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Conan O’Brien sings his swan song on NBC

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Four-goal Rooney sends United top Supplement Inside



UK raises terror threat to ‘severe’ No intel to suggest attack is imminent: Official

KUWAIT: Yellow daisies have blossomed early this year in Kuwait due to the relatively warm winter weather. The daisies and other desert flowers are known as “nowair” locally because they are round and yellow like the sun. — KUNA

Biden visits Iraq amid election row US to appeal Blackwater ruling BAGHDAD: US Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday he was confident Iraq’s leaders would find a “just” solution to the bitter row that has seen hundreds of candidates banned from a March 7 general election. Biden landed in Baghdad late on Friday and used meetings with the war-torn country’s leaders to assure them that Washington would not interfere in the dispute which has seen both Sunni Arabs and Shiites excluded from the poll. Analysts, however, told AFP the vice president’s words had failed to conceal the reality that the trip was a “rescue mission” aimed at navigating a serious political crisis which remains unsolved. The 511 candidates banned from taking part are accused of membership or other links to executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s outlawed

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Joe Biden Baath party, feared Fedayeen (Men of Sacrifice) militia or Mukhabarat intelligence agency. The dispute has stoked tension between the Shiite majority now leading the government and the Sunni Arab former elite Continued on Page 14

LONDON: Britain has raised its terror threat assessment from substantial to severe, suggesting an attack was “highly likely”, ahead of international meetings on Yemen and Afghanistan in London next week. Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced the change on Friday, four weeks after the attempted bombing of an airliner heading from Amsterdam to the US city of Detroit. Johnson said the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, the assessment unit within the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, had taken the decision to up the threat level. “This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but I should stress that there is no intelligence to suggest that an attack is imminent,” he said. Johnson refused to say whether the amended assessment - now four on a scale of five - was linked to the attempted attack on the Northwest Airlines flight on Dec 25. “We never say what the intelligence is,” he said, adding: “It shouldn’t be thought to be linked to Detroit or anywhere else for that matter.” But a US official, who requested anonymity, said “that’s the implication”. The US Department of Homeland Security said the announcement brought Britain in line with US security measures introduced over the last few weeks. The 23-year-old Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up the Detroitbound plane with explosives hidden in his underwear was believed to have trained in Yemen after studying in London. Al-Qaeda claims it sent him on the mission. Johnson said the higher threat level meant Britain put “more resources in, we heighten the state of vigilance”. Continued on Page 14

in the news TV police plan ‘disturbing’ RIYADH: A proposal to create a pan-Arab television monitor is a “disturbing” move that could lead to censorship of broadcasts critical of Arab governments, a media watchdog said yesterday. The Saudi-Egyptian proposal to establish a regional office to supervise satellite broadcasters is aimed directly at Qatarbased Al-Jazeera, the Palestinian Hamas group’s Al-Aqsa TV and Hezbollah’s AlManar channel, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said. “This proposal is disturbing, to say the least,” the group said in a statement. “The danger is that this superpolice could be used to censor all TV stations that criticise the region’s governments. It could eventually be turned into a formidable weapon against freedom of information.” The proposal to create the “Office for Arab Satellite Television” is to be discussed when information ministers from Arab League countries meet in Cairo on Jan 24.

7 held in UAE fraud case DUBAI: Abu Dhabi police arrested seven men for attempting to steal $10.2 billion from the United Arab Emirates’ central bank using forged documents, the official WAM news agency reported yesterday. The three Europeans and four Asians “were involved in presenting false documents to the UAE central bank purportedly from a European commercial bank” showing the bank owed €7.2 billion ($10.2 billion) to the family of their leader, WAM said. “The documents presented by the suspects were fake and meant for attempted fraud targeting the central bank,” the agency quoted Abu Dhabi police colonel Hammad Ahmed Al-Hammadi as saying. The seven, including the leader of Asian origin, face up to 10 years in prison.

Iran train derails, 7 dead TEHRAN: Seven people were killed and another 12 were injured yesterday when a train travelling from Iran’s second city of Mashhad in the northeast to Tehran derailed, an official told state-run television. “A train travelling from Mashhad to Tehran was derailed, resulting in the deaths of seven people and injuries to 12 others,” Mohammad Reza Kazemi, the governor of Joghatai where the accident occurred, said. “The total number of passengers was 50, so there is a possibility that the number of casualties may rise.” Kazemi said the derailment occurred near Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi province. “According to the train’s engineer, the locomotive’s brakes failed to work properly and we are investigating the matter,” Kazemi said.

Qatari prince strikes deal

LONDON: An armed policeman stands guard at the gates of Downing Street yesterday. Britain raised its assessment of the terror threat from substantial to severe, the second highest level, suggesting an attack on the country is “highly likely”. — AFP

Bodies of 20 Saudi soldiers found RIYADH: Saudi forces have recovered the bodies of 20 soldiers who had been reported missing in fierce battles with Yemeni rebels on the border, the assistant defense minister said yesterday, raising the Saudi death toll in the conflict to 133. Prince Khaled bin Sultan told reporters the bodies were found after troops cleared the

rebels out of areas around Dokhan mountain, a strategic high point in the rugged border region. He said six soldiers are still missing. Prince Khaled also denied any Saudi Apache helicopter had been shot down, as claimed by the rebels earlier this month. Saudi forces entered the conflict with a sweeping offensive against the

rebels after they crossed the border on Nov 5 and killed two Saudi border guards. The rebels, from the Zaidi sect of Shiism, have been battling Yemen’s government since June 2004 in a conflict set off by claims that their communities in northern Yemen are neglected. Continued on Page 14

PARIS: A row over a Qatari prince’s plan to modernise one of the grandest mansions in Paris with a lift and an underground car park has ended after he agreed to rein in the project to address the concerns of conservationists. The French culture ministry said Prince Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani had signed a deal with a cultural association that had sought to stop his overhaul of the 17th century building on the Ile Saint-Louis in central Paris. Under the compromise, French media said the association will withdraw its lawsuit and the prince will be allowed to start renovation work his supporters say is badly needed to save the Hotel Lambert, an architectural gem where Frederic Chopin played and Voltaire wrote. French media said Prince Hamad had discarded his idea for a car park and also abandoned his plans to install a bathroom that experts feared would damage precious paintings. The prince bought the mansion from the Rothschild family in 2007 for between €60 and €80 million, according to French media. It features dazzling ceiling paintings and an expansive courtyard. “This mansion will become a family home for my parents, myself and my six brothers and sisters,” the son of the owner told Le Figaro newspaper’s Saturday edition.

Building boom transforms heart of Beirut PORT-AU-PRINCE: A woman cries after the funeral of Haitian Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot outside the Notre Dame d’Assumption Cathedral yesterday. — AFP

Haiti mourns its dead as govt ends rescue efforts P O RT- AU - P R I N C E : Thousands of sobbing Haitians gathered at a shattered cathedral yesterday to mourn their archbishop and other quake victims as the government officially called off the search for survivors. The announcement came despite the rescue on Friday of two people who spent 10 days buried in the rubble, but officials said aid workers had to switch their focus to

getting vital food, water and shelter to the homeless. Several international rescue teams however were still hoping for miracles and hunted for signs of life amid the destruction wrought by the 7.0-magnitude quake on Jan 12, which killed more than 111,000 people. President Rene Preval led a crowd of mourners who wept and sang creole songs at the funeral service for

Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince near the ruined shell of the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Cathedral. The body of the 63-year-old, who was a popular figure in this largely Catholic country, was laid out in an open casket wearing his ceremonial mitre, with visible injuries to his face. “He served his diocese with discreet devotion. Continued on Page 14

BEIRUT: Blocks of historic Ottoman-era buildings, once pocked by bullet holes, have been majestically restored, and new high-rise apartment towers with mirrored facades front the glittering Mediterranean, signs of an unprecedented real estate boom that is transforming Lebanon’s capital. Beirut’s building craze, despite chronic political turmoil in recent years, has astonished even the experts, turning Lebanon into an investment haven at a time when other regions - including the oil-rich Arabian Gulf - are hemorrhaging cash. Even the seemingly unstoppable citystate of Dubai has hit the brakes after a massive debt crunch there rattled world financial markets.

“The market is continuing to really stun a lot of people and to attract some new players,” said Raja Makarem, founder of Ramco, a leading real estate company. He added that Lebanon has seen a 30 percent increase in property value for each of the past four years. Lebanon has seen a window of relative peace since the devastating IsraelHezbollah war in 2006 and deadly gun battles two years later between Hezbollah and its political rivals in the streets of Beirut. Since then, political wrangling has continued, but Lebanon’s many factions have managed to keep their differences from exploding into violence. Continued on Page 14

BEIRUT: In this photo taken on Nov 9, 2009, cranes are seen in front of highrise apartments and office buildings in downtown Beirut. — AP



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Concours d’Elegance a great success By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Classic car aficionados enjoyed a rare treat during the three-day international ‘Concours d’Elegance’ event at the Marina Crescent, which concluded yesterday, with many fans of stylish period vehicles turning out to admire the 50 rare models on display. The cars on display at the international event, taking place in Kuwait for the first time, with painstakingly restored older cars, as well as rare modern and sporting vehicles drawing admiring and covetous glances from large crowds. The announcement of the winning vehicle, selected by the public who attended the event, is set to take place in the next couple of days. As well as the main competition, there was also a driving display and various other activi-

Kuwaiti MPs escalate tensions with Cabinet KUWAIT: MPs fear that the Cabinet’s boycott of the disabled citizen’s draft law session will be the Cabinet’s response to legislation they do not approve of. The Cabinet has described their action as their response to legislation that does not include any of their recommendations regarding the bill’s financial obligation, reported Al-Qabas. The Cabinet decided to boycott the bill as a message to the MPs that they may take the same approach to the bill regarding forgiving the interest on citizens’ loans. The Cabinet also accused some MPs of intentionally proposing draft laws that the Cabinet must reject in attempts to create tension between the two governing

bodies. Cabinet members said that the intention of these bills is to create opportunities to grill members of the Cabinet. Head of the disabled affairs committee for the National Assembly (NA), MP Musallam Al-Barrak, was accused of insisting on passing the draft law without amendments. Official sources also indicated that he is accused of pushing the draft law so that those who fake disability and can get state allowances. In order to resolve the situation a specialized NA committee needs to meet with the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Dr. Mohammad Al-Afasi, and other officials. According to official sources a compromise needs to be reached by the Feb 2 session.

Ministry launches e-payment system KUWAIT: Minister of Electricity and Water Dr. Bader Al-Shuraiaan has officially inaugurated his ministry’s new online bill payment service. Speaking at a news conference held to mark the launch at the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) headquarters, the minister said that the introduction of the online services, which the ministry began implementing five months ago, were designed to facilitate bill payment and preserve public funds. The service is the first step in the ministry’s implementation of the ‘e-government’ program initiated by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, the minister explained. Customers of all state bodies and government-related private authorities can now pay their bills anytime and anywhere following the introduction of the new service, Al-Shuraiaan added. Automated bill payment equipment is also to be introduced in all Kuwait’s governorate offices to make it easier for citizens to pay their bills.

ties, with numerous photographers attending the event submitting their pictures for the amateur photography competition. The Concours d’Elegance was inaugurated last Wednesday by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, Development and Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. “The Kuwaitis love this kind of event,” he said in his inaugural speech. “Kuwait is very keen on holding these types of fairs and other events, which offer a chance to appreciate Kuwaitis’ and international collecters’ vintage and special vehicles. The international participation in this event is the first step to holding such fairs, especially with a car exhibition set to be held here shortly.” The inaugural ceremony was also attended by a number of prominent figures, including ministers, ambassadors, local entrepreneurs and other VIPs.

in my view

Of worlds of wonder By Fouad Al-Obaid mong the wonders of the modern world is our failure to recognize that we are all brothers. We are all human beings and no matter how great the differences we tend to observe there is no doubt of our fundamental commonalities. We are a community of nations, of people and tribes. A community of beings that have through time been intertwined. Black is as pure as white, yet I question why do we fight? The question that we ought to ask is; if nobody wishes for war then why are wars waged so profusely and constantly? This is the burning question, dear reader, a question for you and me! Emanating from the desire of our leaders to enhance the ties between communities, emissaries are sent to meet with various parties. We are to note, that despite our ascribed differences and the ideological views that may cause us conflict, love, peace and serenity is what we insist will bring warring factions to common grounds for rational discussions. With the global gathering not far from sight we should ask whether we want to share a common plight. We are the people and we are the world. We are the humans that have toiled on its surf. Scientists say that our earth is ill. Some argue


that we rendered it such while others argue that we are out of luck. Whether one believes it or not many dread the calamities destined to come. Questions emerge from our history; did not our planet change its structure before man came to interfere in its affairs? Has our world not suffered from various despairs? Are we the reason of our very decline? If we would come to an agreement then who will be the one to be fined? Is the burden to be shored up by those who have engaged in pollution for sometime or is it the new comers who will have to suffer a decline? Will a deal ensure that we all gain or will? If we spent as much on peace as we do on war would we continue to see the flanks of youthful bellies devoured by dearth? Many people and nations hesitate to help countries ravaged by calamities but isn’t the greatest calamity to wait for a disaster before trying to help? We are entrusted to one another, as brothers and sisters in this community of nations. We are humans and just like tribes we need to stick to one another in the harshest of times. If we are truly who we claim to be, with emotions and empathy, lets’ realize that we are the guardians of you and me. We all believe in a brighter future, why make the future wait? Why not start to build the world we want to leave as a legacy for the children, for you and for me.

MoC to prosecute non-payers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications has confirmed that it intends to take legal action against customers who fail to pay overdue bills and has already done so against a number of non-paying individuals and companies. Abdulmohsen Al-Mutairi, the Deputy Assistant of the MoC’s Legal Affairs Department, urged all cus-

tomers to pay their bills on time in order to avoid facing legal action, pointing out that applications requesting permission to pay monies owed to the ministry in installments will be considered, depending on applicants’ circumstances. Al-Mutairi emphasized the importance of ensuring full payment of customers’ bills in protecting public funds,

reported Al-Watan. He also revealed that the names of several non-paying customers had already been added to the travel ban list, adding that a study is underway into introducing legislation that would force expatriates to obtain official clearance from the ministry before being allowed to leave the country.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

3 New steps to prevent price hike

Business legislation to revive local market KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun has said that his ministry stepped up efforts to pass the draft business legislation at an early date. “Together with the recently-approved Capital Market Authority bill, the new bill gives a double impetus to the local market,” the minister said after

Finance minister grilling talks revived KUWAIT: MP Adnan AlMutawa blamed the Cabinet and the disabled citizens’ committee of the National Assembly (NA) for their failure to cooperate on the vital issues of assisting disabled citizens. Additionally, MP Naji Al-Abdul Hadi said that most MPs have no problem with a public authority for the disabled being controlled by a deputy prime minister, reported

Al-Watan. They also indicated that the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor did not object to the financial cost of the law during its first hearing. A number of MPs are meeting to discuss the aftermath of the Cabinet’s rejection of the disabled citizen’s draft law. They placed full responsibility of the rejected law on the Minister of Finance, Mustafa Al-Shamali.

They added that this may make him eligible for an interpellation. They also called on the Cabinet to make a final decision on the disabled citizen bill as soon as possible. MP Khalid AlAdwa said that the Minister worked as hard as he could to ensure the failure of the draft law so as to secure his position as head of the Ministry. Al-Adwa also noted that the MPs will

Expatriate Pakistanis can rebuild country: Minister By Mohammad Omer KUWAIT: Eminent Pakistani figures, including a minister and leading businesspeople, addressed leading members of Kuwait’s Pakistani community at a recent event in the Quid-I-Azzam Auditorium in the Pakistan Embassy in Kuwait. The illustrious speakers at the event included Abdul Rauf Siddiqi, the Minister of Commerce and Trade for Pakistan’s Sindh province, along with Nadim Abbas and Mirza Hafiz Baig, the codirectors of the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI). The ceremony began with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Mohammad Shabir of the Amir Minhaj Welfare Society, after which the Chargé d’Affaires at the Pakistani Embassy Sajjad Ahmad Sahar gave a speech welcoming the guests and audience members. Sahar then introduced the first speakers, Abbas and Baig, who explained in their addresses that the PRI was established with the cooperation of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Ministry of Finance, to provide remittance facilities for expatriate Pakistanis. The initiative has managed to achieve its objective of facilitating and supporting a faster, cheaper, more convenient and efficient flow of remittances, they explained. They further revealed that the PRI and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on December 29, 2009 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) which aims to facilitate a strategic

Abdul Rauf Sidiqui addressing the meeting. —Photos by Joseph Shagra long-term alliance between the two bodies for the purpose of catering to the needs of Pakistani expatriates, including their need to travel to and from Pakistan and to facilitate the flow of remittances sent home by them. In his own address, Siddiqi said that Pakistan’s expatriate population are major assets for the country, who could play a key role in establishing industries in Sindh province. Investors in such projects will not only be allocated land but helped with other facilities. The land will be allocated under a legal lease so that no future government can reclaim it, he emphasized.

Pakistan needs its expatriate population, Siddiqi went on, saying that if expatriate Pakistanis decided to support the country’s economy there would be no need for foreign loans. “We can have our mutual differences, but for the country we are united,” said the minister. “God has blessed us with every good thing and the whole world knows that Pakistanis are the hardest workers. We should rebuild Pakistani nationalism.” During the event, Siddiqi also spoke about his best known work, ‘Taareekh Khana Khaba,’ in which he describes the history of the holy Kaaba in Makkah.

KUWAIT: A partial view of the audience.

“The legislative and the executive authorities of the countries are unanimous in backing the economy, which led to the adoption of the Capital Market Authority bill in the first reading on Wednesday,” he noted. Al-Haroun predicted that the second reading of the bill would see debates on possible amendments and observations being raised by the cabinet and the MPs. “Whatever amendments and observations might be, the legislation is in the offing because its legal form is complete,” the minister affirmed. Asked about the wave of price hikes which is hotly circulated by the local media, he said the commerce control sector of the

receiving board members of the Commercial Arbitration Center of the Gulf Cooperation Council (CAC-GCC) here. “The two legislations are closely interrelated and complementary with each other, so they have to be adopted almost simultaneously in order to bolster up the national economy,” he argues.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry was struggling to stabilize the local market. He attributed the price hikes to the external factors, saying that Kuwait as mainly importer of consumer goods is not immune to the global price rises. “Nevertheless, the Ministry, represented in its commerce control center, will never tolerate any commercial foul-play,” he said, noting several commercial firms and shop owners have been referred to prosecution under foul-play charges. “The Ministry will deal toughly with the law violators who manipulate the current international conditions to achieve quick gains at a cost to consumers, “ Al-Haroun vowed.

Dealing with the visit of the CAC-GCC board of directors to Kuwait, he said it marked the start of Kuwait’s term as president of the center. “The CAC is a mutually-acceptable mechanism for the settlement of the commercial disputes arising among GCC citizens or non GCC-nationals, being natural or legal persons,” he said. It also organizes arbitration symposiums and seminars in all GCC member states, he noted. Established under the Resolution of the Supreme Council (14th session, Riyadh, December, 1993, the CAC was officially declared to be based in Manama, capital of Bahrain, in March, 1995. — KUNA

have to find alternatives for the draft law because it appears that they do not have the necessary majority for it to be enforced. He added that he will support any interpellation against AlShamali if the grilling has a strong basis. He also said that the Minister is not living up to his responsibilities towards citizens.

in the news Police hunt hoaxer KUWAIT: Police are hunting for a hoax caller whose ‘prank’ led to a Jahra shop and the area around it being evacuated while bomb squad officers searched the premises. The police leapt into action after receiving a call from an unidentified man telling them that he had put a bomb inside an electrical appliance shop in the Jahra Industrial Estate which was set to explode within the next hour. Emergency personnel and bomb squad officers rushed to the scene, quickly sealing off and evacuating the shop and the area around it, reported Al-Watan. After an nerveracking, intensive and fruitless search, it became clear that the phone call had been a cruel prank. The phone call has been traced back to a public phone in a Taima restaurant and police are determined to apprehend the culprit.

