the 2010 Winter Games opening ceremony. “It’s all moving very fast,” VANOC chief John Furlong told reporters. “We were reminding ourselves that although we have been working on this since the mid-90s we still really haven’t done anything yet. “The biggest thing is we are in a period of time where the work we are doing today, is work we couldn’t do until now and there is a lot of it. “People are excited, they sort of feel we are almost home but we’re not home, we have three or four weeks of significant work to do.” A good part of that time will be spent dressing up the Olympic city, which so far has offered few hints that one of the world’s biggest sporting events is on its way. The colourful banners and billboards designed to help generate an Olympic buzz have yet to appear, leaving Vancouverites as blase as the dreary weather about the Games. The mood was much the same in Whistler, the Olympic venue for alpine skiing, cross-country and sliding events. Watching workmen take down Christmas decorations, American tourist Howard Mair said that until two days ago he would not have known the Olympics were going to happen. Furlong, however,

promised that Vancouver and Whistler would have the look and feel of an Olympic host, and deliver a Winter Games Canadians will be proud of. “The enthusiasm is in great shape,” assured Furlong. “We were never going to apply the look of the Games until the last minute because the last thing we need is a situation that looks tired and worn. “What we’re trying to do is to make sure the look that is applied is as fresh and as beautiful as it can be. “The venues look great, they will look spectacular when the look is applied.” Despite a noticeable lack of excitement, there are undeniable signs that the Olympics are fast approaching. Security fencing continues to spring up around downtown venues while local officials have cautioned residents to prepare for the implementation of driving restrictions what will be part of the Games transportation plan. Olympic organisers announced more road closures on Tuesday sparking fears of gridlock and long queues for public transport. City officials have pleaded with residents who live or work in the downtown core where many of the events will be staged, to walk, bike or use public transit during the Games. The only way for most spectators to reach events in Whistler will be on the Olympic Bus Network but only 40 percent of ticket holders have so far purchased seats leaving the potential for transportation chaos. “If people arrive at the parkand-ride near the end of the departure times, we’re just not going to be able to get them to the venue on time and through security,” warned VANOC vice-president Terry Wright. —Reuters



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kapalua’s elite formula must stay, says chairman LOS ANGELES: For the last 12 years the US PGA Tour season has kicked off on the picturesque Hawaiian island of Maui with a winners-only field, an elite quality tournament chairman Gary Planos is determined to retain. Although last week’s entry for the SBS Championship at the Kapalua Resort numbered only 28, matching the record low when the event first moved to Maui in 1999, Planos feels any change to the qualification would be counterproductive. “I am a firm believer in the formula here,” Planos told Reuters after Australian Geoff Ogilvy won the season-opener for a

second year in a row. “I believe in the simplicity. “I like it that the players know that when they win (on the PGA Tour) in 2010 they are coming to the 2011 SBS Championship. They are qualified to play. Everyone understands it.” World number one Tiger Woods has not competed at Kapalua since 2005 while second-ranked Phil Mickelson has skipped the tournament for the last nine years, prompting calls for a change to the tournament’s qualification process. Some have suggested a two-year exemption to the season-opener for PGA Tour

winners while others have proposed that all previous champions at Kapalua should receive invitations. According to Planos, giving PGA Tour winners a two-year exemption to Kapalua would effectively double the field and thereby undermine the tournament’s prestige. “If we had, say, a 54-man field, there would be a lot of complications,” Planos said. “We provide them all with rooms and a car while they are here, so that figure would be double. “Also take a look at how the purse breaks down. When you start to think how special it is to win, well you dilute it quite a

bit when you add another 26 players to that field.” The players and their families are pampered at Kapalua much more than they are at any other PGA Tour event. American world number three Steve Striker, the highest-ranked player in last week’s field, cherishes the tournament’s elite nature. “It’s great the way it is,” the seven-times PGA Tour champion said. “It’s one of the very first things I think about when I win a tournament is that you get to start the year here. “If you started including other categories ... that diminishes the value of winning. The

way it is, it gives a guy a little bonus for winning at the end of the year and gets him going in the right direction for the new year.” The fragility of the global economy could also impact on the future of the SBS Championship, and several cutbacks had to be made for last week’s edition. “We were definitely off a little bit with our attendance and our retail sales,” Planos said. “If we continue to go through a year like 2009, we just have to keep watching our costs and try to keep things that are barely breaking even. “We cut a few things we normally would

do and hopefully the economy will return and we will bring them back.” The PGA Tour has a 10-year deal with SBS (Seoul Broadcasting Systems) as the tournament’s title sponsor while the contract with Kapalua is until the end of 2011. However, Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said last week plans were afoot to bring in a commercial title sponsor to work alongside SBS at Kapalua. “The advantage of having a commercial sponsor brings one more element of investment in terms of marketing, and that’s in everybody’s interest,” Finchem said.—Reuters

Alonso has everything to beat Schumacher, says Ferrari boss Ernie Els to focus on his game.

Els looks to Waialae for return to winning ways HONOLULU: After failing to win anywhere in the world last year, Ernie Els has decided to focus his playing schedule on the US PGA Tour for the next six months, starting with this week’s Sony Open. South African Els is a double champion at the palm-fringed Waialae Country Club and has long cherished Hawaii as a happy hunting ground to kick-start his season. “Waialae Country Club is a golf course I’ve played many, many times over the years and with that familiarity comes a fair amount of comfort,” Els said in the build-up to today’s opening round. “Hawaii has always been a good place to start the year for me. I’ve played some great golf here, winning three tournaments in the space of 12 months not so long ago. “Well, it doesn’t seem that long ago but in actual fact it was 2003-04. It’s probably about time I updated that with some new entries ... who knows, maybe this week?” Els, a winner of more than 60 tournaments worldwide, clinched the PGA Tour’s seasonopening Mercedes Championship in January 2003, along with the Sony Open the following week. He went on to retain his Sony Open crown in 2004 and has always enjoyed the challenge presented by Waialae’s small greens and fickle winds. “It’s also quite a narrow course,” Els, popularly known as the Big Easy, said on his official website ( of the venue for the first full-field event of the PGA Tour sea-

son. “Combine that with the ocean breezes and you really have to get your golf ball under control to score well. I’m obviously looking forward to it.” A three-times major champion who has been a regular member of the world’s top 10 for the last decade-and-a-half, Els is now ranked a relatively low 17th after a winless 2009 campaign. In a bid to raise his golfing stock, the popular South African will focus on the PGA Tour for the first half of the season. “Taking everything into account, I felt that it was the right thing to do for my golf,” said the 40year-old, whose home is now based in West Palm Beach, Florida. “And it limits my travelling for the first three or four months of the year, which is something I’m keen to do wherever possible. After a nice long break, I’m raring to go.” Els faces a strong field at Waialae where former world number one and 2005 champion Vijay Singh is also making his first appearance of the season. Also taking part is American world number three Steve Stricker, plus all of last year’s major winners-Argentina’s Angel Cabrera (Masters), Americans Lucas Glover (U.S. Open) and Stewart Cink (British Open) and South Korean Yang Yong-eun (PGA Championship). American Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, defends the title he won by two shots at Waialae last year.—Reuters

Schwartzel longs for soggy Joburg Open JOHANNESBURG: Long hitting South African golfer Charl Schwartzel believes soggy conditions at the Joburg Open this week could bring him back-to-back European Tour triumphs. The 25-year-old native of Vereeniging south of Johannesburg won the Africa Open last weekend on a bone-hard East London Golf Club course as drought grips the eastern Cape. But the South African financial capital has experienced heavy downpours for several weeks, leaving the west and east courses at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club saturated ahead of the first round Thursday. This is the last of four European Tour tournaments in this country and one of just three on the 2010 Road-to-Dubai circuit that is staged on two or more courses with the Singapore Open and Alfred Dunhill Links the others. And while the east course is particularly testing with the 10th and 11th holes among the

Charl Schwartzel

longest successive par fours in the world, the challenge holds no fears for Schwartzel. “I do not think playing a longer course will do me any harm because I am a bit longer off the tee than most of my rivals,” said the four-time European Tour winner. Ranked 51 in the world, Schwartzel said the unusally heavy rainfall meant there was likely to be little run on the ball and this would favour those who can hit it far and accurately. His Africa Open success was the first by a South African in the new season after Spaniard Pablo Martin won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek and Scot Richie Ramsay the South African Open at Pearl Valley. Schwartzel was runner-up to Martin and ended hine strokes behind Ramsay and after a festive season break in the South African bush he wants to win more than one European Tour title in a season for the first time. The other triumphs came in the 2005 Alfred Dunhill Championship and, showing a fondness for Spanish courses, the 2007 national champioship in that country and the Madrid Masters the following year. Among other South Africans capable of challenging for first prize in the 1.3 million euro tournament are two-time European Tour winner Richard Sterne and Thomas Aiken, runner-up to Schwartzel in East London. Italian Edoardo Molinari, runway winner of the second-tier Challenge Tour last season, and former Ryder Cup hero Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland are among the overseas contingent. Dane Anders Hansen is back to defend a title won last year by one stroke from South African Andrew McLardy after preparatiions hampered by heavy snow in his Scandinavian homeland. “It has been difficult preparing because I have come here from Denmark where we had three feet of snow. I like being here, my coach is South African and the welcome I receive makes me feel at home. “Last year was great for me so I just have to keep it up. There are a couple of things I need to improve and I will be trying to do that while keeping the momentum going,” said the title holder.—AFP

ITALY: Michael Schumacher could rue his departure from Ferrari because Fernando Alonso is perfectly placed to beat the German to the world title again, team boss Stefano Domenicali said yesterday. Seven-times Formula One world champion Schumacher, 41, will come out of retirement this season to race for the new Mercedes team having left his consultancy role at Ferrari, who have signed Spaniard Alonso. The former Renault driver beat Schumacher to the 2005 and 2006 world titles and Domenicali is confident his new recruit can repeat the trick. “Let’s not forget Fernando is the only driver on the track who in his career has beaten Michael (to the world championship),” Domenicali told a packed news conference at Ferrari’s winter ski retreat. “Fernando has everything to beat him.” Ferrari fans around the world were upset by Schumacher’s exit, especially after he nearly returned for the Italian team last season as a temporary replacement for the injured Brazilian Felipe Massa. A neck injury prevented the German from making a comeback on that occasion. “Of course, it is right not to forget that what has happened has left its mark. Now we have to turn the page. We have to show Michael that this is a strong team. We want to win,” Domenicali added. “We thought of Michael last year because he is an extraordinary and strong driver. But Fernando and Felipe are able to beat him even if Michael is still very strong.” Schumacher is testing a GP2 car in Jerez this week and has caused controversy in Italy by wearing a red helmet, like the one he sported during his years of triumph at Ferrari. “Obviously to leave a family is difficult. Some feelings clearly remain,” Domenicali added with a smile on his face. A relaxed Alonso, who has replaced Kimi Raikkonen, has been enjoying himself at the annual ski retreat, his first official Ferrari engagement, and many fans and journalists have commented how natural he looks in the red uniform. But the cars themselves will make the difference and Domenicali acknowledged that fuel consumption, where Mercedes are expected to have an advantage, could be crucial for the coming season which starts in Bahrain on March 14. “I believe this year consumption will be fundamental. We are working very hard with Shell on this. We have relative expectations but we are going in the right direction. Let’s not forget Renault too,” he said. Ferrari will launch their 2010 Formula One car on Jan. 28 but it will take time to understand how competitive it can be, team boss Stefano Domenicali said yesterday. The launch at their Maranello base will be followed by limited testing opportunities, starting with the first official session in Valencia on Feb. 1. “I don’t think by the first test in February but maybe by the last test we’ll see how competitive we will be,” Domenicali, who was similarly cautious last year, told a news conference. “We will be competitive, yes, but winning...we will see.” Ferrari finished a disappointing fourth in the constructors’ championship last season after a series of hiccups and Domenicali first wants to make sure their cars are reliable ahead of the first race in Bahrain on March 14. “I believe the prospects are good. Despite last season, which was difficult for a lot of reasons, we have consolidated for the future,” he said. “The number one objective is to be reliable. We hope we have resolved the problems. Let’s not talk about worries, we’ll see where we are but let’s not panic. The group that has built the car has been the same for many years. “Winning immediately would be better but let’s stay calm if it doesn’t happen.”—Reuters

SPAIN: A handout image provided by GP2 Media of Mercedes F1 driver Michael Schumacher of Germany driving a GP2 car during tests at the Jerez circuit.—AFP

Oracle, Alinghi back to court as talks collapse MADRID: US challenger Oracle launched a new legal case against Swiss defender Alinghi on Wednesday, just weeks before the scheduled start of their America’s Cup duel, after negotiations between them broke down. It was not immediately clear what effect the latest move would have on the plans for the 33rd America’s Cup, set to start on February 8 in the Spanish port of Valencia. Oracle said it had asked the Supreme Court of the State of New York to verify if Alinghi had infringed the competition’s nationality rules by allegedly

using US-made sails for its catamaran. The two sides held talks in Singapore on Tuesday and Wednesday to try and reach a negotiated settlement on the issue, but “no mutual agreement was reached,” Oracle, represented by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) of California, said in a statement. “This is very disappointing and frustrating,” said Oracle skipper Russell Coutts. “On three separate occasions during the two days of talks there was a final draft of an agreement. GGYC was ready to

sign. (Alinghi’s) negotiators were prepared to sign, but it seems they were not given permission.” Alinghi, whose home club is the Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) responded by accusing Oracle of seeking to “derail” the America’s Cup. “Oracle has already successfully disqualified 18 teams through the US courts to gain access to the match, now they are seeking to win the Cup without ever racing for it,” Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth said in a statement. “This latest lawsuit has

VALENCIA: This handout picture by the Swiss Alinghi team shows small hydroplanes used by Alinghi to monitor wind speeds off the coast of Valencia.—AFP

come as a shock given we were planning a further meeting to finalise discussions today, it demonstrates extreme bad faith. Clearly they are not ready to race.” Under the Deed of Gift, the 19th-century rules that govern the oldest competition in international sport, the participating vessels must be constructed in the country where the sailing club which they represent is located, which in Alinghi’s case is Switzerland. But Oracle charges Alinghi’s sails were made in the United States. Alinghi insisted its yacht “has been constructed in Switzerland in compliance with the provision of the Deed of Gift”, including the 3DL sails, which were “constructed in a sail loft in Villeneuve, Switzerland” and are subject to Swiss intellectual property rights. The new development came as Oracle’s trimaran - with its 50-metre fixed-wing sail - and Alinghi’s giant catamaran were to begin training off Valencia this weekend for the 33rd edition of the race. Alinghi said it “is ready to race” as scheduled from February 8. “We do not want the outcome of the America’s Cup determined in court,” said SNG vice-commodore Fred Meyer. Alinghi and Oracle have been arguing over the rules of the America’s Cup in court since Alinghi won the last edition of the world’s most prestigious yachting event in Valencia in 2007. The New York Supreme Court ruled in April that the Cup should be settled by a oneon-one multihull duel between the two sides next February instead of the traditional fullyfledged regatta involving several teams. It also ruled last month that the event must be held in Valencia, rejecting an appeal by Alinghi which favored the Gulf emirate of Ras alKhaimah.—AFP


Thursday, January 14, 2010

17 Kuwait ice hockey team beat Bahrain KUWAIT: Kuwait National Ice Hockey Team beat Bahrain 10-3. The match, held at the Ice Skating Rink, was attended by deputy director of PAYS for Sports Affairs Dr. Humoud Fulaiteh, Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia Captain Hussein Al-Musallam and the Honorary Chairman of Ice Hockey Federation Sheikh Jaber Al-Bandar, Chairman Fuhaid AlAjmi, Secretary General Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah and other dignitaries. The Bahrain team started strong, yet they scored their first goal with great difficulty, as the Kuwaiti players were cautious ending the first period 1-0 in Bahrain’s favor. The second half was totally the opposite of its predecessor scoring 8 goals with one goal being scored by the Bahraini player Salem Ali in his own net. In the third period the Bahraini team tried their best to bring the score closer but were able to score twice, as the Kuwaiti team added two more ending the match with the score of 10-3.

Players discuss World Cup alternative to Davis Cup MELBOURNE: A revolutionary plan for a World Cup of tennis, which could signal the end of the 110-year-old Davis Cup, will be discussed among the players during the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic said here yesterday. Djokovic, a member of the ATP Player Council headed by Roger Federer, said the idea floating around for a World Cup — 32 nations playing once every two years to replace the annual Davis Cupwas an idea from the council. Reports said it was envisaged to have a biennial 10-day tournament involving 32 teams, which would feature shorter

matches in which players have to watch the clock between points and compulsory mid-match substitutions. Djokovic, who is playing in the Kooyong Classic here, said players would hold talks during the Australian Open starting on Monday which would be “crucial for upcoming years”. The Serbian star said nothing had been settled yet but various options were on the table. “It’s all fresh and it’s all ideas, we didn’t decide to put anything on an official term because we have to consider other sides as well,” Djokovic told reporters. “This is the bottom line. Without spon-

sors there wouldn’t be a tournament; without tournaments, players wouldn’t exist. “But still, players are the ones who are making the show and their opinions have to be greatly considered. “This time I think that slowly things will get better. But these are things that cannot happen overnight.” The Times of London said the idea had already been presented to the All England Club, the United States Tennis Association and Tennis Australia, as well Federer. Top television executives were also in the loop, it added, saying that they believed that a men-only competition

would attract a larger audience. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley was quoted by the paper as saying the idea was “innovative, refreshing and thoughtfully put together”. “Any initiative that will further expose our sport and will grow its participation, particularly in Australia but also worldwide, has to be great for tennis,” he said. The ITF confirmed it had seen the plans. “This proposal has some interesting elements and, of course, timely branding, given the current worldwide fascination with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It also has

many challenges that must be faced if it is to succeed,” said a statement from the ITF. “Everyone is in agreement that a nation vs nation format is very attractive, something Davis Cup has recognized for over a century, and only time will tell if a new competition can earn a regular place in the tennis calendar. “It should also be noted that, last year, following a request by the top players for an amended schedule, the ITF signed a five-year agreement with the ATP World Tour guaranteeing dates and ranking points.”

Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who is also playing in the Kooyong Classic here, said the Davis Cup format was now outdated. “The top guys are not able to play all the matches that they would love to play for their nation,” Ljubicic told reporters. “It’s because the format is not suited for the players at the moment. Our sport is going forward so you have to change something about it. “Maybe it was perfect 20 or 30 years ago, but now it’s really too much for us best of five sets, three days in a row - and for sure the week after you can’t play, the week before you can’t play.” —AFP

Ferrero out of Auckland, doubtful for Melbourne

Kuwaiti cricketers play on KOC turf KUWAIT: KOC Cricket Committee maintaining its pioneering role of promoting cricket in Kuwait for the past five decades added another feather into their cap by playing for the first time in Kuwait against a full Kuwaiti cricket team at the KOC’s Hubara Oval cricket ground to give the enthusiastic, young and budding Kuwaiti cricketers their first glimpse of cricket on turf wickets in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti XI included senior players like Mahmood Bastaki who has been playing regular cricket in Kuwait for more

than 20 years. Taher Bastaki, who entered later than Mahmood has been playing veterans cricket for over a decade and is responsible for raising the Kuwaiti cricket team of young and enthusuastic players. Mahmood Abdullah, captain of KOTC and Falcon cricket teams has been regularly playing the Oil Sector tournaments at Ahmadi. Following the footsteps of his father, Fahad Bastaki and other young lads showed good promise of being a future Kuwaiti cricketers. Before the start of the game,

there was an introduction of the Kuwaiti players by skipper Taher Bastaki to the members of KOC Cricket Committee. Winning the toss KOC skipper Iqbal Vanoo elected to field first. The experienced Mahmood Bastaki showed his batting prowesses when he top scored with 39 runs. Mahmud Abdulla played superbly guiding the young players at the other end scoring 38 runs. The Kuwaiti XI scored 146 in 20 overs. In reply, KOC XI opener Liaqat was the first to depart beautifully caught by Tariq Beidas at short fine leg with low catch off

Taher Bastaki who bowled a tight spell with good control over line and length. Narendra Babu was brilliantly caught at mid-wicket in the 3rd over by Jasem al Isa. Skipper Iqbal Vanoo chasing a wide delivery outside the leg stump was superbly held one handed wicket keeper Mahmood Abdullah off Fahad Bastaki who was pick of bowlers taking 3 wkts with excellent support in the field. Wicket fell at regular intervals until Mubashar and Muzamil steadied the innings with Mubashar scoring a superb half century with several hits over the

fences. Muzammil was caught at deep point by Jasem Isa. KOC needing 19 runs in the last over failed to get the required runs. The Kuwaiti XI with their excellent catching won with a morale boosting victory. KOC CC Chairman Faleh AlAjmi congratulated the Kuwaiti XI and presented a trophy to the captain Taher Bastaki in commomeration of this maiden friendly match between the Kuwaiti XI & KOC CC. He appreciated the zeal and enthusiasm of the young cricketers. He advised them to play this gentlemen’s game with discipline and dignity it desreves. He promised to assist them in all their efforts of becoming good cricketrs. KOC CC GS, Iqbal Vanoo, praised the Kuwaiti Team for their keenness and fighting spirit which was evident when the match wasn’t going in their favor. Their brilliant efforts in the field which resulted in some amazing catches were the highlight of the match. Moreover, the friendly attitude of the young Kuwaitis made them popular with all present. At the end of the game Taher Bastaki Capt. Kuwait National Team expressed his gratitude to KOC Committee members for arranging this match, thanked the umpires, providing the Kuwaiti XI an opportunity of playing on turf pitch in Kuwait which would help them greatly when they play the GCC National’s tournament.

AUCKLAND: Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero could miss next week’s Australian Open after he was forced out of the Auckland Open yesterday when he rolled his right ankle in a match against qualifier Michael Lammer. The Spaniard is the second big name injury withdrawal from the event at the Auckland Tennis Centre after former top 10 player David Nalbandian of Argentina pulled out with an abdominal strain on Monday without playing a match. Nalbandian withdrew from the year’s first grand slam yesterday. The third-seeded Ferrero, who had received a first round bye, spent barely 20 minutes on court against Switzerland’s Lammer before injuring his heavily strapped right ankle while trailing 3-1. After receiving treatment and additional strapping courtside, he returned but withdrew when he was unable to return serve. “It’s disappointing to get injured in the first tournament

and I have some doubts about the tournament in Australia. I will try to recover but I don’t know,” Ferrero told reporters. “They say it’s not too bad, I will have to wait three or four days with some ice, take some anti-inflammatories and see how it goes. “I want to play over there so I will do everything in my power to make it, but we’ll see. I cannot tell you now.” Lammer will meet eighth seed Albert Montanes in the quarter-finals after he beat New Zealand wildcard Jose Statham 7-6 6-2. Top-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat world number five Andy Murray last week at the Hopman Cup, also reached the quarter-finals after he overcame a spirited display by Germany’s Simon Greul before winning 7-6 7-6. Robredo will now meet the big-serving American John Isner, who beat seventh-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 5-7 6-4 6-3. “He’s a great server and he’s a guy that’s improving a lot,” Robredo said of Isner. “I

played against him last week and it was 7-6 in the third, so it’s not going to be a 6-1 6-1 match for him or for me. “I just hope that tomorrow’s not that windy so we can play better tennis and see who’s better on the court.” Fourth seed Nicolas Almagro joined Monaco and Ferrero as seeded players to fall in the second round when he lost 6-0 6-3 to Marc Gicquel of France, while 2008 Auckland champion Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 64 6-1. Gicquel faces fifth seed Kohlschreiber in the last eight. Austrian sixth seed Juergen Melzer also advanced after being pushed to three sets by wildcard Sebastien Grosjean of France. Another Frenchman, Arnaud Clement, beat second-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5 6-4 in the late match after a lengthy rain delay had forced the players off court in the first set. Clement will meet Melzer in the quarter-finals.—Reuters

Higgins crashes out of Masters LONDON: World champion John Higgins crashed out of the Masters here yesterday after one of the most error-strewn performances in the Scot’s career. Higgins was beaten 6-3 by Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, who advances to a quarter-final meeting with Mark Selby, conqueror of Chinese star Ding Junhui. Higgins was bidding for a hattrick of Masters titles following

his previous triumphs in 1999 and 2006 but he never looked in contention at Wembley. Arguably the turning point in the match came in the fourth frame, which Higgins looked set to win before he touched a red with his cue as he was lining up a black. The uncharacteristic lapse enabled Allen to open up a twoframe lead at the interval and, despite a string of errors, the

world number 11 was able to keep the even more erratic world number one at bay to complete a 6-3 win. Allen admitted he had not been at his best, and recognised Higgins had been very off-form. “It wasn’t very good,” he said.

“I missed too many balls and it was an unusual John Higgins out there today. Everyone has their off days, it’s just unexpected.”—AFP

John Higgins seen in action in this file photo



Thursday, January 14, 2010

KUWAIT: Kuwait police swimming team was warmly received upon its return from Sudan after participating in the second Arab police swimming tournament, where Kuwait’s team defended its title successfully. President of Police Sports Federation Major General Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad, Secretary General Colonel Walid Al-Ghanim received the team along with other dignitaries.

Duncan, Parker lead Spurs over Lakers SAN ANTONIO: Tim Duncan had 25 points and 13 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs showed they can still hang with their Western Conference rivals in a 105-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Tony Parker scored 22 as the Spurs got their biggest victory this season. Kobe Bryant had another off game, scoring 16 points. He again wore a thick splint over his broken right index finger and did not play in the fourth quarter because of back spasms. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Bryant was probable for Wednesday’s game in Dallas. Andrew Bynum scored 23 points and Ron Artest had 13 for the Lakers, who

have lost three of four. Grizzlies 104, Clippers 102 At Memphis, Tennessee, Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each scored 24 points and Zach Randolph added 20 as Memphis snapped Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak. The Grizzlies overcame Baron Davis’ triple-double, an 18-point deficit and a 36minute delay caused by a water line break in the fire sprinkler system at FedExForum for their sixth straight home win. Davis had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the Clippers, who played without starting center Chris Kaman because of a back injury.

Starting forward Marcus Camby missed the second half with a stomach virus. Kaman’s replacement, DeAndre Jordan, had a season-high 23 points. Pistons 99, Wizards 90 At Washington, Charlie Villanueva had 23 points and nine rebounds as Detroit ended a 13-game losing streak by beating Washington. Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey each scored 19 for the Pistons, who hadn’t enjoyed a victory in a month: They beat Golden State on Dec. 12. Detroit lost by 33 points at Chicago on Monday night, and a defeat against

Washington would have tied the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while Randy Foye — who took over at point guard when Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely by the NBA — had 20 points and 10 assists. Bobcats 102, Rockets 94 At Charlotte, North Carolina, Stephen Jackson scored 16 of his career-high 43 points in the fourth quarter as Charlotte clamped down on defense after halftime to rally past Houston. Surpassing his previous best scoring night of 42 set nearly six years ago with

Atlanta, Jackson shot 15 of 22 and made 10of-11 free throws while adding eight rebounds. Making up for a subpar night from Gerald Wallace, Jackson keyed Charlotte’s comeback from a 13-point, second-quarter deficit. Boris Diaw added 19 points and seven rebounds, including the clinching threepoint play with 50 seconds left. Trevor Ariza scored 19 points and Luis Scola added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who had won seven straight against Charlotte. Magic 109, Kings 88 At Sacramento, California, Dwight

Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds as Orlando used a big run to open the fourth quarter and beat Sacramento. Ryan Anderson started the 18-4 run with a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the quarter to give the Magic a 79-78 lead. Orlando just built on it from there, holding Sacramento to just one field goal in the first 7:14 of the period. Mickael Pietrus added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Anderson scored 12 and former Kings point guard Jason Williams had 12 points and six assists. Tyreke Evans scored 18 points and Beno Udrih added 15 for Sacramento, which was outscored 31-10 in the fourth quarter.— AP

Al-Attiyah closes on Sainz, Chicherit wins car stage

MEMPHIS: Los Angeles Clippers guard Baron Davis (1) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game.— AP

NBA results/standings Results and standings from the NBA games on Tuesday: Charlotte Washington 90; Memphis 04, La Clippers 102; San Antonio 105, Sacramento 88. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Denver Boston 26 10 .722 Portland Toronto 19 20 .487 8.5 Oklahoma City NY Knicks 15 22 .405 11.5 Utah Philadelphia 12 25 .324 14.5 Minnesota New Jersey 3 34 .081 23.5 Central Division LA Lakers Cleveland 30 10 .750 Phoenix Chicago 16 20 .444 12 Milwaukee 15 20 .429 12.5 LA Clippers Detroit 12 25 .324 16.5 Sacramento Indiana 12 25 .324 16.5 Golden State Southeast Division Dallas Orlando 26 12 .684 San Antonio Atlanta 24 13 .649 1.5 Houston Miami 18 18 .500 7 Charlotte 17 19 .472 8 New Orleans Washington 12 24 .333 13 Memphis

102, Houston 94; Detroit 99, La Lakers 85; Orlando 109, Western Conference Northwest Division 24 14 .632 23 16 .590 21 16 .568 21 17 .553 8 31 .205 Pacific Division 29 9 .763 24 14 .632 17 19 .472 15 22 .405 11 25 .306 Southwest Division 25 12 .676 23 13 .639 21 17 .553 19 17 .528 19 18 .514

1.5 2.5 3 16.5 5 11 13.5 17 1.5 4.5 5.5 6

SAN JUAN: Qatar’s Nasser AlAttiyah made large inroads on Volkswagen team-mate Carlos Sainz’s overall lead in the Dakar Rally yesterday following the 11th stage, the 220-kilometres special from Santiago in Chile. Al-Attiyah, who was leading when disqualified last year, gained over five minutes on two-time world rally champion Sainz on a day when Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit, driving a BMW, took the stage itself. Dutchman Frans Verhoeven had earlier won the motorcycling section. Verhoeven edged out American Jonah Street by three seconds while Frenchman Cyril Despres, seventh on the stage over four minutes in arrears, remained comfortably the overall leader with just three stages remaining. Verhoeven said he was just happy to still be in the race having experienced an unnerving first few days on a BMW bike unfamiliar to him. “I’m very happy to be here at the end of the stage,” he confessed. “I had a lot of difficulties during the first two to three days. “We’re here with a brand new bike. It’s a BMW and we didn’t really know a lot about it so we sort of jumped into the deep end with it. Now everything is under control.” Despres, whose main prerace rival for the title Spaniard Marc Coma saw his chances disappear last weekend when he was penalised six hours for illegally changing a tyre, has a lead of 1hr 20min over Norwegian Pal Ullevalseter. Despres admitted that while he was happy with his day’s work, not everything had gone according to plan. “It was strange at the beginning because after 13km there was a banner stopping us following a track,” he said. “I went straight ahead for about 80 metres before turning around after I saw Marc Coma coming back in the other direction followed by other riders. “That said, I rather enjoyed myself. It was quick, 220km and went like a flash. Was I being extremely careful? No, when I climb on the bike, I just can’t hold myself back. I just want to have fun.” Chile’s Francisco Lopez retains third place overall while the big loser of the day in terms of a podium finish was Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues, who held on to fourth place but lost six minutes on Ullevalseter.— AFP

CHILE: Volkswagen’s Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Germany’s co-driver Timo Gottschalk compete during the tenth stage of the 2010 Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally.— AP

Semenya’s coach says she is free to compete JOHANNESBURG: Caster Semenya’s coach says the 800meter world champion is free to compete internationally despite an ongoing gender test investigation. Michael Seme said yesterday that he does not have details but learned from Semenya’s lawyers that she can compete. Her lawyer, Greg Nott, was not immediately available to comment. “She’s going to run in international events,” Seme said, adding that she would start at local events as a training exercise. Semenya, who turned 19 last week, has never been officially suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations, pending results of the gender tests. “We are still in the same position as before — no official IAAF comment until we have finished the inquiry — and I can’t tell you how long the inquiry will take either,” IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. Hours before the 800 final in Berlin in August, the IAAF said it had ordered gender tests to be conducted because of Semenya’s muscular build and rapid improvement in times. Her future as a runner has been in doubt since. “They are through with all those things,” Seme said. Semenya was also tested in South Africa before the world championships. In September, Australian newspapers reported that Semenya has male and female

sexual organs, but the IAAF has refused to confirm or deny those claims. Semenya, who comes from a poor village in rural South Africa, first drew attention when she won the 800 title at the African junior championships last year, shaving more than eight seconds off her winning time from the Commonwealth Youth Games the previous year. Semenya easily won the 800 world title in Berlin, beating the field by a large margin in a season’s best 1 minute, 55.45 seconds. In November, the South African sports ministry said Semenya would be able to keep her gold medal from the worlds. Besides the international intrigue created by the gender test, the case also entangled the

president of the South African athletics federation, Leonard Chuene. In September, Chuene admitted he lied about his knowledge of gender tests performed on Semenya in South Africa before the world championships. He has since been suspended. In an article published in November in British newspaper The Guardian, Semenya said she isn’t comfortable with the fame she has acquired since the worlds. “People want to stare at me now. They want to touch me,” Semenya said. “I’m supposed to be famous but I don’t think I like it so much.” The International Olympic Committee is organizing a medical symposium in Miami Beach, Florida, next week to draw up guidelines for dealing with

Caster Semenya

“ambiguous” gender cases in sports in the wake of the Semenya controversy. Meanwhile, Moroccan Nawal El Moutawakel has been chosen to lead an International Olympic Committee team monitoring preparations for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, the IOC said yesterday. The former Olympic champion will head a 17-member panel that also includes Ukrainian Sergey Bubka, Australian John Coates and Richard Carrion from Puerto Rico. Rio was a surprise winner over Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid for the right to host the 2016 Games at IOC elections last October. “Having chaired the evaluation committee for the 2016 Games, I have first-hand knowledge of the many strengths that Rio and Brazil have to offer, and together we will strive to showcase that to the world in six years’ time,” El Moutawakel said in a statement. El Moutawakel won the women’s 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and is a former Moroccan Youth and Sports minister, making her the perfect choice for the job, IOC president Jacques Rogge said. “As an Olympic gold medallist and chair of the IOC Evaluation Committee for the last two Olympiads, she knows the Games inside and out is well-acquainted with the Rio organisers,” Rogge said.— Agencies


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Gabon shock Cameroon

ANGOLA: Zambia’s Christopher Katongo is tackled by Tunisia’s Khaled Korbi during their African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match at Tundavala Stadium.—AP

Tunisia held by Zambia 1-1 LUBANGO: Tunisia, the 2004 champions, were held to a 1-1 draw by spirited Zambia in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations here yesterday. Jacob Mulenga put the Copper Bullets into an early lead only for Zouhaier Dhaouadhi to level for the north Africans before the break. Given the spate of upsets Angola 2010 has already produced Cameroon were turned over by minnows Gabon earlier in Lubango - it came as no surprise to see the Carthage Eagles being outplayed by Zambia for much of the match. They went into a 19th minute lead when James Chamanga, who plays his club football in China, charged down the centre and found Mulenga on his right. The Utrecht midfielder controlled the ball well, fighting off Tunisia defender Ammar Jemal to slot an angled shot rightfooted past goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi who should have done better. Zambia coach Herve Renard, Claude Le

Roy’s assistant with Ghana in 2008, justifiably raised his arms in delight. Zambia were worthy of the lead after almost constant pressure up to this point, and they continued to bely their underdog status with forays into Tunisian territory. On a rare early incursion up the other end of the pitch skipper Karim Haggui, the lone survivor from the 2004 title-winning squad, hit over the bar. Zambia, with skipper Christopher Katongo joined in midfield by his younger brother Felix, were proving a real handful for Faouzi Benzarti’s north Africans, with only the back of a red shirt stopping Rainford Kalaba’s close range thunderbolt after the half hour mark. Tunisia were back on level terms though on 40 minutes when teenage striker Youssef Msakni tore the Zambian defence apart down the left, cutting the ball back to Dhaouadhi who slammed it into the roof of the net.