Saudi prince visit RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Chief of the National Guards for Exeutive Affairs Prince Meteb Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz will begin today an official visit to Kuwait upon an invitation from Sheikh Mishaal AlAhmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Deputy Chief of the Kuwait National Guards, it was announced here yesterday. During the visit, Prince Meteb will meet His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and a number of senior Kuwaiti officials, to discuss aspects of cooperation and fraternal relations between the two countries, Saudi press Agency reported. Swine flu CAIRO: Kuwait Embassy here was following up the developments of swine flu in Egypt, said a Kuwaiti official here. Spokesman of the embassy’s committee responsible of following up swine flu developments Ali Hamada said that the committee held a meeting in which it discussed all its procedures and efforts and the role of the Kuwaiti health center in spreading awareness among Kuwaiti students and tourists on the H1N1 virus. He said that the office provided vaccinations against seasonal flu, swine flu, and hepatitis in the mornings and evenings as an implementation to decisions issued by the Kuwaiti Health Ministry, and stressed that the embassy was keen on providing health care to Kuwaitis in Egypt.

KUWAIT: Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday left for Cairo to attend the extraordinary session for Arab information ministers, to be held at the Arab League today. Sheikh Abdullah said the session seeks to mainly discuss the draft law by the US Congress on categorizing satellites operators as terrorist organizations in case they contract with satellite channels classified by the US as terror outfits, as the issue was discussed during the 85th session of the permanent committee of Arab media.

Delays in introduction of Smart ID system KUWAIT: The introduction of ‘Smart’ ID cards in all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is progressing more slowly than anticipated, with governments’ failure to install the necessary scanning equipment at land ports threatening to push the project back to step one. Meanwhile, Kuwait is

currently waiting for an official response from Saudi Arabia regarding the Kingdom’s readiness to go ahead with introducing the project which would see transport delays between the two countries greatly reduced by the use of the Smart ID system at the border.

It seems, however, that the implementation of the system remains some way off, according to a report in Al-Watan. Even if the Smart ID reading equipment and electronic fingerprinting system is successfully installed at border points, it seems there may still be further

delays due to the lack of local technical experts trained in dealing with any subsequent problems with it. Among its other advantages, the highly specialist equipment would help to quickly detect those with dual citizenship, as well as identifying fugitives

Geographic, economic factors behind GCC border disputes: Researcher

KUWAIT: The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, State Minister for Development and Housing Affairs, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah, held a lunch banquet for the visiting former Iraqi president, Sheikh Ghazi AlYawer, during his recent visit to Kuwait.

KUWAIT: The majority of border disputes between GCC countries stem from economic and geographic factors, according to a new report issued by Kuwaiti researcher Dr. Rashid AlMirrey. The study formed part of Al-Mirrey’s PhD thesis which recently won him a PhD with Honors from Cairo University. In the report Al-Mirrey said that there are several important factors behind such disputes, discussing the issue of the continental shelf among others, reported Al-Qabas. It is vitally important to reach agreement on the rights and duties of those nations distributed around the continental shelf and the ways of resolving conflicts between them in order to avoid such disputes, he said. While the study demonstrated the long-term strategic effect of the previous British colonization of the region, he said that geographical factors, such as the distribution of islands between GCC countries and the extreme closeness of the borders also helped to escalate tensions. In his report, Al-Mirrey also discussed the economic issues that have played a role in border conflicts, which are primarily focused on the region’s oil and natural gas fields.



HRW to release annual report today

in the news Teachers’ protection KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Teachers’ Society (KTS) recently urged the Cabinet and the Parliament to coordinate their efforts in support of the proposed teachers’ protection law. They hope that school security will be supported to ensure stability in the education process. Their comments come while condemning several cases of assault against teachers, reported Al-Qabas. The statements were released at a press conference where the group acknowledged the efforts by the Minister of Education, Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud, to support the teachers. They thanked her for her promise to support increasing financial support for teachers. KTS indicated that the time is more suitable than ever for the Ministry of Education to realize these promises and make them a reality. They stressed the importance of prioritizing projects to improve education in the Cabinet’s work plan. KTS further noted that they will support the Ministry’s efforts to secure the education process and protect teachers from being attacked.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

‘Progress in women’s rights in Kuwait’ By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) will present their 20th annual report, titled ‘World Report 2010,’ at a press conference this morning on the premises of the Kuwaiti Society for Human Rights in north Shuwaikh. The report will review human rights practices in over 90 countries worldwide. Kuwait is one of 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region featured in the report. The last HRW report on Kuwait was carried out in 2000. “The theme this year focused on attacks against human rights activists and human rights defenders,” said Priyanka Motaparthy, an official in the MENA division at HRW. “As human rights become more prominent, you see governments who consider it a greater threat to their power.” The press conference will highlight the most important findings of their report and review the progress of human rights in Kuwait. Motaparthy, who participated in preparing the report on Kuwait, said that there was some progress in the human rights situation in Kuwait within the past year. “We have seen the election of four female MPs. They’ve been able to win constitutional cases, including the case in which women were given the right to travel without their husbands’ consent. There was also the

recently passed labor law which protects workers’ rights in the private sector,” she said. According to Motaparthy, the report also discusses how the status of the bedoon has not really changed during the past year. “They still lack reliable access to documents, they still lack the freedom to travel and be united with their families. If they marry they can’t live legally with their spouse in Kuwait, which is a barrier to family unification,” she said. The report focuses on the rights of domestic workers in the country who were excluded from the latest version of the labor law. The report states that there is still no authority to resolve the complaints of domestic workers effectively. It also discusses the issue of freedom of expression in Kuwait. Incidents like the arrest of

Muhammad Al-Jasim over comments made in a diwanya and the recently suggested amendments to the press law, “if passed, greatly restrict the freedom of press here in Kuwait,” explained Motaparthy. “We really strongly recommend that the government continue to protect freedom of expression and keep the reputation of Kuwait as a modern society where people are free to discuss ideas and voice their opinions, even if everyone does not agree with them. It’s a greater threat to restrict people’s ability to speak freely, and create a closed society, than to allow people to express controversial opinions.” The HRW official said that the organization will continue to work in Kuwait this year as well. The report is made available online, in Arabic and English, on the HRW’s website;

Online theft KUWAIT: A number of local technology experts have suggested that senior figures in international banking may be behind online fraud and thefts, saying that these eminent individuals were well aware of how to access these funds. The advent of computer technology has helped in maintaining a huge database of facts in all fields, making it easy for researchers to continue their peers’ work, reported AlShahed. In addition to this, the internet offers services 24/7 worldwide, enabling the sourcing of information from anywhere at any time. The list of online crimes grows daily and includes programming piracy, credit card fraud and online pornography, with experts now asserting that it is essential to make a united effort to eradicate this sort of crime.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) on Thursday held a drill as the conclusion of its training course for the department heads at the fire training center in Kabad. The course ended with a lecture discussing the course’s plans and objectives. The drill included a mock rescue of residents affected by breathing difficulties from a two-storey building, followed by the blaze being safely extinguished. The course was the seventh of its kind for preparing the department heads and is part of a program organized by the KFSD administration in cooperation with experts from the UK’s Lancashire College to train firefighters and improve their abilities. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun


Will trivial matters always matter? By Hussain Al-Qatari


hen following up on the national assembly news, I am often repulsed by the way insignificant issues become the most debated sizzling topics of the country. Not only does our parliament focus on the most boring subjects but they dwell on silly issues. For example, how does an extra day off during the Eid holiday become an issue of debate when discussing the new labor law? Am I the only person who thinks this is outrageous? Wouldn’t it have been more mature of our esteemed MPs to just sit down and vote instead of pointlessly arguing and not reaching any conclusion? When the Parliament was first elected last May, I had high hopes. I thought that change would finally come with four women in the Parliament and many promising new faces. As soon as the sessions resumed childish arguments made their way to the headlines. With the resulting street protests and heated diwaniya

talks I began to lose faith and hope in the new Parliament. Sadly, things seem to keep getting worse. Four interpellations left the public on the edge of their seats. As soon as that phase passed, we entered the phase of Al-Juwaihel and his infamous TV program that caused huge crowds to march to the streets and demand the government take action against him. Simultaneously, a Sunni-Shiite problem surfaced creating unbearable tension all over the country. Now that this seems to have died down proposals for a limiting, suffocating press law seem to have become the issue of protest. I seriously wonder what will come after this. I now feel that we are in dire need of some time away from politics. Perhaps the government should send all our MPs on a three-month vacation to calm things down so that we can get a sense of what it feels like without continuous boring tension.

Kuwaiti victory DUBAI: Ahmad Al-Baz, of Kuwait, won here Saturday the Stock-1600 Jet-Ski race within the UAE’s 2009-10 racing season held in Dubai. AlBaz said that he was very glad to achieve this result, thanking all the members of the Kuwaiti team and fellow racers for supporting him. The second place went to Kuwaiti Mohammad Borbai’e and the third for Yousif Abdulrazak while fellow countryman Abdulrahman Al-Bader came in fifth, said Al-Baz. He added that the bad weather affected the results of other Kuwaiti team members but they managed to scoop the winning position during this heat, affirmed Al-Baz. Disability rights KUWAIT: Roudhan AlRoudhan, the State Minister for Cabinet Affairs, has condemned any abuse of the issue of disability rights legislation, saying that this is a humanitarian issue not a political one, and that the government is keen on providing care for the disabled and always supporting their causes, reported Awan. The government avoided last Thursday’s parliamentary session for the second reading of the disability rights bill not to cause any offense to Kuwait’s disabled community, but because it felt that the parliamentary disability committee had ignored the amendments which the government requested to the draft legislation.

MoE’s bonus list still not received by finance dept

KUWAIT: Members of the drug gang pictured after their arrest. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Three drug dealers caught By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officers got three-for-the-price-of-one when the arrest of one dealer led directly to the arrests of two others. The operation began after the GDDC received a tip off about an Egyptian engineer who was making money on the side by dealing in hashish. He was caught red-handed in a sting operation while selling an undercover GDDC officer two joints, subsequently admitting that he was dealing in drugs on behalf of his unemployed brother, giving

officers his sibling’s address in Khaitan. On raiding the brother’s house, GDDC officers found a kilogram of hashish. The brother in turn gave them the name of a third man, a worker at a Jahra restaurant, who was using his job as a cover to deal drugs. Undercover officers went to the restaurant posing as costumer so as not to scare the dealer into flight before arresting him. When they did so, they discovered a further kilogram of hashish in his laptop bag. During questioning, the man admitted that he was trading in hashish on behalf of a Central Prison inmate. The three culprits were taken into custody and are awaiting trial.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education’s (MoE) list of nominees for performance bonuses has not yet been submitted for approval by the Public Education Department, although the bonuses must be approved and paid by June 2010. The Financial Affairs Department is currently waiting to receive the lists so that it can review them and check for errors, said a Ministry of Education (MoE) official. The official also revealed that the MoE’s finance department has not yet received the funds to pay the recently approved housing allowances for expatriate teachers, reported Al-Rai. The payments will be made without delay when education minister Moudhi Al-Humoud expedites their release, he added. Meanwhile, Education and Higher Education Minister Moudhi Al-Humoud has postponed issuing a decision on the proposal to excuse teachers from other Gulf nations applying for teaching positions in Kuwait from the need to provide certificates of experience until the foreign contracts committee begins its investigation into the issue in the middle of next month. A Ministry of Education (MoE) official said that the committee wished to find out the number of teachers contracted before introducing any special privileges, adding that any teachers being excused from the need to provide the certificate of experience would be employed in a narrow range of specialty subjects.

Call for investment-friendly legislations KUWAIT: Board Chairman of A’ayan Leasing and Investment Co. Suleiman AlWuqayan urged the Kuwaiti government and National Assembly (parliament) to bolster up Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) and bail out the stumbling investment companies. “The KSE needs more investmentfriendly legislations to regain its status as the second most active bourse in the Arabian Gulf region,” Al-Wuqayan said in statements to KUNA here yesterday. “The local stock market is struggling to overcome the ramifications of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. “KSE’s benchmark fell in 2009 to a level ranging between 6,500 and 7,500 points after hitting its record high of 8,000 points, he noted. Al-Wuqayan deems the economic recovery conditional on reforms of several sectors foremost among which is the KSE which functions in the light of the available

liquidity. Hailing the recently-adopted bill on Capital Market Authority which will regulate the stock market, he said the opponents of the law sought to keep the loopholes in the bourse in order to pursue their foul play. “Dozens of stumbling investors are in need of such legislations to stabilize the market; many of them started rescheduling their debts even before the adoption of the law,” Al-Wuqayan said. He praised the flexibility and cooperation shown by creditors which helped turn the short, and medium-term loans into longterm ones, thus solving the problem. “If the creditor banks apply pressures on the debtor firms, many such firms may declare bankruptcy in 2010,” he cautioned. Al-Wuqayan refuted the assumption that the Islamic sharia-abiding banks survived the financial crisis unlike the traditional ones, saying that the problem stemmed from the accumulation of short-term loans

which were offered for long-term projects but the project developers were unable to repay the loan installments. Dealing with the leasing rates in Kuwait, he said the Kuwaiti market was the largest compared with the other markets in the region. “The number of car rentals in Kuwait dropped from 13,000 to 9,000 last year due to the financial turmoil,” he noted, voicing hope that the market would resume growth soon. Regarding the expansion plans of his company regionally, he said A’ayan Leasing and Investment Co. would launch a branch in Saudi Arabia after securing contracts on 1,500 car rentals in the first year of its entry into the market. The company also plans to venture into the Qatari, Bahraini and Egyptian markets after being forced to cancel its investments in Oman due to the recent financial crisis, Al-Wuqayan added. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Hungarian folklore band has performed a number of Hungarian songs and folkloric dances on the theater of Abdulaziz Hussein among the various activities of Al-Qurain Cultural Festival. — Photos by Joseph Shagra


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Two Asians stabbed in youth gang fight in Jleeb KUWAIT: Two Asian men were injured after being stabbed in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. Several Asian youngsters were involved in the fight in which knives were used. Paramedics brought the injured to a nearby hospital and the police arrested the other brawlers. Meanwhile in Hawally, an Arab man suffered serious stab wounds to the head after a fight with youngsters. He was sent to Mubarak Hospital for treatment, while his attackers were arrested. In another incident, an Arab worker was stabbed in the head after a fight in Farwaniya. He was hospitalized in Farwaniya and his attackers were placed under arrest.

House attacked Farwaniya police responded to an emergency call from a home owner in Rabiya who reported that his house was targeted by gunfire. Investigators could not find the individuals responsible but did discover several bullet casings at the scene. The owner of the house was questioned for further information.

dose. A case has been opened to investigate the matter further.

Drug overdose Criminal investigators responded to an emergency call regarding the death of a bedoon man in Jahra. Investigations revealed that the man died of a drug over-

Bootleggers held Ahmadi police arrested two Indians and one North Korean found in possession of 50 bottles of homemade liquor in Al-Mangaf. They were referred to the proper authorities.

Vice den busted Farwaniya police arrested seven Asian prostitutes and four Asian men at a brothel in the area. Investigations revealed that all were wanted for previous offenses. They were sent to the proper authorities.

Drugs confiscated Police discovered several drugs concealed in a vehicle parked at the Jahra Sports Club. Two escaped on foot before police could place them under arrest. Authorities confiscated 1,800 illegal pills and four bars of hashish. Investigators are still searching for the escaped suspects. Sailors saved A number of Iranian sailors were saved from drowning after rescue teams freed them from their sinking boat near Failakah island. The rescue team was also able to prevent the boat from sinking. The sailors

sustained no injuries in the incident. Fire in Salmiya An Asian man in his 30’s sustained third degree burns while trying to put out a fire in a restaurant in Salmiya. Firefighters responded to the emergency and put the flames under control. The injured man was taken to Mubarak Hospital. Investigations revealed that improper storage was the cause of the blaze. Fugitive held Security guards at the Salmi Port arrested a Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) citizen

trying to leave the country. Inspection of his ID revealed that he was wanted for several criminal cases for which he was sentenced a three year prison term. He was taken to the proper authorities. Armed threat Police responded to an emergency call in Hawally regarding a man who entered a grocery store with a gun in his hand. The man left the scene before police arrived. A description of the man’s vehicle was gathered and police are searching for the armed man.

Co-op prices set to soar by up to 154% KUWAIT: Local cooperative societies are introducing a series of price rises on various basic commodities ranging between five percent and 154 percent, making Kuwait one of the most expensive countries in the region. The move, which follows the introduction of steep increases in local suppliers’ prices, has brought complaints from many consumers, both local and expatriate. The price rises are particularly frustrating for consumers since the recent global economic crisis is well on its way to being resolved. Riyadh Al-Adasani, the CEO of the Nuzha Co-op, said that more than 88 items there will see significant price increases in light of the absence of pricefixing legislation in Kuwait, warning that this will have a significant effect on citizens and residents alike. Among the prices seeing the most massive price increases,

Al-Adasani explained, are rice, with sacks set to rise in price by over KD 4.500, while lentils will triple in price from KD 3.400 to KD 10.350 and anise will rise by more than 2.5 times, going from KD 10 to KD 27 per sack. Al-Adasani said that the suppliers had failed to provide justification for the price increases, as well as failing to supply invoices from the manufacturers and growers in the originating countries. He suggested that the rises stemmed from the suppliers’ aims to make massive profits at consumers’ expense despite already making sizeable profits and not needing to raise prices. The Co-op head also criticized the Ministry of Commerce for its failure to take action against the suppliers’ steep price increases, as well as for its failure to monitor prices in order to prevent such abrupt rises and protect consumers from suppliers’ greed.

Kuwait for dialogue among civilizations

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti divers fixing saplings of coral reefs on spider-like bodies off Maldives recently.

Kuwaiti divers cultivate coral reefs in Maldives KUWAIT: A team of Kuwaiti divers has successfully carried out a pioneering experiment for cultivating coral reefs in the Maldives through scientific and simple methods. On this experiment, Mahmoud

Ashknani, who is in charge of environmental projects at the Kuwait Environment Protection Society, said that the team had completed a specialized training course for the cultivation of coral reefs to repair damage

US satellite ‘terrorism’ TV bill under Arab fire CAIRO: The Arab media permanent committee on Thursday condemned the bill presented by the US House of Representatives that would categorize satellite operators as terrorist organizations should they sign contracts with satellite channels named as terrorist bodies. Such legislation is intervention in the domestic affairs of all the countries concerned, the members stated. Speaking after the conclusion of the media committee’s 85th session, Sheikh Faisal AlMalik Al-Sabah, Undersecretary with Kuwait’s Ministry of Information who attended the meeting, reiterated the committee’s point on the issue, stating that this is interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states who address media issues according to their own national legislation. Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik asserted that Arab countries are working together to maintain their efforts to combat extremism, terrorism and terror-mongering, but stressed the necessity to distinguish between terrorism and a people’s legitimate right to resist foreign occupation. The senior official also stated that the controversial US proposal underscores the necessity of initiating Arab diplomatic moves with the US

administration to make clear the negative impact that could result from the bill, which would impose sanctions on Arab satellite channels working with Arabsat, Nilesat and Noursat, being signed into law. During the meeting, Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik revealed, the committee had also called on the Arab satellite channels not to broadcast any programs which might instigate or encourage violence or terrorism. The committee also called on European satellite channels not to broadcast provocative anti-Arab and anti-Muslim programmes. He revealed that during the final session of the meeting, the committee finalized all its recommendations for items to be included on the agenda of the Arab Information Ministers’ Council’s extraordinary session, which opens here today. Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik concluded by revealing that in its recommendations the committee had stressed the necessity to devise media plans incorporating the decisions taken at last year’s Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait and by the ministerial council, and to put into effect the relevant contents of the Arab Economic Summit’s goals and policies. — KUNA

caused by storms and negative human impacts on marine environment. The experiment was based on fixing saplings of coral reefs on spiderlike bodies that were modified by nat-

ural substances that match marine environment and spur growth of coral reefs, he said. The Kuwaiti diving team has documented the pioneering experiment as a prelude to forecasting it in Arabic

and English at the team’s website. Since 1986, Kuwaiti divers have been seeking to carry out earnest environmental projects to save and rehabilitate coral reefs in Kuwait. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Abdullatif Al-Baijan, Secretary-General of the Kuwait National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said yesterday his country sought to create the conditions conducive to constructive dialogue among civilizations while preserving her Islamic values and traditions. “The values of tolerance, non-violence and coexistence among people with different cultures are deeply enshrined in the Islamic faith,” Al-Baijan said. He made the remarks twodays ahead of leaving for France to represent Kuwait at the EuroArab Dialogue conference which will open in Paris tomorrow, Jan 27. “The three-day gathering will bring together representatives of UNESCO’s national commission of the Arab and European countries,” Al-Baijan noted. “The general secretaries of the Arab national commissions agreed to raise several points during the conference, foremost among which is the manifestation of the true image of Islam and the Muslims tradi-

tions which highlight understanding of and respect for the others,” he disclosed. The conferees are scheduled to debate the educational curriculums of the Arab and European countries with a view to ridding them of the points that promote xenophobia and Islamophobia. They will also discuss the possible twinning initiatives between the UNESCO-sponsored schools and between UNESCO’s national commissions as well as the exchange of visits and cultural contacts between the two sides. “The recent armed conflicts and wars, coupled with political crises, have brought to the fore the need for dialogue among civilizations in order to correct the course of the Muslim-West relationship,” he pointed out. “The coming Euro-Arab Dialogue advocates rejection of all forms of political, social and sectarian violence, and promotion of communication, understanding and coexistence between the two sides,” AlBaijan added. — KUNA



Sunday, January 24, 2010

KJA delegation visits projects

Kuwait extolled for its role in development of Sudan KHARTOUM: The Marwi Dam in Sudan.

KHARTOUM: Members of the Kuwaiti delegation at the Merowe Airport.

Kuwait, France discuss ways to boost defense cooperation PARIS: The Kuwaiti-French higher committee on defense cooperation closed here yesterday its 12th session which tackled strengthening of joint cooperation between the two countries on defense field. The committee, led by assistant chief of staff for operations and plans at the Kuwaiti army Maj Gen Abdul Rahman Al-Othman, discussed the questions important to the two sides and the exchange of data in order to achieve the targets defined in the agreement signed between Kuwait and France in 1992. Further, the Kuwaiti military delegation exchanged, during the committee’s meetings, opinions on the international conditions and exerting efforts for developing defense cooperation and promoting the distinctive bilateral relations between the state of Kuwait and France. Kuwaiti-French higher committee of defense cooperation holds annually its sessions in Kuwait and France in order to promote the joint cooperation in defense fields. Maj Gen Al-Othman held earlier during this five-day visit a meeting with French chief-ofstaff Lt Gen Jean-Louis Georgelin. Additionally, Maj Gen Al-Othman held sepa-

rate meetings with assistant director of exports of the directorate general of armaments at Defense ministry and assistant of the joint chief of staff on international relations. Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah signed last October a defense agreement between Kuwait and France as an extension of the previously-concluded agreement and to promote it. Sheikh Jaber said that signing this defensive agreement between the state of Kuwait and France comes as, “An extension of the previous agreement signed in 1992 and embodies the ties of friendship and cooperation in the military fields like training, joint drills, acquisition of French sophisticated weapons to meet the needs of the Kuwaiti armed forces.” The new agreement aims at strengthening the ties between the two countries and puts a new framework for bilateral cooperation in the fields of exchanging data, assistance, training and equipping the armed forces. The Kuwaiti military delegation left Paris today for Washington to take part in the meetings of the Kuwaiti-US Higher Committee on Defense Cooperation. —KUNA

Health Minister arrives in Canada TORONTO: Kuwaiti Health Minister Dr Helal Al-Sayer and delegation accompanying him arrived here yesterday on a nineday official visit to Canada and the United States to enhance medical relations between Kuwait and the two countries as well as sign agreements with some universities. Al-Sayer’s visit to Canada is aimed to improve bilateral relations in the medical sphere and reserve seats for Kuwaiti students in the medical field. His visit to the US is to improve investments concerning health issues. Al-Sayer is accompanied by Undersecretary of the Ministry of

Health for Allied Medical Services Dr Qais Al-Dowairi, Director of Hussain Maki Juma Center for cancer treatment Dr Ahmad AlAwadhi as well as Head of Anesthesia department Dr Mohammed Shamsa and Public Relations Manager Faisal AlDosiri. Meanwhile, Board Chairman and Managing Director of Al-Salam International Hospital of the Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Tariq Al-Mukhaizeem said in Kuwait yesterday that the volume of private sector investment in health services stands at more than KD 200 million distributed among five hospitals, owned by

individuals and companies. Al-Mukhaizeem said in a press statement that the figure increases by adding dozens of medical centers and clinics scattered in many places. He pointed out that Al-Salam Hospital focuses on the development and quality of service as the standard basis of preference and comparison and that the number of beneficiaries of the multi-services of the hospital has increased by 35 percent over the past two years. He stressed the importance that the development plan chalked out by the government would revitalize the health sector especially in the private hospitals. —KUNA

KHARTOUM: The state of Kuwait always lent a hand to other Arab broth- in what contributed to developing their economies, creating job opportunities erly countries whether at the governmental or popular levels, out of belief in for citizens and providing them with a decent standard of living. Examples on the importance of the Arab nationalism and the necessary partnerships and such Arab Kuwaiti partnerships are many, but to mention a few, are the two economic projects supporting Arab and Muslim economy. The Kuwait Fund projects of Sugar Kananah company and Marwi Dam at the brotherly repubfor Arab Economic Development (KFAED) was the main governmental body lic of Sudan which were reviewed by the Kuwaiti journalists that currently which helped funding a lot of projects and investment in the Arab countries visit Sudan. This delegation consists of some elements from the Kuwaiti Journalists Association (KJA) and the Kuwait News Agency and they are Adnan Al-Rashed as the delegation’s head, Sami Al-Nesif, Dr Haila Al-Makimi, Mona Shishtr, Khaled Maarfi and Dina Al-Tarah. Kuwait’s help on Sugar Kananah company project, which is a precious treasure of Sudan and the biggest project of its kind for producing sugar all over the world, led to its completion within four years in a location 1,200 km away from the nearest Sudanese port Portsudan. Director General of the company Al-Milham Al-Taib said that the notion of establishing such a project aimed at mixing the Western expertise, Arab financial resources with Sudan’s natural resources represented in sun, fertile lands, irrigation water in order to set up an industrial agricultural project that brings many economic benefits to Sudan such as job creation, transfer of advanced technology and doing away with sugar imports. KHARTOUM: The Kuwaiti delegation pictured during their visit to Sudan this week. Al-Taib attributed Kananah’s going ahead with its project Engineer Khalil considered Al-Taib also recalled how the of the total capital of the project, project Mahjoub Idris Khalil said despite many difficulties to fund- idea of this project came first to in addition to the funds provided that planning for setting up such Marwi dam a takeoff for agriculing it received from some Arab late Sudanese president Jafaar by Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Arab a dam which will officially be ture, industry, electricity genercountries, particularly, the state Numeiri, businessman Roland company for investment and inaugurated next April started in ation and an additional qualitaof Kuwait, saying that, “Except Taini and Sudanese business- development, the Social 1940s and had the comprehen- tive shift to the joint power grid for the support of both of man representing the Kuwaiti Development Bank and a group sive study on it in 1993 and 1994 among Sudan, Egypt and Kuwaiti and Saudi governments, Gulf Company in Sudan Dr of Sudanese commercial banks. with Sudanese president issuing Ethiopia, pointing out that this we would not have been capable Khalil Othman. As for the Marwi dam pro- a decree setting up a unit for its dam is one of 22 others spanning of clearing the designing phase.” the river Nile course. —KUNA Kuwait pitched in 21 percent ject, resident Engineer of the implementation.

CGAPS to hold conference on political, social changes KUWAIT: Center of the Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies (CGAPS) will be hosting a conference on the impact of political and economic changes on the region, CGAPS said. The conference will shed lights on the nature of changes of which the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula have undergone alongside factors and institutions that contributed to the process, CGAPS Director Fahad AlNasser said. It will also tackle the challenges, ramifications of which the changes present and ways to direct these changes for the best of the region, he said. Discussion would tackle change on three levels; firstly, the role of social and political movements in the process of decision-making. The second touches on the effect of foreign migrations on economy; whereas the third one tackles the role that financial institutions play in making social changes alongside the monitoring role of central banks in the region during the global financial crisis. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Soldiers and Airmen serving Third Army take off from the starting line during a team based 5k fun run with the Kuwait National Guard, at Camp Arifjan, recently. The Third Army sponsored event marked the second of its kind designed to foster positive relations and team building between US service members and Kuwait National Guardsmen.

72,000 court subpoenas, travel bans on indebted Kuwaitis KUWAIT: A total of 72,000 subpoenas in addition to 82,000 travel ban orders were issued in the past few months against Kuwaitis who defaulted on repayments of loans despite previous legal action against them. A number of figures have condemned the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regulations for the problems, saying that the commission’s regulations banning the seizure of citizens’ property leave the authorities with no choice but to issue subpoenas and travel ban orders. Some of the responsibility for the problem has also been laid at the feet of the Ministry of Interior, the state body responsible for subpoena procedures, which it is argued has failed to impose the court orders correctly, leaving some people being arrested without even having received a subpoena beforehand, while other subpoenas have not been followed up and are still pending four years after being issued. One MP’s proposal that travel ban orders be removed from citizens owing less than KD 10,000 has been condemned as unconstitutional. Forty-five thousand of the Kuwaiti citizens with travel bans against them owe less than KD 5,000, while a further 18,000 owe less than KD 15,000, reported Al-Qabas. Another 5,000 of those on the travel ban list owe more than KD 15,000, while 100 other citizens’ debts are estimated to run into millions of dinars.

KUWAIT: The successful cosmetic surgery on a fractured skull of a girl in Kuwait last week.

Kuwaiti neurosurgeon puts end to suffering of girl with fractured skull KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti brain and cosmetic surgeries consultant has conducted a successful cosmetic surgery on a fractured skull of a girl who had been in a car crash. Dr Hassan Khaja, a neurosurgeon in Ibn Sina Hospital, said in a statement after the surgery at a private hospital that the girl was suffering from skull fracture and bleeding in the brain. He said the surgery was conducted in two phases; the first was to remove the fractured bone, stop the bleeding and close the wound without placing any material which may cause direct pressure on the brain in order to relieve the pressure of swelling resulting from the brain injury, severe concussion or bleeding associated with

skull fracture. He added that the second stage came four months after the patient became conscious and was a plastic surgery of the head by growing new bone from the (acrylic) material as such material is known for its easy composition, hardness and its durability of external pressure and bruises that can occur in the future. Khaja said that the era of development and modern medical technology has enabled doctors to put an end to the suffering of patients with congenital malformations of the skull and spine, stressing that Kuwait is among the advanced countries in the field of medical technology. —KUNA


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Iraqi troops mobilize in Saddam hometown TIKRIT: Iraqi troops have surrounded the provincial council building in Saddam Hussein’s former home province after a row between the council and the governor raised the possibility of violence, officials said. Council members said the forces were sent in because of a dispute that broke out

in Salahuddin province between Governor Mutashar Hussain Elaiwi and council head Ahmed Abdullah Abd after Elaiwi backed corruption allegations against Abd. Elaiwi also backed charges that Abd had used fake educational records, a claim that could disqualify him from holding office. Abd and

the council retaliated by appointing a new governor. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen sharply, but insurgents still stage regular attacks and disputes over power, like that taking place in Salahuddin, could lead to a resurgence in violence as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by 2012. A Reuters correspondent count-

ed at least 15 military vehicles around the council building in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad yesterday. The deployment of troops alarmed local residents in a province that has been relatively calm. “I want to assure you that the security situation in Salahuddin is more than excellent,”

Major General Hamad Yasin, head of police in the province, said on Friday. “The deployment of troops around the municipality building is a precautionary measure to prevent terrorists taking advantage of the current situation and carrying out terrorist attacks.” The new gover-

nor appointed by the council led by Abd, Khalid Hassan al-Daraji, told Reuters he was ready to take office and start work. “We are working to finalize the related legal procedures,” he said. The incumbent governor, Elaiwi, travelled to Baghdad to seek the help of the federal government

to resolve the dispute. Major General Salah al-Din Rasheed, head of the 4th Iraqi army division responsible for Salahuddin province, said his troops were there at the request of the incumbent governor. “These forces will remain in place until this crisis is finished,” Rasheed said. —Reuters

Sanaa government grappling with Shiite rebellion

Qaeda threat compounds woes of Yemen’s Somali refugees SANAA: Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are now eyed with suspicion in Yemen over a threat by Islamists in Somalia to bolster AlQaeda, making bad conditions even worse for an already destitute community. At the beginning of January, a senior official of Somalia’s

BEIRUT: An activist from a leftist group shouts slogans as Lebanese riot police block the road during a protest outside Egypt’s embassy in Beirut, Lebanon yesterday. About 200 people were taking part in yesterday’s protest over Egypt’s construction of an underground steel wall along the border with Gaza which could increase hardship endured by Gaza’s inhabitants and deprive its Hamas rulers of their only lifeline by blocking hundreds of smuggling tunnels. —AP

Israeli minister warns of new war with Hezbollah JERUSALEM: Israel is heading toward a new war with Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah, a cabinet minister warned yesterday in remarks carried by military radio and the popular Ynet news website. “We are heading toward a new confrontation in the north but I don’t know when it will happen, just as we did not know when the second Lebanon war would erupt,” said Yossi Peled, a minister without portfolio and a reserve army general. He was referring to the devastating war Israel fought with Hezbollah in 2006, which killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. Hezbollah is part of a new coalition government formed in November by

US- and Saudi-backed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The group is also the only faction still armed after Lebanon’s 19751990 civil war. “Although Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, the latter has no influence on it,” Peled said, adding the Jewish state will hold Hezbollah and its ally Syria responsible for any attack on Israel. Israeli officials have repeatedly warned in recent weeks that any attack by Hezbollah would be met with a strong response. Last week Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Lebanon and Hezbollah against any attempt to undermine the “calm” prevailing at the border between the two countries. —AFP

in the news 8 killed in Iran after train derails TEHRAN: A passenger train derailed in northeastern Iran yesterday, killing 8 and injuring 12 others, state television reported. The broadcast said four of those injured were in critical condition. The deadly incident occured after two coaches of a speeding train derailed at Azadvar station in Joqatai, 700 kilometers east of the capital Tehran, state television reported yesterday. The television said the train derailed at 10:20 a.m. local time (GMT 06:50). The train was heading to Tehran from the northeastern city of Mashhad. It is the deadliest accident since February 2004 when runaway train cars carrying fuel and industrial chemicals derailed, setting off explosions that destroyed five villages in northeastern Iran killing more than 200 people.

Egypt to back Yemen at London conference SANAA: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh held talks yesterday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, who stressed his country’s support for Yemen at an upcoming London conference. “We will provide all political support for Yemen at this meeting,” Gheit said at a news conference in Sanaa, where he and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met with Saleh. Egypt and the rest of the Arab states “will stand with Yemen in this meeting” and back any mechanism agreed upon to provide it “political, economic and security support,” he added. The London conference on extremism in Yemen starts on Wednesday, and will be attended by representatives from 21 countries. It was called by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown days after it emerged a Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a US airliner on Christmas Day could have been trained by the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. —AFP

3 wounded in Lebanon over Egypt’s Gaza barrier BEIRUT: Police have clashed with stonethrowing protesters outside Egypt’s embassy in Beirut and at least three people were injured. About 200 people took part in yesterday’s protest over Egypt’s construction of an underground steel wall along the border with Gaza. Witnesses said batonwielding riot police clashed with the protesters when they tried to push against a security barrier and began pelting the embassy with stones and lemons, adding that three were injured. Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene. The protesters are activists from left-wing groups which claim that by blocking the smuggling tunnels, the barrier would increase the hardships of Gaza’s inhabitants by depriving them of their last lifeline.

Hundreds of newly trained fighters responded to his speech with chants of “Allahu Akbar,” or God is greater. The Sanaa government is grappling with a Shiite rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south, and the continuing threat of attacks by the extremist Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The group has been the target of a sustained crackdown by the country’s military after it claimed responsibility for a botched bid to bomb a US airliner on approach to Detroit on Christmas Day. Yemen responded to the Shebab threat by boosting surveillance and restricting the movement of Somalis who have already braved the Gulf of Aden migration crossing, described by the United Nations as “the busiest and deadliest in the world.” Sanaa’s director of national security, Ali alAnisi, told AFP: “We take the threat seriously. “Yemen is the only country to have welcomed Somali fugitives. Today there are more than 800,000 of them here. But they have created economic and social problems, and now security concerns.” The real number of Somalis currently in Yemen is disputed, with the United Nations last June giving an official figure of 142,000. According to one local expert on jihadists in Yemen, the perceived threat from Shebab is exaggerated. “This idea of sending reinforcements from Somalia is mainly just rhetoric,” journalist Abdelilah Shaea said. “First, in the ideology of jihad, one should help one’s brothers wherever in the world they are threatened. “Secondly, under Islamist mythology, Yemen is a special country. They believe that, one day, the army that will liberate Palestine and the Great Mosque in Jerusalem will set out from here.” Sanaa, which for years operated an open door policy towards Somalis fleeing their violence-ridden

Shebab militia that swears allegiance to Al-Qaeda compounded Yemen’s multiple security woes by pledging “to our Muslim brothers in Yemen that we will cross the water between us and reach your place to help you fight the enemy of Allah.”

AHWAR: A file picture dated November 2, 2007 shows Somali refugees walking on the side of the main road near the Yemeni town of Ahwar. Somali refugees, who number in the hundred thousands in Yemen, are finding themselves under stricter surveillance since the Somali Jihadi threats to join Al-Qaeda in Yemen. —AFP homeland, has now given them two months to register in a bid to better monitor and control a community that scrapes a living from mostly menial work. Somalis are automatically accorded refugee status upon reaching Yemen, unlike other nationalities such as Ethiopians whose numbers are also growing. But they are banned from relocating inside the country, and police road blocks have been set up around some refugee camps as Somalis are increasingly eyed with suspicion. “Today, every Yemeni will be wary of the Somali washing his car,” the country’s head of counter-terrorism, General Yahya Saleh, told AFP. “And that will just make their lives more difficult, but Al-Qaeda doesn’t give a damn.” For Said al-Jemhi, Yemeni expert and author of a book on the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, there is no doubt the

Shebab has already established a presence in Yemen. “They aren’t filling boats with weapons and crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the risk of being intercepted,” he said. “They already have huge numbers of potential volunteers in the camps. And the more difficult their lives are here, the easier it is to radicalise them.” The UN refugee agency said in December the num-

ber of migrants fleeing the unstable Horn of Africa and arriving in Yemen rose by 50 percent in 2009, reaching a record high of 74,000. The desperate migrants entrust their lives to people smugglers in a bid to escape the deeply troubled region, which is plagued with civil war, political instability, poverty and famine. Somalia has had no effective government since the early 1990s,

and thousands of people have been killed in Mogadishu in recent years as Islamists battle for control of the capital. Now Yemen, the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a country in which tribal loyalties also hold sway, will be the topic of an international meeting in London focusing on the extremist threat. —AFP



Sunday, January 24, 2010

UK bans export of bomb detection device LONDON: Britain has banned the export of a hand-held machine marketed as a bomb-detection device in Iraq and Afghanistan because of allegations that it does not work. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills halted the export of the ADE651 after a BBC Newsnight investigation Friday challenged the claims of the company, ATSC. The broadcaster took the key aspects of the device to a laboratory, which concluded that a component intended to detect explosives contained technology used to prevent theft in stores.