The two sides, both making their 14th appearance in this continental championship, emerged for the second half with everything to play for after Gabon’s shock win over Cameroon earlier which split the group wide open. Zambia appeared the more likely to regain the advantage, harrying the Tunisian backline seemingly at will. Benzarti took off Ousama Darragi on the hour and sent on Lens attacker Issam Jemaa in a bid to reinforce his goal scoring options against a side that had only mustered a paltry four goals in 10 qualifying ties. Mulenga almost got his and his country’s second goal in the 82nd minute when he unleashed a powerful climbing shot which thudded into the side netting. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Emmanuel Mayuka did score seconds later but his effort was ruled offside. In injury time Mathlouthi could only punch Kalaba’s powerful 22m freekick away to retain the status quo.—AFP

Portsmouth edge Coventry in FA Cup LONDON: South Africa’s Aaron Mokoena scored right at the end of extra-time as crisis club Portsmouth came from behind to beat Coventry City 2-1 in an FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday. Victory gave Portsmouth, bottom of the Premier League and beset by financial problems, a fourth round tie at home to top-flight rivals Sunderland. Both of Pompey’s goals were heartbreaking for second-tier Coventry, coming in the last minute of normal time and in time added on at the end of the second half of extra-time. The win gave Portsmouth fans a rare moment of celebration in an otherwise chaotic season, on and off the field, and Mokoena said it had come at a vital time for the south coast club. “It was very important to win this game so we can build on it,” Mokoena told ITV4. “We needed it so badly. It’s a big win for us.” He added: “It’s always difficult to come to these places and credit to Coventry, they made it difficult for us. At the end of the day we managed to wrap it up.” Portsmouth, the 2008 FA Cup winners, were behind for most of the match after Coventry striker Leon Best fired the home side into a 22nd minute lead. And it seemed cash-strapped Portsmouth, whose officials met earlier Tuesday with Premier League chiefs in a bid to lift the club’s transfer embargo, were about to exit the FA Cup until Coventry’s Stephen Wright headed into his own net shortly before the end of normal time at the Ricoh Arena. The tie was heading for a penalty shoot-out until defender Mokoena headed in the winner with virtually the last act of the game. Earlier, Barry Ferguson’s first goal for Birmingham City saw them beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 in a third round replay at St Andrews to set-up a fourth round tie away to Premier League rivals Everton. Scotland midfielder Ferguson struck from 15 yards shortly after the hour mark as Birmingham saw off in-form Championship high-flyers Forest and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions

to 14 matches. Elsewhere, second division Derby beat third tier Millwall 53 on penalties after the match at Pride Park finished extra-time at 1-1. The deadlock was eventually broken when Steve Morison gave Millwall a 108th minute lead before Derby equalised soon afterwards through Steve Davies’s lob. Derby goalkeeper Stephen Bywater saved from Danny Schofield in the shoot-out before Dean Moxey sealed the hosts’ place in the fourth round. Sheffield United almost blew a 3-0 lead away to Championship rivals QPR but held on for a 3-2 win at Loftus Road. Lee Williamson opened the scoring in the 19th minute and then two goals in three secondhalf minutes from Jamie Ward and Richard Cresswell left the Blades 3-0 up with 20 minutes left. But Akos Buzsaky’s penalty gave Rangers hope before Damion Stewart’s goal two minutes from time set up a frantic finish. In Tuesday’s only third round match Bristol City’s late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw against Championship rivals Cardiff after substitute Gavin Williams scored in the second minute of stoppage-time at a blizzard-hit Ashton Gate to cancel out Michael Chopra’s 76th minute opener for the visitors. Late yesterday’s third round replays see Premier League Liverpool, looking to salvage a so-far disappointing season, at home to second-tier Reading while Championship leaders Newcastle face divisional strugglers Plymouth.—AFP

LONDON: Portsmouth’s Hayden Mullins (right) and Michael Brown (left) battle for the ball with Coventry City’s Leon Best during their FA Cup third round replay at the Ricoh Arena.—AP

LUBANGO: Hull City striker Daniel Cousin was the hero as Gabon caused the biggest upset so far in a shock-filled Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Cameroon 1-0 yesterday in the first Group D clash. Cousin scored early in the first half and the Gabonese survived numerous goalmouth scares to record only their second victory in four appearances at the biennial continental showcase. Cameroon, four-time champions and twice runners-up, entered the game as hot favourites to secure maximum points having comfortably beaten Gabon twice in qualifers for the Angola tournament. Veteran Cameroon central defender Rigobert Song created history when the match kicked off by becoming the first footballer to play in eight Nations Cup tournaments. The 33-year-old from Turkish club Trabzonspor overtook current Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan and two retired stars, compatriot Hossam Hassan and Ivorian Alain Gouamene. Cameroon started by taking the game to Gabon and Achille Emana was unlucky after eight minutes when his shot was pushed on to the post and away for a corner by goalkeeper Didier Ovono. But the game took a dramatic twist on 17 minutes when the Indomitable Lions failed to clear a cross and Cousin darted through to push the ball wide of goalkeeper Iddriss Kameni and give Gabon a shock lead. Going in front boosted the confidence of outsiders Gabon and they retained the advantage until half-time with reasonable comfort as Cameroon star Samuel Eto’o failed to make his expected impact. Geremi Njitap did worry Ovono with a free kick and Eto’o finally came to life just before the break with a dribble past several defenders, but the ball was eventually cleared. Cameroon France-born coach Paul le Guen made a change in central midfield for the second half, introducing Tchoyi Somen for Landry Nguemo and the new face was soon making his presence felt. Ovono, who once battled to make a living playing in El Salvador, was in inspired form and did well to parry a closerange header off a corner and foiled Eto’o when the Inter Milan striker seemed poised to equalise. Frustration crept into the game as Cameroon continued to dominate possession only to be thwarted by Ovono, who used his feet to push away a close-range Emana drive at the expense of a corner. Gabon time wasting cost midfielder Stephane Nguema and striker Roguy Meye yellow cards with the latter booked for taking too long to leave the field when substituted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Ovono came to the rescue again as time ticked away, touching a dipping free kick from Njitap over the crossbar and the resultant corner ended with Rigobert Song blazing over. —AFP

PSG out of French League Cup PARIS: A comical own goal from Paris SaintGermain defender Mamadou Sakho handed seconddivision Guingamp a 1-0 victory and a place in the quarter-finals of the French League Cup yesterday. The promising 19-year-old defender horribly sliced an attempted clearance over his own goalkeeper Apoula Edel and into the net in the 80th minute after Brazilian forward Gilmar had seen his attempted lob parried. Guingamp had been made to weather stern pressure throughout the last-16 tie at their icy Stade du Roudourou home, with PSG veteran Ludovic Giuly seeing an effort cleared off the line and driving a blistering shot against the crossbar. The hosts’ victory was rendered all the more impressive by the fact that midfielder Moustapha Diallo had been sent off barely four minutes before Sakho’s own goal for an ugly two-footed lunge on Jean-Eudes Maurice. “It’s a huge disappointment because we have been knocked out,” said PSG coach Antoine Kombouare. “There were a lot of problems with our game, both in attack and in defence. When you can’t score, you are always vulnerable.” Second-division Metz will hope to repeat their 3-

1 victory over Lyon at the same stage of last season’s competition when they travel to the Stade Gerland to renew acquaintances with Claude Puel’s side later yesterday. Marseille visit Saint-Etienne in the late kick-off, with OM coach Didier Deschamps pledging to field a full-strength line-up that could feature Mamadou Niang and Lucho Gonzalez, who are on the recovery trail after injury. Yesterday’s three remaining ties all exclusively feature top-flight clubs, with Lens facing Lorient, Toulouse hosting Nancy and high-flying Lille, currently second in Ligue 1, taking on Rennes. Holders Bordeaux’s tie at Le Mans was postponed for the second time in two days after local authorities deemed the home side’s snowbound pitch unplayable. The game, initially due to be played on Tuesday, was postponed again on Wednesday and will now go ahead on a date to be decided at a meeting between the French Football Federation and the Professional Football League on Thursday. Sedan became the first side to book a place in the last eight when they beat Clermont 1-0 on Tuesday thanks to a goal in the 58th minute from former Monaco trainee Alexis Allart.—AFP

Milan edge minnows Novara

ITALY: AC Milan forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (right) is tackled by Novara defender Alberto Cossentino.—AP

ROME: Mathieu Flamini scored the winner nine minutes from time as a secondstring AC Milan team beat third division Novara 2-1 at the San Siro yesterday to reach the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. The rossoneri thus join neighbours Inter Milan and Roma in the competition’s last eight. Milan coach Leonardo made 11 changes to the team that won 3-0 at Juventus on Sunday with Ronaldinho, loan signing David Beckham, Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Nesta not even

included on the bench. Veteran striker Filippo Inzaghi opened the scoring on 12 minutes but in the first minute of the second period Pablo Gonzalez stunned the San Siro by drawing Novara level. Flamini had the last word, though, and Milan will play Udinese or Lumezzane in the next round. Eight people, amongst them two children, were taken to hospital after 20 people were injured in a motorway crash between a lorry and a coach carrying Novara supporters to the game.—AFP

ANGOLA: Cameroon’s Achille Emana (right) is challenged by Gabon’s Georges Ambourrouet during their African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match.—AP

Preview Giantkillers Malawi have Angola in their sights LUANDA: Malawi, who claimed the scalp of World Cup qualifiers Algeria on Monday, are intent on dishing out the same treatment to Angola when they meet the Africa Cup of Nations’ hosts here today. In only their second ever appearance in the competition Malawi go into the game as the surprise leaders of Group A, ahead of Angola and Mali with Algeria footing the table. Positive results in their warm-up matches proved no flash in the pan judged by the way they whipped the Algerians 3-0, and coach Kinnah Phiri is looking for more of the same. “We are outsiders in this competition. We played well in our first match and I congratulate my players. “We did prepare well and we are reaping the fruits here. “If we maintain this balance, we can shock the world.” Angola, who were favourites to go through to the quarter-finals from this group with Mali, won’t

make the mistake of under estimating Phiri’s players. Especially after their inelegant collapse against Mali when they paid the price for thinking they had done enough at 4-0 up with barely quarter of an hour remaining. Former goalkeeper Kanka Vemba said a change of attitude was required among the Black Antelopes’ ahead of today’s encounter. “We must adopt the same attacking policy but with another mentality of respecting our rivals.” Another figure in Angola’s football community, Ndunguidi Daniel, chipped in, declaring: “I know that with the result against Mali our players have a lot of pressure on them. We have to concentrate in all departments and maintain a highly competitive attitude for the entire 90 minutes.” Angola were spurred on by 50,000 fanatical supporters at Luanda’s all new 50,000-seater stadium on Sunday - at least

until the fourth minute of injury time when the noise meter plummeted. On the plus side they have serious attacking potential, witness the double from Flavio Armado and penalties from Gilberto and Manucho. But defensive frailties, including by goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes, cost them dear against the Malians. Angola skipper Kali said: “We have to raise our heads - I’m so sad and sorry - there’s no explanation for letting go of such a big lead. But we’ve got to give a good response in our next match.” As coach Manuel Jose noted, the loss of what looked like a certain three points “makes the next match a little more complicated. The public deserved a win.” Jose said the way Angola had collapsed was one of the bitterest pills he had ever had to swallow as a manager and he will be hoping for a more digestible result come today.—AFP

Mali and Algeria, eager to amend bumpy Cup starts LUANDA: For Mali and Algeria, today’s second Group A run out gives them a second chance to prove their true worth after indifferent starts to their Africa Cup of Nations campaigns. In the case of Mali a miraculous fightback to grab a point against Angola having looked down and out trailing by four goals with quarter of an hour to go masked a poor first half display that had Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi shaking his head in frustration. The Algerians for their part paid for an error-strewn tepid performance 24 hours later when they were whipped 3-0 by outsiders Malawi, who face Angola in the second leg of Thursday’s Group A double header at the 11 November stadium. Keshi says his side were mentally shaken by the way they let Angola race into what appeared an unassailable lead, before the hosts’ crumbled. “The spirit was low after Angola,” Keshi reported. “The players are aware of the mistakes they made on Sunday, but it was a hard game played in a difficult atmosphere given the frantic support for the home side.” Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita, who came off the bench to score two goals, insisted his teammates had the mental strength to bounce back. “Algeria may be in the World Cup but they’re in a tricky situation. Our position is more favorable. “The pressure is greater for them because if they drop points against us qualification for the next round is going to be tough.”

Keshi was cautiously optimistic of being able to call up Juventus midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, who has been battling a groin injury and missed Sunday’s opener. “Sissoko is better, but whether he plays or not I don’t know.” Mali will have to tread carefully on the disciplinary front, with four players a booking away from a one match suspension, a quartet that includes Keita, who bagged a double on Sunday with Frederic Kanoute and Mustapha Yataboure contributing. Over in the Algeria camp Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra said sorry to the nation’s fans for Monday’s defeat to Malawi, a world apart from the performance they put in to pip Egypt to the World Cup in November’s play-off in Khartoum. “We apologise to the Algerian people. We weren’t at the level expected of us for this match.” He blamed the shock loss in

large part on the hot and humid conditions - the game kicked off at 1445 local time. Thursday’s game is scheduled for 1700. “We couldn’t play at our real level because the heat handicapped us greatly. There were moments where we couldn’t even walk on the field. “We were expecting that kind of heat but it was clear that our opponents were more used to it. We’ll have to bounce back against Mali, and it won’t be as hot during that one.” For Siena striker Abdelkader Ghezzal, Algeria got what was coming to them against Malawi. “We played badly and deserved to lose,” Ghezzal conceded. “We had some good chances, but were not good enough to capitalise on them. “This defeat will do us well, as we need to rediscover the spirit that allowed us to qualify for the World Cup. “We now need to focus on our next match against Mali.”—AFP

Matches on TV (local timings) Africa Nations Cup Mali v Algeria ..............................................19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +9 Angola v Malawi ...........................................21:30 Al Jazeera Sport +9 Italian Cup Fiorentina v Chievo ......................................18:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Udinese v Lumezzane ...................................20:30 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Lazio v Palermo ............................................23:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 English League Cup Blackburn v Aston Villa ................................ 23:00 Al Jazeera Sport +5

Serena cruises, Safina bows out

SYDNEY: Serena Williams of the US plays a forehand return during her match against Vera Dushevina of Russia at the Sydney International tennis tournament.—AFP

Del Potro, Djokovic win MELBOURNE: World number three Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro kicked off their Australian Open preparations with easy first-round wins at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne yesterday. Del Potro cruised to a 6-3 6-3 victory over Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, before Serbian Djokovic made light work of experienced German Tommy Haas 6-2 6-3 at the eight-man invitational event. Despite blustery conditions at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Del Potro was in fine touch for his first hit-out of the season, although he may hope for tougher encounters this week after Ljubicic repeatedly gifted him key points with unforced errors.

“The weather conditions were tough, a lot of wind,” Del Potro told reporters. “I returned very good, I served very good so that’s important for this kind of match, this kind of surface. It’s a good victory in the beginning of the season, of course.” After breaking the 24th-ranked Croatian in the opening game, Del Potro cracked two forehand winners to set up two set points at 5-3, and was duly handed the set when his opponent double-faulted. Ljubicic raised his game after conceding an early break in the second, but fluffed a chance to break back later and eventually succumbed after saving three match points.—Reuters

SYDNEY: Serena Williams continued her smooth lead-up to next week’s Australian Open with a comfortable win at the Sydney International yesterday while Dinara Safina suffered a heavy loss five days before the first grand slam of 2010. Playing her second match in 24 hours after a twomonth recess, Williams could hardly have been more dominant as she crushed Russian Vera Dushevina 62 6-2 in just over an hour at the Olympic tennis centre. “I definitely don’t think I played my best, but that’s comforting to know,” the world number one said. “Hopefully, I have a long way to go, which I think is always good.” While Williams was an unstoppable force, world number two Safina slumped to a 62 6-3 defeat by fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in a repeat of last year’s Sydney final. The match was delayed by two hours because of heavy rain after which Dementieva immediately seized control, winning the first five games on the trot to register her fourth straight win over Safina. “It’s always good to have the statistic, but I think every match is very different, especially against Dinara,” Dementieva said. “That’s what we all are looking for here, to play against top players and get this match confidence.” Safina, runner-up to Williams in Melbourne last year, has had a wretched last few months, suffering a back complaint that forced her to miss her planned comeback tournament last week. “I don’t think it was a bad match, just a bad start,” Safina said. “If I played the first set like the second set, it could have been a different result. “My game is there. I just have to practice a bit more before the Australian Open.” Williams’ opponent in today’s semi-finals is Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai, who beat Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-0. Dementieva faces Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who booked her spot with a 2-6 6-2 7-5 win over Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, her third three-setter in as many days. Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, chasing his fifth title in Sydney, is the only seeded player through to the last eight in the men’s draw after a day of surprise results. Hewitt sealed his passage in emphatic fashion with a 6-0 6-2 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi to advance to a quarter-final meeting with Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. “It was perfect today,” Hewitt said. “If he was going to win a point, he had to play a bloody good point to get past me.” Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist who has struggled with injuries in the last year, upset Serbian sixth seed Viktor Troicki 7-5 6-3. “It has been tough but now I’m back,” Baghdatis said. “I’m in the top 50 and I think I’m hungry and want more and more. That’s pretty positive.” The second seed, Czech Tomas Berdych, and eighth-seeded Benjamin Becker of Germany also lost, while third seed Stanislas Wawrinka withdrew before his match against Frenchman Julien Benneteau with a neck problem.—Reuters

DHAKA: The Sri Lankan cricket team pose with the champion trophy after winning the final against India in the Tri-Nations tournament one-day international cricket match.—AFP

Sri Lanka win one-day tri series DHAKA: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara hit impressive half-centuries to guide Sri Lanka to a four-wicket win over India in the triangular one-day series final here yesterday. Jayawardene top-scored with an unbeaten 71 and skipper Sangakkara made a brisk 55 as Sri Lanka passed India’s 245 with nine balls to spare in the daynight match. The duo also upstaged India’s Suresh Raina, who cracked a gutsy 106 under pressure to prop up the innings. “I always say we have got match-winners in the side and when it mattered today every one of them fired. It was a great start and all credit to the bowlers,” said Sangakkara, who was named man of the series. India were a bowler short when paceman Ashish Nehra left the field with an injury soon after having opener Upul Tharanga caught by Virat Kohli at second slip with his third delivery. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (49) and Sangakkara dominated the Indian attack with aggressive shots, adding 93 for the second wicket. India’s spinners brought their side back into the game, removing well-set Dilshan, Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera (27) and Thilina Kandamby (18) to reduce Sri Lanka to 189-5. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh impressed the most with 2-41, while left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh bagged one wicket apiece. But Jayawardene kept his cool to steer to his side home, ending the match with three successive fours off paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. India were earlier wobbling at 60-5 following incisive opening spells from pacemen Nuwan Kulasekara and Chanaka Welegedara, but Raina came to his team’s rescue with his third one-day hundred. Man-of-thematch Kulasekara finished with 4-48 and left-arm seamer Welegedara grabbed 3-53. “I am very happy because this is my first man-of-the-match award outside my country. They had a good batting line-up and we needed wickets early. I enjoyed Virender Sehwag’s wicket the most,” said Kulasekara. Raina steadied the innings with a 106-run stand for the sixth wicket with Jadeja (38). He fell soon after completing his century, bowled by Welegedara after cracking one six and 10 fours in his 115-ball knock. India were undone by a combination of poor shot selection and Sri Lanka’s disciplined pace bowling, losing wickets at regular intervals. “I don’t think the shot selection was great. Thanks to Raina and Jadeja, we made it a contest. I think if we had not lost Nehra we would have made a better fight of it,” said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Sehwag, who struck 42, kept playing shots despite the fall of wickets from the other end. His flourish did not last long though as he became Kulasekara’s third victim. He was caught behind after hitting seven fours in his 27-ball cameo. He became the sixth Indian to complete 7,000 one-day runs after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Yuvraj.—AFP

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Complete scoreboard of the triangular one-day series final between India and Sri Lanka here yesterday: India: Sri Lanka: V. Sehwag c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 42 U. Tharanga c Kohli b Nehra 0 G. Gambhir b Kulasekara 0 T. Dilshan c Dhoni b Yuvraj 49 V. Kohli c Sangakkara b Welegedara 2 K. Sangakkara c Sehwag b Harbhajan 55 Yuvraj Singh c Samaraweera b Welegedara 0 M. Jayawardene not out 71 MS Dhoni c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 14 T. Samaraweera b Jadeja 27 S. Raina b Welegedara 106 T. Kandamby lbw b Harbhajan 18 R. Jadeja lbw b Dilshan 38 S. Randiv run out 17 Harbhajan Singh lbw b Randiv 11 T. Perera not out 6 Zaheer Khan c Samaraweera b Kulasekara 16 A. Nehra not out 2 Extras (lb1, nb1, w4) 6 S. Sreesanth b Perera 4 Total (for six wickets; 48.3 overs) 249 Extras (lb4, w6) 10 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Tharanga), 2-93 (Dilshan), 3Total (for all out; 48.2 overs) 245 109 (Sangakkara), 4-157 (Samaraweera), 5-189 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Gambhir), 2-4 (Kohli), 3-16 (Kandamby), 6-228 (Randiv). (Yuvraj), 4-47 (Dhoni), 5-60 (Sehwag), 6-166 (Jadeja), Bowling: Nehra 1.2-0-2-1 (nb1), Sreesanth 9.3-07-213 (Harbhajan), 8-233 (Zaheer), 9-237 (Raina), 1072-0, Kohli 1.4-0-12-0, Zaheer 10-0-51-0 (w2), 245 (Sreesanth). Harbhajan 10-0-41-2 (w2), Yuvraj 9-0-41-1, Bowling: Kulasekara 10-0-48-4 (w1), Welegedara 10-1Jadeja 7-0-29-1. 53-3, Thushara 6-1-26-0 (w2), Randiv 9-0-47-1 (w1), Perera 8.2-0-49-1 (w1), Dilshan 5-0-18-1 (w1). Result: Sri Lanka win by four wickets

South Africa looking to save face in final Test JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s reputation as one of the leading Test nations will be at stake when they try to stop England from clinching a series win in the fourth and final Test starting at the Wanderers Stadium today. After away series wins against both Australia and England in 2008, South Africa briefly topped the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings. But they suffered a home series defeat against Australia last year and trail the current series 10 to face the prospect of another failure on home soil. England won the second Test in Durban by an innings and 98 runs, although in both the first and third Tests the tourists had narrow escapes, hanging on with nine wickets down in the final

innings. South African allrounder Jacques Kallis said it had been frustrating because his side felt they were the better team ‘although the England players might disagree’ - but said South Africa had only themselves to blame for being in a must-win situation. “They haven’t given up,” Kallis said of England. “They’ve been in tough situations in two games where they’ve been able to get their way out of it. “That shows a lot of fight and character. Unfortunately in Durban we were in England’s situation and we crumbled. As much as we say we were unlucky we were in the same situation and we failed.” Kallis said the conditions at the Wanderers could favor South Africa although he said the pitch

JOHANNESBURG: England’s captain Andrew Strauss waits for his turn in the nets during their practice session at the Wanderers Stadium.—AP

might not be as lively as some pundits expected. “I’ve had a look at it and it’s not as green as I have seen here before,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as people think, although it’s going to do a bit and you will need skill to get through it. “Our guys are used to playing on wickets with a bit of bounce and where it goes around a bit, probably a bit more than England are. Hopefully that plays in our favour.” It has been a disappointing series for the host nation, whose bowlers have not fired collectively in the first three matches. South Africa are gambling on likely new cap Wayne Parnell providing penetrative support to Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on a pitch that should favour seam bowling. The left-armed Parnell, 20, has shown rich promise in taking 22 wickets at an average of 21.00 in nine one-day internationals and 11 in eight Twenty20 internationals at 17.45. But his first-class record is mediocre, with 51 wickets in 20 matches at 34.60. Although he has taken five wickets in an innings twice in one-day internationals he has yet to achieve the feat in a first-class game. Steyn and Morkel both produced fiery spells during the third Test in Cape Town but South Africa were a bowler short because of an injury to Friedel de Wet which has ruled him out for the rest of the season. England took two days off at a luxury resort after their Cape Town escape but Paul Collingwood, who played crucial rearguard innings in both draws as well as making 91 to help set up the Durban win - said England were determined to produce one more big performance. “The last two days in training, we’ve shown a lot of energy,” said Collingwood. “This week means a lot of us. It was nice to have a couple of days break but we have to come out and play. We can’t sit back and rely on this position. It’s a huge week for us. We want to go away winning the series.”—AFP

Jazeera Airways continues expansion


Indian real estate exhibition January 15-16

China, India could reshape global auto industry



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gulf business confidence dips: HSBC index DUBAI: Business confidence in the Gulf Arab oil producing region fell slightly in the fourth quarter of 2009, although Kuwait and Saudi Arabia saw an improvement, a survey showed yesterday. The HSBC quarterly survey showed the confidence index in the world’s top oil exporting region declined to 80.2 from 81.4 in the previous quarter, which was its highest level since October 2008, when the global financial crisis hit. “Confidence is on the rise in the hydrocarbon-producing states of Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait, while the UAE’s score is clearly heavily influenced by Dubai’s ... debt issues,” said Simon Vaughan Johnson, HSBC’s head of commercial

banking for the MENA region. Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, led the region with a score of 91.6 in the fourth quarter, up from 91.5 in the previous three months. The United Arab Emirates, the world’s third largest oil exporter, was worst off at 69.8, down from 72.2 in the third quarter. Fellow oil producer Kuwait saw confidence rising to 84.6 from 83.1, the survey showed. Dubai, a member of the UAE federation, shocked the markets in November, asking for a standstill on billions of dollars worth of debt at its flagship companies. The survey of 1,367 participants in the six Gulf Arab states was conducted between Dec. 19-23. — Reuters

Kuwait confidence rises marginally in Q4

Dubai Investments says realty market worsening DUBAI: UAE conglomerate Dubai Investments Co made a preliminary 1.1 billion dirham profit for 2009, but could revise that downwards with provisions, and its chief executive expects the property market to worsen in 2010. CEO Khalid bin Kalban told Reuters that the holding firm, which operates in the investment, manufacturing, dairy and real estate sectors, made an unaudited profit of 300 million dirhams ($81.68 million) in the fourth quarter, but he expected some adjustments to that figure. “There are some revaluation gains we have to deal with and some receivables in the market that we did not collect, so I think some provisioning and some revaluation losses will have to be booked,” he said. The company made a net loss of 86.5 million dirhams in the fourth quarter of 2008, when Dubai’s property market was hit hard by the global financial crisis after a six-year boom. Dubai Investments, in which the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai has a stake, derives most of its revenues from the United Arab Emirates and the other Gulf Arab countries. “If the companies have lent to a major developer in the market and that developer is not paying us because of their liquidity issue ... we’ll have to prepare the provisions,” said Kalban. The emirate of Dubai, which owns stakes in major local developers, received about $25 billion from neighboring Abu Dhabi and the UAE central bank in 2009 to help firms meet their obligations. The emirate’s once-booming real estate sector-which boasts the world’s tallest tower and artificial islands shaped as palm fronds-came to a grinding halt at the end of 2008 as developers slowed or cancelled projects. Property prices have fallen as much as 60 percent since their peak in the third quarter of 2008. Dubai Investments competes with developers Emaar Properties and Deyaar in

Dubai’s residential sector, and launched its first residential project, Ritaj, in 2006. Kalban expects 2010 to be a difficult year for the real estate sector and sees room for further correction with major projects scheduled to open in 2010 adding to surplus supply. “In general 2010 will be the worst year for real estate. The end of the real estate crisis,” he said. “2010 for the real estate market will be a repetition of 2009; some correction and revaluation losses will be carried in some of the real estate companies’ books because of the downturn.” EFG-Hermes expects on average 12,000-15,000 new homes between now and 2012, with actual supply delivered to be toned downwards given the slowdown in construction and underlying liquidity issues. Kalban said the default percentage had turned out to be less severe than anticipated a year ago. “We thought the default rate will be around 40 percent, but now we are experiencing it at around 20 percent,” he said. Kalban sees 2010 as an adjustment period. One of the main reasons 2010 would be a bleak year for property is that buying would be restrained by the lack of liquidity, he said. “The value of property units is very reasonable now, as we are going back to 2006 pricing levels,” he said. “A lot needs to be done to unlock liquidity ... That’s what is strangling the market now, and it’s an issue the governments have to deal with.” Kalban said he estimated a liquidity gap of $15 billion in the UAE financial market. “There is a liquidity shortage everywhere in the UAE, not only Dubai but also Abu Dhabi,” he said. Property prices are stabilising and there are fewer defaults on payments, he said, but added: “Unless extraordinary measures are taken, the real estate market will drift.” Shares in Dubai Investments closed down 2.04 percent at 0855 GMT, outperforming Dubai’s index, which slips 3.1 percent.— Reuters

WASHINGTON: (From left), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein; JPMorgan Chase & Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Dimon; Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack, and Bank of America Corporation Chief Executive Officer and President Brian Moynihan, testify on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.— AP