“Tests have shown that the technology used in the ADE651 and similar devices is not suitable for bomb detection,” the department said in a statement. Though the device would not normally need a license because it is nonmilitary technology, the British government banned its export to Iraq and Afghanistan because of the risk that it could hurt British and allied forces. Britain’s Press Association reported that Avon and Somerset Police had arrested the company’s director, Jim McCormick, on suspicion of fraud by misrepresentation and released him

on bail. Police did not name the man arrested, as is customary with British criminal cases, but said that it launched an investigation after the force became “aware of the existence of a piece of equipment around which there were many concerns.” “Given the obvious sensitivities around this matter, the fact that an arrest has been made, and in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, we cannot discuss it any further at this time,” the force said in a statement. McCormick, who has an office in rural Somerset, declined to

comment when reached by The Associated Press yesterday. Britain’s Embassy in Baghdad raised concerns with Iraqi authorities, who bought the ADE651, for security checkpoints. The devices remain in use. Iraq’s Interior Minister, Jawad al-Bolani, told staterun Iraqiya TV on Friday that the instruments “managed to prevent and detect more than 16,000 bombs that would be a threat to people’s life and more than 733 car bombs were defused.” “Iraq is considered as a market area for many companies producing such devices ... and there

are other rival companies trying to belittle the efficiency of these instruments the government is buying,” Bolani said. “Not all those who use the instrument are fully trained,” he added. “The instrument’s efficiency depends on the training of the user.” Concerns about the device were raised in November, when the New York Times reported that the American military deemed the device useless. The newspaper reported that the Iraqi government purchased more than 1,500 of the devices, at a cost of between $16,500 to $60,000 each. The US military

declined to respond yesterday to questions about the device and whether it was endangering Iraq’s security. Iraqi families reacted to the news with outrage. Haider Mohammed, a relative of victims who died in recent bombings in Baghdad, called the detectors “a toy,” and demanded the Iraqi government answer for why it was not following the British government’s lead. “We ask the Iraqi government, if this device does not work, why did they buy it?” Mohammed said. “Are the lives of Iraqi people so cheap?”

The hand-held device consists of a swiveling antenna mounted via a handgrip. The maker claims it can detect explosives at a distance. McCormick told the BBC in an earlier interview that “the theory behind dowsing and the theory behind how we actually detect explosives is very similar.” The broadcaster took the device to the Cambridge University computer lab, which determined that a “programmed substance detection card” that is supposed to detect explosives contained nothing but the type of anti-theft tag used to prevent stealing in department stores. —AP

60 more people still missing

150 bodies dug out in Nigeria JOS: At least 150 bodies are recovered from wells following deadly Muslim-Christian clashes in central Nigeria in which the estimated death toll already stood at about 300. “So far we have picked 150 bodies from the wells. But 60 more people are still missing, said Umar

Baza, head of Kuru Karama village near the city of Jos told AFP on telephone. “We took an inventory of the displaced people from this village, sheltering in three camps and we realise that 60 people can still not be accounted for,” he added. “We believe there are more bodies in the wells but the degree of their decomposition makes it difficult to continue the retrieval operation. We have therefore decided to sand-fill all the wells,” Baza further said. Head of the Muslim volunteer team in the village, Mohammed Shittu, said further searches would be carried out yesterday with security escorts. “Now we have 150 bodies in all, taken from the wells as from Thursday. We are still going back there today (Saturday) to comb the bush around the village to search for more bodies,” he also told AFP. “From the account of survivors, some people fleeing attacks were ambushed and killed in the bush. That is why we are going there to search for more bodies. A Muslim official who visited Kuru Karama to arrange for the burial of bodies told global rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) that 121 corpses had been recovered in wells, including the those of 22 young children. The state government has JOS: Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of sectarian violence in Kurujantar, some 30 kilometers (19 given no official death toll for the which broke out last miles) south of Jos, Nigeria Friday. Both Christians and Muslims died during the violence that began last violence, Sunday in Jos, capital of Plateau Sunday in the central Nigerian city once known as a prime tourist destination in West Africa. —AP State, and later spread to nearby towns and villages, but religious leaders and medical workers said they had counted around 300 bodies by Wednesday. HRW yesterday urged Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to order “an immediate criminal investigation into credible reports of a massacre of at least 150 Muslim residents of a town in central Nigeria.” New York-based watchdog Human KIGALI: The Commonwealth will send a Rwanda’s judiciary and provide training to HRW said in a statement monitoring team to Rwanda’s August presi- the central African country’s journalists. “I Rights Watch described it as peaceful but received in Lagos that witnesses dential election in which incumbent Paul have offered, that in the presidential elec- marred by “serious irregularities”. “We are said groups of armed menKagame is likely to seek a second seven- tion now coming up in August, we would be thrilled to welcome a Commonwealth elecbelieved to be Christiansyear term, authorities said. On his first visit very happy to send a team,” Sharma told tion monitoring group,” Mushikiwabo said, attacked the largely Muslim to Kigali since Rwanda joined the 54-mem- journalists late on Friday. Foreign affairs “It is a way for us to interact even more in a population of Kuru Karama on ber organisation last year, Secretary General Minister Louise Mushikiwabo accepted his specific area of interest both to the Tuesday morning. “After surKamalesh Sharma said the Commonwealth offer. The Commonwealth previously moni- Commonwealth and us.” Rwanda is formally rounding the town, they hunted would assist in strengthening the central tored 2008 legislative elections when a multiparty democracy but in practice anadown and attacked Muslim resiRwanda became the first country in the lysts say the real power lies in the hands of African country’s electoral commission. dents, some of whom had sought Mainly composed of former British world to register a female majority in parlia- Kagame, the head of the ruling Rwandan refuge in homes and a local Patriotic Front party. —Reuters colonies, the group will also help improve ment. mosque, killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive,” the statement said. Christian and Muslim leaders in Plateau State said previously the unrest owed more to the failure of political leaders to address ethnic differences than to inter-faith rivalries. “This tragic event certainly challenges us all to address the deep hurts, festering wounds and unresolved grievances ...from earlier episodes,” said Abuja Catholic Archbishop John has said in a recent interview dating back to 13th century. BELGRADE: The new head of Serbian province that most Onaiyekan and Sultan of Sokoto, The new patriarch, Irinej, that he would not oppose a visit the Serbian Orthodox Church, people here consider their hisAbubakar Saad, in a joint stateby the Roman Catholic Pope to 80, has served in Kosovo in the Patriarch Irinej, vowed yester- toric heartland, but which is ment. Some 18,000 people have one of the rare day to defend Serbia’s claim on mostly populated by ethnic past as did his predecessor, Serbia, already taken refuge in military European countries the pontiff Pavle who died in November at Kosovo, signaling that the Albanians who declared indebarracks, churches and influential church will retain its pendence in 2008 with the the age of 95. Irinej, who is has never visited. The hard-linmosques around the city after ers have opposed the visit considered a moderate despite firm opposition to the region’s backing of the United States fleeing the fighting, the Red Western-backed indepen- and its European Union allies. his tough position on Kosovo, because of a historic schism Cross said. between the two churches. was elected in a lottery-like Serbia has refused to recognize dence. Patriarch Irinej, the Vice-President Goodluck With Irinej at its helm, the 45th Serbian patriarch who was the split, insisting that Kosovo draw among three candidates Jonathan pledged that the ringchurch also is not expected initially chosen in a secret balremains part of the country chosen to the post Friday, said leaders responsible for the vioin a speech after the enthrone- although Belgrade lost control lot by 45 Serbian bishops. His to oppose Serbia’s efforts to lence would be brought to jusjoin the European Union. election was seen as a comproover the land following a 1998ment that the primary goal of tice, and ordered the army to the church was to “help our 99 war. The government posi- mise in a power struggle The enthronement ceremony take over security of the affectfor Patriarch Irinej was held between hardliners and liberals tion has enjoyed backing from state which is doing all it can to ed regions and sensitive neighat Belgrade’s Cathedral save Kosovo from those who the church, which is very influ- in the church. boring areas. “The federal govChurch. It was attended by The new patriarch also is ential among Serbs. The want to grab it away.” “If we ernment is determined to forget Kosovo, Kosovo will for- Serbian church considers widely viewed as a “man of dia- church elders, state officials, secure convictions of the perperepresentatives of other relilogue” who is ready to improve Kosovo its seat, where hunget us,” he said. “Kosovo is our trators of this crime, no matter dreds of its churches and ties with the Roman Catholic gious groups and dozens of Holy Land, our Jerusalem.” how highly placed,” he said in a believers. —AP church and other churches. He monasteries are located, some Kosovo is the former broadcast late Thursday. —AFP

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a State Council session on the development of the Russian political system at the Kremlin in Moscow. —AFP

Putin calls for rights to be upheld in Caucasus MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday ordered officials in the North Caucasus to ensure what he called the “normal work” of human rights groups operating in the volatile region, news agencies said. Human rights activists in and around Chechnya have been attacked and even killed in recent years in incidents Kremlin critics blame on local authorities who have little patience for their work. They spend most of their time investigating accusations of rights abuses by police and the personal security forces of the regions’ leaders. Convictions have been almost nonexistent in such attacks and

critics have blamed Putin for allowing an atmosphere of impunity. Putin arrived in the southern city of Pyatigorsk to chair a meeting of the leaders of the provinces that suffer the most from violence linked to Islamist separatists. “I ask the representatives of regional authorities ... to do everything for the support of normal work and daily activity of rights-defending organizations in the Caucasus,” Putin said in comments carried by RIA Novosti and ITAR-Tass, both state agencies. “Those who work within the framework of the law,” he added. The rights movement in the North

Caucasus has been decimated in the last few years as fear of being the next target has driven those who fight for the accountability of the authorities out of the area. Leading rights group Memorial was forced to close its Chechnya chapter in the aftermath of the July slaying of rights activist Natalya Estemirova. Estemirova’s bullet-ridden body was found in Ingushetia hours after she disappeared in neighboring Chechnya. A few months before Estemirova died, Stanislav Markelov , a lawyer she had worked with in Chechnya, was gunned down in a daylight attack in central Moscow. —AP

Commonwealth to monitor Rwanda’s presidential poll

New patriarch vows to defend Kosovo claim

LONDON: Photographers attend a mass picture-taking gathering organised by the group I’m A Photographer, Not A Terrorist! in protest of stop and search action by police in Central London yesterday. —AFP

Photographers protest British police searches LONDON: Thousands of photographers protested in London yesterday against the use of anti-terror laws which allow British police to stop and search suspects. Trafalgar Square was lit up by camera flashes as an estimated 2,000 photographers gathered to complain at what they see as the increasing tendency of police to use the legislation to stop them taking pictures. Freelance photographer and writer Marc Vallee, who helped organise the protest through social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, said frustrations with police centred on the scope of an antiterror law passed in 2000. Vallee, 41, said:

“It’s quite obvious that professional photographers across the country are being searched because they are photographers, not because they are suspicious. “It’s a common-law right to take pictures in public places and we are here to show that.” Many protesters waved placards bearing the slogan: “I’m a photographer, not a terrorist.” Amateur photographer Lucy Hogan, from Bath in southwest England, said: “The support has been incredible. There are so many here today, even photographers from Italy. “It just goes to show that it’s not only Britain where photographers are treated with such malicious use of the law.” —AFP


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Haiti cruise stops: ‘Without this, we don’t eat’ LABADEE, Haiti; With the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship anchored just offshore this beautiful expanse of white sand Friday, vacationers stretched out on beach chairs in the sun, sipped cold beer and pina coladas with pineapple slices on the rim and listened to Haitian folk music. The beach resort of Labadee is just 100 km from Port-au-Prince, but it’s a world away from the devastation of the Haitian capital, where some 200,000 people are believed dead in an earthquake. The cruise ships that stop here have become the center of a controversy: Should vacationers relax and have fun with so much suffering elsewhere on the island? Or would it be worse to halt the port calls and deprive locals of what they earn from tourism? Jameson Charitable, 20, stood near the pier with a sign offering tours. “Without this”, he said, motioning toward the boat, “we don’t eat”. He said he makes $15 every time a ship comes in. About 200 people work here, and a few hundred more vendors and service providers are allowed in whenever ships arrive. The resort enclave, which has a beach, a zipline in the mountains and other activities, is leased by the Haitian government to Royal

Caribbean International, which also owns the Celebrity cruise line. Royal Caribbean allowed a team of journalists from AP to visit Labadee on Friday, but the cruise company’s spokeswoman, Tracy Quan, would not allow them to interview or photograph cruise passengers. Carol Myers, 53, a nurse from New Jersey, was not on the cruise ship but was enjoying the beach. She had spent an intense week tending to earthquake victims in a hospital in the nearby town of Milo, and was decompressing for a few hours before her scheduled return to the US yesterday. “I almost feel guilty for being here after what happened,” Myers said, sitting in a beach chair in blue scrubs. “But the people need a job, the people need to eat.” Royal Caribbean President and CEO Adam Goldstein said the decision to continue with scheduled stops in Labadee was an easy one. The site sustained no damage, and he said the Haitian government welcomed the ship. The country reaps a fixed cost per passenger, plus annual fees and the cash tourists spend on local goods at a marketplace where artisans and artists sell trinkets and crafts. Royal Caribbean is also donating $1 million, delivering food

LABADEE, Haiti: Joseph Philibert holds a sign to offer day trips to passengers from the Celebrity Cruises ship Solstice on Friday. Cruise ships continue to stop at the Labadee resort after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Jan 12. — AP

NEW YORK: State police in New York say an upstate dairy farmer shot and killed 51 of his milk cows in his barn before turning the rifle on himself. State police found the body of 59-yearold Dean Pierson in his Copake barn on Thursday. A visitor found a note Pierson had left on the barn door that said not to come in and to call police. State police would only say that Pierson was having personal issues, the Register-Star reported. The upstate hamlet of Copake is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of New York City. Local farmers buried the cows outside the barn Friday. They would not discuss Pierson or what had happened, but one of the men said these are hard times to be a farmer.

US border inspectors find pot in fish container SAN DIEGO: A US border inspector suspected something fishy about the truckload of white sea bass headed into San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico. It was a good hunch. US Customs and Border Protection said Friday that authorities seized 708 pounds (320 kilograms) of marijuana stowed under the fish. An officer at the Otay Mesa border crossing ordered the truck driver aside Thursday night to put the cargo under Xrays. Authorities said they found 29 wrapped packages of marijuana hidden beneath the fish and a layer of ice. The driver was a 34-year-old man from Ensenada, Mexico, whose name was not released. He was booked into a downtown San Diego jail for investigation of drug smuggling.

US will appeal Blackwater court ruling: Biden BAGHDAD: US Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday his government would appeal against a court decision to dismiss charges against Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians. The US federal court decision last month, which found that the defendants’ constitutional rights had been violated,

angered Iraqis. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government has hired US lawyers to prepare a law suit against Blackwater, a security contractor now called Xe Services. “The United States will appeal this decision,” Biden said on a visit to Baghdad. Referring to the court ruling, he said “a dismissal is not an acquittal”, and that the US government would lodge the appeal next week. The former Blackwater security guards were accused of killing the Iraqis at a Baghdad traffic circle in September 2007. The incident came to symbolize for Iraqis what they saw as foreigners’ disregard for their lives after private guards protecting US personnel were given immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts following the 2003 US -led invasion. It also threw a critical light on the US use of private security contractors in Iraq. The guards say they fired in self-defense in the incident, which occurred during some of the worst sectarian violence in Iraq.

Drug traffickers shoot at Mexico government plane CIUDAD JUAREZ: Drug traffickers shot at a Mexican government helicopter as it chased a small plane allegedly loaded with drugs, a military official said. A spokesman for Operation Chihuhua, a counternarcotics campaign with 8,000 participating soldiers and federal police, said the attack took place Thursday afternoon Uruachi, a town in the northern state. The bullet-riddled helicopter’s pilot was injured. Locals called in to radio stations, saying that hundreds of police and soldiers surrounded the site of the confrontation, arresting several people for questioning on the whereabouts of the attackers. More than 15,000 people have died in spiraling drug violence in the past three years across Mexico, particularly in northern border areas on lucrative trafficking routes into the United States, despite a nationwide crackdown on organized crime operated by 50,000 troops. Ciudad Juarez, ground zero for drug-related violence, has seen around a dozen homicides a day this year. Last year, drug violence claimed around 2,660 victims in this city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Dems hope to recover WASHINGTON: A one-two punch of bad news suddenly has Democrats facing an election year with campaign finance rules that favor Republicans and a Senate that can block Democratic initiatives. Democrats already were bracing for House and Senate losses in November, which typically The week that marked President Barack Obama’s first year in office turned out to be one of the worst in recent Democratic memory. Now party insiders are trying to figure out why public sentiment turned against them so quickly. Republican strategist John Feehery says the trend began some time ago with the summertime attacks on Obama’s health care plan and continued with the November takeover of the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia. “It’s been bad for the Democrats for a while,” Feehery said. “They just haven’t realized it. This is the club over their head that wakes them up.” The week’s first Democratic setback can be blamed squarely on the party’s poor performance coupled with a stellar campaign by a little-known Republican state senator in Massachusetts. Scott Brown tapped voter anger over high unemployment and unsavory dealmaking in Congress to win the seat long held by liberal leader Edward Kennedy. Brown’s election will restore the Republicans’ ability to block Democratic initiatives in the Senate, where Republicans will hold 41 of the 100 seats. It brought an abrupt halt to Obama’s signature issue, overhauling health care, which now hangs in limbo. The second blow, which landed Thursday, was beyond the president’s control. The Supreme Court reversed a century-long trend of limiting the

political influence of corporations, which is likely to prompt a flood of campaign money going mostly to Republicans. The 5-4 ruling will let companies use their general treasuries, and not just employees’ limited donations, to produce and air ads for or against federal candidates. It also applies to labor unions, which typically back Democrats. But union membership and clout have been declining for decades. Republicans, traditionally friendly with corporate America, hailed the court decision while Democrats attacked it. Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans”. House Republican leader John Boehner called it “a big win for the First Amendment and a step in the right direction,” referring to the Constitution. As if the White House needed more bad news, late in the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced mounting Senate opposition for a second term despite Obama’s support. So far, there’s no sign of all-out Democratic panic. Party insiders anticipate about two dozen or so net losses in the House this fall. It might be worse, but few think they could lose the 40 seats that would give Republicans the majority. A Republican takeover of the

happens to a president’s party after his first two years in office. But a stunning Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts, and a dramatic Supreme Court ruling on political advertising, have made the horizon look even darker for the party that scored big wins in 2006 and 2008.