Barons of Wall St testify to US crisis panel WASHINGTON: The chiefs of Wa l l S t re e t ’ s b i g g e s t f i r m s defended the lucrative pay practices and huge size of their businesses, but conceded regulatory changes are needed at the first hearing of a congressional commission investigating the 2008 global financial crisis. With US unemployment near a 26-year-high after the worst recession in decades, public fury is growing over the crisis, taxpayer bailouts and huge bonuses for bankers. Raising their right hands yesterday to be swor n in before reading prepared statements, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive L l o y d B l a n k f e i n , J P M o rg a n Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and other executives braced for sharp questions from the panel. Phil Angelides, chairman of the Fi n a n c i a l Crisis Inquiry Commission, told the CEOs his panel will hold hearings through t h e y e a r a n d t a ke t e s t i m o n y from hundreds of individuals. “People are angry. They have a right to be,” Angelides said, citing Wall Street’s bonuses and

profits. Blankfein said his firm reaped rewards from gover nment support during the financial meltdown. “We believe that the government action was critical and we benefited from it,” he said. “The system clearly needs to be structured so that private capital, rather than government capital, is used to stabilize troubled firms promptly before a crisis metastasizes.” Dimon told the commission that there may be legitimate concerns that bonuses contributed to excessive risk taking, but he defended JPMorgan’s pay practices, saying “they have been and remain appropriate.” The commission’s hearing could fuel popular resentment of the banks and at the government’s role in rescuing a powerful industry seen by many Americans as greedy and irresponsible. The basic causes of the crisis a re w e l l k n o w n . Fro m a re a l estate bubble and subprime mortgages, to runaway securitization and exotic debt instruments, the financial system

failed spectacularly in the final months of the Bush administration. The 10-member commission may be hard-pressed to unearth new revelations on that s c o re , b u t i t s w o r k i s s t i l l expected to have an impact, according to analysts. “We’re in a very volatile period now, with all the bonuses and with the hearing starting tomorrow,” said Greg Valliere, policy analyst at investment advisory firm Soleil Securities. “The hearings could be explosive and further intensify public indignation... You just have to wonder if the politicians can contain the anger,” he said. The panel, due to report by Dec. 15, is modeled af ter the Pe c o r a C o m m i s s i o n , w h i c h i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e Wa l l S t re e t crash of 1929. Its findings helped lead to the formation of the US Securities and Exchange C o m m i s s i o n a n d o t h e r ke y reforms. Whether the Angelides Commission has a similar impact is yet to be deter mined. The hearings will unfold with the U.S. Senate Banking Committee

engaged in sensitive closed-door negotiations on a sweeping overhaul of financial regulation, the aim being to prevent another banking crisis in the future. The Obama administration a n d s o m e s e n a t o r s a re c o n cerned about the timing and potential impact of the commission’s hearings, said Joseph Engelhard, a policy analyst at investment advisory firm Capital Alpha Partners. Worries center on “any revelation which creates a populist outburst that could possibly derail compromises that are being made on the Hill,” he said. But at least one member of the banking committee, Senator Bob Corker, told Reuters that he looks forward to the commission hearings and what they will reveal. “The commission meetings, from my viewpoint, are nothing but helpful... I’m actually meeting with some of the witnesses while they’re in town. It’s all good as far as I’m concerned,” said Corker, a Republican, in an interview. — Reuters

Iran approves bill to cut food and fuel subsidies TEHRAN: Iran’s constitutional watchdog approved a contentious law that would sharply slash energy and food subsidies — a move that could provoke more unrest in a country struggling under international sanctions, double-digit inflation and a government crackdown on the opposition. The bill was formally approved by the Guardian Council, state television Web sites reported Wednesday, roughly a week after Iranian lawmakers signed off on the plan proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Guardian Council is a hardline body that must vet all legislation before it becomes law. The law would gradually cut energy subsidies, bringing the heavily discounted fuel prices more in line with international prices. Officials say the step is needed to recoup some of the roughly $90 billion spent yearly on subsidies by OPEC’s second largest oil exporter. Subsidies currently consume about 30 percent of the government budget at a time when already high spending and the collapse of oil prices last year hammered Iran’s economy. The aim is to channel the funds directly at the poorer segments of the population, as well as funding infrastructure projects. Ahmadinejad said yesterday the law is “big step toward implementation of justice,” and added that with its implementation, there will “not be a single unemployed and poor person within three years.” The conservative-dominated parliament and Ahmadinejad’s hardline government have been bickering for months over who should control the money earned through increasing fuel prices. While the government wanted a total free hand on controlling and spending the money, lawmakers countered that it would only result to widespread corruption and waste. In a compromise, lawmakers agreed to set up a government organization charged with administering the program, but the parliament will have oversight of the organization. Iran’s economic woes have been one of Ahmadinejad’s biggest challenges. Critics argue he squandered the country’s billions Iran earned when oil peaked in mid-2008 at $147 per barrel on populist projects that appeased his core supporters, but did little to address inflation that last year hit a high of 30 percent. While experts say inflation remains above 25 percent, the government contends that it is around 13.2 percent. The economy was also a major issue in the contested June elections in which Ahmadinejad was declared the winner. The disputed victory sparked months of protests by reformists who maintain he stole the election. The subsequent government crackdown has further blighted Iran’s image even as it struggles with an international community leery of its nuclear program. A push in 2007 to scrap the fuel subsidy program resulted in widespread outrage, with gasoline stations burned to the ground in protests. Iranians enjoy some of the cheapest gasoline prices in the world. Under the current rations system, they pay $0.38 per gallon ($0.10 per liter) for the first 100 liters. Any gasoline bought beyond that limit costs $1.50 per gallon ($0.40 per liter). The new law would gradually strip away subsidies to bring the prices closer in line with international market prices. — AP

White House says stimulus has saved two million jobs WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s emergency spending measures last year saved up to two million US jobs, the White House said yesterday, but it warned that the outlook for the economy remained uncertain. Obama, anxious to reduce double-digit US unemployment which has dented his popularity, has already called for additional government measures to boost jobs on top of the $787 billion stimulus package he signed in February 2009. Christina Romer, head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said she expects positive job creation by the spring, but stressed that there was definitely a need for additional “targeted action” to aid employment. “There is uncertainty about where the economy is going ...when will the private sector come back,” Romer told reporters on a conference call to discuss a quarterly report to Congress on the stimulus package. “Where are we going to be a year from now, do we see consumer confidence come back, do we see firms ... starting to invest again,” she said. The country suffered its worst recession in 70 years after the collapse of the US housing market set off a global financial crisis, forcing the jobless rate to 10 percent. In response to Obama’s call for more measures, the House of Representatives last month approved another $155 billion jobs package. The Senate is expected to take up its version of fresh jobs legislation in the coming weeks. The White House, using two different approaches to figure out the impact of the stimulus package, estimates that US employment had been raised by between 1-1/2 and 2 million jobs by the end of 2009 as a result of the stimulus measures. Romer said she thinks the stimulus measures will have saved up to 3.5 million jobs by year’s end. In addition, the White House said 640,000 jobs had been saved or created by direct recipients of stimulus money, implying that this estimate may be on the low side. — Reuters

KUWAIT: Director of Al-Zayani, Derek Davies seen with the new Bentley Mulsanne.— Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Bentley Mulsanne, Bentley Motor’s all-new flagship grand tourer

AL-Zayani unveils new Bentley Mulsanne By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: Al-Zayani unveiled the eagerly awaited Bentley Mulsanne, Bentley Motor’s all-new flagship grand tourer, at its showroom in AlRai. Derek Davies, Automotive Director at Al-Zayani, said, “We’re thrilled to have finally received the new Bentley Mulsanne for our market to preview. Its reputation preceded it

with a large number of customers interested in being the first to see the latest edition to the Bentley stable.” The Mulsanne is inspired by the company founder W.O. Bentley’s crowning achievement in 1930, the 8litre. The early motoring masterpiece, W.O.’s own carefully preserved company car, represented the last big Bentley that was designed, engineered and built from the ground up by Bentley engineers - until now.

Nearly 80 years later, while paying respect to this illustrious past, the new Mulsanne is a thoroughly modern statement of luxury driving and grand touring. Conceived, styled and engineered entirely at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, the Mulsanne, with its completely new platform, goes into production this year in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility within the Crewe factory. Nader Jaber, Marketing Manager

added: “Bentley Motors set an aim to create a grand new Bentley that would stand as the pinnacle of British luxury motoring, offering the world’s most exclusive driving experience and providing customers with a luxury grand tourer that sets new standards in terms of comfort, effortless performance and hand-crafted refinement the very qualities for which Bentley is renowned.” “Prospective buyers were eagerly

awaiting the preview on the new Mulsanne and, as soon as we sent out our invitations, visits were arranged to finalize orders for this motoring masterpiece,” commented L atifa Hachadi, Bentley Brand Manager at Al-Zayani. Kuwait is amongst the first countries in the world to preview the Mulsanne since its world debut at the Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance in California in August 2009.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bank converts credit card portfolio to FirstVision’s solution

NBK extends data processing agreement with First Data KUWAIT: First Data, global technology and payments processing leader, yesterday announced the successful conversion of National Bank of Kuwait’s credit card portfolio to First Data’s global issuing and consumer finance processing solution, FirstVision. The conversion follows the renewal of First Data’s processing contract with the bank for an additional five years. Under the new agreement, First Data will continue to provide a range of processing solutions and fraud management services to the bank for its credit card portfolios. National Bank of Kuwait has been a First Data client since 2001 and

conversion to FirstVision has enabled the bank to expand further beyond its domestic market and offer credit cards in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. “First Data’s track record in providing robust and scalable systems was instrumental in our decision to renew,” said Issam Al Sager, CEO at National Bank of Kuwait. “To remain a leading player in the market, we were looking for an experienced and trusted payments services provider. First Data’s single platform solution, continuous investment in technology, and deep understanding of the local market has enabled us to build

stronger relationships with our customers and expand our business beyond Kuwait.” “We are delighted that National Bank of Kuwait, a long-term client, continues to entrust First Data with the processing of its credit card portfolios,” said Brian Quarrie, managing director of First Data in the Middle East. “The bank’s decision to extend our agreement demonstrates their confidence in us, and acknowledges the quality and breadth of our payment solutions. We look forward to building on this success in future.” Today, FirstVision supports customers across Latin America, Europe,

the Middle East and Asia and provides a single solution that delivers consistent functionality and technology in support of banks and major retailers around the world. First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries.

Toshiba’s new long distance runners in the netbook class

Toyota genuine spare-parts draw announces winner KUWAIT: Mohamad Naser Al Sayer & Sons Automotive Co held the first grand draw of its promotion campaign on January 10, 2010. Al-Sayer continues to run the electronic raffle draw to ensure that all of Al-Sayer’s customers have an equal and fair chance in the draw, the event was attended by a representative from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and from Al Sayer MNSS Mohamed Ali Hilal (General Manager-Parts). The promotion carried on from December 5, 2009 to Feb 28, 2010 on all Toyota genuine spare parts by entitling all customers to a coupon

to enter the draw on exciting prizes for every KD5 they spend on Toyota genuine spare parts at any Al Sayer parts showrooms or Toyota service centers. The lucky winner of the grand prize Toyota Yaris Hatchback is Nahla Mansour Ali Qattan (coupon number 69102). The next raffle draw is expected on the take place on March 7, 2010. Mohamad Naser Al Sayer & Sons congratulates all winners and thanks all customers for their wise choice of Toyota genuine spare parts and their trust in Toyota service centers.

Saudi sees early work on top gas plant over by Q1 KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia: Preliminary engineering and design work for Saudi Arabia’s biggest gas plant should be completed by the first quarter of next year, an Aramco executive said. State giant Aramco has switched focus to meeting domestic gas demand after completing last year a massive crude expansion project to boost output capacity to 12.5 million barrels per day. As petrodollars fuel economic expansion, the Arab world’s largest economy is contending with rapid demand growth for gas-fired power and for feedstock for the petrochemical industry. The world’s top oil exporter is experiencing annual gas demand growth of 7 percent per year. “The front-end engineering and design (FEED) would be completed between the third quarter of this year and the first quarter,” Majid Al-Mugla said on the sidelines of an industry conference late on

NEUSS, Germany: Toshiba Computer Systems, a division of Toshiba Europe GmbH, introduces two new 10.1” (25.7 cm) netbooks - the Toshiba mini NB300 and NB305. Both offer an enhanced feature set with an extremely long battery life of up to 11 hours and further design enhancements over their predecessor. The new models are targeted at users looking for a secondary ultraportable computing device who don’t want to compromise on usability and design. The mini NB300/NB305 will be available during the first quarter of 2010 throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. Extended battery life for all-day computing “The mini NB300/NB305 truly show Toshiba’s commitment to innovation, as this new netbook range is designed with a more sophisticated look, lighter weight and improved functionality with its extended battery life,” says Santosh Varghese, Regional General Manager, Computer Systems Division of Toshiba Gulf. The mini NB300/NB305 run for up to 11 hours with a single charge of the 6 cell high capacity battery, which is smoothly integrated into the casing without any bump disturbing the elegant and sleek contours. Small yet highly usable The new Toshiba netbooks have a keyboard that is large enough to provide comfortable typing and a large touch pad with Multi-Touch Control. They also come equipped with the Toshiba LifeSpace application suite which helps organise everyday projects and activities in a personalized way and provides a unique way to easily find and access stored files. Synchronisation software is also included, making it easy for customers to keep files on their mini NB300/NB305 synchronised with their ‘main’ PC. A design you can see and feel The mini NB300/NB305 adopt the popular attention-grabbing design of their predecessors. The mini NB305 has a unique and attractive 3D textured cover design with a matt finish that is both visually and physically appealing. This model will be available in two striking colours - Mocha Brown and Snow White both contrasting with the silver tile keyboard and palm rest inside. The Toshiba mini NB300 also offers choice to more budgetconscious consumers. It comes with a glossy cover in Cosmic Black, decorated with a pattern of fine slanting lines along with a black flat keyboard and black palm rest.

Tuesday. Canada’s SNC-Lavalin is undertaking the preliminary work and also providing project management for the plant, called the Wasit gas development program. The project would provide for the production and processing of up to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Arabiyah and Hasbah offshore non-associated gas fields, SNC-Lavalin said in a statement when it was awarded the contract. Supplies from this gas plant would be used for power and industry, but not as a feedstock for petrochemicals, Aramco’s chief executive Khalid AlFalih told Reuters in November. Gas from the plant would go a long way toward meeting rising utility and industry demand, Falih said. Aramco is aiming to boost gas supplies 30 percent to 8 billion cubic feet per day in five years. That would be up from just over 6 billion cfd last year, according to Reuters calculations. — Reuters

Wataniya introduces more benefits to Maxpress Special discount when calling friends and family KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom once again takes the lead in providing the latest and most innovative services for its customers to enhance their telecom experience. Maxpress; the only prepaid line with life time bonus, was launched in April 2009 for Wataniya’s prepaid customers allowing them to benefit from the maximum amount of talk time and save on their communication expenses, as it offers them a 25% bonus on their daily calls. Now Wataniya is upgrading its services and offering customers more benefits by introducing the Family and Friends (FnF) feature to Maxpress. FnF will allow customers to select four friends and family from their contact list and receive 25% discount when making calls to those numbers. The rate per minute will be reduced, and therefore providing them with an opportunity to talk more to their loved and close ones. “We aim to facilitate all the necessary means to allow our customers to stay connected to their friends and families for less cost. Our customers are and will remain our main priority, and with introducing the new feature FnF we are making sure their needs are being met,” said Abdul Aziz Al Balool PR Manager at Wataniya. “Taking a step further has empowered us to become pioneers in the telecommunication industry and to continue to set new market trends and offer the most innovative services for our customers,” Al-Balool added. The FnF feature is free of charge for all

Abdul Aziz Al Balool, PR Manager at Wataniya Maxpress customers; all what is required for interested customers to do is call 505 to set their FnF list of contacts or by using the USSD menu. Charges will apply whenever changes or modifications are made to the FnF list.

Jazeera Airways continues expansion with arrival of 11th aircraft in Kuwait KUWAIT: Jazeera Airways celebrated the delivery and inauguration of yet another state-of-the-art aircraft - the airline’s newest Airbus A320at Kuwait International Airport on 12 January 2010. The arrival of the new aircraft, which has 12 seats in Business Class and 147 in Economy, brings the airline’s total fleet size to 11, with a further 29 aircraft to be delivered over the next few years. This latest addition to the airline’s fleet demonstrates Jazeera’s dedication to

investing in its aircraft and exemplifies the swift rate at which the airline is expanding. Flying directly from its manufacturing facility in Toulouse, France, the aircraft touched down at Kuwait International Airport, where Jazeera’s CEO, Stefan Pichler, explained the significance of its arrival: “We are very pleased to announce the arrival of our brand new 11th Airbus A320. This new aircraft marks yet another important occasion for us in the history of Jazeera’s expansion and will

serve to fuel future growth, by allowing us to add even more new destinations and increase the frequency of routes to already popular destinations, across our existing network he said. Jazeera Airways now operates a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s. Each aircraft is fitted with the airline’s signature leather seating, while the Jazeera Business Class cabin offers travellers the highest standards of comfort, relaxation and a range of in-flight amenities. The airline flies to destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Iran.

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

.2830000 .4570000 .4120000 .2780000 .2740000 .2630000 .0045000 .0020000 .0775980 .7560150 .4020000 .0750000 .7408820 .0045000 .0500000

.2930000 .4680000 .4190000 .2870000 .2830000 .2710000 .0075000 .0035000 .0783780 .7636130 .4180000 .0790000 .7483280 .0072000 .0570000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2858500 .4597850 .4141110 .2806850 .2761160 .0556540 .0404910 .2651410 .0368570 .2055820 .0030990 .0063160 .0025070 .0033930 .0041880 .0778650 .7586130 .4042730 .0762660 .7428450 .0063100

.2879500 .4630330 .4173060 .2826730 .2780720 .0560480 .0407770 .2670140 .0371180 .2070390 .0031210 .0063610 .0025250 .0034170 .0042180 .0783620 .7634510 .4071370 .0767520 .7475830 .0063540

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2879500 .4630330 .2826730 .0767520

281.930 197.400 282.430 265.200 285.000 ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

3.153 6.292 3.382 2.507 3.935 207.300 37.022 4.152 6.262 8.689 0.301 0.292 ARAB COUNTRIES

Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

55.250 52.773 1.388 220.730 405.410 193.900 6.324 37.170 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

76.560 78.880 745.810 762.500 78.190 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

224.000 114.000 60.000

Bahrain Exchange Company

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

286.950 417.230 466.600

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

SELL CASH 268.400 762.950 4.520 279.900 692.200 15.800 56.200 167.800 55.160 420.000

SELL DRAFT 266.900 762.950 4.155 278.400

207.800 52.692 418.500

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

37.700 6.580 0.034 0.289 0.259 3.240 407.110 0.194 87.730 38.900 4.230 216.300 2.183 51.800 745.240 3.490 6.440 79.350 76.600 207.800 41.200 2.756 468.500 41.300 285.300 6.400 9.020 222.000 78.280 287.300 1.420

37.550 6.280

405.810 0.193 87.730 3.950 214.800 745.060 3.395 6.270 78.920 76.600 207.800 41.200 2.505 466.500 283.800 8.870 78.280 286.900

GOLD 10 Tola


Sterling Pound US Dollar

2.510 4.165 6.265 3.155 8.685 5.530 3.885

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 Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 466.500 286.900

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 286.750 3.390 6.280 2.515 4.150 6.300 78.110 76.590 762.400 52.725 469.600 0.0000306 1.550 407.400 5.750 421.000 283.500

Al Mulla Exchange

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

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

286.800 277.900 466.380 417.855 281.340 720.355 760.525 78.065 78.710 76.510 404.710 52.710 6.280 3.385

Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling 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

Transfer rate 286.500 418.200 466.000 3.140 6.295 52.755 2.507 4.145 6.265 3.382 762.750 78.250 76.550


Thursday, January 14, 2010


GCC banks: Done with provisions? KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Center “Markaz” recently released a report on the GCC banking sector. The authors M R Raghu and Layla Al-Ammar note that the year 2009 can truly be declared as a year of provisioning. The 61 banks in the GCC region are estimated to provide a whopping $9.4 bn in provisions during 2009, a 40% jump from 2008 and a 5-fold increase from the modest level of $1.8 bn for 2007. As a percentage to loans, this translates to nearly 1.5% compared to 0.58% seen between 2003-2007. The spike in some cases have been caused by specific events unrelated to the ongoing financial crisis (Gulf Bank, Kuwait and ABC, Bahrain). However, most of the story clearly points to “aggressive caution” on the part of banks to drive the bad news when the mood is gloomy. Banks are the main conduit of economic activity in the market and as such this certainly reflects the pain the overall economy is undergoing as a consequence of the global fall out. It also brings sharply into the picture the intrinsic role of credit evaluation and corporate governance standards. A direct fallout of this can be seen in the activity levels of banks as defined by

loans and deposits. Both loans and deposits enjoyed robust growth levels since 2003. The sharp drop in the fourth quarter of 2008 was not enough to contain this where loans experienced a growth of 34% and deposits 21% during 2008. However, the picture took a nasty turn in 2009 with overall loan growth at an anemic 4% weakly supported by a deposit growth

of 3%. We expect a slight pickup in 2010, but nowhere near the historical average. 2010 will be year of recovery Within the GCC, the focus at the end of 2008 was on a myriad of things; the UAE Real Estate sector, the Kuwait Investment sector, not to mention hemorrhaging stock markets across the board. A

Zain: Yahya Mohammed Al-Shemmeri wins $50,000 in 11th weekly draw KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications operator in Kuwait and across Middle East and Africa, has announced the name of this week’s lucky draw Yahya Mohammed AlShemmeri winner of the US $50,000 prize. A minimum of just KD5 is needed to recharge the eeZee prepaid line. This will automatically allow any eeZee prepaid customer to enter the weekly Lucky Draw contest for a chance to win $50,000 every Week. Zain Kuwait’s CEO Eng Khaled Al-Hajeri said “the company has managed to create an added value through this promotional offer that has seen considerable success which is evidenced by the sizeable participation by the company’s prepaid customers. “In addition to its commitment to providing added value to its customers through the services and offers it launches, Zain is intent at the same time on creating a spirit of fun and adventure among its customers through the products it offers from time to time,” he added. He went on to say that the last few years have seen the Kuwaiti market benefiting significantly from the services of mobile telecommunications technologies, in addition to the fact that the customers have increasingly been aware of the benefits that they can reap from the modern technologies that we offer through our networks and value-added services. He concluded by stressing that Zain-Kuwait will always continue providing the best services and offers in line with the wishes and aspirations of its customers, adding that the company

Zain Kuwait’s CEO Eng Khaled Al-Hajeri has always lived up to the expectations of its customers through providing them with unique services that are commensurate with the levels of their desires and needs. The 11th Winner Yahya AlShemmeri said “He felt extremely happy when received the news about wining the Lucky Draw grand prize and he has been a Zain loyal customer for more than 20 years & owns more Zain lines used by his family as well. Finally, AlShemmeri extended his thanks to Zain management for showing making Zain’s customers dreams come true.

Officer S Line, Vellore - another gem set in the Joyalukkas chain dard of product, price, choice and service is guaranteed to customers to our new showroom. Our vision is to make jewelry shopping more convenient and, in line with this, we intend to soon have a presence in every catchment area within Tamil Nadu.” With over five decades of experience in jewelry retailing, manufacturing and exports, we are sure that our distinctive designs, quality and service will be welcomed by the residents of Vellore, the chairman added. Speaking at the inauguration, R Madhavan, the brand ambassador for Joyalukkas said, “I feel proud to be associated with a brand of Joyalukkas’s stature because it stands for trust, value, choice and exceptional service. With Joyalukkas you can rest assured that you will be dealing with a jewelry chain that truly understands your needs and has the international experience to introduce you to jewelry

trends around the world.” Globally Joyalukkas has set a benchmark for quality, service and choice and is one of the most trusted jewelry retailers in the world. This gold standard in excellence is repeated in all the products available at the Officer S Line showroom, which is consistent in design with the rest of the Joyalukkas showrooms offering exclusivity and a welcoming feel. The showroom is conveniently positioned within the city to ensure ease of access for customers. Joyalukkas Group, which diversified and expanded its offerings and geographical reach to operate subsidiaries in India, GCC and London and has over 3000 employees worldwide, intends to follow the Officer S Line inauguration with more showroom openings across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala during the rest of 2010.

mark by year end and to increase to $4.8 bn in 2010, especially should lending continue to be tight while banks continue to guard against defaults. We expect GCC provisions to end 2010 at $8.76 bn, representing a 7% decline over our full year 2009 estimated provisions of $9.4 bn. Concurrently, lending activity stagnated across the GCC in 2009, with growth rates falling well below historical averages, as banks have hoarded cash and been hesitant to extend financing in a tenuous economic environment. GCC loans have amounted to roughly $606 bn in 9M09, a 5% growth from the same period in 2008. Saudi Arabia has been the main drag on loans growth, growing just 1% in 3Q09 compared to 3Q08, in stark contrast to the 25% average growth in loans seen in the last five years. We expect GCC loans to show an overall growth of 4% in 2009, a far cry from the historical average of 29% between 2003-2008. This would bring the provision to loans ratio to 1.52% in 2009 as compared to 1.13% in 2008. While we expect to see some recovery in lending in the GCC, we still expect Saudi Arabia and the UAE to be a drag on overall GCC loans growth. Hence, we have a forecasted 2010 loans growth of 8% for the GCC to $667 bn.

Realty India 2010

Indian real estate exhibition to take place on Jan 15-16 KUW AIT: Presented by India n media behemoth Times of India a nd orga nized by Mindspa ce Events a nd Exhibitions, the Rea lty India 2010 exhibition w ill show ca se the w idest a rra y of properties by renow ned developers ever displa yed a t a single venue in Kuw a it. W ith the pa rticipa tion of w ell-know n a nd reputa ble developers from a cross India , a nd properties on displa y specifica lly selected to be of potentia l interest to

Joyalukkas opens latest showroom in Vellore CHENNAI: January 10 saw the inauguration of yet another scintillating Joyalukkas showroom on Officer S Line in Vellore. The new showroom, which joins the ranks of the 75 other showrooms that the ISO certified jewelry chain has in eight countries around the world, was inaugurated by lighting the ceremonial lamp by Hon. Duraj Murugan, MABL - Minister of Law, Tamil Nadu in the presence of Joyalukkas Brand Ambassador, R Madhavan, other VIP guests and dignitaries. The unique patterns and styles that have captured the hearts of customers across the world and won international accolades from renowned bodies has over the years cemented Joyalukkas’s reputation and competence in the jewelry business. The new showroom, which displays traditional, chic and contemporary designs from all over the world, including the ever popular in-house jewelry brands like Sparx, Tre’stelle, Perfekt, Spring, Florentina, Resham, Trisha, Aamira, Madhubani, Teen Twenties and Zenina, and a host of platinum, silver and other precious stone jewelry collections, is intended to provide an exceptional shopping experience to discerning shoppers in Vellore. Speaking about the new showroom, Joy Alukkas, Chairman of Joyalukkas Group, said, “We are targeting the quality, tradition and design conscious woman of Vellore who demand excellence and broad choice from a wide range of traditional, chic and contemporary jewelry. The Joyalukkas stan-

lesser discussed topic was the GCC banking sector, which the majority of Central Banks and Monetary Authorities deemed as healthy and stable at the onset of the crisis except for a few episodes. Banks made slight increases to their provisions across the board in 2008; however, pivotal in moving the overall GCC needle were provisions of over $1bn from

both Gulf Bank of Kuwait and Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corp, over $700 mn from Kuwait Finance House and nearly $500 mn from Emirates NBD. That was 2008, where the GCC-wide increase in provisions could be attributed to a handful of the largest GCC banks... what about 2009? 9M 2009 figures show that provisions have increased almost without exception across GCC banks, i.e. not just the “big guys”. GCC Provisions for 9M09 have already topped $6.41bn, or 1.06% of loans. By far the most volatile has been the UAE, following the announcement of debt woes at the two Saudi conglomerates, Saad and Algosaibi Groups, which UAE banks are believed to have a significant amount of exposure to (estimated at over $2bn), the central bank has charged all banks with taking provisions amounting to 50% of their exposure to the troubled groups. Additionally, news concerning the debt woes of Nakheel, and its parent firm, Dubai World, have heightened the sense that more trying times are in store for banks going forward. Consequently, UAE provisions doubled in 2Q09 to over $1bn; total provisions for 9M09 stand at $2.57 bn and we would expect this to near the $4bn

Indian real-estate is once again proving to be among the most rewarding investment opportunities. A survey commissioned by Barclays Wealth and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in September 2009, showed the growing appeal of emerging markets as property investment destinations - with India listed among the top-five countries in the priority list. Property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj predict that India is expected to outperform global markets with growth rates of more than 7-10 percent. Local demand is also fuelling a huge interest in affordable homes, to the tune of 25 million housing units in urban India alone. As this momentum grows, Indian developers are moving out into newer areas, building a wide range of properties with features and amenities to suit all budgets. Realty India 2010, a first of its kind integrated exhibition, featuring 30 real-estate developers offering properties across the length and breadth of India, and the active participation of investment funds and other stakeholders dedicated to the property sector, is set to establish benchmarks in property exhibitions. Among the realestate developers participating at Realty India 2010, are renowned builders like Unitech, Tata Housing, Supreme, Royal Palms, Jaypee, IREO, Emaar MGF, Ekta and a host of others. At a media-briefing prior to the Realty India 2010 exhibition, top management of Mindspace Events and Exhibitions, the main organizer of the show, elaborated on the exhibition and the real-estate scenario in India. Speaking on the investment climate in India, M. I. Sait, President, Mindspace Events and Exhibitions, said, “Investors are clearly attracted by the solid economic growth in Indian realestate sector. And the emergence of a huge middle class that has the disposable income to purchase property is making real-estate a good investment vehicle.” Detailing the exhibition he added, “We have organized 100s of exhibitions in India and abroad, but Realty India 2010 is among the top real-estate exhibitions that we’ve organized. This exhibition is unique, both in the number of properties being offered by reputable developers - over 1,000 properties will be on offer at the show - and the integrated nature of the exhibition, with financing opportunities available right at the venue.” Raj Kumar, Director, Mindspace Events said that they were extremely happy to bring the Realty India 2010 exhibition to Kuwait. “With the property market in India poised to soar, this exhibition is an ideal opportunity for non-resident Indians in Kuwait to invest in the real-estate sector. India offers a very good return on investment in terms of rental and capital investment and provides a long-term security for the future as well.” Mindspace, with offices across India, Dubai and a number of locations around the world, is confident that they can further cement relations with the Times of India Group and hold many more such exhibitions around the world for them, said Kumar.

NRI a udiences, the Rea lty India 2010 show is gea red to be a not-to-bemissed event. For people looking to buy a home or invest in the lucra tive India n rea l-esta te sector, the Rea lty India 2010 exhibition could prove a golden opportunity, w ith choice of properties on offer a t the exhibition ra nging from high-end luxury villa s to best va lue properties priced a round Rs12 la cs.

KUWAIT: M I Sait, President, Mindspace Events and Exhibitions, addresses the press conference at Ramada Hotel yesterday.

Dr Naif Al-Mutawa honored by Columbia University KUWAIT: Dr Naif AlMutawa, creator of THE 99 superheroes, was recently honored by Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. Dr Naif and other distinguished alumni were portrayed on the cover of the college magazine, TC Today. On the podium were TC’s ‘First of Firsts’, 45 eminent educationists who had changed the lives of others by unlocking the wonders of human potential. The creator of THE 99 superheroes was honored for developing THE 99 concept which is built on a moderate view of Islam and transcends all language and cultural barriers. Dr Naif’s efforts have encouraged literacy and developed positive role models for children often faced with violent conflict and disadvantaged living conditions. He has been able to inspire millions of children by giving them a vision of hope. Teachers College (TC), Columbia University was established 120 years ago and is America’s oldest and largest graduate school of education-a place whose faculty and students, time and again during more than a century of leadership, have demonstrated the power of ideas to change the world. From the yellow school bus to

the first university-level nutrition curriculum, the college has been at the forefront of American teacher education. Being one of its prominent alumni, Dr. Naif has attained this unique position of leadership through THE 99 and its message of tolerance and peace. THE 99 ( is an award-winning superhero series based on Islamic culture and history and has earned major awards from the World Economic Forum, Columbia Business School, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Tufts University and accolades from FORBES for being “One of the Top 20 Trends Sweeping the Globe”. Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, was recently named as one of ‘The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World’ by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan.

LG hits the spot with live borderless experience KUWAIT: LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, has been experiencing a flood of entries from around the world for its recently launched LIVE BORDERLESS global campaign. LG has received over 15,000 submissions so far with applications coming in from across the world as people clamor to be the one to come up with the most original concept for LIVE BORDERLESS. The campaign’s viral break-out video entitled ‘Dramatic Chipmunk’ is also ranking highly on YouTube and has generated more than 925,000 views. The LIVE BORDERLESS campaign aims to find out what people would consider to be the ultimate journey on Earth. The person that suggests what the public and a panel of judges agree is a journey that epitomises LG’s LIVE BORDERLESS concept will win business class tickets around the world and $100,000 to spend on their 80-day odyssey. “Entries received to date have been of a very high standard and they range from participants wanting to travel the world for the first time in their

lives, to others wanting to travel to impoverished nations and make a difference to the lives of people less fortunate,” said H.S Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “Others want to visit a long lost relative or solve a mystery from their past whilst some just want to escape the grind of work commitments and endless meetings. “We believed that LIVE BORDERLESS would mean different things to different people and it has been an eye opening experience so far to view the entries in our quest to find the person that captures the very essence of the concept.” The LIVE BORDERLESS campaign runs to the beginning of April 2010 when the public will be asked to vote for their favorite entries. A short-list of six will then be assessed by LG’s judging panel who will consider which entrant epitomises the LIVE BORDERLESS concept. With only ten weeks left to enter the global hunt to win the ultimate journey means that submissions need to be of an exceptionally high standard to attract the attention of the judges.



KSE stocks remain bearish GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s session in the red for the second consecutive day backed by declines in all indicators, indices and sectors. It is worth mentioning that the Investment Sector is the biggest decliner so far since the beginning of 2010, with Global Investment Index losing 2.90 percent. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) shed 0.79 points (-0.42 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 184.90 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index posted a loss of 41.40 points (- 0.59 percent), to close at 6,983.40 points. Market capitalization was down KD127.69mn yesterday to reach KD30.02bn. Market breadth During the session, 122 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 76 equities retreated versus 17 that advanced. A total of 111 stocks remained unchanged during the trading session. Trading activities ended on a negative note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 53.59 percent to reach 337.63mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded decreased by 49.52 percent to stand at KD38.15mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader for the day, accounting for 33.86 percent of total shares traded. The Services Sector was the value leader, accounting for 32.53 percent of total market value. Jeezan Holding Company saw 42.32mn shares changing hands, making it the highest traded company. While AlDeera Holding Company was the value leader, with a total

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sue Anderson Consultants to visit Kuwait on Jan 20-21 KUWAIT: As part of the UK Boarding School Middle East Tour, Sue Anderson Consultants, education specialists will be visiting Kuwait on 20 and 21 January to provide information and free advice to families on UK Boarding Schools, summer and language programs. This annual event is now in its third year and sees an increasing number of local and expat families. A UK boarding school ensures stability of education in a safe and secure environment and is extremely beneficial to students who are considering university in the UK. Summer and language programs help to improve written and spoken English and enable students to learn more about living in the UK. Nisha, mother of Hanik who started at a UK boarding school in September 2009 said “Having spoken to Hanik in the first week of school, we were so happy to learn that he was going to so many extracurricular activities like

astronomy and philosophy as well as all the sports! Hanik is most definitely going to come out of this school a very informed and well balanced individual”. Sue Anderson Consultants have over 25 years of experience working with overseas families and international students; they have visited over 350 schools and are able to recommend schools that meet the individual needs of each child and their families. “Your help was very much appreciated and we wanted to let you know that we will be recommending you to other parents of international students in our situation. Best regards Gerardo Santos”. Visit the consultants at Radisson Blu Hotel on 20 and 21 January 2010 between 1 pm and 6 pm for free information and advice - collect a FREE copy of the UK Boarding School Directory —Middle East.

Stocks rise after slide on US economic concerns

traded value of KD3.05mn. In terms of top gainers, AlMazaya Holding Company was the top gainer in the market, adding 8.06 percent and closed at KD0.134. On the other hand, Hilal Cement Company was the biggest decliner for the day, dropping by 9.02 percent and closed at KD0.232. Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they all ended on a negative note, with Global Investment Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day down 1.22 percent backed by a majority of the companies either ending in the red or

unchanged. Al-Deera Holding Company posted a 7.14 percent drop making it the biggest decliner in the sector. In addition, National Investment Company shed 4.35 percent and closed at KD0.330. Global Insurance Index came in second place, shedding 1.21 percent. Gulf Insurance Company, the only decliner in the sector with the rest of the companies being unchanged, ended the day down 5.62 percent and closed at KD0.420. Like the rest of the market, all of Global’s special indices ended on a negative note dur-

ing the trading session. Global Islamic Index was the top decliner, down 0.90 percent backed by losses witnessed in the Islamic banks. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $79.08 a barrel on Tuesday 12/1/2010, compared with $80.29 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwaiti crude oil went down $1.53 to settle at $78.75 per barrel (pb) on Tuesday, compared to sales the day before, according to a statement by the Kuwait

Petroleum Corporation. Market news The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has approved the request submitted by AlMadina for Finance and Investment Company to repurchase a 10 percent maximum of its issued shares for further 6 months, as of the previous approval expired on 09/12/2009. Al-Madina For Finance And Investment Company should abide by CBK buyback rules and regulations, in addition to the provisions of Article No. 115 of Corporate Law.

NEW YORK: Stock rose yesterday as Kraft Foods raised its full-year profit forecast for the second time in two months. The early gains in stocks came as traders followed the start of congressional testimony about the financial crisis by heads of Wall Street’s biggest banks. Asian markets fell as China’s moves Tuesday to curb bank lending stoked concerns that the pace of the global economic recovery may slow. China’s actions contributed to a stock slide on Tuesday. In the US, investors sold shares of Google Inc. after the Internet search company threatened to withdraw from China. The company said it will no longer censor its search results in the country after finding that computer hackers had led human-rights activists to reveal their e-mail accounts to outsiders. Google’s public complaints were a rare show of protest in the country and an about-face for the company that long said it would abide by Chinese laws that block some political and socially sensitive content. Kraft, which is in a hostile takeover fight for candy maker Cadbury PLC, raised its forecast late Tuesday citing strong operating gains. Meanwhile, investors tracked appearances by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman-CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO James Dimon, Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack and Bank of American Corp. CEO-President Brian

Moynihan before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. It is the first meeting of the bipartisan, 10-member panel, which is investigating the near collapse of the financial system in the fall of 2008. Their appearance comes as public discord over big bank profits and bonuses has the White House considering placing a levy on banks to cover about $120 billion in taxpayer losses from a government Wall Street bailout fund. Opponents say it could jeopardize a recovery by America’s biggest banks. Scott Colyer, chief executive at Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado, is concerned that imposing a tax on banks would threaten his expectation for a strong economic rebound in 2010. “You don’t want to take money from a group that you’re trying to prop up,” he said. In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.62, or 0.2 percent, to 10,652.88. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.92, or 0.2 percent, to 1,138.14, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 3.44, or 0.2 percent, to 2,285.75. Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.3 percent, China’s Shanghai index fell 3.1 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 2.6 percent. Stocks were mixed in Europe. On Tuesday, the Dow fell 37 points, or 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.9 percent in its first drop of 2010. — AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Cadillac unveils the XTS Platinum Concept DETROIT: Cadillac unveiled the XTS Platinum Concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, suggesting a new paradigm for the luxury sedan of the future. The concept showcases Cadillac’s emerging top-of-the-line Platinum series of models emphasizing new expressions of luxury and technological features, including a plug-in hybrid propulsion system. The XTS Platinum Concept was designed from the inside out, re-imagining the luxury sedan as a personal headquarters, built for efficiency, luxury and connectivity. The concept introduces a new approach to in-car electronics that improves the form and function of the car’s entertainment, navigation and information systems. “The XTS Platinum concept is the next expression of Cadillac’s Art and Science execution philosophy, reflecting our drive to deliver the latest innovations in the most artful manner,” said Bryan Nesbitt, Cadillac general manager. “We envisioned this concept as an automotive personal headquarters, using advanced technology to enable new levels of connectivity and luxury.” The XTS Platinum Concept uses Cadillac’s 3.6L V-6 Direct Injection gas engine, paired with a plug-in hybrid system. The plug-in technology enables the battery to fully charge from a standard electrical outlet, enabling pure electric propulsion in many driving situations, especially urban commutes in which fuel efficiency may double that of a conventional hybrid. Traditional luxury sedans were defined by elegant interiors and Cadillac’s XTS Platinum Concept propels that formula into the future. It delivers new approaches to luxury within a design that combines fine craftsmanship with customer-driven innovation. Like the current Platinum Edition products, such as Escalade Platinum and the STS and DTS Platinum sedans, the interior is based on hand cut-and-sewn materials. The XTS Platinum Concept injects more

A new study re-imagining the luxury sedan, showcasing the progression of the Cadillac Art and Science philosophy nology pushes the boundaries of what a Cadillac can offer, so do the details that make the XTS Platinum Concept an uncompromising experience.” The interior takes inspiration from nature, specifically the intricate layers of petals that combine to form an orchid. Cadillac designers translated that into a layered and detailed interior. Light cream is the cabin’s primary color and is contrasted with darker elements, such as the steering wheel and an overhead console motif that runs the length of interior’s roof. The console is made of a richly finished wood and houses lighting features.

contemporary forms and themes into the interior design, including the use of Organic Light-Emitting Diode (O-LED) displays in place of traditional gauges and screens. The concept previews a new integration philosophy guiding the development of future models with respect to in-car electronics. The intent is to progress Cadillac’s intuitive in-car electronics systems, typified by the deployable touch-screen navigation system that has been highly acclaimed in the brand’s CTS and SRX product lines. The XTS Platinum Concept previews this strategy via the min-

imization of traditional buttons and switches. Designers blended the display screens into a flowing instrument panel. They call it a “dead front” design, because the panels appear black until the car is turned on and the screens illuminate. The instrument panel itself reflects the XTS Platinum’s other focus - uncompromising luxury and attention to detail on the interior. “The Platinum distinction in Cadillac means the fullest extent of luxury and technology and we’ve tried to reach even further with this concept,” said Clay Dean, Cadillac design director. “Just as the tech-

A new proportion The XTS Platinum Concept has a distinctive proportion that transcends the traditional aesthetic of luxury sedans and carries the brand’s Art and Science design in a more progressive manner. The unique proportion supports the “inside out” design priority, while creating a sleek profile that complements the car’s advanced technology elements and necessary aerodynamics. “The XTS Platinum Concept design artfully conveys its focus on functionality through technology,” said Dean. “It is the antithesis of the conventional three-box sedan, suggesting the active evolution of Cadillac’s design language.”

A sweeping profile culminates in a short, high deck lid that meets the XTS Platinum Concept’s aerodynamic needs - including a rear spoiler mounted on the deck lid, incorporating the center highmounted stop lamp. A high, sloping beltline gestures the vehicle forward, suggesting motion, while the fenders flare outward wrapping tightly around 20inch wheels and tires. The wheel-to-body proportion was carefully tailored to visually communicate the car’s all-wheel-drive chassis. Like the interior, the exterior elements are precisely tailored and elegantly detailed. Brushed billet aluminum trim is used selectively and the 20-inch, 11-spoke wheels feature a brushed aluminum face accented with bright inserts within the spokes. The wheels are wrapped with special Bridgestone tires that were created specifically for the XTS Platinum Concept. Signature elements essential to Cadillac’s Art and Science design language include vertical headlamp and taillamps, with integrated light pipes and richly detailed lighting components. The headlamps feature light-emitting diode technology for bright illumination that requires less energy, as well as Cadillac’s Adaptive Forward Lighting technology, which turns the headlamps with the direction of the front wheels for greater visibility in turns.

BYD, Nano set to make imprint Detroit Show

China, India could reshape global auto industry: Execs Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), during a press conference in Frankfurt. — AP

ECB rates on hold as bank wrestles with Greek crisis FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank will keep its key interest rate at a record low of 1.0 percent today, analysts say, as ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet wrestles with questions on the Greek debt crisis. “The market’s focus at the January press conference will likely be on what ECB president Trichet says about Greece,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote. “Rate hikes will not be an issue until the second half of the year,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski added. The International Monetary Fund is to send a mission to Athens this week for talks on helping Greece overcome its financial crisis as concern grows that fiscal trouble there and elsewhere threaten the euro-zone’s credibility. The Greek public deficit rose to 12.7 percent of output last year, far above the 3.0 percent ceiling permitted to countries that share the single currency. Greek debt was estimated at 113 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and will likely climb this year to more than double the European Union limit of 60 percent. “Moral hazard considerations suggest that the ECB will never openly support a bailout, but we doubt that Greece will be left on its own if the situation were to become critical,” UniCredit analysts said. They referred to the danger that a rescue could reinforce ill-considered fiscal practices that have caused serious problems for Greece and others. The EU’s new president Herman Van Rompuy told

reporters Tuesday in Athens the country is now taking steps to meet the “substantial” challenge posed by its huge debt and public deficit. But the EU Commission blasted Greece for falsifying data about its finances and letting political pressures hinder the collection of reliable data. Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Wall expected Trichet to be asked today “whether and under what conditions Greece could be put under pressure to voluntarily choose to exit” the 16-nation eurozone. A working paper published by the ECB in December concluded there was little chance of a member leaving or being forced out, but the fact the bank produced such a document at all raised eyebrows in financial markets. The bloc’s first recession has exacerbated fiscal disparities among its members, presenting the ECB with widely contrasting situations. Germany should hammer its finances back into shape fairly soon but “peripheral” members like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain must “step up budget consolidation far more than the core countries,” Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer warned. Not all euro-zone economic news is gloomy meanwhile. The composite purchasing manager’s index (PMI) has risen since March 2009, inflation is a tame 0.9 percent and consumer sentiment is at its highest level since US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. — AFP

Kyocera founder to become JAL CEO TOKYO: Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Japanese high-tech maker Kyocera Corp, said yesterday he has accepted an offer by the government to become the next chief executive of troubled Japan Airlines. Inamori, the 77-year-old honorary chairman of Kyocera, met with officials of the turnaround body overseeing JAL’s restructuring and was asked to take the helm of the money-losing airline. After meeting with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Inamori told reporters that he will work for free. “JAL’s turnaround is possible if the revival plan can be implemented, as drafted by the turnaround body,” he said. “I want to take this position for the sake of JAL employees, not JAL as the national symbol,” he said, as the carrier stands on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection. Hatoyama praised Inamori as the best qualified person for the job. “JAL’s revival is deeply linked with the revival of the Japanese economy,” Hatoyama separately told reporters. “I have high expectations for Mr. Inamori’s management skills and his ability to build enterprises loved by their employees,” Hatoyama said. The carrier’s current president and chief executive Haruka Nishimatsu is expected to step down after the carrier files for bankruptcy proceedings. —AFP

DETROIT, Michigan: China and India could reshape the global auto industry and pose a significant competitive threat in coming years, executives from the world’s top carmakers said at the Detroit auto show. “They are a very credible threat and we discount anyone at our peril,” John And the Chinese automakers buying brands like Hummer and Volvo are gaining access to a valuable distribution network, critical technology and “instant credibility,” he told AFP. India’s Tata Motors will take its opening shot at the US market today, when it brings the Nano minicar to the Detroit science center to show Motor City what the world’s cheapest car looks like. Build Your Dreams Motor (BYD) brought its four-door electric e6 straight to the floor of the auto show where it vowed Tuesday to become the first Chinese automaker to enter the United States at the end of this year. Meanwhile, both countries are becoming increasingly important markets in the global sales strategy of top automakers with China surpassing the United States in total sales volume last year and Indian sales expected to double by 2016. Toyota’s chief of US automotive operations expressed skepticism that either BYD or Tata would make a significant mark here in the short term. “It’s not so easy to come walking into a market and develop a product and distribution network,” Don Esmond said in an interview on the sidelines of the auto show. “A lot of it’s going to depend on who does the best job of listening to the customer and has the ability technically to deliver the product,” he said. “Whether it be Toyota, GM, Ford or Chrysler, we have more resources, more manufacturing capacities and more technical development available here so we should be able to deliver a better product.” Carlos Tavares, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of the Americas, disagreed. “I think it’s a mid-term prospective... not 10 years,” he said, noting the success of Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia in breaking into the US market, overcoming quality concerns and becoming major players. Affordability will be a key driver in the industry in the coming years and China and India will offer automakers an important testing ground for pushing the boundaries, Tavares said. “What we can learn from China and from India is not so complex,” he said in an interview. “It’s about determining the level of quality the consumer expects. It’s then about reducing operating costs which will

Mendel, vice president in charge of sales at American Honda Motor, said Tuesday. While the globally competitive nature of the automotive industry requires mass economies of scale, the relatively young Chinese and Indian manufacturers are ramping up quickly, Mendel noted.

DETROIT: The Audi R8 is displayed at the North American International Auto Show Tuesday in Detroit. — AP bring you to fuel efficiency.” Ford chief executive officer Alan Mulally said that while “China’s going to be a force going forward” and India is not too far behind, the real competitive threat could come from unfair trade practices. “We expect the auto world industry to continue to evolve,” Mulally told a conference hosted by Automotive News. “There is no reason that if we get to global trade rules that we can’t compete with the best of the world.” But the lack of flexibility inherent in a massive and decades-old company could give their younger and more innovative rivals a leg up, said Warren Harris, president of automotive engineering consulting firm

Tata Technologies. “Just the willingness to innovate in and around the value chain... this is where the Chinese and the Indian OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are going to have an advantage,” said Harris, whose team helped develop Tata Motor’s Nano and works with major automakers and suppliers. “If you look at the American OEMS, they have the technical know-how and the distribution networks that would be the envy of the Chinese and Indians,” he told AFP. “But if they’re not going to match the Chinese and the Indians for innovation then that advantage is not going to be enough.” — AFP

DETROIT: The Tesla Model S is shown at the North American International Auto Show Tuesday in Detroit. — AP

DETROIT: Chu Maoming, deputy Consul General of China speaks during a BYD Auto Co Ltd, news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. — AP

Spyker insists that Saab can still be saved DETROIT: The death knell has not yet rung for Saab, insists Dutch sportscar maker Spyker which is pushing forward on a last-ditch bid to save the iconic Swedish mark and said Tuesday it has the money to make a deal. General Motors is considering the offer “very seriously” and a decision on the bid can be expected in “a question of days not weeks,” said Victor Muller, founder and chief executive of Spyker Cars. The fate of the Swedish car maker seemed sealed last week when GM chief Ed Whitacre said the US auto giant had essentially given up on selling Saab, as nobody had come up with the money to seal the deal. “We have shown Mr. Whitacre the money,” Muller told an industry conference hosted by Automotive News in Detroit. “We are absolutely, definitely negotiating in good faith with GM to buy Saab,” Muller told a conference hosted by Automotive News in Detroit. “They are considering offers very, very

seriously.” Muller said he is “not very concerned about all the steps that are being taken with the wind down” of Saab because they are consistent with the plan GM set forward after a deal fell through with Swedish sportscar maker Koenigsegg. General Motors announced on December 18 that it would wind down Saab while considering several last-ditch bids for the iconic brand, which has barely turned a profit during two decades under GM ownership. The bidders include Spyker, a group comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital, and a Swedish group fronted by the former chief executive of German truck manufacturer MAN and a former politician. “If the sale of Saab doesn’t generate more than the wind-down scenario costs, for them it’s clearly not attractive,” Muller said. “So it was my job, our job, at Spyker to put forward a proposal that is attractive

enough for them to reverse the position.” Muller declined to provide many details of the offer but he said the Swedish government “has been very helpful so far.” “The entire project would be fully funded to be able to continue as a going concern, on a stand alone base,” he told reporters on the sidelines on the conference. Saab presents a number of opportunities for Spyker, including access to a global dealer network and the ability to reduce the cost of supplies and research and development, Muller said. “We’re not interested in just buying an iconic brand, we’re interested because it, as a business, should be viable,” he said. “Our business plan clearly shows that Saab, of course having sufficient sales, can be a very, very sustainable and profitable company.” Spyker is currently spending tens of millions of dollars on outsourced product development and Muller said those engineering and research costs could be

kept in-house if the automaker had the economies of scale offered by Saab. Several thousand people gathered for a demonstration in Sweden on Tuesday to call for Saab to be rescued. Saab, which employs 3,400 people in Sweden, is one of four storied brands being shed by GM as part of a massive restructuring effort that began in 2005 and accelerated last year when the largest US automaker went bankrupt. Analysts have warned that some 8,000 jobs could be lost with Saab’s closure. Muller said a significant number of jobs could be created should Spyker succeed in its bid. “We would be hiring rather than firing because the production capacity would need to be improved rapidly,” he said. Muller acknowledged that it would take “a few years” to get Saab back on its feet by bringing the “Saab DNA” that engendered so much customer loyalty over the years back to its product lineup. —AFP



Thursday, January 14, 2010

India’s Bharti signals renewed international push NEW DELHI: Leading Indian telecom Bharti Airtel yesterday set up a new unit to drive its foreign expansion, signalling its growth ambitions are intact despite twice failing to reach a deal with South Africa’s MTN. A day after agreeing to buy control of Bangladesh’s Warid Telecom, Bharti said CEO Manoj Kohli would head the new international business group that would focus on expansion in emerging markets beyond South Asia. “Bangladesh was the first step forward, and by making Manoj the head of

Focus is on emerging market opportunities international business, they are giving a clear signal that more acquisitions are on the cards,” said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management. “The Indian market is kind of heading towards saturation and potential growth is becoming limited, and Bharti must have to look at lesser developed markets where penetration is low,” said Gupta, whose fund manages about $420 million and owns Bharti shares.

Deputy CEO Sanjay Kapoor will become the CEO for India and South Asia when the changes take effect on April 1. Bharti has been looking for acquisitions in emerging markets where it can replicate its low-price, high-volume model. It held tie-up talks with MTN in 2008 and 2009 that would have catapulted it to top 10 of global telecoms, but could not seal a deal. Shares in Bharti Airtel, India’s seventh-most valuable listed

company with a market capitalization of about $27 billion, fell 1.1 percent in a Mumbai market that rose 0.5 percent. The company, owned more than 30 percent by SingTel, South East Asia’s top phone firm, is scheduled to announce its December quarter results on Jan 22. Bankers and analysts have said Africa and the Middle East loom as the most likely destinations for Bharti, with Kuwait’s Zain and Sweden-based emerging market operator Millicom

International possible targets. Bharti Airtel Director Akhil Gupta said in October they would look at Zain if there was an opportunity. Plans for a $13.7 billion sale of a controlling stake in Zain to a consortium of Asian investors have been delayed, and analysts have doubts the deal would go through. Bharti, which also has mobile operations in Sri Lanka, is looking further afield as its home turf becomes increasingly crowded. Chairman Sunil Mittal said the Indian market was experiencing hyper-competition, and Bharti would develop comprehensive plans for

emerging markets beyond South Asia. Bharti’s 119 million mobile users in India account for about 23 percent of the world’s fastest-growing mobile market, but profit margins have taken a hit in recent months as operators engage in a vicious price war. Norway’s Telenor launched Indian operations in December and has signed up 1.2 million users, while sixth-ranked Tata Teleservices, part owned by Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, has outpaced Bharti in monthly subscriber additions in recent months. — Reuters

Strauss-Kahn rules out double-dip recession of global economy

US dollar to stay world’s currency of choice: IMF HONG KONG: The head of the International Monetary Fund said yesterday the US dollar will remain the de facto world currency despite predictions that the euro or Chinese yuan will soon overtake it. “The US currency is going to remain the main currency in my opinion for a long period of time,

even if it’s challenged by some others,” Dominique Strauss-Kahn said. He added that China should move toward bumping up the value of its currency, Strauss-Kahn said, after critics accused Beijing of keeping its unit artificially low.

NEW YORK: Raj Rajaratnam, center, enters Manhattan Federal Court in New York on Tuesday. The billionaire hedge-fund operator, who is out on $100 million bail, has a court hearing to lower his bail to $20 million. — AP

BofA announces executive team, looking for new CFO NEW YORK: Bank of America Corp is shuffling its senior management team, moving its chief financial officer over to lead consumer and small business banking and naming a new chief risk officer. The changes announced Tuesday come as new CEO Brian Moynihan seeks to overhaul the bank and lift it out of the slump caused by the recession and billions of dollars in soured loans. Bank of America said CFO Joe Price will lead the consumer and small business unit, where he’ll be faced with bolstering the company’s bread-and-butter business of making loans. BofA lost more than $2.2 billion in the third quarter as bad debt kept rising as consumers lost their jobs and struggled to pay their bills. The company said it would look outside the company for a replacement for Price, who will take over the job Moynihan had before he succeeded Ken Lewis as CEO on Jan. 1. Starting Feb. 1, Neil Cotty, the chief accounting officer, will become interim CFO until a replacement is found, the bank said. Price’s appointment caught some analysts by surprise. “CFO to head of retail is not a usual move, but I know that (Price) is very well thought of by the board,” said Nancy Bush, managing member of NAB Research LLC in Annandale, New Jersey. “Maybe it’s a fresh pair of eyes on that business.” As expected Gregory Curl, at one point considered a possible successor to Lewis, was moved out of his role as chief risk officer. Curl wasn’t given a specific title, and the bank said he’ll focus on “strategic partnerships.” It is expected that Curl will soon leave the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank. Curl is being replaced as chief risk officer by Bruce Thompson, currently managing director of the bank’s global capital markets unit. The chief risk officer is in charge of managing the credit and operational risks across the bank’s varied businesses. The bank also said: *Sallie Krawcheck retains her position as head of Global Wealth and Investment Management. *Barbara Desoer will continue to lead the Home Loans and Insurance businesses. *Tom Montag remains head of Global Banking and Markets. _David Darnell continues as head of Global Commercial Banking. *Anne Finucane remains global strategy and marketing officer. A big task for the bank’s new management team will be proving that the bank’s messy 2008 acquisition of investment bank Merrill Lynch was worth the money, banking analyst Bert Ely said. “The key thing for BofA is ... getting the people in place and having them do their job _ particularly to have a successful integration of Merrill,” Ely said. Despite the changes, Bush noted that Moynihan largely left intact the management team put in place by Lewis, who retired at the end of last year. “I look at it as more continuity than shakeup,” Bush said. “They’re not new players. They’re just sitting in different chairs.” — AP

The IMF managing director also ruled out a so-called “double-dip” recession for the global economy, but said the pace of recovery has been sluggish. “Our view is not one of a double-dip,” Strauss-Kahn said. “It doesn’t mean the probability is zero or that it cannot happen, but it’s not our preferred scenario and I don’t believe that will be the case.” He made the comments in an interview with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council ahead of a keynote address at the Asian Financial Forum next week. “The transition is a difficult one and it takes time,” he added. “A higher value of the currency-especially for China and other countries which are related to the (yuan) — goes in the right direction.” Asian countries will play a key role in helping the global economy get back on its feet, he said. “The more you become a big player, and now you have in Asia a lot of big players, including China, the more you have [a] responsibility on the way the whole system is working.” — AFP

ASEAN will not delay China trade zone DANANG, Vietnam: Southeast Asian countries will not delay implementing a free-trade zone with China that has drawn fire from some industry groups, a senior regional official said yesterday. The Asian Wall Street Journal reported that Indonesia wanted to renegotiate the trade agreement that took effect on Jan. 1 and had sent a letter to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) asking for a one-year delay in imposing zero tariffs on a range of goods due to concerns about low-cost Chinese imports. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General, said he was not aware of such a letter. “My impression is all capitals are adjusting very well and are very, very committed,” he told

Reuters in the Vietnamese city of Danang, where ASEAN’s 10 Foreign Ministers were meeting. “From what I heard, some private sectors are complaining, but the governments are not going to do anything to delay.” A spokesman for Indonesia’s Industry Ministry, Muhrodi, said that his department had sent a letter to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Hatta Rajasa, on Dec. 20 asking for scheduled tariff reductions on 146 product lines to be delayed by one year. The letter also asked for scheduled tariff reductions for a further 60 items to be delayed by two years and for 22 items to be delayed until 2018. Muhrodi told Reuters by phone that a final decision on whether Indonesia would forward those

requests to ASEAN rested with Rajasa but a spokesman for his office declined to comment. The China-ASEAN free trade zone will be the third biggest in the world by volume after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area. It includes 1.9 billion people. Tariffs on 90 percent of goods traded with China are to be eliminated by this year for Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. ASEAN’s poorer members, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, will have to drop tariffs by 2015 under the agreement. China-ASEAN trade was expected to hit $200 billion by this year, up from $192.6 billion in 2008 and $113 billion in 2005. — Reuters

DUESSELDORF: A woman is on a shopping tour in downtown Duesseldorf, western Germany. Germany’s economy contracted 5 percent in 2009 amid the global economic downturn, by far its worst performance since World War II, official data showed yesterday. — AP

Modern Germany hit by historic recession in 2009 WIESBADEN, Germany: Modern Germany suffered its worst recession ever last year when Europe’s largest economy contracted by five percent, provisional official figures released yesterday showed. Economic activity declined for the first time in six years, as exports fell by 14.7 percent and business investment plunged by 20 percent, the Destatis national data service said in a statement. The figure was the worst official figure recorded in Germany since the Great Depression, when annual output contracted by more than seven percent in 193132, it added in a report. It was also five times the previous postwar record of minus 0.9 percent set in 1975, IHS Global Insight economist Timo Klein said, as UniCredit’s Andreas Rees termed 2009 “the annus horribilis for the German economy.” Economic activity expanded in 2008 by 1.3 percent, Destatis said, and the central bank has estimated it should grow again by 1.6 percent this year. “The economic slump occurred essentially during the winter period of late 2008 and early 2009,” Destatis president Roderich Egeler told a press conference. Business activity then “stabilised at a low level.” The government also posted a better-thanexpected public deficit of 77.2 billion euros ($112 billion) last year, around 3.2 percent of output, after managing to balance its accounts in 2008, the data showed. “The deterioration of public finances has been much more limited than in most other eurozone countries,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski noted. The European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact holds EU members to deficits of no more than 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and it was the first time in four years that Berlin exceeded the limit, Destatis said. It is to

release fourth-quarter and final 2009 growth figures on February 12. This year, the finance ministry has estimated the deficit will exceed 5.0 percent of GDP as the government supports activity with stimulus measures that include tax cuts. Government spending jumped by 2.7 percent in 2009, while household consumption gained a slight 0.4 percent. German authorities have approved a stimulus package worth up to 21 billion euros in 2010, including 18 billion euros in tax relief for families. The country’s export-oriented economy was slammed by the global economic slowdown but should benefit from fresh emerging market demand for capital goods such as machine tools and chemicals used to produce finished products. The economy ministry was upbeat yesterday despite the historic slump, saying the worst had passed. “It is particularly welcome that the labour market has remained surprisingly resistant,” Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said in a statement. Unemployment has been limited by Germany’s short-time work scheme under which the state subsidizes shorter hours for workers to avoid widespread layoffs. The number of jobless is nonetheless expected to reach more than 3.8 million people this year, after averaging 3.42 million, or 8.2 percent of the workforce, in 2009. Brzeski warned the economy had to be rebalanced from a dependency on exports “towards more domestic driven growth,” and concluded: “Not everything is hunky-dory.” Analysts reckon activity was weak in the fourth quarter of 2009, and Klein concluded that in general, “the loss in economic activity is so large that a return to the GDP level of first quarter 2008 is unlikely before end-2012 or even 2013.” — AFP

IMF delegation in Greece to study recovery plan

TOKYO: A businessman watches a share prices board in Tokyo yesterday as shares in Japan Airlines (JAL) dived by the daily limit of 30 yen and finished 7 yen at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. — AFP

ATHENS, Greece: Greece’s Finance Ministry says a group of experts from the International Monetary Fund is in Athens to study the country’s urgent deficit reduction plans. Officials said the talks began yesterday and are likely to last a week, with the IMF team set to visit five Greek ministries. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou invited the IMF experts in a bid to get advice and boost inter-

national credibility in the country’s financial data. The government has said it is not seeking a bailout from the IMF. On Tuesday, the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, said that Greece’s government budget figures had been unreliable and even appeared falsified in some cases. Papaconstantinou is due to present the EU an economic stability plan by the end of the month, detailing plans to reduce the budget deficit

from an estimated 12.7 percent in 2009 to below 3 percent in 2012. In an interview published yesterday in the German financial daily Handelsblatt, Papaconstantinou insisted Greece has “no more skeletons in our cupboard” regarding budget figures. Greece’s Socialist government took office in October and has blamed the previous conservative administration for the fiscal crisis. — AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Barriers remain on path to web access for disabled STUTTGART: The internet has no boundaries. At least that’s the conventional wisdom. Nonetheless, hurdles remain for many who would like access to the worldwide web, especially those with disabilities. At issue are details seldom considered by web designers, programmers and nondisabled users. But there are solutions, for example for blind people who want to surf the web. Screenreaders dictate website contents or print pages in Braille format. One big step toward improving accessibility has been a recent trend toward

separating web design from content. But people in the industry say that such developments are just the first step. Lawmakers have set some guidelines. In Germany for example agencies are required by law to make their internet presences accessible to people with disabilities. But there remains a lot of catching up to do for commercial websites, says Birgit Scheer of ABI, a German group fighting for barrier-free web access. “Innovative” lawmaking and initiatives that have built upon those laws have already forced a lot of movement, says

Christian Schmitz of Aktion Mensch, another German group that awards prizes for groups that make inroads toward easier internet access. But much remains to be done. “We’ve already done those things that are technically easy to accomplish,” says Klaus Seeberger of web designer Vitango. But interest and pressure are needed for more complicated projects. Just making a standard website accessible is a challenge. Problems crop up if designers forget and include graphics and navigation elements that cannot be pronounced or described by reading pro-

grammes. Without those steps, those programmes lapse into vague announcements about “Link 2,” “Link 3” or “Graphic X.” These problems often crop up during attempts to make websites more interactive. Anyone who wants to send off forms, create contact networks or send emails to companies is often forced, for security reasons, to type in combinations of letters. Those characters are often generated by the website in such a way that a only a human could read them, deliberately distorted and twisted so that automatic spy-

ware programmes cannot decipher them. But that security feature also stops screenreaders in their tracks, says Scheer. Even if efforts are made to separate layout from content, there’s a long way to go until a site is truly accessible. After all, accessibility doesn’t mean just offering a trimmed down version of the website offered to others, says Schmitz. It’s about creating an online environment where everyone can access the potential, not a separate system for the disabled. That means setting up websites so people with mental or learning disabili-

ties can also use them. Thus, simple concepts and understandable texts are a must. Programmers and webs designers need to craft their sites with a care for how they might be used by the colourblind or the elderly. Navigating websites should also be possible without a mouse. Those kind of requirements show the kind of innovative potential that needs to go into creating accessible websites, say the expert. After all, simple design and easy navigation set standards. And those will be important for the development of web content for devices like mobile phones.