Senate is even less likely. And Republicans have their own problems, starting with less campaign money than Democrats have. Opinion polls suggest Americans have more faith in Democrats to make good decisions, and Obama’s personal popularity remains fairly high. Also, it’s not clear that Republicans can tame and harness the volatile “tea bagger” activists. The fiercely independent conservatives helped Brown win in Massachusetts, but they triggered a damaging rightwing split in a special House race in New York last year. Still, Brown’s victory Tuesday clearly rattled Democrats. Their most immediate problem is the stalled health care overhaul. Options include using all their remaining political muscle to pass a Senate measure under rules that bar filibusters, which could require only modest trims to the party’s original proposals. Another option would significantly dilute the initial efforts in hopes of attracting some Republican votes. The White House and congressional leaders had hoped to settle on a strategy by this weekend. But an accord was thwarted by disagreements among House Democrats, mixed signals from Obama and the issue’s complexity. In the longer run, Democrats’ chief dilemma may be deciding how to campaign this fall, given that Obama in 2008 advocated every

Anti-Chavez cable channel at risk

MANAGUA: A man paints a mural of portraits of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega, right, and Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro at Cuba Plaza in Managua Friday. —AP

CARACAS: A Venezuelan TV channel that takes a critical line against Hugo Chavez could be forced off cable if it doesn’t carry mandatory government programming including some of the president’s speeches, a lawyer for the channel said Friday. The government forced Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, off the open airwaves in 2007 by refusing to renew its broadcast license, and the channel subsequently moved to cable under the name Radio Caracas Television International. Venezuela’s telecommunications agency said Thursday that two dozen local cable channels including RCTV must carry government programming when deemed mandatory, just like broadcast channels already do. Chavez often uses the measure, referred to as a “national network” , to have his speeches shown in full on all TV channels and radio stations. RCTV lawyer Oswaldo Quintana said cable providers were told by the telecommunications agency the if RCTV doesn’t carry the next mandatory programming segment, “they would have to take us off the air.” “They invented something

Adopted Haitian children to arrive in Canada soon OTTAWA: Several dozen Haitian children adopted by Canadian families could arrive in Canada this weekend, Immigration Minister Lawrence Kenney said Friday after receiving Haiti’s approval in 154 cases. “Yesterday, Canadian officials presented a list to the government of Haiti with the names of 154 children who are currently in the adoption process,” Kenney said. “I am very pleased to announce today that the government of Haiti has given its full approval to that list,” clearing the way for

them to come to Canada, the minister said. Eighty-six of the adoptions were at an “advanced stage in the process,” with at least some level of approval from Haitian authorities, he said, adding that arrangements were being made “to bring these 86 children to Canada in the coming days.” The first flight could arrive in Canada at the weekend, Kenney said. In the days since the quake, families around the world in the process of adopting Haitian children have pressured their governments to speed up the

conveys a complete lack of understanding of the overall condition in Haiti following this horrific disaster,” he said. Still, public relations experts quoted by said Royal Caribbean had made a mistake by mixing leisure business with humanitarian efforts. “The brand will take a hit,” Paul Gallagher, managing director of WPP’s Burson Marsteller’s issues and advocacy practice, was quoted as saying. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic suffered no damage from the earthquake, but the government is clearly worried that vacationers may cancel trips there because of the disaster on the other side of the border. The Dominican Ministry of Tourism has issued repeated statements that it was unaffected by the quake, including pointing out that Port-au-Prince is hundreds of miles (kilometers) and several mountain ranges away. That message was lost on travelers like Debbie Ulin, a 39year-old mother of two in Hillsdale, NJ, whose family and two others canceled a group trip planned to the Dominican beach resort of Punta Cana for February. —AP

Horizon look even darker after lousy week

in the news NY dairy farmer kills 51 cows, commits suicide

and water on every call and pledging net revenue from Labadee to the relief effort. Maryse Kedar, president of Royal Caribbean’s Haitian subsidiary, SOLANO, said the cruise visits are “the only substantial commerce taking place in northern Haiti.” But the cruise line found itself on the defensive after criticism spread online. Melissa Bacchus, a Brooklyn, NY, teacher, was among several veteran cruisers to dominate message boards on sites like with the debate. “I do think morally it is wrong to go (to Labadee), where less than 60 miles away people are suffering,” Bacchus said in an interview. “And because we have the resources, we have the wealth, we can frolic using the beauty of their island?” Bacchus suggested Royal Caribbean pay Haiti its regular port fees, but not actually stop there. She said they could also give local artisans money to go back home and assist in the relief effort. Haiti Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour said Royal Caribbean continuing the trips was “courageous” and important to his nation’s recovery. “We applaud this decision and feel the criticism they are receiving in the media is not only unfair but

process. Several including Belgium, Spain and the United States have moved to fast-track adoption procedures for children in Haiti, with the wretchedly poor Caribbean nation suffering critical shortages of water and food in the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude quake. Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Lawrence Cannon said he and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by telephone Friday about ways to improve coordination of international relief efforts in Haiti. —AFP

additional that isn’t in the law,” Quintana said, referring to a new measure allowing only limited commercials between programs on local cable channels. He said that requirement is aimed at “destroying you as a channel.” Public Works Minister Diosdado Cabello, who also heads the telecommunications agency, on Thursday announced a list of cable channels that have more than 30 percent of locally produced programming and are to be bound by the rules approved by the agency last month. Cabello said if a channel don’t comply with the law, cable providers should “remove it from their lineup immediately.” RCTV executive Marcel Granier said at a news conference that “we will continue to be an international channel” and that the company on Friday appealed to the Supreme Court for legal protection from the government’s measures. Granier didn’t say whether the channel plans to carry the next mandatory Chavez speech. Government figures show that as of 2008 about 37 percent of Venezuelan homes received cable television. —AP

key feature in the health care legislation that now seems unpopular with many Americans. Many Democratic lawmakers want to resolve the health debate quickly and turn their focus to jobs. The Democratic-leaning group Third Way looked for a

bright spot this week. “We have nearly 11 months to adjust and prepare,” the group said in a memo. In 1994, when a Republican landslide gave that party control of Congress, “Democrats didn’t realize the wave was upon them until the August recess.” — AP

Bristol Palin files for child support ANCHORAGE: Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter, Bristol, is seeking child support from the young man who fathered her 1-year-old son. Documents filed Thursday in Superior Court in Palmer shows Bristol Palin is seeking $1,750 a month from 19-year-old Levi Johnston, her former fiance. Their son, Tripp, was born in Dec 2008. Sarah Palin was the Republican candidate for vice president in 2008 when it was revealed Bristol was pregnant. Palin said the teenage couple would marry and they both appeared at the nominating convention, but separated shortly after. Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said Alaska law makes clear that a parent of a child is obligated to provide support. “It is unfortunate Bristol has to seek court intervention in this regard,” Van Flein said. The details regarding child support come at the same time Bristol is seeking full custody of the baby. She filed a petition for sole custody in early November. Johnston, at the very least, wants joint custody, said Rex Butler, Johnston’s lawyer. The motion for child support says Bristol, 19, is providing nearly 100 percent of Tripp’s care and that Johnston has paid only $4,400 in more than a year. Palin’s oldest daughter also is seeking back child support of $18,350. The amount is based on an estimate of Johnston’s income last year. Alaska law mandates that at a minimum for one child the noncustodial parent is obligated to pay child support in the amount of 20 percent of that person’s adjusted annual income. The court filing says Johnston has earned more than $105,000 in 2009 for various media interviews and modeling assignments. It also says he has not provided the court information on his adjusted annual income as requested. Butler said on several occasions Johnston wanted to give Bristol money for the baby’s care, requesting that she bring Tripp with her, but she was a no-show. —AP



Sunday, January 24, 2010

South Korea reviews N Korea’s proposal for talks SEOUL: South Korea is considering whether to accept North Korea’s offer of talks next week to discuss their joint industrial park , the most prominent symbol of cooperation on the peninsula , an official said yesterday. At the industrial park at Kaesong in the North, South Korean factories employ North Korean workers. Tensions are often high between the neighbors, which technically remain at war because the Korean conflict ended with a 1953 cease-fire that has never been replaced with a peace treaty.

The offer came despite a recent threat from the North that it might cut off all dialogue with the South. Pyongyang appears to have backed down from that threat, participating in other talks with Seoul in recent days. On Friday, the North offered to hold discussions between military officers in Kaesong this Tuesday to discuss border crossings, customs, and the use of mobile phones and the Internet for South Korean companies in the complex. “We are reviewing the proposal,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman Chun

Hae-sung said. It is not unusual for both sides to take a few days to reply to requests from the other. More than 110 South Korean factories at Kaesong employ some 42,000 North Korean workers to make everything from electronics and watches to shoes and utensils, providing a major source of revenue for the cash-strapped North. Pyongyang has reached out to the US and South Korea in recent months in what could be an attempt to ease some of the pressure of UN sanctions imposed on the North after it conducted a nuclear

test last year, its second to date. The isolated regime, however, has also sent conflicting signals, such as threatening to cut off dialogue with the South in the past week. North Korea quit international talks on ending its nuclear programs in April last year, but has indicated its willingness to return to disarmament negotiations if the sanctions are lifted. North Korea’s No 2 leader Kim Yong Nam has outlined three conditions for Pyongyang’s return to nuclear talks, Japan’s Nihon Keizai

Shimbun reported yesterday. First, they want to hold negotiations with the US and China for a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War; separate bilateral talks with the US regarding North Korea’s security; and the economic sanctions lifted. The North regularly makes similar demands. The business daily cited a delegation of Italian lawmakers who met with Kim on Thursday. The last nuclear talks , involving the two Koreas, the US , China, Russia and Japan , took place in Beijing in December 2008.— AP

Politician refuses to step down

Japan political kingmaker denies fund allegations TOKYO: Japanese political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa yesterday denied allegations that he received an illegal donation in a scandal that has rocked the centre-left government and refused to step down. “I want to fulfil my given duties,” Ozawa said at a hastily arranged news conference after hours of questioning by prosecutors. “I have nothing to hide, so I told all the facts that I remember.” Prosecutors are investigating whether Ozawa, 67, secretary general of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), took millions of dollars in bribes from construction firms and invested the money in Tokyo property. Prosecutors, who are also investigating alleged financial irregularities within his political funding group, have raided his offices and arrested three of his former or current aides. After weeks of refusals, Ozawa-often dubbed the government’s “Shadow Shogun”-submitted to voluntary questioning yesterday afternoon by prosecutors at a Tokyo hotel. “I have never received illegal money and I am sure neither have my office staffers,” he said in statement released shortly after the questioning. “I have

TOKYO: Ruling Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa listens to a reporter’s questions during a news conference after being questioned by Tokyo prosecutors yesterday. — AP not been involved with any of the bank transactions or the purchase (of the property) as they were all done by secretaries,” he said. “I don’t know the specific details of the matter.”

Ozawa was credited with engineering the devastating poll defeat inflicted last summer on the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which had ruled Japan with only one interruption for more than five

decades. The scandal has dealt a serious blow to Hatoyama, who has seen his public support slide rapidly ahead of a national election in July seen as a test of the DPJ’s ability to hold on to power over the long term.

It also pits the DPJ against the prosecutors seen by some party members as fearless guardians of justice and by others as the legal spearhead of the old establishment. Ozawa has suggested the timing of the raids and arrests-just before the annual convention of his party last weekend and the start of the parliamentary session earlier in the week-was not accidental. “I would like to see prosecutors make a fair and just investigation,” he said. Hatoyama, who is theoretically authorised to interrupt any probe by prosecutors, has since denied trying to strong-arm investigators into going easy on Ozawa. But the premier late yesterday repeated his support for Ozawa, telling reporters: “I want to trust him as he said his hands are clean.” Ozawa, a veteran of Japanese backroom politics, has angrily professed his innocence and publicly questioned the motives of the prosecutors. A US research institute last week ranked Ozawa third on a list of the most influential leaders shaping global politics in 2010 following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and US President Barack Obama.— AFP

5 jailed for polluting Chinese city’s water BEIJING: Five people have been jailed for spilling industrial waste into a drinking water source, causing the supply for a city of five million people to be cut off for a week, state media reported yesterday. Three petrochemical company managers in Huai’an, eastern China, hired two private contractors in February last year to empty waste into an irrigation ditch connected to the city’s drinking water supply, Xinhua news agency said. Residents reported a strange smell coming from their taps, leading to an investigation into the chemical firm, and Huai’an was forced to cut off its drinking water for a week, the report said. A local court on Friday handed down five jail terms ranging from nine to 29 months, Xinhua reported, citing court sources. Three others were given suspended sentences. The court also fined the firm one million yuan (146,000 dollars) and ordered it to pay compensation of 350,000 yuan to the water company. Public health crises caused by chemical spills are frequent in China. In 2005, a similar incident polluting the River Songhua led to the interruption of the drinking water supply for a million people in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan answers reporters’ questions during a press conference at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. — AP

Former Malaysian monarch dies at 77 KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan Iskandar Ismail, a royal state ruler who was Malaysia’s king for five years under the Asian nation’s unique rotating system, has died, an official said. He was 77. The sultan died from an unspecified illness late Friday in his southern home state of Johor, where he ascended to the throne in 1981, according to a statement by Johor’s chief minister, Abdul Ghani Othman. Prime Minister Najib Razak cut short a trip to India and returned home early yesterday to attend the sultan’s burial at a state mausoleum. Sultans and rajas are the titular heads of nine of Malaysia’s 13 states, taking turns every five years to become the country’s king in a rotating monarchy. The rulers have largely ceremonial roles, but they

command respect mainly among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority, who consider them upholders of Malay tradition and Islam. Sultan Iskandar served as Malaysia’s king from 1984 to 1989. His reign as sultan was marred by controversy when he allegedly assaulted a hockey coach in 1992. It was one of several incidents involving royals that led to constitutional changes that removed the sultans’ longtime immunity from prosecution, though Sultan Iskandar was not taken to court for the alleged assault. Sultan Iskandar, who was known to be a passionate fan of polo and windsurfing, is survived by his consort and 10 children. His eldest son, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, was proclaimed the new sultan of Johor yesterday.— AP

China eyes grand plan to develop Tibetan regions

JOHOR: Malaysian fire fighters inspect the damage to a Muslim prayer room in Muar of Johor state, Malaysia, Thursday, Jan 21, 2010. — AP

BEIJING: China’s top leaders say Tibet’s development must include Tibetan areas in neighboring provinces, a move likely aimed at tying the region tighter to the rest of the country after deadly riots two years ago. Chinese President Hu Jintao told the first high-level meeting on Tibet in nine years that the development would require hard work to prevent “penetration and sabotage” by separatists working for Tibet’s independence, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported late Friday. Hu also said at this week’s meeting that residents’ awareness of being part of China should be constantly enhanced, Xinhua reported. The meeting was the first of its kind since the deadly riots in March 2008, the largest uprising against Chinese rule in decades. Chinese-owned shops and gov-

ernment offices were attacked in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, and other traditionally Tibetan regions of western China. The government says at least 22 people were killed in Lhasa, and Tibetan rights groups say nearly 140 Tibetans died. Beijing, which sent troops to occupy Tibet following the 1949 communist revolution and insists it has been part of Chinese territory for centuries, has sped up its drive to develop the region’s economy since the violence. China’s leaders agreed in the meeting Monday through Wednesday to develop Tibetan regions in neighboring Sichuan, Gansu, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces as well, Xinhua said. Most, if not all, saw protests shortly after the 2008 violence. One expert on Tibet said China’s leaders like to “homogenize” Tibet’s problems as a

development issue to downplay the region’s distinct culture. “They’re persisting in this argument that it’s all about money and that Tibetans have no other concerns,” said Michael C. Davis, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Including or connecting the Tibetan Autonomous Region with other autonomous areas may just be more of that. Maybe I’m too suspicious.” Davis said the move to include areas outside Tibet in the development drive seems to be more about connecting them to the rest of China than to each other. The research director for the government-backed China Tibetology Research Center, Lian Xiangmin, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post in a report yesterday that widening the development focus to other Tibetan

areas was a major policy change. Reports on the Tibet meeting gave no details on how much money would be poured into the region, but Hu said the per capita income of Tibet’s farmers and herdsmen should be close to the national level by 2020, Xinhua reported. As of last year, it was barely one quarter of the national average of around $2,000 a year, according to the government. China this month appointed a former soldier as Tibet’s new governor, reasserting hardline policies there in the face of resentment over political restrictions and perceived economic exploitation. But the governor’s post is largely ceremonial. Tibet policy is formulated at the highest levels of China’s central government under Hu, who was Tibet’s party boss from 1988 to 1992. — AP

Four held for arson on Malaysian prayer halls KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have arrested four men over arson attacks on two Muslim prayer halls, the latest on places of worship amid a dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians, the national news agency reported yesterday. Assailants have targeted 11 churches, a Sikh temple, a mosque and at least two Islamic prayer halls in various states across the Muslim-majority country since Jan 8. The attacks mainly involved firebombs that caused minor damage and no injuries, though one church was partially gutted. The attacks followed an

uproar among Malay Muslims over a Dec 31 court ruling that allowed nonMuslims to use “Allah” as a translation for “God” in the Malay language. Many Malaysian Muslims believe the word should be exclusive to their religion, and that its use by others could confuse some Muslims and even tempt them to convert. The government has appealed the verdict. On Friday, police arrested four young men believed to have started fires the previous day at two small Islamic prayer halls in southern Johor state, the national deputy police chief, Ismail Omar, was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency.

“Their true motive is unknown,” Bernama quoted Ismail as saying. “They did it without careful thought.” Neither prayer hall sustained major damage. One had its curtain set ablaze before passers-by noticed the fire and doused it, while the other had burn marks on its carpet, doors and walls. Ismail did not give details of the suspects’ ethnicity or religion, or say how they were tracked down. Police officials were not immediately available to confirm the arrests. Officials have declined to say whether the attacks were in retaliation to a string of earlier ones on churches. Earlier this week,

police detained 15 Muslim men accused of attacking three churches. All the suspects could be charged with “mischief by fire” with the intention of destroying a place of worship, which is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a fine. Government authorities have denounced the attacks as a threat to decades of amicable relations between Malay Muslims, who make up nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 28 million people, and religious minorities, mainly ethnic Chinese and Indians who practice Buddhism, Christianity or Hinduism.— AP

BANGKOK: An elephant walks through the popular tourist area of Khaosan road in Bangkok. The Lions club, Buddy group and the Red cross of Thailand organised a parade through Khaosan road with three elephants, a brass band and a fire truck asking to foreign tourists and local Thai business owners to donate to the Haiti quake victims. — AFP


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Attacks part of relentless wave of violence by Al-Qaeda, Taleban

29 killed in clashes, attack in Pakistan PARACHINAR: Militants ambushed Pakistani security forces at checkpoints in two regions close to the Afghan border yesterday, sparking gunbattles that left 22 insurgents and two troops dead, officials said. Elsewhere in the north-

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan supporters of former army commander and opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka rally in Colombo yesterday. —AFP

Lanka opposition warns of violence, vote-rigging COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s opposition warned yesterday of possible vote-rigging and violence by the ruling party in next week’s presidential election as both sides wound up campaigning. Ahead of final campaign rallies later yesterday, opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka predicted that the ruling party, led by President Mahinda Rajapakse, would use violence to intimidate his supporters in Tuesday’s vote. “They want to create violence and discourage people from voting. A lower turnout will help rigging,” he told reporters, adding he expected fake voters and forged ballot papers to also be used. In the run-up to the poll, police say at least four people have been killed and hundreds wounded in clashes between rival supporters. The house of an influential opposition figure was bombed on Friday. Fonseka said he and his allies would rely on the protection of the security forces, most of whom he said would vote for him except for a few senior figures who are “trying to please the government.” “We can’t counter violence with violence. We have to abide by the law,” he said. Sri Lanka’s government has denied it has been behind the wave of election-related unrest and Rajapakse’s office said Friday that he was “gravely concerned” over the escalating violence. “Instructions have been given to the authorities to bolster security at sensitive locations and all political events up to and on polling day to ensure that all Sri Lankans can participate safely in the electoral process,” the government said in a statement. Independent election commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake told reporters Friday he would order a re-poll if any violence was used against voters. Fonseka, a former army chief, fielded a series of questions about the possibility of an army coup against him if he wins the vote and the movement of armored vehicles into Colombo as tension rose

in the capital. But he said there would be no popular support for a coup and that he had full confidence in the army. A group of Fonseka supporters wearing green caps and party T-shirts walked noisily behind a procession of rickshaws on the streets outside the venue of his press conference. Fonseka and Rajapakse were to finish campaigning at rallies planned in and around Colombo later yesterday. Poll officials said all arrangements were in place to conduct the election although less than a sixth of the 300,000 ethnic Tamil war-displaced civilians had applied to vote. Elections chief Dissanayake said he was arranging 1,000 buses for ethnic Tamils in the island’s former war zones to travel to polling booths on Tuesday because of fears that they may not have enough public transport. Both Rajapakse and Fonseka are members of the majority Sinhalese community which is seen split between the two men. In the event of a close contest, the minority Tamil vote is seen as being a crucial deciding factor. Tuesday’s election, the first peace-time presidential poll, takes place after a bitter, intensely personal campaign between the architects of the country’s victory over rebel forces in May. President Rajapakse told reporters last week that the campaign failed to bring about an informed debate on issues and instead had degenerated into “mud slinging,” a charge made by Fonseka too. Rajapakse handpicked Fonseka to be his army chief in 2005 and the two men were victorious allies on the battlefield last year against the Tamil Tiger rebels but are now sworn enemies at the ballot box. The poll marks the first time in 37 years that Sri Lankans have gone to polls without the influence of the Tigers, who fought a brutal war for a Tamil homeland before being crushed by government forces in May.— AFP