How to draw people to your website Hunting for readers

A Facebook page

Facebook teams up with McAfee to tighten security SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has announced an alliance with Internet security specialty firm McAfee to get members of the world’s leading online social network to better defend their computers. Facebook users whose accounts are breached by malicious software or other cyberattacks will need to have their computers cleansed by McAfee before returning to life in the online community. Facebook members are also being offered free six-month subscriptions to McAfee security software and then discounted prices for continued service. “If we get people’s machines this protection, it is better for them, for Facebook, and the Internet as a whole,” Facebook director of communications and public policy Barry Schnitt said Tuesday. Previously, Facebook simply reset passwords of members whose accounts were vexed by hacking, phishing, or other cyber-mischief and advised members to have “malware” purged from their computers. “We found that they wouldn’t fix the problems and got infected again,” Schnitt said. “Now, we’ve integrated a solution where they actually have to get machines scanned and cleaned.” McAfee and Facebook have collabo-

rated on a free tool for cleaning up infected computers and Facebook said it will not share in any revenue that McAfee makes from security software or services. “The common goal is to help protect users of the Internet globally,” said McAfee vice president of marketing Brent Remai. “We are pretty excited about this partnership.” Facebook selected McAfee after a competitive review process. McAfee Internet Security Suite software is available to Facebook users in Australia, Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. It will be spread to more countries in coming months. Facebook and McAfee cited research indicating that 78 percent of computer users do not have updated virus and spyware protections on machines. “By partnering with the market leader McAfee, we are taking an unprecedented step towards making the entire Internet more secure and reducing the possibility of threats being brought onto our service by unsuspecting users,” said Facebook vice president of global communications Elliot Schrage. “Keeping the Internet secure requires that users, security vendors and Internet companies all work together.” — AFP

Free tools help you get more out of Windows HAMBURG: Windows comes with many programs pre-installed, but it’s hardly perfect. No software, however good, can satisfy the diverse needs of hundreds of millions of users at once. One good way to tailor the system to your own tastes is to keep a lookout for free utility programs. Once the domain of PC geeks, little add-on utilities are ready to help a broader audience add a bit of missing functionality to Windows. Here’s a selection of favourite programs. Most users regard Windows Explorer as the final word in file management. Yet there are other programs available for Windows that handle the same task with more functionality and performance than Explorer itself. One such program is Q-Dir. It provides the same core functionality of Explorer, yet it’s quicker. The Q-Dir view window can also be divided into up to four subwindows. That’s helpful for copying or moving files between different folders. Expicula is another file manager, but with a twist: it allows for filtering. You can set it to display only files or

folders of a certain size, for example. You can also just as easily browse based on creation date or name. Other function-rich free file managers of note include SE-Explorer and Total Commander, which includes an integrated FTP client. The number of portable computers is rising, with more and more consumers opting for notebooks or netbooks. Yet it’s in the very nature of portable devices that they sometimes get lost, meaning that a sensible encryption plan should be put in place beforehand in case the worst should occur. One popular program that comes with numerous seals of approval from the experts is TrueCrypt. Depending on the user’s desires, the program encrypts either a file container or an entire partition. Because encryption is handled on-the-fly while the data is being stored, TrueCrypt is considered convenient. A proper password is required to access the encrypted areas. The small physical size of netbooks typically means that they come without an

internal hard drive. A program like Virtual CloneDrive helps work around that problem. It behaves just like a physical drive. You simply convert CDs or DVDs that you want to use on the go into ISO image files. A variety of burning programs can handle that task. Virtual CloneDrive handles the image as if it were a real CD or DVD in a physical drive, ready to be addressed using Explorer. One program that is both quick and space-saving is 7Zip, a utility for compressing and decompressing archived files. It works with a proprietary archiving format called 7z, but can also handle others like ZIP and TAR. The software also includes an encryption function. Windows computers configured to dual-boot with a Linux partition face one major problem: it’s not possible to access the files in the Linux partition from within Windows - until now, anyway. Ext2 Installable File System, a free utility, lets Windows users read and write files in the Ext2 and Ext3 file systems used by Linux.

HAMBURG: It’s never been easier or cheaper to set up a website. But getting people to check that site out? That can be an infinitely more difficult task. One approach is to make use of social networks. Using the short-message service Twitter is a simple way to draw attention to one’s own site with comments about other websites. The same applies to fora or blogs. “That’s a way for you to show your skills as an author, but it can take a while,” says Mario Fischer, a professor teaching business technology at a university in southern Germany. The use of social bookmark services can help. It works like this: users set up bookmarks while surfing and register them with other sites like Mister Wong or so others can also take a look. There’s no rule that one can’t share a link to one’s own site this way. These services often offer previews of websites that users can integrate into their own sites as a button, making it easier for yet more readers to add that link to their own personal bookmarks. But none of those methods are guaranteed to bring in more traffic. If they don’t work, the next step is to try to give your site a search engine optimization. Search engines are supposed to be able to sort through sites for their pros and cons so they can put it as close to the top of a list when a site corresponds to a particular search. “Google weighs in on about 200 signals,” says Kay Oberbeck, a spokeswoman for Google’s German operations. Google divides these criteria into three categories: composition, quality and technical implementation. Links from other sites play a key role in setting a website’s popularity and are used to provide a page rank, a key measure of popularity. But how to get links? One way is to post comments in well-visited blogs or fora, leaving behind a link while doing so. But this only works if those posts are serious and have some value. There’s also little point in simply leaving a series of links on the pages of friends and co-workers. “Those link networks are recognized by search engines,” says Fischer. Search engines often have problems with dynamic content and Flash animation. If you don’t want to do without them, you need to provide a sitemap for those engines. People with a Google mail account can use its Webmastertool to construct a sitemap. Also pay attention to the source code, the website’s programming. Metatags in the code’s header provide clues to its content. Experienced web designers swear by the metatag “Keyword,” convinced they can get better results with Google and other search engines by putting something relevant there. Fischer disagrees. “They’re not even read by search engines.” More important is the metatag “Title.” Its contents are shown by the browser in the page title and are read by the search engine: for example, “Kitty cats - a blog for cat lovers.” Fischer advises using five to seven keywords. Designers can also use the tag “Description” to give a short idea of the page’s contents, which Google then passes on its search results. But budding designers need to realize that there is no way to make a website popular overnight. “You have to give yourself a little time,” says Fischer. “The first results will come in two to four months.” — dpa

Some of the best websites

Nintendo Wii becomes third console to stream Netflix NEW YORK: Beginning in the spring, the Nintendo Wii will become the last of the three current video game consoles to get instant viewing of Netflix movies and TV shows over the Internet. Wii owners who have a broadband connection and a Netflix subscription that costs at least $9 a month will be able to watch those programs with no extra charge. Nintendo Co. and Netflix Inc., which wouldn’t give an exact launch date for the service, were set to announce the deal yesterday. To watch flicks through the gaming system, Wii users will need a special “instantstreaming” disc that Netflix will mail out in the spring. They will then be able to use the Wii’s motion controller to navigate through their Netflix account and pick what they want to watch. This setup is similar to the way Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 currently streams Netflix programs. Owners of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 can also stream Netflix, but the service is only available to Xbox Live “Gold” mem-

bers, who pay $50 a year mainly to play games online. The Wii is a great catch for Netflix because it gives it access to the living rooms of millions of potential new subscribers. It is easily the most popular gaming console in the US with 26 million sold in the country through December, according to Nintendo. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long said his company’s goal is to offer movie streaming on as many devices as possible, including all three gaming consoles. Letting subscribers watch movies over the Internet is an increasingly important service for Netflix, which is based in California, even though the company says it expects to keep renting DVDs for another couple of decades. Part of the reason for that is because it’ll take some time for movies to become available for streaming. The company has about 17,000 movies and TV shows available for Internet watching, compared with more than 100,000 DVD titles it rents out. In another sign of its commitment to

streaming, Netflix said last week it will delay sending out Warner Bros.’ latest movies by nearly a month so it can get rights to show its subscribers more movies over the Internet. In addition to the three gaming systems, Netflix streaming is already available on devices such as the Roku digital video player, along with some Blu-ray players and Internet-connected TV sets. It’s also available on computers. But consoles represent an important entry point into millions of homes because so many people already own them. And offering service through the systems will likely also prompt existing Netflix subscribers who haven’t tried streaming over the Internet to do so. Hastings called the Nintendo deal a “big step forward” in advancing its streaming service. Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, said the company’s first priority is always gaming, but it also wants to “continue to surprise our customers” by offering other activities. — AP

Teenagers enjoying with Nintendo Wii video game console.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scientists link plastics chemical to health risks LONDON: Exposure to a chemical found in plastic containers is linked to heart disease, scientists said yesterday, confirming earlier findings and adding to pressure to ban its use in bottles and food packaging. British and US researchers studied the effects of the chemical bisphenol A using data from a US government national nutrition survey in 2006 and found that high levels of it in urine samples were associated with heart disease.

Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is widely used in plastics and has been a growing concern for scientists in countries such as Britain, Canada and the United States, where food and drug regulators are examining its safety. David Melzer, professor of epidemiology and public health at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, who led the study, said the research confirmed earlier findings of a link between BPA and heart

problems. The analysis also confirmed that BPA plays a role in diabetes and some forms of liver disease, said Melzer’s team, who studied data on 1,493 people aged 18 to 74. “Our latest analysis largely confirms the first analysis, and excludes the possibility that the original report was a statistical blip,” they said in a statement. BPA, used to stiffen plastic bottles and line cans, belongs to a class of compounds

sometimes called endocrine disruptors. The US Endocrine Society called last June for better studies into BPA and presented research showing the chemical can affect the hearts of women and permanently damage the DNA of mice. “The risks associated with exposure to BPA may be small, but they are relevant to very large numbers of people. This information is important since it provides a great opportunity

for intervention to reduce the risks,” said Exeter’s Tamara Galloway, who worked on the study published by the Public Library of Science online science journal PLoS One. US environmental health advocacy groups are urging a federal ban on BPA. “There’s enough research to take definitive action on this chemical to reduce exposures in people and the environment,” Dr Anila Jacob of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization, said

in a telephone interview. The US Food and Drug Administration is considering whether any action needs to be taken. US government toxicologists at the National Institutes of Health concluded in 2008 that BPA presents concern for harmful effects on development of the prostate and brain and for behavioral changes in fetuses, infants and children. Canada’s government plans to outlaw plastic baby bottles made

with BPA. The charity Breast Cancer UK last month urged the British government to do the same because they said there was “compelling” evidence linking the chemical to breast cancer risk. Experts estimate BPA is detectable in the bodies of more than 90 percent of US and European populations. It is one of the world’s highest production volume chemicals, with more than 2.2 million tonnes produced annually. — Reuters

Gene variant protects against Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, walks into the West Wing of the White House in Washington, yesterday, to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss health care. — AP

House leaders hunt for 218 votes for healthcare plan

US Democrats struggle to find healthcare approach WASHINGTON: Democrats in the US House of Representatives struggled late yesterday to find common ground with the Senate on how to pay for a healthcare reform bill, with the differences over taxes emerging as the biggest stumbling block to a quick deal. Returning to work at the Capitol after a nearly three-week holiday, House Democrats mapped out strategies for Both bills would extend health coverWhile the Senate’s need to maintain a fragile 60-vote coalition in favor of the age to more than 30 million uninsured overhaul has made its bill the likely Americans, create exchanges where indiframework for a final compromise, House viduals can shop for insurance plans and Democratic leaders said winning halt practices such as refusing insurance approval would be no easier on their side to people with pre-existing conditions. The changes to the $2.5 trillion of Congress. “Forget all the other questions, 218 is healthcare system would be the biggest the most important issue we are dealing in four decades. But House Democrats are unhappy with,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel with several Senate provisions. The told reporters. “We’ve got a problem on biggest obstacle is a tax on high-cost both sides of the Capitol, a serious prob- insurance plans included in the Senate bill and backed by Obama but strongly lem.” A shift of three votes in the House opposed by House Democrats and labor could doom the bill, which passed the unions. Critics say it will hit middle-class House by a 220 to 215 vote in November. families and union members who gave up The Senate has even less room for higher wages for better health benefits. House-Senate negotiators are considerror. Its version passed on Christmas Eve with exactly the 60 votes it needed ering raising the threshold for the tax and exempting certain industries. against unified Republican opposition.

talks on merging the two bills and tried to find an approach that could win the necessary 218 votes in the House. The House and Senate versions of the healthcare overhaul, President Barack Obama’s top legislative priority, must be melded into one bill and passed again by each chamber before Obama can sign it into law. To replace the lost revenue, negotia- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the tors are looking at extending the payroll national exchange. “How that is defined, tax on Medicare, the health program for we’ll see.” Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader the elderly, to income from investments Harry Reid and members of the by the wealthiest Americans. “Nobody has been drawing lines in Democratic leadership in both chambers the sand but at the same time everybody will meet Obama at the White House late is clearly advancing their respective posi- yesterday. Obama will speak to House tions,” Democratic Representative Chris Democrats today. “No one can tell you with any degree Van Hollen told reporters. The House also has pushed the of accuracy what we are going to do. Senate to agree to a more generous level We’ve got to get a bill that’s more comof federal subsidies to help expand cover- patible to the House,” Rangel said. The Senate does not return to work age to the uninsured and to adopt a single national insurance exchange. The Senate until next week and Democrats hope to finish the healthcare bill before Obama’s bill calls for state-based exchanges. Supporters of a national exchange say State of the Union message in early it would allow for broader protections for February. “I think we’ve got to start talking to the Senate instead of talking to consumers and stronger competition. “I think it’s essential ... to having an each other,” Representative John Dingell exchange that meets our standards,” told reporters. — Reuters

China paper splashes ‘first gay marriage’ Britain to ban

BEIJING: State press splashed a front-page photo of China’s first publicly “married” gay couple yesterday — the latest sign of new openness about homosexuality in a country where it has long been taboo. The page-one story in the English-language China Daily featured a photograph of the “newlyweds” arm-in-arm during a January 3 ceremony. Zeng Anquan, 45, and Pan Wenjie, 27, tied the knot at a gay bar in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the paper said, calling it “the first such public event in the country”. Homosexuality remains a sensitive issue in China. It was officially considered a form of mental illness as recently as 2001. Same-sex marriages or civil unions have no legal basis. “We are no longer hiding any more. The wedding is our happiest and most precious moment,” Zeng, a divorced architect, told the paper. “Thousands of gays and lesbians get married in France, Finland, the UK. Why couldn’t we?” Although the vast majority of gays in China are believed to remain in the closet, a number of signs have emerged recently that official attitudes may be softening. Last month, China’s first government-backed gay bar opened in the tourist town of Dali in southwestern Yunnan province, after a three-week delay sparked by intense media attention, in a bid to boost HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. On Friday, the country’s first gay pageant is scheduled to be held in Beijing to choose the Asian nation’s candidate for the Mr Gay World contest in Norway next month. China’s top state-run radio network plans to launch a new programme this weekend about AIDS that features an HIV-positive host, according to a recent report by Xinhua news agency, which did not mention whether the host was gay. However, the deep-seated sensitivity of the issue in Chinese society has reared its head in the Zeng-Pan wedding, with the families of the two men reportedly condemning their nuptials. “My sister warned me she would never call me her brother unless I break up with Pan, and I have answered hundreds of phone calls from friends and relatives who say they feel ashamed of me,” said Zeng. “But we are deeply in love and will never desert each other,” he said of his relationship with Pan, a recently demobilised soldier. More than 200 of the couple’s gay friends attended the ceremony, which one of the newlyweds attended in a white wedding dress, the China Daily said, without specifying

who was the “bride”. Zeng said the couple feared discrimination and had thus moved to a small town near Chengdu where they were unknown to avoid unwanted attention. According to Chinese experts cited in press reports, there are an estimated 30 million homosexuals in China, and 20 million of them are men. — AFP

CHENGDU: Zeng Anquan (L), 45, and Pan Wenjie, 27, sing to each other after tying the knot at a gay bar in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province on January 3, 2010. State press splashed a front-page photo of China’s first publicly “married” gay couple yesterday — the latest sign of new openness about homosexuality in a country where it has long been taboo. — AFP

under 18s from using tanning beds LONDON: The British government backed a call yesterday for under-18s to be banned from using sunbeds in tanning salons because they increase skin cancer risk. “The scientific evidence is clear — sunbeds increase your risk of getting skin cancer,” Health Minister Andy Burnham said in a statement. “It is far too easy for young people to use sunbeds and I am determined to take action to protect them.” A proposed law on the ban is to be debated in parliament at the end of this month. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) moved ultra-violet emitting tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category last July and labelled them as “carcinogenic to humans” after research found they could increase the risk of developing cancer by 75 percent. The IARC said sunbeds were particularly dangerous if used by children and young adults. Some countries and US states regulate the multi-billion dollar tanning industry, with some banning teenagers from using sunbeds or requiring consent from their parents or doctor. In Australia, children are banned from using solariums and the industry is required to post warnings in salons about potential health problems, including skin cancer. A British government-commissioned report by Cancer Research UK published late last year found that six percent of children in Britain aged between 11 and 17 had used a sunbed. If the British law is passed, it would prevent tanning salons from allowing under 18s to use their sunbeds. — Reuters

CHICAGO: People with a gene linked to long life and good health are also less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, US researchers said on Tuesday. They said people with two copies of a certain version of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein or CETP gene had significantly slower memory declines compared with people who had different versions of the gene. “We’ve known for a long time that genetic factors matter in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Richard Lipton of Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lipton said most studies have sought to identify genetic variations that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, such as APOE4. “Instead, we looked for genes that protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and also for genes that might promote healthy brain aging,” Lipton said in a telephone interview. An estimated 26 million people globally have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The disease starts out with mild memory loss and confusion but escalates into complete memory loss and an inability to care for oneself. Lipton’s team examined a variant of the CETP gene that is already associated with exceptional longevity and cardiovascular health. They analyzed the DNA of more than 500 people who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The team also did annual memory tests.

After at least three years of follow up, 40 people developed dementia. “We found in people who carry the longevity variant of CETP, there was a 70 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and the rate of annual decline on tests of memory was much lower,” Lipton said. “That proved our hypothesis that at least this genetic variant associated with longevity was also associated with successful brain aging and protected against the onset of Alzheimer’s,” he said. It is not exactly clear how this gene could protect the brain, but Lipton said people with the longevity variant of the CETP gene tend to have high levels of high density lipoprotein or HDL, the so-called “good” cholesterol that protects against heart disease. “One possibility is the longevity gene promotes successful brain aging by preventing vascular disease,” he said. Or, he said, the gene may have a direct protective effect against Alzheimer’s. “Understanding the mechanism would allow you to discover drugs that mimic the genetic defect,” Lipton said. Drug companies are already targeting the CETP gene in the hopes of raising levels of HDL or good cholesterol. Pfizer’s drug torcetrapib showed early promise, but the drug had excessive side effects, and Merck & Co now has a drug in late-stage clinical trials. Despite decades of research, doctors still have few effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, which is expected to affect 100 million people by 2050.— Reuters

Half of China’s births are C-sections: WHO HANOI: Nearly half of all births in China are delivered by cesarean section, the world’s highest rate, according to a survey by the World Health Organization - a shift toward modernization that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The boom in unnecessary surgeries is jeopardizing women’s health, the UN health agency warned in the report published online Tuesday in the medical journal The Lancet. Unnecessary C-sections are costlier than natural births and raise the risk of complications for the mother, said the report surveying nine Asian nations. It noted C-sections have reached “epidemic proportions” in many countries worldwide. The most dramatic findings were in China, where 46 percent of births reviewed were C-sections - a quarter of them not medically necessary, the report said. “So many pregnant women ask for a cesarean birth in China, but we always suggest that they have a natural birth,” said Dr. He Yuanhua, at Capital Antai Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital in Beijing, who did not participate in the study. “It’s bad to have so many cesarean births because natural birth is the ideal way.” The WHO, which reviewed nearly 110,000 births across Asia in 2007-2008, found 27 percent were done under the knife, partially motivated by hospitals eager to make more money. That mirrors similar results reported by WHO in 2005 from Latin America, where 35 percent of pregnant women surveyed were delivering by C-section. In the US, where C-sections are at an all-time high of 31 percent, the surgery is often performed on older expectant mothers, during multiple births or simply because patients request it or doctors fear malpractice lawsuits. A government panel warned against elective C-sections in 2006. “The relative safety of the operation leads people to think it’s as safe as vaginal birth,” said Dr. A. Metin Gulmezoglu, who co-authored the Asia report. “That’s unlikely to be the case.” Women undergoing C-sections that are not medically necessary are more likely to die or be admitted into intensive care units, require blood transfusions or encounter complications that lead to hysterectomies, the WHO study found. US studies have shown babies born by cesarean have a greater chance for respiratory problems. The Asia survey found the procedure benefits babies

MIANYANG: In this photo taken Dec. 4, 2009, medical staff delivers a birth by cesarean section at a hospital in Mianyang in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. Rates of C-sections have reached ‘epidemic proportions’ in many countries worldwide, the WHO said in a report surveying nine Asian nations. — AP during breech births. Reasons for elective C-sections vary globally, but increasing rates in many developing countries coincide with a rise in patients’ wealth and improved medical facilities. In Asia, some women opt for the surgery to choose their delivery day after consulting fortune tellers for “lucky” birthdays or times. Others fear painful natural births or worry their vaginas may be stretched or damaged by a normal delivery. Some women also prefer the operation because they mistakenly believe it is less risky. “I think it’s safer for the mother and child to have C-sections, and the relatives feel more secure because it’s very simple and very common now,” said a Vietnamese woman, Trang Thanh Van, 25, just days away from giving birth to her first child. “People worry that using tools to pull the baby out (in a vaginal birth) may affect their brains.” The Asian survey examined deliveries in 122 randomly selected public and private hospitals in 2007 and 2008 across Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The hospitals were located in capital cities and two other regions or provinces within each country, all logging more than 1,000 births a year. China’s 46 percent C-section rate was followed by Vietnam and Thailand with 36 percent and 34 percent, respectively. The lowest rates were in Cambodia, with 15 percent, and India, with 18 percent. The study did not discuss specific reasons

for the high number of C-sections, but it noted that more than 60 percent of the hospitals studied were motivated by financial incentives to perform surgeries. At Vietnam’s National Hospital of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Hanoi, about 40 percent of the 20,000 babies delivered there annually are by C-section, said Dr. Le Anh Tuan, the hospital’s vice director, who did not participate in the study. As the capital’s largest maternity hospital, it receives the most complicated cases, with many women undergoing emergency surgery. But he said another reason is women with small frames whose babies are simply too large for them to deliver naturally. “The babies are bigger, even than in Western countries,” he said. “Vietnam was a country where we didn’t have enough food to eat. Now we have a surplus of food. The women think that if they eat a lot, their babies will be healthy.” In Latin America, C-section rates in all eight countries surveyed earlier by WHO were 30 percent or higher - similar to the U.S. rate. In Paraguay, 42 percent of deliveries were by cesarean, and in Ecuador 40 percent. Some expectant mothers in Latin America scheduled elective surgeries to avoid giving birth during holidays or even so they could attend parties, said Dr. Archana Shah, from the WHO in Geneva, who worked on that report and cautioned that data in both studies represent a sample that may not reflect overall national rates. — AP



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Embassy information EMBASSY OF GREECE The Embassy of Greece has the pleasure to announce that with a view to promote business interaction and commercial relations between Greece and Kuwait and to present further support for the Kuwaiti importers, it requests all Kuwaiti Companies dealing with or representing Greek Companies in Kuwait to contact this Embassy as soon as possible and to provide by fax or e-mail the following information: (Name of the company, tel no, fax no, e-mail, type of business, name of the Greek companies/clients). The Embassy’s contacts are as follows: email:; fax: 24817103, and tel no: 24817100, 24817101, 24817102.

India International School welcomes New Year ndia International School, welcomed the New Year 2010 with colorful celebrations. All the students from Primary to Senior Secondary participated with joy and enthusiasm. It was party time. It was a time of making new resolutions to achieve the best. It was wonderful to be with the students. The Director, Principal, The vice Principal, the Head Master and teachers were going from class to class wishing the children “Happy New Year.” Each class had its own way of celebration with different activities like singing, dancing and exchanging greetings with sweets. It was a great moment for each and everyone who was present then. Once the children



left it was time for the Teachers to celebrate in their own way. The school director, Moosa Koya, unveiled the portrait of New Year 2010. Principal Anis Ahmad, Vice principal, Narindar Kaur, and Headmaster, Balasubramanian briefly gave their New Year messages to the gathering. The entire programme was compeered neatly and elegantly by Mrs. Shifana the head of the Kindergarten. This was followed by some games and spot prizes and ended with delicious lunch organized under the patronage of Staff Welfare Association. Then the gathering slowly melted away with high spirits to achieve their best in the New Year 2010.

The Embassy of India will remain closed today on account of “Makar Sankaranti”.



PALPAK anniversary celebration alakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait (PALPAK) is conducting its second annual general body meeting on Friday, 19 February at Indian Central School, Abbasslys - 9.30 am. The AGM will elect new office bearers auditor, executive committee and area coordinators & Advisory Board Members for the year 2010. Members vision on the activities that PALPAK should concentrate and your appropriate suggestions for executing the same would be much appreciated. All members of PALPAK are kindly requested to treat this as an official Invitation and should attend the said Annual General Body Meeting on time. On the same day at the same venue at 2 pm onwards PALPAK - conducts anniversary celebrations with various socio cultural programs such as classical & cinematic dances, mimics, thiruvathira, elocution, songs, Kolkkall & Oppana etc for the PALPAK Members, their families and


ear baby Princia D’Lima. We wish you a 1st happy birthday and many happy returns of the day. May God bless you. Lots of love and kisses from dad Vencent, mom Prema & family.


children. Since this is a program organized exclusively for promoting the gifted talents of our members & children. Your maximum participation and co-operation is a must for the success of this event. PALPAK has elected a program committee headed by our Vice President Mohan (99781095) supported by Udaya Varrnan (97216434), Suresh Madhavan (97253235), Suresh Pulikkal (97260159), Aravindakshan (66535989), & Sankaranarayanan (66706680) to lead and organize this event in a colorful manner. You may please contact the program committee or your area cocoordinators on or before 31.01.2010 for registering your participation in the cultural programs. Hence, please encourage your fellow Palakkadans who are yet to be a member of the PALPAK, to join hands with our team and serve the society to uphold the unity and maintain the social harmony.


lfa Ghamli recently got a Master Degree in English Literature from the University of Tunis. Olfa received heartiest congratulations from Hammadi Allalla. Congratulations from us, as well and way to go Olfa.

Education exhibition epresentatives from 45 universities, colleges and English language schools from all 4 countries of the UK will be present. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Farwaniya on Wednesday 20 January 2010 from 17:00 - 21:00 and Thursday 21 January 2010: 09:00 - 12:30 & 17:00-21:00. They will answer enquiries and provide information on suitable courses, entry requirements and details about studying and living in the UK, including information on course content, living conditions, costs, welfare arrangements and much more. It will also be possible to find out more about the visa application process.


Buntara Sangha Kuwait organizes annual General Body meeting untara Sangha Kuwait organized its 9th Annual General Body Meeting on Friday, January 8 at Indian Public School Auditorium. Salmiya. The day began with the prayer by Baby Laxmi K Shetty, followed by the welcome note by the President Karunakar Shetty Ajekala. The Secretary General Gururaj Shetty Madoor gave a brief about the programs conducted in the year 2009 to the gathered members. Treasurer Tilakraj Shetty present-


appy birthday to you Lakay Alex. We wish all the best and good health. Best wishes come from Tess, family and friends.


ed the accounts statement. Sangha honored six members who got married recently, without taking the dowry and Merit scholarship was awarded to children for their academic excellence. The president thanked the outgoing committee and welcomed the newly appointed Managing committee members. The Election Commissioner Divin Menda Bape gave the report. The co-ordinators of the Sangha Prakash Shetty Bijantla & Vivek Shetty Belman welcomed the fol-

lowing new office bearers: Karunakar Shetty Ajekala as President, Chandrahas Shetty Kathalsar as Vice-president. Geuraj Shetty Madoor as Secretary. Pushparaj Hegde as Joint Secretary. Tilakraj Shetty Mulki as Treasurer. Arun Kumar Sheuv Bijantla as Cultural Secretary. Mrs. Sanmathi Menda Rajpe as PRO. Lokanath Shetty Kateel as Welfare Officer, Praveen Rai Maroli as Sports Secretary. After the delicious lunch, the

members and the children’s of the sangha entertained the gathered audience. The Certificate of Appreciation and gifts were distributed to the children’s for their participation in the yesteryear programs. Some games and quiz were conducted. The program was concluded with the vote of thanks by the secretary and by singing the National Anthem. The program was beautifully anchored by Master Prithvi V Sheny and Surendra Shetty.

The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote. EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa’s working hours till Thursday, 31st December 2009 will be from 8 am to 10 am. Please note that the Embassy will be closed on Sunday, 3rd January 2010 on the occasion of the New Year. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Monday, 4th January 2010, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8 am to 16h00 & the Consular section operation hours will be from 8h30 to 12h30.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations appy birthday Kuya Joey. May God bless you and keep you and keep you in good health. Best wishes come from family and friends.


by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Announcements Tomorrow Konkani tiatr: History creator of Konkani stage the script writer-director Tony Dias to recreate his magical spell on Kuwait audience tomorrow. Kala Mogui Kuwait presents the most awaited show of the year 2009, now touring Gulf & the UK to entertain one & all with an award winning performance by each and every artiste in ‘Conny Enterprises’ tiatr Mahanand Monis Vo Soitan? A true story of a serial killer that rocked Goa! Was Mahanand a hard working Goan? Was he just a lover? A simpleton, a Romantic? Or was it just his fondness for worldly things that enticed him to murders? Or is Mahanand simply an Innocent man after all ? Seeing is believing tomorrow at 4.30 pm at Da’iya Fencing Club Hall. For passes contact 22412970 or organizers: 99391452, 97439165, 24726524, 66512602, 99458159 or email:

KKMA children’s drawing contest:The grand final contest of KKMA-Tiffany drawing contest for children in Indian schools in Kuwait will be held tomorrow. A press release from KKMA stated that a total number of 3000 entries were received during the first phase of the contest held in JuneOctober 2009. Children’s from 17 Indian schools in Kuwait participated in this contest. Of which 1000 finalists were selected and invited for an onthe-spot final contest held on January 15th 2010 at Kuwait Indian school in Jleeb (next to 6th ring road). A list of all finalists who are eligible for participating in the final contest is being sent to their respective schools and the participants are contacted by their given contact telephone or emails. The list is also published at KKMA website The Association thanked all class teachers and the art/drawing teachers of your school for their kind support without which we could not have received such an immense response. Contest titled as ‘World Peace’ KKMATiffany Drawing Contest is conducted to promote a culture of nonviolence and peace by raising awareness among young children about these concepts. The competition was open to all students of Indian Schools in Kuwait and divided in to four categories - Primary School (Class 1 to IV), Upper Primary School (Class V to VII), Secondary School (Class VIII to Class X), and Senior Secondary School (Class XI and Class XII). The Phase 1 of the contest was held early this year in which each of the entrants was requested to submit one piece of drawing which responds to the theme, “World Peace”. All entries were then reviewed by a judging panel and 1000 semi-finalists were selected to advance to phase 2 final competitions which will be now held on 15th January 2009. Total of 60 winners, 15 students from each category will be then chosen and awarded with medals and gifts. MARCH 26 CRYcket 2010: the 13th annual crycket tournament is scheduled to be held on Friday, 26th March 2010 at the KOC Hockey Grounds, Ahmadi. This tournament is organized by FOCC (Friends of Cry Club). Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) is associated with CRY (Child Rights and You), India and its main objectives are to create awareness of the underprivileged Indian children, help restore their basic rights, strive to provide support in personal development of the Indian children in Kuwait and bring out the qualities of social commitment in them. FOCC has been organizing CRY awareness programmes for children through its two annual events - CRYcket (Cricket match for children below 14 years organized annually since 1997) and CRY chess tournament (for children of all ages organized annually since 2005) - and ‘Brain Bang’ programme which is an ongoing bi-weekly Accelerated Learning activity. CRYcket will be played by 24 teams of children and about 500 spectators are expected for this special one-day event. The deadline to receive the registration forms is 18th March 2010, however registration may be close earlier if the available slots of 12 teams in each category are filled. A colourful souvenir will be released to mark the 13th year of FOCC’s activities in Kuwait. For details how to become a sponsor and/or to advertise in the Souvenir or to volunteer as a FOCC member, pls visit or email

Awami Volunteer League observe homecoming day of Mujibur Rahman angladesh Awami Volunteer League and Joybangla Cultural Group Kuwait Chapter have observed the auspicious homecoming day of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The day marks the fulfillment of newly born Bangladesh’s victory as the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu finally returns after a yearlong brutal Pakistani captivity, on January 1972. The observation that took place in Echo


Hotel. It was presided over by Mohammed Masud Karim the President of Awami Volunteer League and Joybangla Cultural Group Kuwait Chapter. Gallant freedom fighter Engineer Abdur Rab the chief patron of Awami Volunteer League Kuwait and founding president Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait attended the celebration as a chief guest. The special guests were Burhan Uddin Faruk, Jane Alam Jahagir, Ranjan Dutta members of advisory council of

Bangladesh Awami Volunteer League Kuwait. The program was presented by Mohammad Hasan Ali- the General Secretary of Joybangla Cultural Group- Kuwait and begun with the recitation of verses from the holy Quran by Tofazzal Hossain, and also followed one minute silence observation in the honour of the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and all martyrs of the Nation. In discussion meeting the General Secretary

CBK participates in Refaa School festival ut of its keenness on taking part in various community service, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) recently participated in the recreational festival organized by the Refaa Ideal School, Jahra. On concluding the ceremony that included many social, sports and recreational competitions, CBK’s Jahra branch manager, Al-Humaidi Al-Husseini and school director, Shuaib Al-Harbi took part in honoring the winners in various competitions.