Top Kashmir militant killed ahead of India’s Republic Day SRINAGAR: Troops shot dead a top-ranking militant in restive Indian Kashmir and security forces battled Islamic rebels ahead of this week’s Republic Day national holiday, police said yesterday. Rebel violence routinely increases in the revolt-hit Muslim-majority state ahead of the annual public holiday. But tensions in India have been heightened by warnings by Western intelligence agencies that flights of state-run Air India and other private carriers could be targeted by Islamist militant groups. Police in the Kashmir summer capital of Srinagar said Tariq Lone, a leading rebel belonging to the pro-Pakistan militant outfit Hizbul Mujahedin, was killed late Friday in a gunbattle with troops in southern Kishtwar district. “Lone, alias Azhar, was a wanted militant,” a police spokesman said, adding security forces were engaged in two other gunbattles yesterday against militants in south Kashmir. The fighting came as India’s Defense Minister A K Antony warned of the likelihood of more militant attacks and infiltration bids along the Line of Control, the de facto border which divides Kashmir between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. “The attempts (by militants) to infiltrate are increasing,” he told reporters in New Delhi. However, he said India’s armed forces were ready to counter any threats. His statement came a day after India increased airport security and warned its domestic airlines about a possible hijack attempt after receiving a tip-off from Western

intelligence services. The alert said Indian flights could be targeted by Islamist groups aligned to AlQaeda or the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group which opposes India’s rule in Kashmir. Kashmir had been relatively stable in recent months. But there has been a spike in violence in the run-up to the Republic Day festivities, including a militant siege of a Srinagar hotel that resulted in the death of two militants, a policeman and a civilian bystander. Inspector General of Police Farooq Ahmed said in Srinagar that security forces “have intensified frisking and stepped up their vigilance to keep militants at bay.” “Police are more concerned given the recent spate of militant attacks,” he said. Republic Day marks the date in 1950 when India’s new republican constitution came into effect. India gained independence from Britain in 1947, but went through a transitional phase when it was still classed as a dominion. Kashmiris have spurned the celebrations since the insurgency began two decades ago and separatists call for it to be marked as a “black day.” The insurgency has claimed more than 47,000 lives, according to an official count. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir, which is claimed by both. Tensions have been running high between Pakistan and India in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed 166 people that New Delhi says were planned and executed by the LeT.— AFP

Government officials Mohammad Yasin and Mohammad Naseem said two troops were wounded in the clashes at checkpoints in the Orakzai and Kurram tribal regions. They said a search and clearance operation launched afterward also seized 25 suspected insurgents. The force commander in Kurram, Col. Tausif Akhtar, said troops had cleared six villages of Taleban fighters. Many militants fleeing a Pakistani military offensive in the Taleban stronghold of South Waziristan have ended up in the two regions, where they have often targeted government forces. Washington has welcomed the military campaign but is pushing the Pakistani army to do more to target the Taleban blamed for violence across the border in Afghanistan, especially those based in North Waziristan. The Pakistani army has said it is too taxed to launch another operation right now. “We have gone in Orakzai and Kurram because they were affecting our operations in South Waziristan,” Pakistani army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told DawnNews TV on Friday night. “We are too thin on the ground. We are too overstretched. It is not possible to get into any other area for operations.” The army deployed some 30,000 troops against the Pakistani Taleban in South Waziristan in mid-October and has retaken many towns in the region. But many fear the militants have just set up in other parts of the vast, lawless border regions and will continue to threaten the Pakistani government and US troops in Afghanistan. Illustrating that threat, a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into a police station near South Waziristan yesterday. One officer and three passers-by died in the assault, police chief Farid Khan said. Eight people were also wounded in Tank, one of the main towns leading to South Waziristan from Punjab province. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said yesterday that a paramilitary soldier had been arrested for involvement in the Oct 5 suicide attack on the UN food agency’s office in Islamabad that killed five staffers. Pakistani Taleban at the time claimed responsibility for targeting the World Food Program, saying the agency’s work was not in “the interest of Muslims.” Malik didn’t reveal the identity of the man, but said he was also involved in the Dec. 2 suicide attack outside the entrance of the Pakistan navy’s headquarters in Islamabad that killed one guard and wounded 11 other people.— AP

Two US troops killed by Afghan roadside bomb KABUL: A roadside bomb killed two US service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday as the country’s top NATO commander acknowledged an increased risk to foreign troops will accompany an influx of reinforcements aimed at routing the Taleban. The south is the Taleban heartland and is expected to be a major focus of fighting as the US and NATO allies send 37,000 additional troops to turn the tide of the war. “The end state of the mission is to protect the population and isolate the insurgency in a way where it doesn’t constitute a threat to the Afghan government,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said Friday during a visit to the western command. “This will not happen in a short period or in an easy way. It’s realistic to expect an increase of risk to coalition forces.” Saturday’s deaths bring the total number of Americans killed so far this year to at least 22, according to an Associated Press tally. Also Saturday, militants kidnapped a district police chief, Jamtullah Khan, and two other officers on a nighttime foot patrol near the eastern border with Pakistan , the latest in a series of attacks against Afghan officials. Gen. Khalilullah Zaiyie said reinforcements had been sent to help with a search for the three men, who were seized in the Shigal district of Kunar province just after 1 a.m. Nobody

has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but Zaiyie blamed Taleban militants who are active in the area for the attack. It occurred a day after the governor of Wardak province escaped an assassination attempt when his convoy struck a roadside bomb, killing four Afghan soldiers and wounding another. Gov. Halim Fidai, who was unharmed, was on his way to inspect a school after meeting with elders in the Jagatu district. Two armed men, including a local Taleban commander, were arrested as they tried to flee the scene, according to the governor’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, who also was in the convoy. In other violence, militants hiding among demonstrators fired on police yesterday, sparking a gunbattle in the middle of a protest over the deaths of four men in a NATO-Afghan raid, officials said. At least two people were wounded. NATO and Afghan police have said the four killed late Wednesday were insurgents, but villagers in the Qara Bagh district in Ghazni province insist they were civilians. Protesters have taken to the streets for three straight days and have blocked traffic on a highway that links the major cities of Kabul and Kandahar, forcing trucks and vehicles to wait for hours. The protest yesterday turned violent when armed militants hiding in the crowd began

shooting at police, according to the district’s chief administrator, Yasouf Saraji Andar. “Policemen also opened fire to defend themselves and two people were wounded,” he said. Similar violence broke out earlier this month in the southern province of Helmand when six people were reportedly killed in scuffles between Afghan security forces and protesters angry over a rumor that NATO forces had desecrated a Quran. NATO has denied its troops disrespected the Muslim holy book. Police in Helmand’s Garmsir district blamed Taleban militants for staging the protests to foment unrest. A recent U.N. report showed the number of civilian deaths attributed to allied troops dropped sharply, while Taleban suicide bombings and other attacks killed more people. But reports of Afghan deaths at the hands of NATO and government forces continue to prompt anger. North of the capital, a NATO helicopter was damaged Saturday when its front rotor blade accidentally struck the ground upon landing in the Parwan province. There were no injuries and no hostile action was involved, the international force said. Three women were killed and two men wounded Saturday when their taxi was hit by militant gunfire in Paktika province, which is near the Pakistani border, according to a statement issued by NATO. — AP

west, a suicide bomber killed a police officer and three passers-by, part of a relentless wave of violence by Al-Qaeda and Taleban insurgents also blamed for attacks on US and NATO troops across the frontier in Afghanistan.

PESHAWAR: Onlookers watch firefighters extinguish a burning NATO supply truck outside Peshawar yesterday.— AFP

Bomb targeting Afghan official kills four soldiers KABUL: A provincial governor escaped an assassination attempt while traveling to inspect a school southwest of Kabul, but four Afghan soldiers in his convoy were killed in the bombing, a spokesman said yesterday. Halim Fidai, the governor of Wardak province, was on his way to the

school after meeting with elders Friday in the Jagatu district when the roadside bomb exploded. The governor was unharmed, but four Afghan soldiers in a different vehicle were killed and another was wounded, according to the governor’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, who also

was in the convoy. Two armed men, including a local Taleban commander, were arrested as they tried to flee the scene, Shahid said. Afghan officials are frequently targeted by militants seeking to derail public confidence in the USbacked government.— AP



Sunday, January 24, 2010


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American nightmare: Al-Qaeda at home By Bernd Debusmann


t has been a recurring nightmare of American counter-terrorist officials for years - growing numbers of home-grown Al-Qaeda recruits drawn from the MuslimAmerican community, plus blue-eyed, blond-haired wouldbe suicide bombers travelling on American passports. That notion clashes with the widelyheld belief that Muslims in the United States are not nearly as prone to being seduced by AlQaeda propaganda as their coreligionists in Europe. But a series of recent terrorism cases involving American citizens have challenged old assumptions and thrown question marks over a host of surveys meant to show the American Muslim communities’ resistance to radicalization. Incidents spiked in 2009 and included the arrest of five US citizens in Pakistan, where they allegedly tried to link up with extremists, and the arrest of Daniel Boyd, a white convert to Islam who was accused of plotting to attack soldiers at the US Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. Early in the year, Bryant Vinas, a Hispanic American convert, pleaded guilty to having trained with AlQaeda in Pakistan. Now, the lure of Al-Qaeda’s murderous ideas is seen as a real threat. “The group seeks to recruit American citizens to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States,” according to John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “These Americans are not necessarily of Arab and South Asian descent,” he wrote in the preface of a Jan 20 report from his committee on AlQaeda in Yemen and Somalia. “They include individuals who converted to Islam in (an American) prison or elsewhere and were radicalized.” “The prospect that US citizens are being trained at AlQaeda camps in both countries deepens our concern...” not least, apparently, because an American official in Yemen told committee investigators that American converts living in Yemen included “blond-haired blue-eyed types”. That echoes then CIA chief Michael Hayden’s 2008 warning that Al-Qaeda was training “operatives that wouldn’t attract attention if they were going through the customs line at (Washington) Dulles airport.” How many have done so is anyone’s guess. A January study by researchers from Duke University found that in the eight years following the September attacks, 139 Muslim-Americans had committed acts of terrorism-related violence or were prosecuted for terrorism-related offenses involving violence. That’s a small number - 17 per year on average - in a country that recorded 136,000 murders from Sept 11 to the end of last year. It is also a small number compared with an estimated 2.35 million MuslimAmericans. But then, how many people are needed to bring down an airliner or trigger a suicide bomb killing dozens? In mid-December, after a

Muslim-American army officer, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, killed 13 people in a shooting spree at the Fort Hood military base, the Pew Research Center drew attention to its wide-ranging 2007 survey of the MuslimAmerican population that found that the vast majority rejected extremism. The Pew survey, like a global Gallup poll in the same year flagged as the largest study of its kind, can be read two ways. Pew found that 78 percent of Muslim-Americans thought suicide bombings or other forms of violence against civilians could never be justified. But eight per cent thought it was (sometimes or often) justified. In terms of absolute numbers, that translates into more than 100,000 people - a sizeable pool of potential recruits for Al-Qaeda. Five percent of those questioned had a favourable view of the organization. More strikingly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, 28 percent flatly disbelieve that Arabs carried out the Sept 11 attacks. Polls such as those by Pew and Gallup paint only part of the picture, according to Geneive Abdo, author of Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11. “The real story of American Muslims is one of accelerating alienation from the mainstream of US life, with Muslims in this country choosing their Islamic identity over their American one,” she says. “This is particularly true of the younger generation, those under 30.” Growing up in America does not provide immunity to the influence of radical preachers on the Internet and of chat rooms which provide ideological justification for what AlQaeda calls the war against Jews and Crusaders. Videos glorifying violence against them serve as recruitment tools, and by many expert accounts, Al-Qaeda is using them more nimbly than the US and its Western allies. Undermining Al-Qaeda’s ability to recruit clearly is as important as the military pressure that has killed many of its leaders, diminished the organizations presence along the Afghan-Pakistani border and driven extremists to new havens in Yemen and Somalia. The problem with undermining Al-Qaeda’s credibility, and thus its recruitment, is not that the West lacks ideological ammunition; it’s how effectively it is using it. One recent study from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, the US military academy, for example, is a powerful counter-argument to Al-Qaeda’s portrayal of itself as the vanguard of the global Muslim community, committed to defending Muslims against Western forces waging war against Islam. Drawing exclusively from Arab newspapers to avoid the standard extremist accusation of bias from Western news outlets, portrayed as no more than propaganda tools, the West Point researchers documented that Al-Qaeda attacks from 2004 to 2008 killed 3,010 people. Just 15 percent of them were Westerners, the rest were Muslims. How widely is that known? — Reuters

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Brussels needs its own train to Bosnia By Amir Telibecirovic Lunjo


previously divided region has a new symbol of hope: the recently reopened train line between Sarajevo and Belgrade. Many young Serbs, Croats and Bosnians who don’t remember the Bosnian war of the early 1990s hope to travel on this train, which serves as a physical link between Serbia and Bosnia. Ironically called the “Dayton Disagreement” by locals, the Dayton Peace Accords which ended the Bosnian War in 1995 encourages the international community, local governments and non-governmental organisations to promote reconciliation between the previously warring communities. The European Union is supposed to take a leading role in the process. But lately, Bosnians feel that the EU is acting poorly, and that local institutions and individuals are contributing more toward re-integration and reconciliation than the EU. Bosnians’ primary concern is the EU’s decision in Dec 2009 to do away with visa requirements for citizens of Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro visiting other EU countries. This decision excludes Bosnia and Albania, the only countries in the Balkans whose citizens still require visas for EU travel. While the new rules apply to Albania as well, post-war Bosnia will be more negatively affected. After all, Albania does not have ethnically segregated areas, and its citizens have a common ethnic identity. Regardless of their religion, the majority of the country’s citizens declare themselves to be simply Albanians. Furthermore, such a decision by the EU might not seriously affect relations between the Balkan states, but it certainly does not aid in the reconciliation and the reintegration of Bosnia itself, because the country’s ethnic and religious

composition is much more diverse than Albania’s and because Bosnian Muslims see the decision as discriminatory. The reason is that this new visa rule also allows Bosnian Serbs to have dual citizenship - Serbian and Bosnian, so that they will be able to travel to EU countries without visas. Similarly, Bosnian Croats, who have had the right to dual citizenship for years - Croatian and Bosnian - can already travel across Europe freely. But Bosnian Muslims, ethnically identified as Bosniaks, and other minority groups in Bosnia who can only carry Bosnian passports, now feel isolated and even frustrated by such rules. Some local politicians are even afraid this might lead to more tensions in some already divided areas of Bosnia. What many people may not know is that the Croats, Serbs and Muslims of Bosnia are basically one folk. We have the same language, same race and, essentially, the same country of origin. Only our religion is distinct. But even religious distinctions in Bosnia are based more on cultural differences rather than spiritual, dogmatic or theological aspects. EU politicians in Brussels claim their decision was made based on the levels of corruption in the Bosnian and Albanian governments, although rumours and accusations of corruption in Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia’s governments are just as rife. They also claim that Bosnia did not fulfil all the conditions for becoming a visa-free regime, such as the introduction of biometric travel documents, better border controls and stronger enforcement against organised crime and corruption. But according to the Slovenian representatives in the EU council, the other three did not fulfil all these conditions either. While there is fear that the new law will heighten tensions between the various religious groups in Bosnia, due to what many Bosniaks feel is reli-

gious discrimination toward them and preferential treatment for others, there are some surprising and positive examples of cooperation that are emerging in light of these new regulations: many pro-Bosnian Serbs and Croats who feel solidarity with Bosniaks and with Bosnia are openly

criticising the EU’s new regulation as an act of discrimination and calling for its reassessment. Thankfully, in this post-war region, it is this kind of action that demonstrates that we can stand together in the face of adversity. And, as we make our way through this struggle for

equal recognition of all Bosnians, that is what we need to remind us that inside, we are basically all the same. NOTE: Amir Telibecirovic Lunjo is a journalist for the Sarajevo-based weekly magazine Start BiH, and a local city guide — CGNews

UK, NZ differ over cutting crime By David Barber


oliticians at opposite ends of the world are at odds on whether locking up criminals for longer periods of time will cut serious crime and reduce repeat offending. A British parliamentary committee last week rejected a government plan to build more prisons for an additional 12,000 inmates in the next four years, when the country would have the highest rate of incarceration in Western Europe at 169 per 100,000 inhabitants. Prison sentences were “relatively ineffective” in stopping criminals from reoffending and spending money on alcohol, the House of Commons’ Justice Committee said. Drug and community programs would be more likely to cut crime, it added. New Zealand’s centre-right cabinet approved Monday a “three strikes” law-and-order policy that will keep serious offenders in prison longer. At 185 per 100,000 people the country’s incarceration rate is already the world’s secondhighest after the United States. Under the policy, still subject to a parliamentary debate, murderers could be in prison for life with no chance of parole for good behaviour that currently sees most killers - who all get mandatory life sentences - released after about 10 years. A rapist who has already been convicted of two other offences from a list of 36 violent crimes would spend at least 20 years in jail. Prime Minister John Key conceded that the policy was harsh, “but only on the very worst and most dangerous repeat offenders,” in declaring that it would “improve the safety of ordinary Kiwis.” Parole would be denied after a second offence and a third conviction makes the maximum sentence mandatory without parole. Crimes and maximum penalties range from indecent assault (seven years) to robbery (10 years), kidnapping (14 years) and murder and manslaughter (life). Critics of New Zealand’s policy agreed with the British parliamentarians that governments in both countries were wrong to bow to popular demands to get tough on criminals

by expanding prison numbers rather than addressing the causes of crime. Sir Alan Beith, chairman of the Commons’ justice committee, said it was vital to have a “responsible debate about how we can use limited resources to cut crime, not a competition as to who will promise the longest prison sentences.” In New Zealand, where indigenous Maoris account for 15 per cent of the population but 50 per cent of prisoners, the Maori Party condemned the policy as “irrational and extreme”. “These proposals will create huge disparities in sentencing, and punishment that is completely out of proportion to the crime,” co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia said. “The loss of parole means prisoners will have less incentive to change their ways, and there is no hold over them after their release.” Lawyer Peter Williams, president of the Howard League for Penal Reform, dubbed the policy “hysterical” and the work of “right-wing ideologues who are fanatics and not prepared to look at the real underlying reasons for crime poverty, alcohol and drug addiction, unemployment and inequality.” He said most murders were due to a combination of “insanity and passion” and the policy would do nothing to reduce them. Kim Workman, a former policeman and Justice Department executive who heads the organization Rethinking Crime and Punishment, said that overseas experience showed longer sentences lead to increased offending on release, thus increasing the number of victims. He and Williams agreed that criminals committing a “third strike” offence were more likely to resort to serious acts of violence - even murdering police officers - to avoid arrest and conviction. But Police Minister Judith Collins remained defiant. “By helping keep the worst repeat offenders behind bars for longer and deterring criminals from committing further crimes because of the escalating severity of sentences, this legislation will help make New Zealand a better, safer place,” she said.— dpa

Yemen’s ills go far beyond Al-Qaeda By Alistair Lyon


emen, a land of startling beauty and often engaging people, has gained an evil public image since an Al-Qaeda group based there claimed a failed Dec 25 attack on a US airliner. But the West and its Arab allies should not just focus on fighting terrorism if they are to help the southern Arabian nation stifle the threat from militants exploiting internal conflicts, poverty and weak central authority, analysts say. “The West must adopt a ‘whole of government’ approach that sets immediate counter-terrorism objectives within a broader framework that attempts to tackle longer-term economic pressures and reduce political tensions,” said Yemen expert Ginny Hill. That would require a united Western position, support from Yemen’s Arab neighbours and a willing and able partner in Yemen, Hill, author of a Chatham House paper on Yemen, told Reuters. The United States and its allies meet in London on Wednesday to discuss how to combat militancy and promote reform in Yemen, ruled for nearly 32 years by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 67. How foreign powers interact with the wily Yemeni leader is delicate for both sides, whose interests only partly overlap. Keen to harness US support and funding, Saleh has sought to paint his internal foes northern tribal rebels and disgruntled

southerners - as all somehow linked to AlQaeda. Yemeni analyst Abdul-Ghani Iryani acknowledged that the role played by former jihadi Tareq al-Fadhli in the southern movement “further legitimises government diversion of counter-terrorism funding to quell the legitimate protests of the south”. But he identified Yemen’s main problem as poor governance. “The war against Al-Qaeda cannot be won without

disarming it of its main recruiting tool: injustice, lack of the rule of law and the massive corruption that has impoverished the majority of the population,” Iryani said. About 42 percent of Yemen’s 23 million people live on less than $2 a day, the World Bank says. The riyal sank to its lowest level in years this week. Revenue from dwindling oil output fell 70 percent in Jan-Oct 2009. New gas exports cannot fill the gap. The population is set to dou-

A Yemeni salesman waits for customers at the “Al-Zaim” (the Leader), a shop specialized in selling military fatigues in Sanaa on Jan 20, 2010. – AFP

ble in 20 years, but jobs are already scarce and water resources are collapsing. The conflict with Zaidi Shiite tribesmen in the north has killed thousands and displaced around 200,000 people since 2004. It drains state finances, even though Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s main donor, began fighting the rebels on its border in November. “The Yemeni government cannot do a lot about Al-Qaeda unless it resolves the war in the north and the secessionist movement in the south,” said Abdullah Al-Faqih, a political scientist at Sanaa University. “These two conflicts provide Al-Qaeda with the environment to flourish and move freely.” Donors will be wary of throwing more money at Yemen, which has managed to spend only a fraction of the $5 billion pledged at a 2006 conference, at least without tight supervision. “You can’t just give aid to the government to do what it likes. Money can go into the pockets of officials,” said Faqih. Western countries may have no choice but to work with the Yemeni president, especially on counterterrorism, but some recognise that tackling economic and social troubles is vital. “The root causes of conflict in Yemen are a lack of governance and of delivery of services by the state,” Ivan Lewis, a British minister of state, told parliament this week. Many Yemenis, citing past US inconstancy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and their own country, fear Western interest is fickle. “There is growing concern within

Yemen that if the Al-Qaeda threat were to go away, US aid would also go away,” said Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen specialist at Princeton University. He said foreign donors were concerned at how Saleh and other powerful figures might use aid for their own domestic political purposes, rather than for what the West wants to accomplish, and had “valid concerns” about human rights and corruption in Yemen. Cooperating overtly with the United States also carries risks for Saleh, who suffered a public backlash after a US drone strike killed an Al-Qaeda leader on Yemeni soil in 2002. “It’s a balancing act for both sides,” Johnsen said. Wealthier Arab neighbours have also grown more worried about instability in Yemen spilling out into the world’s top oil-exporting region and some of its busiest shipping lanes. But the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have long kept Yemen at arm’s length, refusing to include it in their club and expelling its migrant workers, a vital source of foreign exchange, said London-based Saudi analyst Mai Yamani. Yemeni officials say one way to alleviate their country’s plight is to encourage Gulf states to take in Yemeni workers and to improve their skills with more vocational training at home. “Yemen is in many ways the victim of these countries,” Yamani said. “And it continues to be a severe threat to them.” — Reuters


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Campaign traits carry over to presidency By Jennifer Loven


urns out Barack Obama is the bill of goods America thought it was buying. Little about Obama in his first year as president has come as a shock. The cautious, cerebral, enigmatic man who sought the White House is largely the same one who occupies it. For all the history-changing wonder of the election of the country’s first black president, most of the surprises have come from events, not his approach to them. From the beginning, with its inaugural excitement, friendlier majorities in Congress than any chief executive since Lyndon Johnson, two wars, a warming planet and economic challenges unrivaled since the era of Franklin D Roosevelt, and to the end, with fractious partisan sniping, a dramatically fallen approval rating and his first major victory still to come - Obama then is basically Obama now, only grayer and more tired. But 12 months’ worth of watching the president put his signature style to work governing, instead of campaigning, provides a crisper picture. So, what have we learned? For one thing, that he’s a master of nuance with a “but” in his approach to nearly everything. Ten observations: He hates labels. Obama promised a post-racial, postpartisan, post-ideological presidency. While that theory earned him votes, some seeing it in action, such as the liberal Institute for Policy Studies, now more critically call it the “have it both ways” presidency. Could it be that his “Yes, we can” campaign has morphed into a “When we can” administration? Obama has pursued a radical agenda: fix the economy while attacking longneglected, related problems such as health care, climate change and education. End one war, overhaul a second and remake America’s image in the world, too. His way of getting there, though, is incremental, and hardly purist: • He’ll backpedal on positions, as on lobbyists in his administration and money for lawmakers’ pet projects, or be inconsistent, such as dealing with the auto industry more sternly than banks and insurers. • He yields ground. He has lectured Palestinians not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good over Jewish settlement expansion, advice he has followed himself - and given Congress, too. • He threads the needle. He settled on an Afghanistan strategy that combined the muscular (adding 30,000 troops) with the political (setting a withdrawal start date as he ordered the unpopular escalation). • He avoids confrontation, choosing in

US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting on jobs and the economy at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio on Friday. — AFP healthcare and other cases to outline only broad policy goals and stay hands off on specifics until late in the game. Obama calls it all pragmatic (his own label his only nod to the value of them), a fresh approach in which policy and coalitions are forged on circumstances instead of creed. His critics call it slippery. He may be on the cusp of a potential game-changer success, with a healthcare bill, that will show his methods can work. But the process has been confusing and draining, disappointing to right and left alike. He also hasn’t broken Washington’s partisan streak, earning few if any Republican votes on key priorities. His first reaction isn’t always his best. When incendiary comments by black minister Jeremiah Wright surfaced during Obama’s campaign, he underestimated and mishandled the issue until it threatened his White House chances. He finally calmed the fuss with a speech on race regarded as a slam dunk. That pattern of near-failure followed by 11th-hour rescue has repeated itself in the White House. Think economic stimulus. Think health care. Just recently came another demonstration of Obama’s iffy first instincts. The bombing plot to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day drew no appearance by the vacationing president for three days, in hopes that a low-profile wouldn’t overly elevate the incident and encourage other would-be terrorists. When he did talk to the public, he was notably flat. It took him a couple more tries to display the urgency and anger the near-disaster seemed to demand. He’d much prefer not to react immediately in the first place. Ever the risk-averse, studious lawyer,

Obama doesn’t act on his gut but on information - reams of it. He collects all the facts and pokes holes in all the angles. Asked early in the year why his outrage at exorbitant bonuses at bailed-out insurer American International Group was so long in coming, Obama snapped at the reporter: “I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” Ever scripted, he has been known to use a teleprompter even in news conferences. He’s the king of reviews. On the Guantanamo Bay military prison, war, the shootings on the Fort Hood military base, a new missile defense system, cybersecurity, urban policy, the White House gatecrashers and more, a thorough review is his preferred out-of-the-gate response. He’ll fire people; he’s no loyalty hound. But when controversy comes calling, don’t look for a hair-trigger scapegoat. Many in the US and around the world were encouraged at the shift from the instinct-driven style of George W Bush. But Obama also now faces questions about whether he is a decisive leader - or a wavering one. He has a bit of a cold-fish problem. He can sometimes appear aloof, cool, emotionally distant. He’s warm in private settings - approachable and funny. But standing before the public on a critical topic, whether it’s corporate bonuses or Somali pirates, he can display a tin ear for the tone people want. Sometimes even when he says he’s angry, he doesn’t look it. He wears the job easily. For all his youth and governing inexperience, Obama stepped almost seamlessly into the most powerful post in the world. Outsiders could not detect rookie jitters. Insiders reported him unfazed by the office. “I feel surprisingly comfortable

in the job,” said the 44th president a mere two weeks in. “I’m good at this,” he told People magazine just over a week ago. What could appear arrogant in the campaign looked surefooted in office. Still, there are times when he seems not to understand - or purposely not to harness - the vast power he has assumed. He’s ubiquitous, leading to questions about overexposure. But is he using the presidential bully pulpit to maximum effect? He gives perhaps too much rope at critical times to others, such as to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner amid the unpopular bank bailout. He favors candor and contrition over sunny optimism. Obama acknowledged “I screwed up” after the felling of former Sen Tom Daschle’s nomination to be health secretary over tax problems, perhaps the most memorable utterance of his first year. It came from a president who had to be persuaded to start talking rosier about the economy to give Americans a little hope. He also said “the buck stops with me” for intelligence failures that led to the attempted airline bombing on Christmas. He’s also the leader who told Europe, on European soil no less, that America “may not always have the best answer” or that “all parties have to compromise, and that includes us”. This humility on the world stage - welcome abroad and often at home, too - has been a hallmark, part of Obama’s goal to emphasize collaboration with allies over orders to them. He likes to teach. The constitutional scholar and law professor, a son of a cultural anthropologist, was known as an impressive orator during the campaign. He has turned into something more like a guest lecturer in the White House - the wonkish professorpresident. Laying out his policies, say terrorist interrogations at the National Archives, the economic collapse at Wall Street’s Federal Hall, his Afghanistan approach at West Point or the US intelligence apparatus in the State Dining Room, he often seems more interested in educating than persuading. Skilled rhetorically, he still glides through speeches. But there can be a sense that the inspirational element is missing, perhaps a nod to the much trickier task of governing over campaigning. Though the policies may be well thoughtout, they sometimes leave people scratching their heads, looking in the carefully reasoned briefs for the red meat lines or the part that makes it simple - and relevant to their lives. He relishes the art of the deal. Obama has proved an enthusiastic and adept mediator, at home and overseas. The president conducted shuttle diplomacy between France and China at a London

economic summit, overcoming a dispute over tax havens. In Strasbourg, France, he helped settle a dispute over the next NATO secretary-general. In Istanbul, he worked on the sidelines to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations. His seat-ofthe-pants diplomacy helped produce a limited accord at the climate change meeting in Copenhagen. As the healthcare inches toward completion, Obama has presided over marathon White House negotiating sessions to wrangle over sticky provisions. He’s both hawk and dove. He ditched a new missile defense system that was threatening Russia’s cooperation in critical areas. He seemed to give more than he got in a much-watched November visit to China. His administration is trying the alleged Sept 11 mastermind and others in civilian New York courts. He banned torture and launched a criminal investigation into harsh questioning of detainees under the Bush administration. He has mostly abandoned the phrase “war on terror”. Former Vice President Dick Cheney calls him weak on security. But there’s a tough side of the ledger, too. Obama is ramping up the war in Afghanistan, increasing unmanned drone strikes against suspected terrorists inside Pakistan, and battling Russia over a new arms-reduction treaty. He’s crafting a tough new package of penalties against Iran and continuing a variety of Bush-era terrorism policies opposed by the left. “The bubble” bothers him greatly. Obama has called it the “weird fishbowl”, the nitpicking media scrutiny and 24-hour company that come with every presidency, and particularly his. There are Secret Service protectors who go everywhere he does. The ever-present entourage. The news cycle that never sleeps and has tentacles in every corner of the Internet. The unique global phenomenon of his and his family’s popularity. The criticism for whisking his wife to New York for a dinner-theater date promised during the campaign. In Obama’s book, it adds up to a lack of normalcy, almost no chance for spontaneous living. He gripes about reporters’ in-themoment mindsets. He compensates some by keeping his Blackberry, taking his two best friends from Chicago on every trip he can and playing weekend golf. He also readily admits a huge upside of the home office that former President Harry Truman called a “glamorous prison”. There’s more time with his wife, Michelle, and their two young daughters, than since he entered politics a dozen years ago. That is, when he’s not traveling, as he’s jetted overseas more than any other first-year president. There’s always a “but” in Obama’s world. — AP

Obama shifts to populist tone on economy By Caren Bohan


fiery, more populist rhetoric will mark President Barack Obama’s economic message in 2010, as he puts job creation and a vow to take on special interests like Wall Street at the top of his agenda. Obama moves into his second year in office grappling with a sharp drop in his popularity to roughly 50 percent compared to the 70-percent approval rating he enjoyed at his inauguration a year ago. The high US unemployment rate of 10 percent has stirred deep anxiety among voters at a time when Obama and his Democratic allies are gearing up for November congressional elections in which their majority status could be eroded. When Obama outlines his priorities for the coming year in his State of the Union address to Congress on Jan 27 and in his budget on Feb 1, he is expected to discuss the need for long-term reduction in the federal budget deficit, which has ballooned to $1.4 trillion during the recession. But White House aides emphasized that job growth would be the top focus

near term. Obama will also push vigorously for legislation on Capitol Hill to tighten financial regulation. “If we, as a country, are not successful in establishing job growth and economic growth soundly, we will not achieve any of our objectives. We will not achieve a sustainable budget posture with unemployment in the high single digits,” said top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers. “So priority Number One has to be assuring rapid job growth,” said Summers, director of the National Economic Council. Obama and leading Democrats are coalescing around a push for targeted proposals to spur job growth and a plan, unveiled by Obama, to slap a new tax on Wall Street banks. The House of Representatives last month passed a $155 billion package aimed at spurring jobs growth through infrastructure projects and helping states pay the salaries of public employees. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the legislation in coming weeks. Unveiling his proposal for a tax of up to $117 billion on the largest US banks last week, Obama lambasted the bankers for hav-

ing taken “reckless risks” that led to the 2008-2009 financial crisis and also took aim at their “massive profits and obscene bonuses.” He demanded they reimburse taxpayers for their losses in the financial bailout. Obama, who has called the bankers “fat cats,” is tapping into anger among Americans at big Wall Street compensation packages in the wake of the crisis. His criticisms also harken back to a 2008 campaign theme of promising to take on special interests. Obama took heat from some Democratic supporters last year who said his proposals for regulatory reform were not tough enough on Wall Street. Political analysts say Obama is sure to hit these populist themes hard as he seeks to push back at Republicans who have gained political traction by attacking the president’s proposed health care plan as a costly intrusion into the economy. The White House credits its $787 billion stimulus package with rescuing the economy from what could have been another Great Depression. But Republicans point to the unemployment rate to argue the stimulus

was wasteful and ineffective. “(Obama) is up against very determined opposition across the board on a number of issues that has dented him in the polls,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas, Austin. “What he needs to do is mobilize some support and appeal to people who have been driven away by opposition attacks on things like healthcare.” Buchanan said that Obama, known for his calm demeanor, could benefit from trying to “gin up a little bit of that emotional support” by attacking Wall Street. “It is probably the best card they have, to revert to populism,” said Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. But Madonna said that the sharp change in Obama’s political fortunes compared to a year ago will be hard to reverse and he cited the tight race in Tuesday’s special election to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts as boding poorly for Democrats. Republican contender Scott Brown is polling evenly or slight-

ly ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley. This has surprised pundits because Massachusetts is one of the most reliably liberal states in the country. Madonna said Obama had erred in deciding to push ambitious proposals for healthcare reform and caps on greenhouse gas emissions, which he said shifted the focus from the economy. But both Buchanan and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, said Obama deserved a grade of at least a B for his handling of the economy. “He’s done roughly the right things and I think we’ll get proof of that over the course of the next year,” said Zandi, who advised Obama’s opponent, Republican John McCain, during the 2008 election, and has advised the Obama administration. “The stimulus package was reasonably well designed and put together and most importantly, it was done quickly enough to make a difference,” Zandi said. He predicted that job growth would return by spring, helped initially by government hiring for the Census, with private-sector hiring kicking in by June. — Reuters

Quake may be opening for US-Cuba cooperation By Esteban Israel


he earthquake in Haiti is an opportunity for the United States and Cuba to set aside politics and work together to help a neighbor after it seemed their brief rapprochement under US President Barack Obama was over, Cuba experts said. Cooperation to help quake victims in the poorest state in the Western Hemisphere might allow the long-time ideological foes find common ground and lay a base for better long-term relations, they said. In one tiny step, Communist-ruled Cuba last week allowed US aircraft evacuating the injured from Haiti to cross its airspace, saving critical flight time. And Cuban officials have said they are willing to work with anyone, including the United States, to help Haitians. Ailing former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a long-time critic of Washington who has handed over the presidency to his younger brother Raul, said Cuba was ready to “cooperate and join forces” with all other medical personnel deployed in Haiti. “Haiti could become an example of what humankind can do for

itself,” Castro wrote in a column published in state-run media. Dan Erikson of the InterAmerican Dialogue in Washington said that meant the earthquake, estimated to have killed up to 200,000 people, may be above politics for a while. “The magnitude of the crisis is likely to eclipse political differences with the US in the short term and smooth the way for Cuban participation in the multinational relief effort,” Erikson said. Joint efforts could include using airports in eastern Cuba to deliver aid to Port-au-Prince, 400 km across the Caribbean, easing the air traffic bottleneck that has delayed international aid to Haiti. “If so, and if Cuba would agree, all nations with airlift capability could then deliver the aid as fast as Haiti can absorb it,” said Phil Peters, a Cuba expert with the Lexington Institute in Virginia. The US, which is spearheading the huge international relief effort and has around 12,000 military personnel in and near Haiti, could also provide needed supplies and medicines to over 400 Cuban doctors and paramedics who were already there when

A man wears a t-shirt depicting US President Barack Obama playing basketball on the shoulders of Senator John McCain on Jan 19, 2010 in Havana. – AFP the quake struck on Jan 12. It also has been suggested the US could bring Cuban doctors on to the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba to help treat Haitian quake victims. “Enlisting with the Cubans in a joint effort to speed

and magnify aid efforts to Haiti would set a new example for US diplomacy that will return longstanding benefits to our nation and our relationships across the Western Hemisphere,” said Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas,

a Washington group advocating closer relations with Cuba. “And possibly, (it would) even set a new tone for the US-Cuba relationship,” Stephens said in a recent newsletter. Not everyone is putting politics aside. Venezuelan

President Hugo Chavez, a Cuban ally, has accused the US military of using aid operations as a cover to occupy Haiti. Whatever the extent of USCuban cooperation, analysts caution against expecting too much. “The test should be to do anything that helps Haitians now, regardless of any political consideration,” said Peters. Cuba-US relations appeared to warm last year under Obama, who promised to recast Washington’s tense ties with the Communist-run island. He slightly eased the longstanding US trade embargo, lifting restrictions on Cuban-American travel and remittances to their homeland. He initiated talks on migration and a possible resumption of postal service. But a series of diplomatic rifts including the arrest last month of an American contractor accused of delivering satellite communications gear to civilians in violation of Cuban law chilled the brief thaw. After faintly praising Obama at the beginning of his presidency, Cuba has in recent weeks accused him of following the same policies as his predecessors. — Reuters