Visit of maharaja


ri Utradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of erstwhile princely state of Travancore, and his son Ananthapadmanabhan, paid a visit to Kuwait recently. Office bearers of Ananthapuri Association visited the Maharaja and


explained the activities. He was very much impressed and appreciated the charity works done by the association to the residents of Thiruvananthapuram. Our patron, R.C.Suresh alongwith Office bearers, C.P.Abraham, Vijayan

Pillai, Sam V Thomas, D.Ravi, K.V.Sugunan, Koshy Alexander, M.C.Jacob, Thomas Mathew were present in the meeting. Ananthapuri Association is the premier organization of the residents of Ananthapuri (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kuwait.

Lak Miah, Organizing Secretary Bandhan Nath, poet Murshed Alam Badal, Jatiya Kabita Parisad- Kuwait President Jahangir Hossain Bablu, poet Ehsanul Haque Khokan, Fazlur Rahman Ripon among others delivered their speeches. Noteworthy that in 1972 the whole Bengali Nation had waited for this glorious day that marked the final Victory and freedom at last for the Bengali nation.

t is the only cough remedy with a documented mode of action as proven through fifteen years of research “ according to Hanns Haberlein, Professor of cell biology and molecular drug research from the institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bonn, Germany. Prof. Haberlein was speaking during a lecture organized Engelhard Arzneimittel company on the “Prospan cough remedy” last week, and attended by senior doctors, pharmacists and interested people in the State of Kuwait.


Prof. Haberlein said the drug was discovered fifty years ago, as an extract from the leaves of Hedra helix which known for its high efficacy with its users. Regional Manager in Kuwait Dr Isam Khader said “Prospan” was introduced in the Middle East ten years ago and is now the leading cough remedy in Kuwait and the region, and this reflects the doctors confidence in it. Prof. Haberlein is on a tour of the area to lecture on the most recent researches of cough medicines and the latest on “Prospan”.

Bangladesh Awami League celebrate historic day

angladeshis in Kuwait held a discussion meeting and prayer session on the basis of historic 10th January organized by Awami League Kuwait Chapter. The day known as (Shodesh prottabaorton Dibosh) by the greatest leader and founder of the country Banglabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The function was presided over by the acting president Fayez Kamal, and Asrak Ali Ferdous acting general secretary of the organization conducted the program. The


Seminar on pediatrics health he Institution of Engineers (India) Kuwait Chapter’s has arranged a seminar on “Pediatric Scientific Explanation of Common Disorders and Treatments” Jointly presented by a panel of eminent Child Specialists consisting of 1. Dr. V. Satya Narayan, 2.Dr. Bhaskar Gupta, 3. Dr. N. Ram, 4. Dr. Gaurav Jadon. The Topics of the Seminar as follows: 1. Childhood Asthma by Dr. V. Satya Narayan. 2. Adolescent Problems by Dr. Bhaskar Gupta. 3. Convulsions in Children by Dr. N. Ram. 4. Prevention of Childhood Accidents by Dr. Gaurav Jadon. Seminar Date & Time: 22.01.2010, Friday, 10:30 A.M to 1:00 P.M. Seminar Venue: Holiday Inn, Downtown (at Daheya Ballroom, 4th Floor) This seminar is for the Family (Children of age 6 and above are only allowed).Lunch will be served at the end of the Program. Those who are interested to attend the seminar are requested to register their names by 16.01.2010 through email with the Details of Name of the IEI Member, Name of the Spouse, Name of the Children, Contact Nos. For further clarification kindly contact Engr. V.P.Tewari

Seminar on cough remedy

Kalanjali Pongal Vizha 2010: Kalanjali Kuwait is planning to organize ‘Pongal Vizha’ tomorrow at American International School. Special program, similar to Paattukku Paatu (in Tamil), by World famous Bh Abdul Hameed will be conducted. Interested participants can send an email with their details to for selection process in Dec 2009 or contact 99816937 / 66457286.

state was oriented by chief advisor Moisuddin Muaz as chief guest of the function along with other guest of honor. The event started with a short recitation from the holy Quran followed by one minute silent in honor to all those great martyrs of 1971 independence war. Atual Gani Mamun delivered his speech for the unity of whole Awami family. The president of the function Fayez Kamal made his speech and offering a dinner to all he concluded the program.

Stage set for ‘Bharat Darshan 2010’ eva Darshan yesterday received its artists for ‘Bharath Darshan 2010’. Rehearsals are in the final stages to present a mega event from 10 am onwards tomorrow at the Marina Hall auditorium. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra will inaugurate the event. The day-long event will feature a signature program along with various music and comedy skits. All are once again welcome to the function. The photo shows the artistes being received at the Kuwait International Airport on arrival yesterday.




Thursday, January 14, 2010 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 777 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368

Ministry of Interior website:

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS













Abdullah Salim




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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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

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

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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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing rooms with bath, CA/C available in Salmiya and Maidan Hawally, single or couple. Call 97151921. (C 20194) Sharing accommodation available for two decent bachelors (preferably Keralite) near senior Indian Community School, Salmiya. Contact: 66780615 after 2 pm. (C 20192) Deluxe furnished room accommodation for one decent Pakistani or Indian bachelor, near garden Salmiya, in a very pleasant neat peaceful environment, rent KD 90. Contact: 66639581. (C 20191) Sharing accommodation available in Jabriya Block 12, St 8, for a lady or gent in a C-A/C, 3 BR flat with 2 bathrooms. Contact: 65135094. (C 20190) 14-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available for couple/ executive bachelor/ working lady in C-A/C flat big room in Salwa street no. 1, block no. 4 with south Indian family, DSL wireless internet available, rent KD 75. Contact: 66492509. (C 20188) Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya near church central A/C building, separate room, for bachelors/ couple/ ladies. Contact: 99815378. (C 20185) Sharing accommodation available for Goan or Mangalorean small family or bachelors share with a small family two bedroom flat window A/C near Rashid hospital Shara Amman Salmiya. Contact: 94969047. (C 20178) Sharing accommodation available for Hindu or Christian bachelor share with another bachelor with Keralite family in Abbassiya near Integrated school central A/C 2 bedroom kitchen facility available. Contact: 66172468. (C 20179) Sharing accommodation available for Goan or Man-

galorean small family or two non smoking bachelors share with a small Mangalorean family C-A/C flat near Rashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Contact: 97528430. (C 20177) One room available for working ladies or family in Maidan Hawally central A/C new building, opposite Maroosh restaurant and Bushari, from 25-1-2010. Contact: 55216554. (C 20154) 13-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Riggai for working ladies in a C-AC flat with a Keralite family. Contact: 97838515, 66817761. (C 20176) Sharing accommodation available for Indian Christian couples or working ladies in Abbassiya. Please contact: 66538532. (C 20171)

& Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan from February 1st. Contact: 97846304 (24346984 after 6 pm). (C 20174)

Brand new Blackberry Bold 9000 unopened original packing. Call 66781734. (C 20189)

Sharing accommodation, one single room for rent for 2 persons, bachelors/ families, rent KD 50, Hawally Sharabeel Rd near American Creativity school (boys). Phone: 66494467, 99218163. (C 20172) 12-1-2010

Multimedia projector, brand Polaroid, in good condition, price KD 50. Call 99322585. (C 20195) 14-1-2010

Sharing accommodation available near Highland super market Abbassiya for Keralite family from January 26th or February 1st onwards, rent KD 70. Contact: 66598187. (C 20163) Sharing accommodation available in Reggai for a family/ bachelors with an Indian Keralite family in a CAC building. Contact: 66531607. (C 20162)

One room available in Benaid Al-Gar, very near to Al-Salam hospital for decent working ladies (central A/C room). Please contact: 97879611. (C 20168)

Sharing accommodation available for decent bachelors (non smoking & non alcoholic) with Keralite family in a 2 BR flat with 2 bathroom. Tel: 24349401, 99684527. (C 20161)

Sharing accommodation available in C-A/C building for single bachelor/ small family sharing with Mangalorean family, near Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School, Abbassiya. Contact: 24334903/ 66795128 after 4 pm. (C 20170)

Accommodation available near Indian Central School Abbassiya, with 2 bedroom 2 bathroom flat for female or Indian bachelor. Contact: 97506913. (C 20165) 11-1-2010

Sharing accommodation available for Keralite family working ladies or couple. Tel: 97769931. (C 20173) Sharing accommodation available for a small Keralite family in Abbassiya adjacent to Integrated Indian School

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Lancer 2007, run 50,000 km only, silver metallic, one hand used - manager. KD 2000 only (Al Mulla maintained). Contact: 66601607. (C 20193)

Jeep Suzuki Grand Vitara 2007, 2 door, manual gear, blue color, cruise control, CD, 37 km, perfect condition, agency warranty. KD 2,600. Contact: 99881982 . (C 20184) Mitsubishi Gallant, model 2008, silver color, 72,000 km, 6 cylinders, options, excellent condition, price KD 2,950. Contact: 66026259/ 55273700. (C 20181) Laptop Toshiba Satellite 2.0Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB, 250 GB, DVD writer, 15.6 crystal screen, wireless, webcam, windows 7 with 1 year warranty. Call: 22473767. (C 20182) Household sofa set 3+2+1+1, center table + 2 side tables, dining table with 6 chairs, carpets, and Miscellaneous items. Call: 66422986, 97877993, 66026707. (C 20183)

Jeep Pajero 92, color golden + brown, full option, engine, transmission, interior, exterior, AC front and rear all in excellent condition, one year registration, installment 49 KD monthly, balance 980 KD to KFH, for details: 99322585. (C 20175) 12-1-2010 (C 20180)

Japanese Daihatsu jeep for sale, 2005 model, good condition. Contact: 97869143, 97625674. (C 20166)

Orthodox NRI parents invite suitable proposals for their daughter 25/170, BE, working with Kuwait University from professionally qualified God fearing boys (Orthodox, Marthoma, CSI) working in Kuwait. Please contact with details to (C 20160) 11-1-2010

Brand new IPC camera Sony model SNC M3W-digital video KD 120, Linksys model WVC200 KD 60. Mobile: 99489047. (C 20167) 11-1-2010


Proposals invited for Keralite Orthodox boy Kollam Dist. 30/174, working in reputed company in Kuwait, from employed girls please contact with details to: (C 20187) 13-1-2010

BABY SITTING Baby sitting available, nursery base, age up to 1 year

Proposals invited for Keralite RCSC girl, 27/158cm, B.Sc MLT, working with MoH Kuwait as lab technologist, from professionally qualified RC boys working in Kuwait. Contact email: (C 20196)

Pentium 4, Intel, 40GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD Writer, 56 modem, speakers, 17� CRT monitor, KD 40. Pentium 4, 3.0 Ghz, 160 GB HDD, 1 GBDDR2 RAM, DVD Combo with 17� LG CRT Flatron monitor KD 60. Contact: 66244192. (C 20186) 13-1-2010

Malayalee Christian Orthodox parents invite proposals from girls for their son 29/176cms fair, good looking well employed telecom engineer working in Kuwait. Email: varughesekurian@hotmail.c om (C 20155) 14-1-2010

Daewoo Lanos model 1998, good condition, KD 575, km 1,27000. Contact: 66552895. (C 20169)

Proposals invited for a Tamil, Pentecost Christian girl, 31 years, 169 cm height, occupational therapist working in Kuwait. Email:

child, home care motherly care age up to 3 months Salwa, area 6, St 2, near Alghanim school, more details 66434840. (C 20164) 11-1-2010


Wanted part/full time maid for Indian family in Riggae, preferably Goan. Contact: 99694619. (C 20156) 13-1-2010

No: 14609

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Thursday 14/01/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut K.L.M. 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Jet Arways 574 Cochin Wataniya Airways 2103 Beirut Kalitta 537 Sharjah Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul D.H.L. 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 0267 Beirut Qatari 0138 Doha Kuwait 802 Cairo Jazeera 0637 Aleppo Jazeera 0269 Beirut Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Jazeera 0529 Assiut British 0157 London Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 0161 Dubai Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 676 Dubai Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Iran Air 605 Isfahan Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Jazeera 0447 Doha Kuwait 204 Lahore Jazeera 0165 Dubai Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Kuwait 772 Riyadh Egypt Air 610 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Jazeera 0171 Dubai Kuwait 672 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Nas Air 745 Jeddah Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Jazeera 0257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 552 Damascus Jazeera 0457 Damascus Qatari 0134 Doha Kuwait 284 Dhaka

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

Kuwait Royal Jordanian Jazeera Mihin Lanka Bahrain Air Emirates Kuwait Gulf Air Etihad Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Jazeera Thai Wataniya Airways Srilankan United A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways D.H.L. Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Kuwait Singapore A/L Kuwait Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Oman Air Egypt Air Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Middle East Qatari Emirates K.L.M. Kuwait Indian Jazeera Jazeera Safi A/W Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air India Express Lufthansa Bangladesh Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan

546 Alexandria 15:30 Boo Amman 15:40 0173 Dubai 16:05 403 Colombo/Dubai 16:40 344 Bahrain 16:50 857 Dubai 16:55 118 New York 16:55 215 Bahrain 17:05 0303 Abu Dhabi 17:15 510 Riyadh 17:15 0493 Jeddah 17:30 0125 Sharjah 17:40 0217 Isfahan 17:40 0433 Mashad 17:45 519 Bangkok 17:45 2101 Beirut 17:50 227 Colombo/Dubai 18:05 982 Washington DC Dulles 18:15 0427 Bahra1n 18:15 2003 Cairo 18:20 473 Baghdad 18:30 1025 Dubai 18:40 542 Cairo 18:50 0177 Dubai 18:55 674 Dubai 18:55 174 Geneva/Frankfurt 19:00 786 Jeddah 19:10 614 Bahrain 19:20 617 Ahwaz 19:25 774 Riyadh 19:30 104 London 19:35 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi 19:45 618 Doha 20:00 572 Mumbai 20:05 1201 Jeddah 20:15 0647 Muscat 20:20 618 Alexandria 20:35 0459 Damascus 20:40 0343 Sanaa/Bahrain 20:55 217 Bahrain 21:05 402 Beirut 21:20 0136 Doha 21:35 859 Dubai 21:40 0445 Amsterdam 21:55 502 Beirut 22:00 981Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad 22:05 0449 Doha 22:10 0420 Dubai/Bahrain 22:15 215 Kabul 22:15 0117 Abu Dhabi 22:25 0185 Dubai 22:40 612 Cairo 22:45 606 Luxor 23:00 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore 23:15 636 Frankfurt 23:30 043 Dhaka 23:40 1029 Dubai 23:46 1129 Bahrain 23:55 205 Lahore 23:55

Departure Flights on Thursday l4/01/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0528 Assiut Shaheeh Air 442 Lahore India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode United A/L 981 Washington DC Dulles Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Pakistan 216 Karachi Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt K.L.M. 0447 Amsterdam Jet A/W 573 Cochin Kuwait 203 Lahore Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Kuwait 283 Dhaka Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul D.H.L. 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi Kalitta 537 Kandahar Qatari 0139 Doha Jazeera 0164 Dubai Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai Jazeera 0524 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Jazeera 0446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain Jazeera 0422 Bahrain Kuwait National 2300 Damascus Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 0256 Beirut British 0156 London Jazeera 0170 Dubai Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 771 Riyadh Jazeera 0456 Damascus Arabia 0122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 0133 Doha Iran Air 606 Mashad Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Jazeera 0342 Bahrain/Sanaa Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 0172 Dubai Iazeera 0432 Mashad Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut Jazeera 0492 Jeddah Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Wataniya Airways 1024 Dubai


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

Kuwait Jazeera Egypt Air Nas Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Kuwait Bahrain Air Mihin Lanka Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Thai Wataniya Airways Kuwait Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Jazeera Egypt Air Singapore A/L Gulf Air D.H.L. Kuwait Middle East Falcon Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Emirates K.L.M. Kuwait Jazeera Egypt Air Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait

673 0216 622 746 0176 1200 0426 0458 505 501 773 613 801 0135 617 345 404 216 0304 858 0126 0262 543 511 0184 2010 0116 0448 0428 520 2102 285 228 1028 0512 361 616 351 1128 571 0648 0240 619 457 218 171 675 403 102 0188 0137 301 860 0445 205 0526 613 415 0502 411

Dubai Isfahan Assiut Jeddah Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Damascus Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Doha Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Cairo Riyadh Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Abu Dhabi Doha Bahrain/Dubai Bangkok Beirut Chittagong Dubai/Colombo Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Colombo Ahwaz Cochin Bahrain Mumbai Muscat Amman Alexandria Abu Dhabi/Singapore Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Beirut Bahrain Dubai Doha Mumbai Dubai Bahrain/Amsterdam Islamabad Alexandria Cairo Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Luxor Bangkok/Manila

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



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You will be working on

ways to improve your professional skills now. Pay attention to what you are doing and you will be glad you did. Acting on impulse or instinct can lead to false starts—so count to ten before starting anything important. This is a time when you can put your businesslike ideas into words and convey them to others. Authority figures are paying attention to your communication skills. The way you handle yourself when someone needs advice is very important just now. The pursuit of success takes on a high priority. This is a successful day, with the realization that you have accomplished much, at work and in your life progress. There is a dreamy manner about you tonight and the young people in your home will enjoy your stories. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Ambition, practicality and

achievement are admirable, but they are means to an end—not ends in themselves. Enjoy and appreciate the experiences that come your way. Thomas Edison once said, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Others value your decision-making abilities and you will know how to proceed in matters concerning the public. Support and harmony are yours without asking. Any hot spots can be worked through by thinking before you act—patience will expel any arguments. You may want to check out the study of herbs—you have a natural tendency toward the medicinal and aromatic type of plants. The psychic realm is fascinating to you. You and a friend may decide to visit a psychic tonight.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. One of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof. 5. A public promotion of some product or service. 7. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 11. On or toward the lee. 12. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 13. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 14. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 15. Being one hundred more than three hundred. 16. A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. 17. Relating to the deepest parts of the ocean (below 6000 meters). 18. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 20. A guided missile fired from shipboard against an airborne target. 22. A very light colorless element that is one of the six inert gasses. 23. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 26. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 31. Jordan's port. 34. United by being of the same opinion. 36. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 37. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 38. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 41. A soft yellow malleable ductile (trivalent and univalent) metallic element. 44. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 46. A light touch or stroke. 48. A heavy long-handled hammer used to drive stakes or wedges. 50. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 52. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 53. A small cake leavened with yeast. 54. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 55. A doctor's degree in religion. 56. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. DOWN 1. A vigorous blow. 2. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 3. A soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element. 4. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 5. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 6. An informal term for a father. 7. An informal term for a father. 8. By bad luck. 9. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 10. The biblical name for ancient Syria. 19. A Bantu language spoken by the Chaga people in northern Tanzania. 21. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 24. A state in northwestern North America. 25. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 27. The cry made by sheep. 28. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 29. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 30. A bachelor's degree in religion. 32. A flexible container with a single opening. 33. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 35. Syncopated music in duple time for dancing the rumba. 39. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 40. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 42. A Bantu language spoken in southern Zaire. 43. Divulge information or secrets. 45. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 47. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 49. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 50. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosionresistant. 51. Before noon.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You have a flair for presenting yourself in a positive and well-groomed manner—regardless of the stress you may be feeling at times. This first impression will serve you well in your communications with others. If you are feeling nervous and not quite up to a particular task—practice some of the breathing techniques that the yogi masters teach. If you do not know the techniques, you might consider taking a class or buying a book on the subject. This afternoon you are close to making a discovery that will help you to save your company many problems or financial responsibilities—keep your focus. You will be pleased by the results that your efforts bring forth. Working with your favorite hobby this evening will help you to relax.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You and your co-worker friends may seek answers to some long unanswered questions. Finding the answer to some of your questions will have you wondering where the time went. You meet your obligations automatically and display your flexible way of working your magic. You leave positive impressions with people. Your superiors are very happy with your work and your co-workers appreciate working with you. Your money problems could find some relief today. Dive into some form of art expression this afternoon—you will find this a great stress valve. The more you enjoy your creative side the more you will come to know your spiritual side. This evening is a great time to just sit back and enjoy what you have. Romance is possible. Leo (July 23-August 22) Today and tomorrow present opportunities to make extra money. This second job may eventually become your priority job. A conventional economic approach is the best way to start your family’s income plan. You are motivated to use your creative mind today as you hear comments and are caught up in the passion of inventions, technology and creative expression as well. You may feel a sense of urgency in some of the projects that are presented to you. This afternoon you confirm appointments and schedule your time for the next few days. You may find that your job, or the motivation it creates, is more enjoyable than usual. Conversations with siblings could be confusing this evening. You might enjoy playing word games tonight.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Pension, insurance, health or profit-sharing plans may come to your attention. You will have an opportunity to join or reject these plans and review these options. Do not ignore this responsibility; times . . . they are changing! Do not be afraid to ask questions. You can expect a little boost and extra support from the people around you. You delight in creating a peaceful home life and this afternoon you may have decided on a picture or colorful area rug to add a conversation piece to some particular area. You will be teaching young people to practice telling the truth and to respect people that exhibit this strength. Leave the emotions out of a personal discussion for now—go with the facts. Music seems to be the magical balance for the evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This is one of your better days for money. You are able to find successful ways to increase your income. Stay on the job and do not plan any trips, if possible, until later this month. As you introduce ideas of moneymaking to others, you will benefit as well. This could be through advising others toward their professional goals, investments, real estate, etc. If you are in real-estate or if you want to sell your home, or perhaps a car, you will find a nibble becomes a commitment. Balance your social and business affairs so that your energies are not depleted. Neighbors or siblings have a big impact on your goals and make a big impression. If work has not been too exhausting today, this evening could be a wonderful time to interact with friends.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your workload

increases today—your efforts show a successful outcome. You will learn secrets to having success throughout this year and today holds one of the hints. Listen and absorb the happenings around you—you will have some insight of your own. People come to you for ideas, story lines or perhaps approval. It could be that you are involved with some form of editing or teaching. A health problem that has been bothering you for some time may now begin to heal. This evening, family members make it known that you are a very important part of their lives by including you in some activity or asking for your help in certain areas of expertise. Generally, good feelings and a sense of support and harmony makes this a happy time. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There is much to be said about competition; however, in the place of business it may be better to compete with your own record than that of others. Unless a fair game has been indicated . . . set your own pace. This could be a challenging day—keep the challenges on a level that is manageable. You can set an example for others to follow when you turn difficult situations into solutions that you or others can handle. This may mean you work with the public. A good conversation with those you love is possible this evening. You may have missed being outside lately but if weather permits, you and your family might bundle up and go on a discovery walk early in the evening. There could be some good surprises right around the block!

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) The


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

workday is full of surprises and demands for quick decisions to be made. You do well in processing the information you get. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—someone may be holding back information. You may have to do some reassessing and reevaluating with regard to priorities. Be careful not to overdo or overwork today and think about creating an opportunity to exercise. Others value you for your ability to make practical decisions concerning group issues. You could be solving some public relations problems this afternoon. You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time. Clear decisions affecting others could be made now. You can create a peace of mind this evening and enjoy the company of a loved one as well. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Today marks the advent of a good time as far as career and social life are concerned. A time of due paying is over; real accomplishment is now possible. You present your ideas and show off your ability to express them to others. Information gained from one person and transferred to another person can be misconstrued. Refer others to the source of your information. This afternoon you may want to talk budget with a loved one. There will be an acceptable plan for future enjoyment. This could mean the purchase of a home, a vacation or future education for a young person. Consider a vacation where you can trade places with some friends or family that may be living outside of your state. Trading a home is a thought for vacation time. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Problems and obstacles that have previously been confusing, should find easy explanation under your keen examination. Today is as if you have overcome some invisible obstacle and this is making you feel very powerful. You are very motivated to improve all areas of your life. You may be sitting with an elderly person this afternoon and find they light up with interest when asked about some event of the past. They will be pleased that you took the time to listen to what they have to say. This interest usually promotes a feeling that one matters; a good thing. This communication may give you ideas for further plans to help with retired individuals.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Orbit listings / Show listings AMERICA PLUS 00:00 Lost 01:00 Private Practice 02:00 Grey’s Anatomy 03:00 Cold Case 04:00 The Closer 05:00 Lost 06:00 GMA Recorded 08:00 GMA Health 08:30 What’s the Buzz 09:00 Private Practice 10:00 Grey’s Anatomy 11:00 *24* 12:00 The Closer 13:00 Cold Case 14:00 *24* 15:00 GMA Live 17:00 GMA Health 17:30 What’s the Buzz 18:00 The Closer 19:00 Lost 20:00 The O.C. 21:00 ER 22:00 Bachelor ANIMAL PLANET 00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 In Search of the King Cobra 02:40 Untamed & Uncut 03:35 Planet Earth 04:30 Animal Cops Phoenix 05:25 Animal Cops Houston 06:20 Lemur Street 06:45 Monkey Business 07:10 RSPCA: On the Frontline 07:35 Pet Passport 08:00 Wildlife SOS 08:25 Pet Rescue 08:50 Animal Precinct 09:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:40 RSPCA: On the Frontline 11:05 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 Planet Earth 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:40 In Search of the King Cobra 15:35 Lemur Street 16:00 Monkey Business 16:30 Pet Rescue 16:55 Pet Passport 17:25 Wildlife SOS 17:50 RSPCA: On the Frontline 18:20 Animal Cops Phoenix 19:15 Austin Stevens Adventures 20:10 Killer Crocs of Costa Rica 21:10 Animal Cops Houston 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 Austin Stevens Adventures 23:55 Animal Cops Phoenix BBC ENTERTAINMENT 00:35 Casualty 01:25 The Week The Women Went 01:55 The Week The Women Went 02:25 Life In The Undergrowth 03:15 Goldplated 04:05 Casualty 04:55 Casualty 05:45 The Week The Women Went 06:35 Bargain Hunt 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tweenies 08:00 Fimbles 08:20 Teletubbies 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Tommy Zoom 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Tweenies 09:40 Fimbles 10:00 Teletubbies 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Tommy Zoom 10:40 Bargain Hunt 11:25 The Week The Women Went 12:25 Life In The Undergrowth 13:15 The Weakest Link 14:00 Eastenders 14:30 Doctors 15:00 Bargain Hunt 15:45 Cash In The Attic 16:15 Antiques Roadshow 17:15 The Weakest Link 18:00 Doctors 18:30 Eastenders 19:00 Casualty 20:40 Model Gardens 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Massive 23:15 Fear Stress & Anger 23:45 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo BBC LIFESTYLE 00:05 Ching’s Kitchen 00:30 Masterchef Goes Large 01:20 Cash In The Attic Usa 01:45 Hidden Potential 02:10 Living In The Sun 03:05 What To Eat Now - Autumn 03:35 Ching’s Kitchen 04:00 Masterchef Goes Large 05:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 05:25 Hidden Potential 05:50 Hidden Potential 06:15 Living In The Sun 07:15 The Clothes Show 08:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 08:20 Antiques Roadshow 09:10 Cash In The Attic Usa 09:35 Hidden Potential 10:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 11:30 Living In The Sun 12:20 Antiques Roadshow 13:10 The Clothes Show 14:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 15:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:30 Cash In The Attic Usa 16:55 Hidden Potential 17:20 Antiques Roadshow 18:10 The Clothes Show 18:55 Living In The Sun 19:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:40 Masterchef Goes Large 21:05 What To Eat Now - Autumn 21:35 Ching’s Kitchen 22:00 Superhomes 22:50 A Week Of Dressing Dangerously 23:40 What To Eat Now - Autumn BBC WORLD 00:00 Bbc World News - U 00:30 Hardtalk - U 01:00 World News Today: Business Edition - U 01:45 Sport Today - U 02:00 Bbc World News - U 02:30 Hardtalk - U 03:00 Bbc World News America - U 04:00 Bbc World News - U 04:30 Asia Business Report - U

04:45 05:00 05:30 05:45 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:30 11:45 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 14:30 14:45 15:00 16:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 20:30 20:45 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00 23:30

Sport Today - U Bbc World News - U Asia Business Report - U Asia Today - U World News Today - U Bbc World News - U Hardtalk - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Sport Today - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Sport Today - U Bbc World News - U Hardtalk - U Bbc World News - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Sport Today - U World News Today - U World News Today - U Bbc World News - U Hardtalk - U Bbc World News - U Kill Or Cure? - U World News Today - U Bbc World News - U World Business Report - U Sport Today - U Bbc World News - U Hardtalk - U World News Today - U Bbc World News - U Click - U

CARTOON NETWORK 00:15 Out of Jimmy’s Head 00:40 Chop Socky Chooks 01:05 Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George of the Jungle 02:20 Adrenalini Brothers 02:45 Gadget Boy 03:10 Ed, Edd n Eddy 03:35 Class of 3000

23:50 Megas XLR CINEMA CITY 01:00 10 Inch Hero - 18 03:00 The Sunchaser - PG15 05:00 The Last Request - PG15 07:00 Merlin and the Book of Beasts - 18 09:00 Utopian Society - PG15 11:00 A Plumm Summer - PG 13:00 Together Again for the First Time - PG 15:00 War and Peace - Pt.*4* - PG 17:00 The Collective - PG15 19:00 A Man Apart - 18 21:00 Behind Enemy Lines - PG15 23:00 Sex And Breakfast - 18 CNN INTERNATIONAL 00:00 Connect The World 01:00 Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 The Situation Room 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:30 World Sport 05:00 World Report 06:00 Anderson Cooper 360 07:00 World Report 07:30 Eco Solutions 08:00 World Report 08:30 Backstory 09:00 World Report 10:30 World Sport 11:00 World Report 11:30 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 Eco Solutions 13:00 Larry King 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 16:00 Amanpour. 16:30 News Special 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 The Brief 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:30 News Special

Lakeview Terrace on Show Movies 1 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Robotboy 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 Chowder 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Best Ed 06:20 Samurai Jack 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 08:00 My Spy Family 08:25 Chowder 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Chop Socky Chooks 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 10:55 Skunk Fu! 11:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:30 Squirrel Boy 11:55 Robotboy 12:20 Camp Lazlo 12:45 The Powerpuff Girls 13:10 Class of 3000 13:35 Ed, Edd n Eddy 14:00 Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:35 George of the Jungle 17:00 Skunk Fu! 17:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 17:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Casper’s Scare School 19:30 Total Drama Action 20:00 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 20:25 Chop Socky Chooks 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 Ed, Edd n Eddy 21:30 Skunk Fu! 21:45 The Secret Saturdays 22:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:35 The Life & Times of Juniper Lee 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack

21:00 22:00 23:00 23:30

International Desk Quest Means Business Amanpour. World One

DISCOVERY CHANNEL 00:00 Destroyed in Seconds 00:30 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Miami Ink 02:00 Street Customs 2008 02:55 American Chopper 03:50 Chop Shop 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Ultimate Survival 07:00 Extreme Engineering 07:55 Chop Shop 08:50 Street Customs 2008 09:45 How Do They Do It? 10:10 Mythbusters 11:05 Ultimate Survival 12:00 Destroyed in Seconds 12:30 Destroyed in Seconds 12:55 How Do They Do It? 13:25 How It’s Made 13:50 Fifth Gear 14:15 American Chopper 15:10 Miami Ink 16:05 Mythbusters 17:00 Ultimate Survival 18:00 Destroyed in Seconds 19:00 Street Customs 2008 20:00 How Do They Do It? 20:30 How It’s Made 21:00 Eyewitness 21:30 Eyewitness 22:00 Perfect Disaster 23:00 Decoding Disaster DISCOVERY SCIENCE 00:40 Building the Biggest 01:30 What’s That About? 02:20 Sci-Trek 03:10 Engineered 04:00 Beyond Tomorrow 04:50 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 05:45 How Stuff’s Made 06:10 Mean Green Machines 06:40 One Step Beyond 07:10 What’s That About? 08:00 Junkyard Wars 09:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 10:00 Engineered 10:55 How Stuff’s Made 11:20 Stunt Junkies

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

What’s That About? Mean Green Machines One Step Beyond Sci-Fi Saved My Life Engineered Science of Beauty How Stuff’s Made Junkyard Wars Brainiac The Greatest Ever The Future of... Brainiac How It’s Made Mythbusters Specials The Future of... Brainiac

DISNEY CHANNEL 00:00 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 00:20 Handy Manny 00:45 Special Agent Oso 01:10 Lazytown 01:35 Lazytown 02:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:45 Handy Manny 03:10 Special Agent Oso 03:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:00 Fairly Odd Parents 04:25 Hannah Montana 04:45 I Got A Rocket 05:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:35 Phineas & Ferb 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 06:35 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:20 Lazytown 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 Hannah Montana 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 American Dragon 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 Famous Five 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:55 Replacements 15:15 I Got A Rocket 15:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Hannah Montana 19:25 Suite Life On Deck 19:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:15 Sonny With A Chance 20:40 Hannah Montana 21:05 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 21:50 The Replacements 22:00 American Dragon 22:25 Kim Possible 22:50 Famous Five 23:15 Fairly Odd Parents 23:35 Phineas & Ferb E! ENTERTAINMENT 00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 E!es 01:30 Extreme Hollywood 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Ths 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Reality Hell 13:40 E!es 15:25 Behind The Scenes 16:15 E!es 17:10 Perfect Catch 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Streets Of Hollywood 19:15 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 19:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:20 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties EXTREME SPORTS 00:00 Strikeforce 01:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 02:00 Rebel Events 2009: European Skateboard Champs Ep11 02:30 Rebel Events 2009: Extreme Playgrounds 03:00 Strikeforce 04:00 Fim World Motocross Championships 2009 05:00 Ride Guide Snow 2007 06:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 07:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 08:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 09:00 The Sorsa Project 10:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 11:00 Ticket To Ride 12:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 13:00 The Sorsa Project 14:00 Ride Guide Snow 2007 14:30 Ride Guide Snow 2008 15:00 Ticket To Ride 16:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 17:00 The Sorsa Project 18:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 19:00 Lines 20:00 Ride Guide Snow 2007 20:30 Ride Guide Snow 2008 21:00 The Sorsa Project 22:00 Ticket To Ride 23:00 Lines FOX SPORTS 01:00 Dream Team Season 8 02:00 Golf Central International 02:30 The Golf Channel - TBA 03:00 PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii, Rd. 1 Honolulu, HI 05:00 World Sport 2010 05:30 NHL: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins 08:30 Hyundai A League Highlights

06:00 Portugol 06:30 Brazilian League Highlights 07:00 Premier League 09:00 Premier League Classics 10:00 Premier League 14:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:30 Brazilian League Highlights 15:00 Barclays Premier League Arabic Review 16:30 Live Snooker Masters 20:00 Brazilian League Highlights 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Premier League World 21:30 Premier League Classics 22:00 Live Snooker Masters

09:00 Torneo de Verano Mar Del Plata, Argentina 11:00 Interliga: America v Estudiantes Tecos 13:00 European Tour Joburg Open Rd. 1 17:00 Interliga: Monterrey v Jaguares 19:00 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping London, United Kingdom 20:00 NHL: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins 23:00 Interliga: Puebla v Tigres FRANCE 24 00:00 News And Magazines - U 01:00 The France 24 Interview - U 01:30 News And Magazines - U 21:00 The Paris Talk - U 21:30 News And Magazines - U

SHOW SPORTS 2 01:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 02:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 03:30 Live Test Cricket 10:30 Futbol Mundial 11:00 Weber Cup Bowling 12:00 Premier League World 12:30 European Tour Weekly 13:00 Live PGA European Tour Golf 17:00 Weber Cup Bowling 18:00 Futbol Mundial 18:30 Goals On Monday 20:00 Gillette World Sport 20:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 21:00 Int. Pairs World Of Golf 21:30 European Tour Weekly 22:00 Premier League World 22:30 Live European Challenge Cup

MGM 01:35 The Big Man 03:30 The Iron Triangle 05:00 Crooked Hearts 06:50 Slamdance 08:30 The Field 10:20 The Escape 11:50 Buona Sera, Mrs.campbell 13:40 Death Rides a Horse 15:35 Master Of The World 17:15 The Heavenly Kid 18:45 A Doll’s House 20:20 Untamed Heart 22:00 The Secret Of N.i.m.h. (1982) 23:20 Kid Galahad NAT GEO ADVENTURE 00:30 Jailed Abroad 01:30 Jailed Abroad 02:30 Destination Extreme 03:00 Madventures 03:30 Surfer’s Journal 04:00 Bondi Rescue 04:30 Destination Extreme 05:00 Madventures 05:30 By Any Means 06:30 Jailed Abroad 07:30 Jailed Abroad 08:30 Destination Extreme 09:00 Madventures 09:30 Surfer’s Journal 10:00 Bondi Rescue 10:30 Destination Extreme 11:00 Madventures 11:30 Nomads 12:30 Bondi Rescue 13:00 Bondi Rescue 13:30 First Ascent 14:00 Finding Genghis 14:30 Destination Extreme 15:00 Madventures 15:30 Surfer’s Journal 16:00 Bondi Rescue 16:30 Destination Extreme 17:00 Madventures 17:30 Nomads 18:30 Bondi Rescue 19:00 Bondi Rescue 19:30 First Ascent 20:00 Finding Genghis 20:30 Destination Extreme 21:00 Madventures 21:30 Surfer’s Journal 22:00 Bondi Rescue 22:30 Destination Extreme 23:00 Madventures 23:30 Nomads

Bride Wars on Super Movies

NAT GEO WILD 00:00 Wild Russia 01:00 Monster Crocs 02:00 Monkey Thieves 03:00 Caught On Safari 04:00 Insects From Hell 04:30 Snake Wranglers 05:00 Gabon: Triumph Of The Wild 06:00 Wild Russia 07:00 Monster Crocs 08:00 Monkey Thieves 08:30 Monkey Thieves 09:00 Caught On Safari 10:00 Insects From Hell 10:30 Snake Wranglers 11:00 Killer Dragons 12:00 Ancient Creatures 13:00 Striker! 14:00 Rescue Ink 15:00 Dragon Chronicles 16:00 Insects From Hell 16:30 Snake Wranglers 17:00 Killer Dragons 18:00 Ancient Creatures 19:00 Striker! 20:00 Rescue Ink 21:00 Dragon Chronicles 22:00 Insects From Hell 22:30 Snake Wranglers 23:00 Killer Dragons ORBIT NEWS 1 00:00 ABC Now Bell/ Good Money LIVE 00:30 ABC NOW Top Line / Inside the Newsroom 01:00 ABC NOW Ahead of the Curve (as live) 01:30 ABC NOW World News Webcast + Daily Download 02:00 ABC Nightline 02:30 ABC World News Live 03:00 NBC Nightly News Live 03:30 ABC World News (Wed) 04:00 NBC Today Show 07:00 NBC Nightly News (Wed) 07:30 ABC Nightline Live 08:00 ABC World News (Wed) 08:30 NBC Nightly News (Wed) 09:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer 10:00 ABC Nightline 10:30 NBC Nightly News (Wed) 11:00 ABC World News Now Live 12:30 NBC Early Today Live 13:00 ABC America This Morning Live 14:30 NBC Early Today 15:00 NBC Today Show Live 19:00 ABC Now Money Matters / Bell 19:30 ABC NOW / Good Money 20:00 MSNBC Live Dr. NANCY 21:00 MSNBC Live Andrea Mitchell Reports 22:00 PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer 23:00 MSNBC Countdown w/K. Olbermann ORBIT NEWS 2 00:00 MSNBC Live 01:00 MSNBC Live Hardball 02:00 MSNBC News Live The Ed Show 03:00 MSNBC (As Live) Hardball 04:00 MSNBC Live Countdown w/K. Olbermann

05:00 MSNBC Live The Rachel Maddow Show 06:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 07:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Rachel Maddow Show 08:00 MSNBC (As Live) Hardball 09:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 10:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Rachel Maddow Show 11:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Ed Show 12:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 13:00 MSNBC First Look (Live) 13:30 MSNBC Way Too Early w/W. Geist (Live) 14:00 MSNBC (taped) Hardball 15:00 MSNBC (taped) The Ed Show 16:00 MSNBC (taped) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 17:00 MSNBC Live Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan 18:00 MSNBC Live Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan 19:00 MSNBC Live 20:00 MSNBC (taped) Hardball 21:00 MSNBC (taped) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 22:00 MSNBC (taped) The Rachel Maddow Show 23:00 MSNBC Live

15:30 According To Jim 16:00 Ellen 16:30 The Nanny 17:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 17:30 8 Simple Rules.. 18:00 Will And Grace 18:30 Two And A Half Men 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 Malcolm In The Middle 20:00 Friends 20:30 According To Jim 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Comedy Central 23:00 South Park 23:30 How I Met Your Mother

PLAYHOUSE DISNEY 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:25 Handy Manny 08:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:15 Imagination Movers 09:40 Chuggington 10:10 Handy Manny 10:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:50 Special Agent Oso 11:15 Imagination Movers 11:40 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:05 Chuggington 12:20 Chuggington 12:55 Handy Manny 13:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:30 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 13:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:10 Little Einsteins 14:30 Imagination Movers 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 Jo Jo’s Circus 15:45 Jo Jo’s Circus 16:10 Higglytown Heroes 17:00 Happy Monster Band 17:05 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 17:30 Happy Monster Band 17:35 Handy Manny 18:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 18:25 Special Agent Oso 18:50 Chuggington 19:00 Imagination Movers 19:25 Handy Manny 19:50 Chuggington 20:00 Special Agent Oso 20:15 Little Einsteins 20:40 Handy Manny 20:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 21:00 End Of Programming

SHOW MOVIES 2 00:00 There Will Be Blood - PG 15 02:45 The Basketball Diaries - 18 04:30 Bopha! - PG 15 06:30 The Flying Scotsman - PG 15 08:15 The Fox And The Child - FAM 10:00 Iron Giant - FAM 12:00 L’age Des Tenebres - PG 15 14:00 Maradona: The Hand Of God PG 15 16:00 Iron Giant - FAM 18:00 L’age Des Tenebres - PG 15 20:00 The Duchess - PG 15 22:00 Rachel Getting Married - PG

SHOW COMEDY 00:00 Friends 00:30 According To Jim 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Sit Down, Shut Up 02:30 The Inbetweeners 03:00 Home Improvement 03:30 The Colbert Report 04:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 04:30 The Colbert Report 05:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 05:30 Will And Grace 06:00 Two And A Half Men 06:30 Home Improvement 07:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 07:30 Ellen 08:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 08:30 8 Simple Rules.. 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Malcolm In The Middle 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 Two And A Half Men 11:00 How I Met Your Mother 11:30 8 Simple Rules.. 12:00 Ellen 12:30 The Nanny 13:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 Home Improvement 14:30 Malcolm In The Middle 15:00 Friends

SHOW MOVIES 1 01:00 30 Days Of Nights - PG 15 03:00 Art Of War Ii: Betrayal - 18 05:00 Mr. Bean’s Holiday - PG 07:00 The Nanny Diaries - PG 15 09:00 Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging - PG 15 11:00 The Forbidden Kingdom - PG 15 13:00 Rocky Balboa - PG 15 15:00 Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging - PG 15 16:45 The Forbidden Kingdom - PG 15 18:45 Rocky Balboa - PG 15 20:30 Lakeview Terrace - PG 15 23:00 Doubt - PG 15

SHOW MOVIES ACTION 01:00 Pulse 2 - 18 03:00 Street Fighter - PG 05:00 Kokoda - PG 15 07:00 Solstice - 18 09:00 Solo - PG 15 11:00 D- War - PG 15 13:00 Dead Silence - 18 15:00 Solo - PG 15 17:00 D- War - PG 15 19:00 Medium Raw - PG 15 21:00 Black Hawk Down - 18 23:30 Eastern Promises - 18 SHOW MOVIES COMEDY 00:00 Barely Legal - 18 02:00 Mchale’s Navy - PG 04:00 The Broken Hearts Club - PG 06:00 Hot Rod - PG 15 08:00 Mchale’s Navy - PG 10:00 Class Act - PG 12:00 Holiday In Handcuffs - PG 15 14:00 Pretty In Pink - PG 15 16:00 Class Act - PG 18:00 Holiday In Handcuffs - PG 15 20:00 Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - PG 15 22:00 College - 18 SHOW MOVIES KIDS 00:45 Yogi Bear And The Magical Flight Of The Sp - PG 02:30 Sunshine Barry And The Disco 04:15 Tales Of The River Bank FAM 06:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium - FAM 08:00 The Flash - PG 10:00 The Totenwackers - PG 11:45 White Tuft: The Little Beaver FAM 13:15 Madagascar 2 - PG 15:00 Cinderella - FAM 16:45 Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears - FAM 18:30 Madagascar 2 - PG 20:15 The Totenwackers - PG 22:00 White Tuft: The Little Beaver FAM 23:30 Cinderella - FAM SHOW SPORTS 1 00:00 Scottish Premier Highlights 00:30 Premier League 02:30 Barclays Premier Arabic Review 04:00 Premier League

League League

SHOW SPORTS 3 01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 Guinness Premiership 03:30 European Tour Weekly 04:00 Weber Cup Bowling 05:00 Premier League World 05:30 Goals Goals Goals 06:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 07:00 Snooker Masters 10:30 European Tour Weekly 11:00 Premier League World 11:30 Live Test Cricket 18:30 Test Cricket SHOW SPORTS 4 00:00 NCAA Basketball 02:00 NCAA Basketball 04:00 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 07:00 WWE SmackDown! 09:00 British Triathlon 10:00 UAE National Race Day 10:30 FIM World Cup 11:00 Bushido 12:00 WWE SmackDown! 14:00 LG Action Sport 15:00 British Triathlon 16:00 NCAA Basketball 18:00 UAE National Race Day 19:00 NFL Game Day 19:30 FIM World Cup 20:00 WWE ECW 21:00 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 23:00 UFC Fight Night SUPER COMEDY 00:30 The Jay Leno Show 01:30 Notes From The Underbelly 02:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 03:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 03:30 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 04:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live 05:30 The Jay Leno Show 06:30 Notes From The Underbelly 07:00 Frasier 07:30 All Of Us 08:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 09:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live 11:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 11:30 Frasier 12:00 Notes From The Underbelly 12:30 All Of Us 13:00 The Jay Leno Show 14:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 15:00 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 16:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live 19:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 19:30 All Of Us 20:00 The Jay Leno Show 21:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 22:00 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 23:00 HUNG 23:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live SUPER MOVIES 01:00 Hunger - R 03:00 Red Riding: *1983* - 18 05:00 Sweeney Todd - 18 07:00 License to Wed - PG 09:00 The Bucket List - PG 11:00 Justice League: The New Frontier - FAM 13:00 Music and Lyrics - PG 15:00 The Lake House - PG 17:00 Faintheart - PG15 19:00 The Visitor - PG15 21:00 Bride Wars - PG 23:00 Outlander - PG15 TCM 00:35 Lies My Father Told Me (1975) 02:15 Quo Vadis 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Slither 07:05 The Screening Room 08:00 Living Free (1972) 09:35 Quo Vadis 12:40 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 14:25 Please Don’t Eat the Daisies 16:15 Travels with My Aunt 18:00 The Wizard of Oz 19:40 Lies My Father Told Me (1975) 21:15 A Patch of Blue 23:00 California Split (1974) THE HISTORY CHANNEL 00:40 Ancient Discoveries 01:30 Lost Worlds 02:20 Mummy Forensics 03:10 Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire 04:00 How the Earth Was Made 04:55 Da Vinci And The Code He Lived By

Star listings (UAE timings) Star Movies 16:00 My Name Is Earl 16:50 V.I.P. 17:00 Prison Break 17:50 One Day At A Time 18:00 The Unit 18:50 Starsky & Hutch 19:00 Cops 19:25 Cops 19:50 V.I.P. 20:00 Prison Break 20:50 One Day At A Time 21:00 The Unit 21:50 Starsky & Hutch 22:00 [V] Tunes 23:00 How I Met Your Mother 23:30 NGC Program 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven 03:00 American Idol

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

American Idol Cops Cops V.I.P. Grey’s Anatomy One Day At A Time My Name Is Earl Starsky & Hutch Prison Break V.I.P. How I Met Your Mother The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven One Day At A Time Grey’s Anatomy Starsky & Hutch [V] Tunes Cops Cops American Idol American Idol

Granada TV 20:00 Romance Wednesday: Cold Feet (Series 2) (Double Bill) 21:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2) 22:00 Emmerdale 22:30 Coronation Street 23:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2) 00:00 The Springer Show 01:00 Coach Trip (Series 1) * 02:00 Action Thursday: Rough Diamond (Series 2) 03:30 Young, Posh and Loaded 04:00 Art Crime 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 The Springer Show 07:00 Coach Trip (Series 1) * 08:00 Action Thursday: Rough Diamond (Series 2) 09:30 Young, Posh and Loaded 10:00 Art Crime

11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00

Emmerdale Coronation Street The Springer Show The Chopping Block (Series 1) Action Thursday: Bloodlines Young, Posh and Loaded Emmerdale Coronation Street The Springer Show The Chopping Block (Series 1) Action Thursday: Bloodlines

Channel [V] 22:00 [V] Plug 22:30 The Playlist 23:00 Loop 00:00 Backtracks 01:00 Double Shot 02:00 [V] Plug 02:30 The Playlist 03:00 Loop

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

Vanity Lair [V] Tunes Double Shot Backtracks Loop [V] Plug Double Shot Backtracks [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Loop Videoscope [V] Tunes Backtracks [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Loop Videoscope [V] Tunes

Fox News 20:00 Happening Now 22:00 The Live Desk 00:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 01:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto 02:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 03:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 04:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 05:00 The O’Reilly Factor 06:00 Hannity 07:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 08:00 The O’Reilly Factor 09:00 Hannity 10:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 11:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 12:00 Fox Report 13:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 14:00 The O’Reilly Factor

15:00 FOX & Friends First Live 16:00 FOX & Friends Live 18:00 America’s Newsroom National Geographical Channel 20:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : Trading Faces 21:00 Wild Wednesday -Bizarre Dinos 22:00 Wild Wednesday -Predator CSI : Whale That Blew Up 23:00 Wild Wednesday -Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy : Vietnam 2 00:00 Situation Critical -Hollywood Shootout 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -ShowReal Asia : Trading Faces 02:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest -Oil Rig 03:00 World’s Deadliest Animals Urban Jungle S3-3 04:00 Animal Extractors -Backyard Python S1-11



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Victoria Beckham blows £500,000 on shopping spree he singer-turned-designer hit the boutiques in Milan, Italy - where her husband David is currently playing soccer for AC Milan - to revamp her already overflowing wardrobe. According to the Daily Star newspaper, among the items she purchased were 20 pairs of Dolce and Gabbana shoes, 12 pairs of Versace sunglasses and a £400,000 Rolex watch. Victoria admitted she always overspends when she is in the Italian fashion capital. She said: “I’ve spent


too much. Shopping is like a drug. The more you have the more you want. When I’m in Milan I don’t know how to resist it. “The things in those wonderful boutiques are saying, ‘Come and buy me, come and buy me.’ Anyway, it helps the economy.” Designer friends of Victoria, including Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, closed their stores to the public so she could shop without being bothered by fans. A spokesperson for the former Spice

Girl said: “Victoria has not been to Milan for a good few months but has plans to go and visit David there this month.” Despite making her name as a pop star, Victoria, 35, recently announced that fashion was her true passion. She said: “I plan on still being here in 25 to 30 years’ time. At the start it was tough because people had preconceptions but I worked incredibly hard and kept my head down. I have always had to work very, very hard with everything I do.”

Jay-Z wants to help Cheryl Cole

Lady Gaga to become a comic book character

ay-Z wants to help Cheryl Cole become a success in the US. The rapper-and-businessman who owns music management company Roc Nation and is co-owner of Roc-A-Fella Records has offered to assist the ‘Fight for This Love’ singer launch her solo career overseas after seeing how successful she has become in Britain. He said: “I keep a close eye on the music industry throughout the world and I know how hot Cheryl is in the UK. “The US marker is the toughest one to break into, but once you do it is by far the most lucrative. I think Cheryl has that talent to do it. There is nobody in the US like her right now and I would be very interested in helping her break the US market this year.” The 40year-old musician was first tipped off about the 26-year-old Girls Aloud singer - who worked with Black Eyed Peas star on her album ‘3 Words’ after his pop star wife Beyonce Knowles watched her sing live. He explained: “Beyonce has seen her perform and she told me how impressed she was. I checked her out and I was impressed as well.”


Rihanna hasn’t heard from her dad in over a year

Beyonce Kn ow


to him and he was speaking as though we did. It was so disappointing to me.” Barbados-born Rihanna has previously revealed her childhood was blighted by her dad Ronald’s drug problems and eventual split from her mother when she was 14.

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Nicollette Sheridan rushed to hospital he ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress reportedly needed emergency medical treatment for a head wound after she was “bucked off” her horse while not wearing a riding helmet. According to National Enquirer writer Mike Walker: “Nicolette galloped bareback near her San Fernando Valley estate in pouring rain - and suddenly got bucked off by her not-so-gallant steed, slamming head-first into the top rail of a fence. Instantly knocked silly because she wasn’t wearing a riding helmet... and barely able to move as she lay in thick mud about 100 feet from her stable.” However, the 46-year-old



he ‘Crazy in Love’ singer - who is married to hip-hop mogul Jay-Z - thinks she worked too hard last year and needs time off to focus more on her personal life, including spending time with her five-year-old nephew Daniel. She said: “It’s definitely time to take a break, to recharge my batteries. I’d like to take about six months and not go into the studio. I need to just live life, to be inspired by things again. “I’m going to do random things. I want to go to restaurants, maybe take a class and see some movies and Broadway shows. “I’ll spend more time with Daniel. He’s a wonderful kid, amazing, so smart. And I spoil him, so it’s a lot of work. He’s a 24-hour job.” However, Beyonce, 28, admits she will find her music sabbatical tough. She said in an interview with the USA Today newspaper: “It will be the hardest thing in the world for me to make myself not do an album and shoot a video and turn it in and say, ‘I’m ready!’ I already have all these melodies and ideas in my head. I have to tell myself, ‘Sit down! Sit down!’ “

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he ‘Russian Roulette’ singer rubbished reports her dad Ronald Fenty had tried to reconcile with her - following a bustup when she discovered he was drunk before one of her concerts - and insists he’s the one who’s been ignoring her. She said: “I’ve been the one trying to reconcile with him forever. I haven’t heard from my father in over a year. I try though, I reached out to him. I did my part. Now it’s on him.” Last week, Ronald claimed he had been trying to get in contact with his 21-year-old daughter for months but she has refused to speak to him. As well as his drunken antics, Rihanna was also left dismayed when her dad decided to publicly speak about her assault at the hands of ex-lover Chris Brown in February. She said: “He kind of did something that was really upsetting. He turned his back on me and went to the media. He got paid to talk about stuff - all these little interviews he was doing after the whole situation in February. “I hadn’t spoken

he ‘Poker Face’ singer will feature in a free animated magazine as part of a preview for American publishers Bluewater Productions’ upcoming Fame series. According to Bluewater, the title will focus on “culturally relevant celebrities and other pop culture icons”. The comic will be available on Free Comic Book Day on May 5 and the publishers are planning further issues featuring Robert Pattinson, 50 Cent, David Beckham and Taylor Swift. The Fame series joins Bluewater’s other biographical titles Political Power and Female Force, which focus on political and high-profile female figures respectively. Bluewater Productions President Darren G. Davis said: “Over the past year we saw an opportunity to broaden the scope of who reads comics. “There were many who had never picked up a graphic novel or comic book but bought our biography titles like Female Force and Political Power. Fame is the natural extension of that trend.”

Richard Gere fined for cutting down trees he ‘Amelia’ actor failed to seek the appropriate permission before having around 200 trees removed from the grounds of his estate in Pound Ridge, Westchester, New York, in a move which has perplexed local residents. One neighbor said: “This is a town where money isn’t an issue. What matters are good manners and caring about the community. People have been supportive of him, but I’m not sure what he was thinking.” Another told the New York Post newspaper: “The feeling is that he acted a bit precipitously in clearing the trees.


People are somewhat disappointed that he didn’t follow procedure. “Rather than seeking the proper channels and permits, he hired someone to cut them down. He’s generally a good neighbor. It was out of character.” Richard and wife Carey Lowell reportedly wanted the trees cleared to create a paddock for their horses, but could be fined $250 for each one chopped down without a permit. The actor has claimed he only cut down around 150 trees and is believed to be in negotiations with town officials to replant a number of them. — BangShowbiz

star was soon found by her boyfriend, businessman Steve Pate - who rushed her to their nearest medical centre. The magazine added added: “Steve was shocked to discover Nicollette bleeding from a nasty head wound. Picking her up, he ran to his car and rushed her to hospital. After tests for possible internal injuries, docs stapled up the gash and sent Nicolette home.”


Thursday, January 14, 2010


This picture taken yesterday shows detail on a mosaic work depicting the Virgin Mary by Ukrainian artist Oksana Mas on a wall of the Saint Sophia cathedral in Kiev. The panel was made with some 15,000 traditional Easter eggs made with wood and painted in traditional Ukrainian style. — AFP

‘Marbling’ draws crowds at the Islamic Arts Forum By Ben Garcia arbling, a water surface painting had made itself once again to top attraction at the on-going 4th Kuwait International Islamic Arts Forum being held from January 4 till tomorrow at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City. Marbling is famous at


‘Marbling’ or water-surface paintings.

all age levels but kids are fascinated by how colors in water can become a piece of art on a plain paper, clothe, wood or even ceramics just after a simple stroke of hands in a water surface. Marbling, famously known in Istanbul as ‘Ebru art’ originated in central Asia. It travels from that part of the world until it reached Iran, then in Europe. Turkish mas-

ter painter/artist, Hikmet Barutcugil described this art as unique and fascinating passion and also an exciting path to career fulfillment. Barutcugil noted 30 years ago, Ebru was almost unknown arts in Turkey. In Turkey, Ebru means colors, mixed of beautiful colors. “When I started this art 36 years ago, no one knows about it in Turkey. But when people discovered it, they love this work of art and I started sharing my techniques to people, so it become famous and many artist in Turkey nowadays are doing it,” he said. Barutcugil participation in this year’s exhibition was his second, when he was first invited two years ago. “I noticed the interests of every visitor. I am happy that by only a week of presence here last two years back, people know it, and they are sharing their experiences to others,” he said. Barutcugil stall was filled with adoring visitors when this reporter visited him for an interview. His art was quite fascinating. The moment he started his hand moving at a water frame, visitors start flocking his stall. The secret of marbling according to Barutcugil was a liquid substance called ‘ox gall’, extracted from an ox liver. It is needed to prevent colors from sinking or spreading unnecessarily. “If we do not have the ox gall, the color will automatically sink to the very bottom of the frame, but because we have the ox gall, we can actually play a design. There is also a technique applied in spreading the colors. If you want it in specific color, make sure to separate the color from each, because example if you mixed the color red and yellow, it will create a color orange. The result depends on

Turkish master painter/artist Hikmet Barutcugil your hand and your artistic abilities,” he explained. Indeed artistic ability is yet a beautiful plus factor to having the best marbling design. In fact, Barutcugil is not only an expert in Ebru art design, he is also famous in his traditional crafts like calligraphy, gilding (Illumination), miniature painting and book binding. He graduated in the State Academy of Fine Arts, School of Applied Industrial Arts, major in textile design. Barucugil started career in traditional Islamic calligraphy but he eventually landed Ebru art, as

he feels the real love and passion for the art. In 1989, he started teaching and sharing his knowledge about the techniques in some universities and schools back in Turkey. In 1996, he started his own school, Ebristan, and share his ‘Ebru techniques’. He received numerous awards and honors on his work from several domestic and international arts organizations. Barutcugil demonstrated his work in many arts exhibition/seminar throughout the world and he has been featured in numerous articles and publications through-

Claw of death is ʻHand of Godʼ at Paris art show A

giant claw of death is at work and shades of the Holocaust on view at Paris’ Grand Palais hall this week in the city’s first big art show of the year, a “hand of God” installation by France’s Christian Boltanski. The show which opened yesterday inside the vast dome-topped exhibition hall overlooking the Seine river features a giant mechanical claw hovering above a mountain of old clothes, some 10 metres (yards) high. In icy cold and to the loud sound of a beating heart, the claw picks a few bits of discarded clothing from the pile that are left to flutter back down. “It’s like a metaphor on the hand of God, on fate, on our destinies,” the 65-year-old artist told AFP. “It picks up clothes by chance, in the same way we fall by chance.” One of the country’s foremost avant-garde artists, Boltanski was born in Paris in 1944 to a mother who was a writer and a doctor father from a Jewish family who lived more than a year hidden under the floorboards. “The war and being Jewish are the two most important things that have happened in my life,” he said in a recent interview. But while death has long been of interest to Boltanski, he says his concern over the last decade is primarily to do with aging and his own demise. “Death is covered up in contemporary western societies, old age is covered up,” he added. “I’m seeking to ask questions here about fate and life and death.” To stage the show, which ends February 21, Boltanski gathered 30

tonnes of old clothes from a specialist recycling company, using some for the mound and others for a concentration camp-like display on the floor. Carefully choosing hundreds of bits of clothing for their color and cut, Boltanski laid them out on the ground in dozens of rectangles framed by metal poles and speakers blaring heartbeats. In the last years Boltanski has recorded thousands of individual heartbeats and visitors to both the Grand Palais or a sistershow just outside Paris can record their heartbeats and take home a CD. “He’s interested in the traces we leave behind us,” said Alexia Fabre, curator of the sister-show also opening this week at the Mac/Val museum in Vitry-sur-Seine and running until March 28. The Grand Palais show is titled “Personnes”-which in French means “Persons” but sounds like “Nobody”while the Mac/Val show is titled “Apres” or After, and is described by the artist as being infinitely “more joyous”. Held in what he imagines to be a post-death limbo, it features a dark world of big black cubes peopled by scarecrow-like creatures who ask the visitor: “Tell me, how did you die?”, “Tell me, were you alone when it happened?”, “Tell me, was it an accident?” Asked if his dark message was really all about life, Boltanski laughed: “I’m a happy person who enjoys life. I hope everyone will find a message.” Said curator Fabre: “He’s a humanist, who first and foremost I think believes in hope.” — AFP

out the world. His works were also featured in several international museums around the world. He presented his arts to several head of states and leaders including the current Turkish President Abdullah Gul. He already shared and documented his knowledge through 12 books he authored about Ebru art in both English and Turkish. He continued to conducts workshops on marbling and other traditional crafts like calligraphy, illumination, miniature painting, and book binding at his art centre, called Ebristan.

Polish police recover Monet stolen in 2000 olish police said yesterday they had recovered a painting by French Impressionist master Claude Monet stolen over nine years ago and had arrested the suspected thief. Police spokesman Andrzej Borowiak told AFP that the man, whom he identified only as Robert Z., 41, had been arrested Tuesday in Olkusz, southern Poland. “We’re convinced that this is the individual who stole the painting,” Borowiak said. He declined to say where the artwork itself-Monet’s 1882 oil painting “Plage de Pourville”-had been found. “It had been kept in a good condition. It hasn’t suffered any visible damage,” he said. The study of a beach in northern France was the only Monet on public display in Poland and was exhibited in a state museum in the western city of Poznan. The theft was discovered on September 19, 2000. Investigators had long been trying to trace an individual who was seen making sketches of paintings in the museum two days earlier, Borowiak explained. “In December we obtained new evidence that helped us identify that individual, as well as the place where the painting was,” he said. Police believe that Robert Z. was the mysterious artist, he added. —AFP


People look at a painting by Gustav Klimt during a photo call in central London, Tuesday Jan 12, 2010. — AP

‘Missing’ Klimt work to be sold in London painting by Gustav Klimt that disappeared af ter its owner died in the Holocaust is up for sale in London next month. Sotheby’s auction house values “Church in Cassone - Landscape with Cypresses” at 12 million to 18 million pounds ($19 million to $29 million). The 1913 painting of Italy’s Lake Garda was put into storage in Vienna by owner Amalie Redlich af ter the Nazi invasion of


Austria. She was deported to Lodz in Poland in 1941 and never heard from again. The painting reappeared in the 1960s and is being sold after a deal was struck between its current owner and Redlich’s 81-year-old grandson, Georges Jorisch. Sotheby’s said yesterday the current owner wished to remain anonymous. The painting is being offered at an Impressionist and modern art sale on Feb 3. — AP



Thursday, January 14, 2010

O’Brien says no thanks to NBC move onan O’Brien has refused to play along with NBC’s plan to move “The Tonight Show” and return Jay Leno to late-night, abruptly derailing the network’s effort to resolve its scheduling mess. O’Brien said in a statement Tuesday that shifting “Tonight” will “seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” and he expressed disappointment that NBC had given him less than a year to establish himself as host at 11:35 pm EST (0435 GMT). O’Brien is in line to make approximately $30 million from NBC if he is replaced on “The Tonight Show” or if the show is canceled, said a source close to the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about it publicly. However, the source said the sum would not apply just for moving O’Brien to a later time slot. O’Brien said he doesn’t have an offer in hand from another network. Fox, which lacks a network late-night show, has expressed its appreciation for him but said this week that no negotiations have been held. In his statement, wryly addressed to “People of Earth,” the comic knocked his network’s prime-time ratings woes, which stem in part from the poor performance of Leno’s new prime-time show. “The Jay Leno Show” debuted in the fall after Leno surrendered his 17-year stake in the “Tonight” last spring to O’Brien. “It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both,” O’Brien said. “But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my ‘Tonight Show’ in


In this 2009 file photo provided by NBC, Conan O’Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in Universal City, California. — AP its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule. Growing up watching “Tonight” host Johnny Carson and getting the chance to “one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me,” and was an opportunity he worked long and hard to obtain, O’Brien said. “Tonight” has long been the dominant late-night program on television, with O’Brien following in a line of

hosts that included Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Leno. For many of those years, an appearance on “Tonight,” particularly for comics, could make or break a career. NBC wants to move Leno out of prime-time and to the 11:35 pm (0435 GMT) slot with a half-hour show, bumping “Tonight” to 12:05 am (0505 GMT) - the latest it’s ever regularly aired. The network was under pressure to make a change from its affiliate stations, who found Leno’s show an inadequate ratings lead-

in for their lucrative local newscasts. Online, many took to O’Brien’s defense and applauded the host’s stand against NBC. “Team Conan” was one of the most popular Twitter topics Tuesday afternoon, as young viewers pledged their allegiance to O’Brien. An O’Brien portrait also circulated as a badge of support. Referring to the “Tonight” show host’s playful nickname, it read, “I’m with Coco,” and featured a blackand-white picture of a regal-looking O’Brien standing in front of an American flag. The only color: his shock of orange hair. It doesn’t make sense for NBC to try and hold him to a contract, said John Rash, a media analyst for the Chicago advertising firm Campbell & Mithun. “An unhappy comedian is not a good premise for a program,” Rash said. Jody Simon, an entertainment lawyer with Peter Rubin & Simon, said it’s very likely that O’Brien and NBC will reach some sort of settlement that might require him to refrain from working at another late-night show for a certain time. He expected O’Brien will not boycott his show, despite the expressed desire to quit. The late-night shuffle has played out amid wide speculation that O’Brien might bolt for Fox. And the network’s top entertainment executive, Kevin Reilly, said on Monday, “I love Conan personally and professionally.” Fox has had trouble launching late-night shows in the past, with Chevy Chase and Joan Rivers as notable failures. O’Brien offers the advantage of being a proven performer with a team experienced in putting on a show. Fox declined comment Tuesday on O’Brien’s statement, but it is taking action that would indicate the network is seriously considering bringing him to late-night, a period now largely filled by a variety of syndicated fare that includes network

reruns. Fox is asking some of its stations to study and report back on how much money is made with current late-night programming, according to a person familiar with the request. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss the request. The syndication agreements that are in place are a costly sticking point if Fox wants to put in a late-night show across the network, the person said. It might not be easy for affiliate stations to break profitable syndication agreements, said analyst Rash. NBC announced the “Tonight Show” succession plan in 2004, well before Leno’s departure, to try to avoid the Leno-David Letterman battle that ensued when Carson retired. (On his CBS “Late Show” Tuesday, Letterman joked that he received a call from NBC with the message, “Look, look, we still don’t want you back.”‘) But it didn’t count on Leno remaining atop the late-night ratings when he was pushed out of “Tonight.” O’Brien said he hoped that he and NBC could resolve the issue quickly so he could do a show of which he and his crew could be proud - “for a company that values our work” - raising the possibility he might go to another network. NBC declined comment Tuesday, adding that O’Brien was scheduled to do his show Tuesday night. Leno also declined comment. For O’Brien, it’s been a stark contrast to early in his career, when he was an unknown replacing David Letterman in the 12:30 am (0530 GMT) slot. He suffered brutal reviews, tough ratings and was working on a week-to-week contract. But NBC’s management then stuck with him, and he blossomed into a proven performer. — AP

Bollywood star highlights plight of Indian widows


ollywood star Preity Zinta said yesterday that misinterpretations of Hinduism-often fuelled by greed-were partly responsible for the dire plight of India’s oppressed and neglected widows. Speaking as she took up the role of ambassador for the Loomba Trust, a charity that campaigns for widows’ rights, Zinta railed against the Indian custom that widows are forced to stop wearing colored clothes or jewellery. “I am a Hindu and I’d like to say I think religion is always interpreted by various different people and the greatest reason for misinterpreting religion is always greed,” Zinta told a press conference in New Delhi. Hindu widows in India are not supposed to remarry and often fall into lives of desperate poverty after being thrown out of the family home because they are seen as a drain on scarce resources. Zinta, glamorous star of Bollywood blockbusters such as “Kal Ho Naa Ho” (Tomorrow May Never Come), recently completed a management course at Harvard Business School and is known as one of India’s most articulate actresses. Cases of “sati”-the outlawed Hindu custom when a widow is cremated on the funeral pyre of


Duffy recruits diverse duo for second album W

elsh singer Duffy is working with Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and veteran songwriter Albert Hammond Sr on her second album. A planned three-week session just got underway in New York, with Thompson and Hammond contributing both songwriting and production ideas. A source who has heard the early material says it “feels like it was born in 1963” and is much in the vein of the Dusty Springfield-inspired soul found on her smash 2007 debut, “Rockferry.” Thompson has also contributed to singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles’ upcoming second album.

Hammond, the father of Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., is best known for penning such hits as “It Never Rains in Southern California” and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.” Duffy’s asyet-untitled album is expected to be released before the end of the year on Mercury. “Rockferry” won a Grammy for best pop vocal album and has sold 848,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was an even bigger hit in the United Kingdom, where it debuted at No 1 on the album chart and spawned a massive single, “Mercy,” which spent five weeks at the top. — Reuters

Loomba Trust President Cherie Blair and Indian actress Preity Zinta pose for a picture during a press conference in New Delhi yesterday. — AFP her husband as an indication of her devotion-are now extremely rare, but widows are often left helpless. Zinta, 34, said that many Indian widows struggled to avoid being pulled into prostitution or become victims of human trafficking. The Loomba Trust educates 3,000 children of poor widows across India and has been supported by former British Prime

Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie since it was founded in 1998. Cherie Blair told reporters in Delhi that “like every religion there are questions that are about the basic tenets of the religion and then there are the customs and practices that grow up around it. “The Hindu religion is not the only religion that has a problem with that,” she said. — AFP

Rape investigation of David Copperfield closed ederal prosecutors closed a two-year rape investigation of magician David Copperfield on Tuesday without filing charges, and police say his accuser made a false sexual assault claim against another man last month. The illusionist’s lawyers, Angelo Calfo and Patty Eakes, previously said he denied the allegations and called the lawsuit “extortion for money, plain and simple,” but they had no immediate comment on the prosecutors’ decision. The end of the federal investigation came in a brief court filing by Assistant US Attorney Susan Roe. The US attorney’s office in Seattle declined to discuss its reasons, but in a written statement, spokeswoman Emily Langlie said that generally, investigations may be closed without charges if prosecutors determine there is no federal jurisdiction, no federal laws were broken, or that it would be impossible to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. “Neither the investigation, nor its termination, should be perceived as a comment on guilt or innocence,” the statement said. The woman who made the complaint, a 23-year-old fashion model, waitress and former Miss Washington contestant, said in a related civil lawsuit against Copperfield that she met him when he pulled her out of the crowd and onto the stage during a performance in Kennewick, in southeastern Washington. She was later invited to visit his private island in the Bahamas in July 2007. The woman claimed that once she arrived, Copperfield, whose real name is David Kotkin, sexually assaulted her, in one instance holding her head under water to coerce her. “She is disappointed, but it wasn’t completely unexpected given the jurisdictional issue of prosecuting him here for something that happened on his private island,” said Rebecca Roe, a lawyer for the woman. Bellevue Police records obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday indicate that Copperfield’s accuser made false sexual assault allegations against another man last month. Police referred the matter to prosecutors for potential charges of prostitution and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. According to the investigation reports, the woman was working as a server at a restaurant and decided to meet with a customer for drinks on Dec 2. She and another woman met the man, but before long the other woman left - later telling police it was because the other two had become so affectionate toward each other that it was making her uncomfortable. Copperfield’s accuser and the other man rented a hotel room, and surveillance images included in the police records showed them kissing and holding each other in the lobby. The woman later exited the hotel room and told hotel staff the man took advantage of her, the police documents said. She said she was dizzy and couldn’t remember what happened, but only awoke to find him on top of her, police said. But the man also called police, saying she left the room and falsely accused him to the staff because he refused to pay her $2,000 for sex. Roe, the woman’s attorney, said she believed the police report was “overblown.” “I’m fully aware that Copperfield’s lawyers are trying to shine a light on her instead of what he did and his modus operandi of luring young girls to his private island,” she said. — AP


Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan speak ‘Code’ Unreleased Hendrix recordings set for album “U A

n album featuring previously unreleased recordings by rock great Jimi Hendrix will go on sale next month, almost four decades after his death. “Valleys of Neptune” will go on sale March 9 featuring “12 fully realized studio recordings, more than 60 minutes of music” that has never been commercially released, the company Experience Hendrix said in a statement. The album “provides an essential, compelling, and up-tillnow largely unseen view of what Jimi Hendrix was up to

musically in the critical period between the release of Electric Ladyland in October 1968 and the 1970 opening of his own Electric Lady Studios.” Janie Hendrix, the sister of the musician and CEO of Experience Hendrix, said “his brilliance shines through on every one of these precious tracks.” The album is produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott and Eddie Kramer. It launches a series of projects marking 40 years since Hendrix died, aged 27, on September 18, 1970. — AFP

p in the Air” co-star Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan are in line to join Jake Gyllenhaal in the time-travel thriller “Source Code.” Duncan Jones (“Moon”) is directing the picture, which centers on a soldier (Gyllenhaal) who, as part of an experimental government program to investigate a terrorist incident, finds himself in the body of an unknown commuter living and reliving a harrowing train bombing until he can find out who is responsible for it. Farmiga will play a hands-on communications offi-

cer controlling Gyllenhaal as he travels through time and space. Monaghan is a woman on the train with whom the man is involved romantically. The film is slated to begin filming in March. Summit Entertainment is distributing in North America. Farmiga is flying high off her Golden Globe-nominated performance as George Clooney’s love interest in “Up in the Air,” one of the season’s major awards players. Monaghan starred with Shia LaBeouf in “Eagle Eye” and recently wrapped “Due Date” with Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis. — Reuters

Kevin Spacey to star in upcoming Chinese film wo-time Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey will play an American expatriate in an upcoming Chinese drama. Spacey will play a character who befriends a young man with a troubled work and domestic life in director Dayyan Eng’s “Inseparable,” Xinhua Sports and Entertainment Ltd said in a statement yesterday. Shooting will start this month in southern China, the statement said. Xinhua Sports and Entertainment publicist Joy Tsang declined to reveal which city Spacey will be shooting in, saying filmmakers did not want public interest to interfere with the shoot. Spacey will be costarring with Chinese-American actor Daniel Wu and Chinese actress Beibi Gong. She said Xinhua Media Entertainment, a subsidiary of Xinhua Sports and Entertainment, put together the project with China’s Colordance Pictures but that the film is mainly being funded by Fantawild Pictures, a subsidiary of Chinese theme park operator Hua Qiang Group. Tsang said she didn’t know the budget. Spacey’s credits include “The Usual Suspects,” “LA Confidential,” “American Beauty” and “The Life of David Gale.” — AP


Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page (center) holds an award presented by Michael Johnson (left), the United Nations NGO representative for Pathways to Peace as promoter Rick Garson (right) looks on during a press conference in Beijing yesterday for the Show of Peace Concert, a globally televised event due to take place on April 17 at the Bird’s Nest stadium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The concert’s official website lists almost five dozen artists to be invited to perform at the outdoor rock festival, including Jimmy Page, Prince, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Rob Thomas, Beyonce, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake and many others. — AFP

In this 2007 file photo, the Dixie Chicks, Emily Robison (left) Natalie Maines (center) and Martie Maguire, who earned five Grammy nominations, arrive for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Two members of the Dixie Chicks, minus lead singer Natalie Maines, are preparing to release a new album this year. According to, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison are working on a project to be released on Columbia Records. — AP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Michelle Obama’s garden ex‘seeds’ her expectations o Michelle Obama, her White House garden is more than a plot of land. It also is a soapbox, a podium from where she can send her message of healthy eating. The South Lawn garden has given Mrs Obama a platform to speak out about a major childhood obesity problem in the United States, extol the benefits of eating fresh food and teach children early to appreciate vegetables. It also has offered Mrs Obama another way to open the White House to people who do not normally visit. The garden now is ready for winter, fitted with protective coverings called “hoop houses,” a kind of temporary greenhouse, to help keep various crops - spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, cabbage - growing during the cold months. In its first year, aides say the garden has ex”seeded” expectations. It has become so popular that even foreign dignitaries ask Mrs Obama about it when they meet. Crops have been donated to a neighborhood soup kitchen, and the first lady’s green thumb has inspired others to start gardening. Local fifth-grade pupils whose public school has a similar garden helped prepare the plot, plant the crops and harvest the produce. They even were brought into the White House kitchen to cook some of the food and experience how eating “fresh” tastes. During the first lady’s recent visit to the “Sesame Street” children’s television program to help the muppet, Elmo, and some kids plant vegetable seeds, Big Bird asked if he had heard correctly that she eats seeds. Not exactly, she replied, but “I do eat what grows from these seeds.” She encourages the kids to eat all their vegetables, telling them that if they do, they will “grow up to be big and strong just like me.” The garden also inspired a culinary showdown on an episode of “Iron Chef America,” a television series patterned on the Japanese “Iron Chef.” Filmed partly at the White House, the contest paired White House chef Cristeta Comerford and Bobby Flay against another duo of top American chefs, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. Their challenge? Whip up five dishes using anything from the garden. The chefs harvested everything from fennel and collard greens to purple cauliflower and Japanese eggplant. Flay and Comerford, a Philippine-born naturalized American, won the cook-off. The 1,100-square-foot (102-square-meter) plot, about the size of a small apartment, has yielded more than 1,000 pounds (455 kilograms) of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, fennel, lettuce, other vegetables and herbs that White House and visiting chefs have used to feed the Obama family and guests. A nearby beehive, bolted to the South Lawn to withstand wind gusting from the president’s helicopter, produced 134 pounds of honey. Some was given to spouses who accompanied world leaders to an international economic summit last year in Pittsburgh. This year, Mrs Obama plans to involve more students from other schools. Mrs Obama’s plot is the first large-scale garden project at the White House since the “victory garden” that first lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted during World War II. The US government encouraged such gardens to make sure troops and civilians had enough to eat. Advocates of eating more fresh, locally grown food, including California chef Alice Waters, spent months lobbying the Obamas to start the garden. Mrs Obama has said it was something she thought about doing before moving from Chicago. She talks often about her experience as a busy, working mother trying to feed daughters Malia and Sasha but relying too much on processed, fast food or takeout meals like pizza, not realizing the toll it was taking on the girls’ health, and weight, until their pediatrician spoke up. The entire family began to feel better, she says, after she started serving more fresh fr uit and vegetables, eliminated processed foods and cut back on sugary drinks. Her children were like sponges, she said, and soaked up the information about what foods do to their bodies. They even police her diet, too. “They started schooling me and lecturing me about what I should be eating, and what a carrot does, and what broccoli does. And sometimes they look at my plate in disgust now,” the first lady said. Statistics show that two out of three Americans are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years. Mrs Obama aims to pay more attention to childhood obesity this year in hopes that America’s children will do as her daughters have done and help their families clean up their diets, too. Another benefit of gardening is cost. Mrs Obama said it costs less than $200 to start the garden, which already has yielded a positive return on the investment. It also is boosting interest in gardening nationwide. “That’s the first word out of people’s mouths when we talk about gardens,” said David Ellis, spokesman for the American Horticultural Society. Mrs Obama’s garden has “just made an incredible influence on people who haven’t gardened before.” The National Gardening Association predicted a 19 percent increase last year in the number of home-based fruit and vegetable gardens, compared with 2008. W Atlee Burpee & Co, a large seed company in Pennsylvania, saw a 30 percent increase in vegetable seed sales alone in 2009, compared with the year before, according to spokeswoman Kristin Grilli. The garden is popular at the White House, too. Assistant chef Sam Kass, who cooked for the Obamas in Chicago and does the same at the White House, oversees the garden. But other chefs and staffers from throughout the White House office complex jockey to help care for it. Chefs love having fresh ingredients handy. White House pastry chef Bill Yosses spices up dessert with fresh herbs. Maricel Presilla, an authority on L atin American cuisine who cooked for a Latin music festival at the White House, said she was “absolutely flabbergasted” to find tomatillos in the garden. —AP


Star-studded movies lined up on Orbit Showtime his month, Orbit Showtime brings a splendid spread of star studded blockbuster movies - in fact two billion dollars worth and that’s just over one weekend! Prepare to be dazzled by a line-up of hits that saw cinemas packed at the time of release with audiences flocking in the millions to check out these must-see-movies with their powerhouse casts and budgets to match. Movie mania begins Thursday, 21st January at 9am and sees blockbusters in all their unedited, ad-free glory through to 9pm on Friday, 22nd January exclusively on Showmovies 1.


Roly-poly panda Po (Jack Black) kicks off the mega movie marathon in Kung Fu Panda and finds himself elevated from noodle vendor to kung fu master to fulfill an ancient prophesy in old China. Following on one year after the Pevensie siblings left Narnia they find themselves back in that magic realm in The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Hollywood’s finest funny man Adam Sandler steps up next as Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman who finds that the bedtime stories he tells to his niece and nephew magically come true in the wonder-

ful family adventure Bedtime Stories. Cue mega star Will Smith starring as Hancock, a skid-row superman whose own peculiar brand of kryptonite is a bottle of bourbon in the popcorn pleaser Hancock. The chaos continues in Evan Almighty...a flood is coming and it’s up to good-hearted congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) to prepare an ark for creature’s great and small. Hilarious duo Will Ferrell and John C Reilly round up the first day of top notch entertainment in Step Brothers as two spoilt thirty-something’s who are thrown together when their folks get hitched. Oscar winning Wall-E introduces the second half of blockbusting glory on Friday, 22nd January re-telling his tale of clearing up abandoned planet Earth many centuries after the humans left. Following on with another Oscar Winner Ellen Page stars in Juno a comedy about growing up... and the bumps along the way. Time for superheroes to rip up the screen complete with digitally enhanced biceps and some old anger management issues. Ed Norton breathes new life into The Incredible Hulk and Robert Downey Jr. dons the full metal jacket of Marvel Comics’ billionaire technogenius Tony Stark in a weaponsgrade blockbuster Iron Man. The star studded all-singing, alldancing cast including Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan brighten up the afternoon as they bring Abba’s jukebox musical to the big screen in the sensational hit Mamma Mia. Last up and by no means least the awesome, uber sexy, ultimate and stylish Mr Daniel Craig returns as 007 for a global adventure following on from where Casino Royale left off. So, from the films you shouldn’t have missed the first time round, to the films you can see again and again - take your position on the sofa and check out our plethora of filmic treats in the ultimate billion dollar blockbusting weekend on Showmovies 1 exclusively on Orbit Showtime.

(Left) In this file photo first lady Michelle Obama helps students from Washington’s Bancroft Elementary School push a wheel barrow with sweet potatoes that they harvested from the first lady’s garden on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (Right) In this 2009 file photo first lady Michelle Obama shells peas with fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in the kitchen. — AP

Vatican says ‘Avatar’ is no masterpiece vatar” is wooing audiences worldwide with visually dazzling landscapes and natureloving blue creatures. But the Vatican is no easy crowd to please. The Vatican newspaper and radio station are criticizing James Cameron’s 3-D blockbuster for flirting with the idea that worship of nature can replace religion - a notion the pope has warned against. They call the movie a simplistic and sappy tale, despite its awe-inspiring special effects. “Not much behind the images” was how the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, summed it up in a headline. As the second highest-grossing movie ever, “Avatar” is challenging the record set by Cameron’s previous movie “Titanic.” Generally it has been critically acclaimed and is touted as a leading Oscar con-


tender. Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, has praised “Avatar” for what he calls its message of saving the environment from exploitation. But the movie also has drawn a number of critical voices. Some American conservative bloggers have decried its anti-militaristic message; a small group of people have said the movie contains racist themes. To Vatican critics, the alien extravaganza is just “bland.” Cameron “tells the story without going deep into it, and ends up falling into sappiness,” said L’Osservatore Romano. Vatican Radio called it “rather harmless” but said it was no heir to sci-fi masterpieces of the past. Most significantly, much of the Vatican criticism was directed at the movie’s central theme of man vs nature.

L’Osservatore said the film “gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature.” Similarly, Vatican Radio said it “cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.” “Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship,” the radio said. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that while the movie reviews are just that - film criticism, not theological pronouncements - they do reflect Pope Benedict XVI’s views on the dangers of turning nature into a “new divinity.” Benedict has often spoken about the need to protect the environment, earning the nickname of “green pope.” But he also has balanced that call with a warning against turning environmentalism into neo-paganism. —AP

American Idol creator robbed in Uruguay imon Fuller, creator of the Spice Girls pop group and US reality show “American Idol,” was robbed of more than 100,000 dollars in cash and jewelry while vacationing in Uruguay, El Pais said Tuesday. The newspaper said Fuller and his wife, interior designer Natalie Swanston, discovered the theft on January 7 at the villa they were renting in the Punta del Este beach resort, 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of Montevideo. The items found missing, Fuller said, included a watch, a gold and diamond bracelet, a gold chain encrusted with diamonds and sapphires, a set of gold earrings and rings, as well as 9,000 dollars, 1,500 pounds and 500 euros in cash. Also missing were the couple’s passports, the newspaper said. In the police report on the robbery, Fuller specifically requested privacy. “I don’t want it ending up in the newspapers. I don’t want exposure,” he was quoted as saying in the report that El Pais accessed. The day after the robbery, Fuller and his wife left Uruguay on a private flight, the newspaper added. — AFP


British film director Guy Ritchie (lef t) Canadian actress Rachel McAdams (second from left) US actor Robert Downey Jr, (second from right) and British actor Mark Strong (right) attend the German premiere of Sherlock Holmes, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010. — AP

‘Lost’ creators promise a cocktail of answers s “Lost” returns for its highly-anticipated final season on Feb 2, even the cast aren’t sure how the desertisland survival series will end. And its creators on Tuesday warned that not all loose ends would be tied up. “Not every question is going to be answered,” executive producer Carlton Cuse told TV reporters. “If we tried to answer every question, it would be very pedantic.” “Hopefully there will be a healthy cocktail of answers, mystery, character resolutions, and some surprises, he said. Cuse and co-creator Damon Lindelof said the new season picks up immediately after the 5th-season cliffhanger when a modified nuclear bomb was detonated. Other than that-and the reappearance of season-two clinical psychologist Libby, played by Cynthia Watros-no-one was saying. In fact, Lindelof and Cuse said that although they had decided five years ago how the ABC series would end, they were still working on writing the final episodes. “We came up with the final image of the show a long time ago, when we started plotting the mythology of the first season,” Cuse said. “A lot of the


character stuff will get worked out as we go along... We have a sense of where we are going to end the show, but we are still in the process of executing it,” he said. “Lost”, one of the most expensive series on US television because of its large cast and production base in Hawaii, has won 58 awards, including a Golden Globe and an Emmy, since it debuted in 2004 to armies of fans around the world. But for newcomers keen to catch up with the complex, time-shifting plot before the show starts its final series, hope is not lost. Producers said ABC would run a recap show summing up the previous five seasons ahead of the season premiere. Only seven episodes of the 6th season have been shot so far, and most cast members said there were in the dark about the ultimate fate of their characters. As for the long-awaited finale, Lindelof told reporters; “We have had a lot of time to think about it. There is certainly a hope that everybody loves the ending. “But I don’t think it would be ‘Lost’ if there wasn’t an active debate among the people who watch as to whether it was a good ending.” — Reuters

Caste system traps Nepal’s ‘hereditary prostitutes’ urpati Nepali hides her face in shame as she recalls how she was forced to return to work as a prostitute after her husband was killed during Nepal’s 10-year civil war. The 35-year-old mother of five says she resorted to prostitution an occupation she first took up aged just 14 — in desperation after the food stall she set up failed because customers were abusive and refused to pay. Nepali was victimized because she is a Badi, a caste of so-called “untouchables” living mainly in western Nepal whose women have traditionally earned their living as sex workers. Once high-class courtesans and musicians, the Badi are now among the poorest and most downtrodden groups in Nepal, where discrimination on caste grounds remains rife despite being outlawed more than four decades ago. Many are disadvantaged from birth because they carry the surname Nepali, often used on the birth certificates of children where paternity is unclear, making them vulnerable to persecution. “When my husband died, I had no option but to go back into prostitution to feed my family,” said Nepali, whose husband died eight


years ago, a victim of the civil conflict that ended in 2006. “Even when I wasn’t working as a prostitute, people treated me like one. But it has brought many problems,” she told AFP in her tiny mud hut in the village of Bankhet in mid-western Nepal. “Last month, more than 20 villagers came and threatened to burn down our home if we did not leave the village.” Activists say that a lack of education and continuing caste-based prejudices in majority-Hindu Nepal often make it difficult for Badi women to earn their living any other way, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and social rejection. Nepali’s mother was a sex worker, and now her two youngest daughters-one aged 14, one 16 — have followed her into prostitution. “I had high hopes for my daughters; I wanted them to marry into good families. But they say they want to look after me like I looked after them when their father died,” she said. “I’m not happy that they have become prostitutes. But if they had not, there would be no food on the table.” Mahesh Nepali, director of the advocacy group Social Awareness for Education (SAFE) Nepal and himself a Badi, said the

This 2009 file photo shows Nepalese woman Durpati Nepali in the village of Bankhet, some 300 kms southwest of Kathmandu. — AFP community faced discrimination even from other “untouchable” castes, and were viewed as the “lowest of the low”.

“Even among the untouchables, Badis are seen as the most untouchable,” he said. “As a result they have no sense of

Hungary for Fashion

self worth. On top of that, they are very weak economically, so it is almost impossible for them to change their destiny without outside help.” In 2007, hundreds of Badi women travelled to the capital Kathmandu where they held a series of rowdy protests to demand government help, some stripping off outside the parliament building. Some help is now available in the form of government funding for the rehabilitation and rehousing of vulnerable Badi women, although the implementation of such programmes has been hampered by political instability. The Badi-estimated to number around 40,000 across the Himalayan country-have also benefited from a recent change in the law that for the first time permitted fatherless children to obtain citizenship. But Sapana Pradhan Malla, a renowned women’s rights lawyer who last year became a member of Nepal’s parliament, said the government needed to do much more to help the Badi people. “Because of the social stigma they have not been a political priority,” she told AFP. “I urge the government to ensure justice for these

people. After all, they are our sisters and mothers. How can we treat them differently?” A handful of women have managed to change their destiny, among them Kalpana Nepali, 23, who grew up in a hostel for the children of Badi sex workers. “My father died when I was two and a half, forcing my mother to go into the sex trade,” said Kalpana, who now runs a small co-operative bank for her community. “One day my mother and some other women sold all their jewelry to fund a hostel for the children because they did not want them to grow up in that environment. “As a result, most of us managed to finish high school. But if it had not been for the hostel, I’m sure we would also be doing sex work.” But there are many more who have received no such help, such as Durpati’s 14-year-old daughter Binita, who left school aged just 12 and went into the sex trade. “I miss school. Sometimes I wonder why I left,” she told AFP. “I dreamt of becoming a doctor or doing some other honest job. But what can you do? We have no money so I cannot fulfill those dreams.” — AFP

Could designer doughnuts edge out cutesy cupcakes? omegranate thyme and bing cherry balsamic may sound like salad dressings, and lemon chamomile creme custard may evoke thoughts of fancy teas, but they actually are cutting edge flavors in the latest fad to hit the US baking scene: doughnuts. So much for glazed and jelly. Fresh off the nation’s fascination with cupcakes, bakers across the country are experimenting with gourmet flavor combinations and unorthodox ingredients in doughnuts, everything from meats to Cocoa Puffs breakfast cereal. At Glazed Donuts Chicago, for example, mint leaves spring from the holes of iced mint mojito doughnuts. Baker Kirsten Anderson also adds grape jelly to the dough of her peanut butter and jelly doughnuts. “You’re taking a relatively inexpensive item and you’re turning it into a luxury item,” says Anderson, whose seasonal offerings also have included butternut squash and white chocolate blueberry doughnuts. “So maybe people can’t afford the best house or the best car, but they can go out and buy a piece of indulgence at a price they can afford.” Paul Mullins, author of “Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut,” calls them “designer doughnuts” and says the trend defies the stereotype of doughnut shops as smoke-filled havens for laborers lingering over burnt coffee and bad doughnuts. Additionally, fancy doughnuts are increasingly common. Designer doughnut shops, bakeries and related businesses have proved popular with young urbanites on both US coasts, as well as large inland cities such as Chicago, Mullins says. “The chefs, they’re really skilled, they are really creative,” he says. “These designer doughnuts by regular Krispy Kreme-standards are pricey, but by haute cuisine standards, $5 or $6, that’s not that much.” The doughnut-makers are playing with consumers’ notions of creativity and curiosity, Mullins says. “What in the world does a chamomile doughnut taste like? I don’t know if I’d want it on an everyweek basis, but I’d give it a shot.” Michelle Vazquez, owner of Mandarin Gourmet Donut Shoppe in Miami, Florida (home to the chamomile creation, as well as a guava and cheese variety), says her doughnuts are attractive to health conscious customers who want something “a little bit higher-class than a regular doughnut.” She uses organic ingredients, trans fat-free oil, seasonal fresh fruits, Ghirardelli chocolates and cheeses such as savor y French fromage blanc and creamy Italian mascarpone. Mark Isreal, owner of Doughnut Plant in New York City, sees doughnuts as palettes for creativity and experimentation. He created a square doughnut filled with homemade jelly. Other recent flavors have included peanut butter, roasted chestnuts, cranberries and coconut. “The bakery is my artist’s studio in a way, where I create,” Isreal says. “You’re going to have a flavor and a texture that is totally new for a doughnut, and that’s exciting.” Designer doughnuts are not as popular as cupcakes, which spawned a craze of cafes and bakeries, but the groundwork is there, says Sarah Levy, a pastry chef who owns two dessert shops in Chicago and is author of “Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion.” “It’s an item where you can put a unique twist to it to kind of freshen it and make it exciting again,” she says. “It’s kind of a cool blank slate that you can doctor up and make them festive with different ingredients.” At Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon, owner Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson says the b a ke r y p u t s a s i g n a t u re s t a m p o n doughnuts by using sugar cereals such as Fruit Loops and bacon strips as ingredients. The shop’s maple bar doughnut came to be after a discussion about mixing savory and sweet flavors. —AP


Are ‘Rio’ stylish?

Models present 2010 creations of Hungarian designer Bori Toth in downtown Budapest on January 12, 2010 during a fashion show. — AFP

Models wear creations from various designers at the Fashion Rio Fall Winter 2010 event in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010. — AP photos

14 Jan 2010  

Kuwait Times

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