Too soon to write off change agenda By Linda Sieg


our months after the Democratic Party of Japan took power through a historic election victory, many voters and investors are wondering if Tokyo has exchanged one set of scandal-tainted, incompetent leaders for another. Support for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s government, which had already slid on doubts about his ability to make decisions, fell this week to around 45 percent due to a funding scandal ensnaring party kingpin Ichiro Ozawa. A Reuters survey of retail investors in Japanese shares late last year showed similar concerns about Hatoyama’s leadership. Short-term, investors face an uncertain political environment. But many experts say it’s too soon to write off Japan’s first real experiment with a twoparty system in more than half a century,, one that could make it a better long-term bet. “This is the type of change that occurs only once every 20 or 30 years, so we shouldn’t make a judgment after a few months,” said Norihiko Narita, dean of Surugai University near Tokyo. Whether voters will be patient and back the Democrats in a mid-year upper house election they need to win to forge ahead with their agenda, however, could hinge on their handling of the scandal embroiling Ozawa, a political mastermind whose image as an old-style fixer is proving a big burden for the ruling party. Ozawa has denied intentionally breaking any laws and said he would stay in his post of party secretarygeneral despite the arrest of aides on suspicion of misreporting political donations. “As long as he’s the ghost of the corrupt past, it is really making it hard for there to be a decisive break with how politics has been conducted,” said Tobias Harris, who writes Observing Japan, a blog on Japanese politics. The Democrats swept to power in an August poll promising to curb bureaucrats’ clout over policy, compete with rival parties based on clear policies,

and put policy priority on consumers to boost domestic growth and wean the economy from exports. Also central to their agenda is a challenge to the concept backed by the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its bureaucratic allies that the state is all-powerful, allknowing and superior to its citizens. “It’s an attempt to have a more pluralistic state power and that is precisely what bothers bureaucrats, whose idea is that the state is superior and always correct,” said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Tokyo’s Sophia University. “That is a big paradigm change, potentially.” How much progress the DPJ can make toward those goals will affect their ability to address deep problems ranging from how to generate growth to funding social welfare in an ageing society. “Anything less than state control is bound to be messy, but it is also supposed to generate dynamism,” Nakano said. “That is what the DPJ can possibly stand for, and that’s what last year’s alternation in power was about.” Hatoyama’s novice party has had a bumpy ride since it took over the reins of government in September along with two tiny coalition partners who often differ on policies but whose backing is needed to pass laws smoothly in the upper house. The government finished drafting a budget for the year from April 1 by the end of December despite a late start due to the election, but then had to scramble to replace one of its architects when the elderly finance minister resigned in January. Efforts to put politicians, not bureaucrats, in charge of policies have resulted in cabinet ministers and their juniors sometimes making conflicting comments. Hatoyama himself has come under fire for seeming flip-flops and indecisiveness. The role of a new National Strategy Bureau, whose mission is to set a growth strategy and a framework for compiling budgets, remains unclear. — Reuters

Democrats in risky fight over scandal By Chisa Fujioka


apan’s ruling party, roiled by a funding scandal, is gambling on the risky strategy of trying to discredit prosecutors as it tries to prevent the case from denting its chances in a mid-year election. The Democratic Party needs to win a majority in the poll for parliament’s upper house in July or August to smooth policy-making, but the scandal linked to its powerful No.2 official, Ichiro Ozawa, has hurt voter support. Failure to win an outright majority would leave the Democrats depending on two tiny but vocal coalition partners needed to pass bills in the upper chamber, possibly leading to pressure for bigger spending that could push up bond yields. To try to turn the tide, party lawmakers have lashed out at prosecutors, whose image as standard-bearers of justice has already been hit by criticism of high-handedness in recent years. The strategy might woo back voters, but the face-off could also backfire if Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his party are perceived as trying to abuse their political clout. The Democrats’ complaints include suspicions that prosecutors are unfairly targeting Ozawa and that they are leaking details on the case to media in a bid to manipulate public opinion. “The media’s impact on public opinion has been huge, to the point that many people now think that Mr. Ozawa has done something wrong,” said lawmaker Toshio Ogawa, a former public prosecutor who is part of a team looking into possible leaks. “It’s hard to say what the prosecutors’ motives are, but in the worst case, they want to build public support for the investigation because they are struggling to build a case without firm evidence.” A spokeswoman for the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment. Ozawa has denied intentional wrongdoing, but may voluntarily submit to questioning this weekend, media said. Three of his current and former aides were arrested last week on sus-

picion of improperly reporting donations, while media reports say prosecutors are also looking into the possibility of illegal activity by Ozawa himself. Despite the threat to voter support, Hatoyama has stood by Ozawa, a kingpin who wields huge influence in the party and is hailed for masterminding an election victory last August that ended a half-century of almost unbroken conservative rule. Some analysts say prosecutors are pursuing Ozawa to foil the party’s reform agenda, which includes reducing bureaucrats’ control over policies. “The public prosecutors are seen as the Knights Templar, if you like, of the Japanese bureaucratic system,” said Mark Burges-Watson, COO of research company Japaninvest. “So if anyone is going to come out fighting the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan), it’ll be them.” But a showdown could hurt Hatoyama, who has already come under fire this week for having urged Ozawa to “fight on”. Media and the opposition said the remarks suggested bias against prosecutors, although Hatoyama has denied this. On Wednesday, Hatoyama was also forced to rule out the possibility of the government soon proposing a bill to require that interrogations by police and prosecutors be videotaped, as long advocated by human rights activists. While the party endorsed the idea in the past after forced confessions led to the convictions of people later found to be innocent, Hatoyama said submitting legislation now could be seen as putting pressure on prosecutors. Some tabloids have rallied behind the Democrats’ criticism of prosecutors, but mainstream media are unsympathetic, calling for a more detailed explanation to the public from Ozawa himself. “The Democrats could just end up further irritating prosecutors and having the public wonder if politicians are trying to interfere with prosecutors’ work,” said Mikitaka Masuyama, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. “The Democrats are not being good at damage control.” — Reuters



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conan O’Brien sings his swan song on NBC

SAKHIR, Bahrain: The Saudi Hawks display team forms and pierces a heart in the sky yesterday during the final day of the Bahrain International Air Show. — AP

Building boom transforms heart of Beirut Continued from Page 1 Moreover, the financial meltdown that hit Dubai and elsewhere may have even helped Lebanon. While real estate buyers in Dubai were mostly investors and speculators depending on bank loans, the demand in Beirut is mainly from end users buying with cash, Makarem and other experts said. Real estate isn’t the only sector booming: Tourists have rediscovered the coastal nation with its beaches, scenic mountains and freewheeling lifestyle. This week officials announced that Lebanon attracted a record 1.8 million foreign visitors in 2009, earning an estimated $7 billion, beating the previous record of 1.4 million tourists in 1974 - just before the 1975-1990 civil war broke out. For many, especially those who have not visited Beirut in a while, the transformation from the real estate frenzy is striking. Blocks of elegant buildings with apartments selling at prices ranging between $5,000 and $8,000 per square meter have arisen downtown. Some are restorations of buildings dating back to the era of 19th Century Ottoman rule, others are brand new ones on plots where old rubble had long been bulldozed away. High-rises also now stand on land reclaimed from the sea. The names of the new projects are as ostentatious as the developments themselves: The Beirut Souks, Venus Towers and Sama Beirut (Beirut Sky) are just some of the massive architectural projects under way. “It’s the new Beirut. It looks nice and modern, but the problem is you have to be rich to enjoy it,” said Iman Haidar, a 42year-old mother of two walking recently

through Beirut Souks downtown - a 100,000 sq m outdoor shopping mall. The $300 million mall was built by Solidere, Lebanon’s largest construction and development firm, on the site of a historic souk, or market. But with its high-end retail outlets, it is nothing like the bustling souks that existed there before the civil war, where people from all over the country came to buy everything from vegetables and clothes to jewelry. Solidere has taken the lead in flattening and then rebuilding much of downtown. Many, like Haidar, worry that Beirut is turning into a hotspot for high-end investments unaffordable to most Lebanese. Experts say many of the new apartment owners are citizens of oil-rich Gulf nations and wealthy members of the 12-million strong Lebanese diaspora living abroad, who want to keep a pied-a-terre for regular visits to Beirut. In fact, many of the luxury apartments lining Beirut’s famed corniche with panoramic views of the Mediterranean seem uninhabited, their glass facades unlit at night. The number and value of property sales have leaped over the past year, according to figures released by Lebanon’s leading Bank Audi this week. The value of real estate sales in December around the country was $1.25 billion, up 40.8 percent from the same month in 2008. The number of sales in all of 2009 were up 27 percent over the previous year, it said. “The global crisis that has strongly impacted the real estate market in the Gulf has somehow pushed investors to turn toward Lebanon,” said Tina Chamoun, marketing manager for Plus Properties, the Dubai-based real estate marketing company currently promoting

two high-profile projects in Beirut. The $700 million developments, Plus Towers and Venus Towers, involve five luxury residential towers with duplexes and penthouses downtown and along Beirut’s waterfront. Chamoun says sales are going beyond expectations - mainly Lebanese, but also Gulf nationals. Also, several five-star international chain hotels have opened in Lebanon before the end of the year, including waterfront Rotana and Four Seasons hotels and Le Gray, part of the Britishowned CampbellGray Hotels. Another of the new projects is the 50-storey Sama Beirut, which promises to be Lebanon’s tallest skyscraper once completed in 2014. The project, launched earlier this year, has been criticized by some who say the tower will destroy the architectural heritage in the historic area. The developers were unfazed. “Mixing modernity with history is enriching,” said Massaad Fares, who heads Prime Consult, marketing and financial consultants for Sama Beirut. Mona El Hallak calls this diversity an urban catastrophe. “Downtown Beirut used to be a meeting point for people from all backgrounds. Now if you don’t have money, there is nothing for you there, you feel you are not welcome,” said the architect, who is a member of the executive committee of APSAD, an organization that campaigns to classify Lebanon’s old buildings as heritage sites to protect them. She says old cultural heritage buildings are being destroyed to make way for towers without any urban planning involved. “Ten years from now,” she said, “the city will not even bear resemblance to the Beirut we know,” she said. — AP

Bodies of 20 Saudi soldiers found Continued from Page 1 The Zaidis also accuse the government of allying with hard-line Sunni fundamentalists who regard them as heretics. The Saudis have been relying on artillery and air power against the rebels to try to reduce the number of Saudi casualties, most of which occurred when ground forces attempted to move into areas that were shelled. The Saudi dead included a senior officer, Lt Col Saeed Matuq Al-Omari, a paratrooper and a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. A Saudi general earlier described the war with the poorly armed Yemeni rebels as “close to a guerrilla war.” On Friday, the rebel leader, Abdel-Malek Al-Houthi, appeared in a video posted on the group’s

website to disprove Yemeni government claims that he was killed in an attack last month. Al-Houthi was shown sitting on a chair and speaking into a microphone. “These claims have no basis in truth and are just an excuse to justify their crimes against civilians,” he said. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said again yesterday it believes the Houthis have links to the Sunni militant group Al-Qaeda, even though it acknowledged it had found no such evidence in combat. “We have not noticed it on the battlefield, but it is proven by various bodies that there are contacts and coordination between them, and that they have common interests, which is sabotage,” Prince Khaled said in remarks aired on state television. He did not specify what that proof was.

The Shiite rebels have denied previous such claims that it has ties to the Sunni militant group. Yemen is involved in a war with the Houthis in the north and also is battling rising separatist sentiment in the south. Yesterday, hundreds marched in several cities in southern Yemen, asking participants in a London meeting on Yemen planned for Jan 27 to discuss the situation in the south, which the opposition says is politically and economically marginalised. Demonstrators carried placards demanding the revival of the former South Yemen which united with the north in 1990, residents said. They said a child died yesterday after being wounded during clashes that occurred during similar protests on Friday. — Agencies

Haiti mourns its dead as govt ends rescue efforts Continued from Page1 He had a deep concern for the poor and for the young,” said Joseph Lafontant, the auxiliary bishop, who led the service. “The Creator wants us to take part in the creation of a new country, a new Haiti, a new world,” he said. The United Nations in Geneva said the Haitian government had declared the search and rescue phase over at 4:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Friday despite the most recent successes. An 84-year-old woman and a 22year-old man were pulled from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince on Friday. Both were being treated in hospital. “The government made its decision after consulting international experts; it’s a sovereign decision,” Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesman for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told AFP. But a UN relief spokesman in Haiti, Vincenzo Pugliese, said some 62 foreign search and rescue teams were still in the capital 11 days after the earthquake, and so far they have saved 132 people. He confirmed the government had switched its focus from rescue to relief operations, but said: “This does not mean that search and rescue operations have stopped.” A convoy of food aid that was being distributed by an unidentified NGO without an escort of UN peacekeepers was attacked and looted in the south of capital on Friday, Pugliese said. “Gangs came in and took all the food,” he said, calling for independent agencies to coordinate better with the main UN effort to avoid such problems.

The incident came despite growing signs of normal life returning to the city. Yesterday, Haitians lined up outside private banks as they awaited the reopening of branches which have been closed since the quake. At one Unibank in the upscale Petionville district, cars stretched two blocks waiting for a drive-in ATM to open. “I’m still waiting patiently. There is no cash, so there is nothing else to do,” said Myrtho Larco, a teacher. “There’s no work, there’s no jobs, God only knows what’s going to happen.” At another bank, guards pushed back an impatient crowd of customers who had been lined up for hours to get cash. The large Big Star supermarket reopened on Friday, selling everything from slabs of ham and goat meat to Valentine’s Day chocolates. But the manager said only a week or two of supplies remained and it had received no deliveries. The UN World Food Programme said yesterday it had scaled up its food aid to quake survivors and distributed two million meals on Friday, up from 1.2 million on Thursday. Survivors said they were still struggling to get food, with little or no deliveries of aid. “My wife is out today looking for food,” said Dominique Tombeau, sitting under a blue tarpaulin. “People are asking, when are the Americans coming to help?” Fruits and vegetables appeared plentiful in street stalls, but people said they had little cash to buy them and prices were much higher than before the quake. But as the assistance effort gained pace in Port-au-Prince and the worst

affected towns of Jacmel and Leogane, a huge relocation of survivors out of the capital is also underway. “The number of people leaving Port-au-Prince is increasing daily,” the UN said, as more than 130,000 people took advantage of the government’s offer of free transport to other cities. An unknown number of other people had left the capital by private means, it said. Many in Port-au-Prince are still living in squalid conditions while hospitals reported heartrending cases such as a four-year-old with cerebral palsy who was abandoned on a doorstep. The child was left with a message saying “This little boy has no father and no mother. Whoever cares about him is his family,” according to doctors and nurses at a French field hospital in Port-au-Prince. The UN also warned that Haiti’s rainy season was about to begin, potentially causing further problems for survivors. Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney meanwhile led a galaxy of stars Friday in a telethon fundraiser for quake victims broadcast across every major US television network. Featuring some 130 celebrities and presented by music channel MTV, the line-up for the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon included Madonna, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Jennifer Hudson. “The Haitian people need our help. They need to know they are not alone,” Clooney told the national audience. Pope Benedict XVI separately called on Haitians to show solidarity over the distribution of aid to survivors. — Agencies

LOS ANGELES: An emotional Conan O’Brien bid adieu to NBC on Friday, saying that walking away from US television’s longrunning “The Tonight Show” was the most difficult decision of his life. At times fighting back tears, O’Brien thanked his legions of fans for making “a sad situation joyous and inspirational,” urging them to fight cynicism over the ugly public feud that ended his seven-month tenure at the legendary late-night comedy show. The audience at Universal Studios in Burbank, California replied in kind, giving him a standing ovation and chanting “Conan! Conan! Conan!” repeatedly. After an experiment placing the funnyman’s predecessor in prime time garnered meager ratings and frustrated the network’s affiliates, NBC television announced it would bring Jay Leno back to the show he hosted for 17 years. The settlement landed O’Brien a reported $45million buyout - with the redhaired comedian pocketing around $32 million and the balance going to his staff - in a bid by NBC to end what has been a public relations disaster once and for all. But during his last monologue for the show, the embattled host even found time to thank NBC, a network he has called home for over 20 years. “Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we’re going to go our separate ways,” he went on. “But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible.” He also delivered a few last jabs to his NBC paymasters, a

UNIVERSAL CITY, California: In this June 1, 2009 file photo provided by NBC, Conan O’Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show”. – AP practice that had become a nightly staple of his opening monologues ever since the saga broke out into public view. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced, “we have exactly one hour to steal every single item in this studio.” Leno and other comedians at other networks had also used their shows to joke about NBC’s controversial move. Never one to pass an opportunity for self-deprecating humor, O’Brien told his audience: “I just want to make one thing clear to everyone listening out there right now. I will do nudity.” Among his guests were actor Tom Hanks, rocker Neil Young, comedian Will Ferrell and Steve Carell, star of the hit

television series “The Office”. Carell gave O’Brien, 46, an “exit interview.” Asked if we would consider working for NBC again in the future, O’Brien replied: “I don’t know. I can’t say at this time.” Although he was calling it quits with a show he loved and admired, O’Brien told his fans that “I really feel this should be a happy moment”. “Every comedian, every comedian dreams of hosting ‘The Tonight Show.’ And for seven months, I got to do it. And I did it my way with people I love. I do not regret one second of anything that we’ve done here,” he added. “I have had more good fortune than anybody I

know. And if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-Eleven parking lot, we will find a way to make it fun.” The wrangling with NBC went public earlier this month when reports circulated that O’Brien’s show was to be given a new 12:05 am scheduling slot to accommodate a new half-hour program hosted by Leno. It followed NBC’s decision to cancel Leno’s prime-time show starting at 10 pm after only four months following poor ratings. However, O’Brien refused to accept the change quietly, accusing NBC in a public letter of attempting to destroy “The Tonight Show” and vowing to quit his long-term deal if the change went ahead. — AFP

Gitmo deadline passes but US closure efforts continue WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s self-imposed deadline for closing Guantanamo passed unmet Friday, as the administration moved closer to trying the alleged 9/11 plotters, but also to US indefinite detention. Friday marked a year to the day since Obama signed an executive order pledging to close the controversial detention facility located on the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on Cuba’s southern tip. But since then, his administration has struggled to repatriate detainees cleared for release, or find third countries to offer them asylum. It also took government lawyers longer than expected to process those detainees who would not be released into three categories: those who would be tried before civilian courts, those to be prosecuted by military tribunals, and those who would be held indefinitely and without trial. On Friday, the administration took one step closer to bringing some of Guantanamo’s highest-profile detainees, five men accused of plotting the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, before a court in New York.The Pentagon said it had withdrawn charges against the men that were filed before a Guantanamo military tribunal, clearing the way for charges to be filed at a New York civilian court instead. “This action is a procedural step, which is part of a nor-

mal process when an alternative forum is chosen,” the Pentagon said. The five men, including the self-described mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are currently being held at Guantanamo, but are to be transferred to New York for trial. Obama’s decision to prosecute the men before a civilian US court rather than a military tribunal has come under fire from Republican lawmakers and some relatives of those killed in the attacks. But others have praised his administration’s decision to accord the men rights as defendants in a civilian trial. The announcement came as reports said the administration would likely hold some 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely and without charge in the United States. The Washington Post reported that a Justice Department-led task force had recommended holding 50 of the 196 remaining men at Guantanamo without trial under the laws of war. The men are considered too dangerous to release, but the evidence against them is insufficient to bring them to trial, according to the Post. Though Obama outlined plans to hold some detainees without trial in a speech last year, Friday’s reports were met with dismay by human rights groups who had praised his administration’s pledge to

close Guantanamo and uphold international law. “One of the most shameful chapters of American history was to have been brought to a close with the shuttering of the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “But just as important as closing the prison quickly is closing it right and that means putting an end to the illegal policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial. This practice was wrong in Cuba and would remain so here, reducing the closure of Guantanamo to a symbolic gesture,” he added. The administration has indicated it plans to hold Guantanamo detainees at an Illinois prison that the federal government has acquired. But Republican lawmakers, joined by some Democrats, fiercely oppose the prospect of bringing suspected terrorists into the United States, adding an additional obstacle to the administration’s plans. Further complicating the process is a 2008 Supreme Court decision that allows detainees to challenge their detention before US courts. Since the decision, courts have considered a variety of cases, and overwhelmingly ruled in favor of detainees, clearing them of terrorism charges and ordering their release. — AFP

UK raises terror threat to ‘severe’ Continued from Page 1 He stressed Britain continued to face a “real and serious threat” and urged the public to remain vigilant. The threat level was last at “severe” in July last year when it was downgraded to “substantial”, suggesting an attack remained a “strong possibility”. Alex Carlile, the British government’s independent reviewer of anti-terror legislation, said the move was aimed at making the public more aware, but was not designed to scare people. He said: “The government has quite rightly decided that if you don’t tell the public to be vigilant, they’re not going to be vigilant. “The message from the current change of assessment is not that we should be more afraid, but that we should be a little bit more vigilant than we have been.” Mike Granatt, a former security official in the British government, told BBC radio: “The main reason for alert states is to warn people who have a specific task that they

ought to do something differently, they ought to be taking more steps or they ought to move to a different phase of the security plan.” India has increased security at its airports and warned domestic airlines about a possible hijack attempt after a tip-off from Western intelligence services, but there was no suggestion of any link to Britain’s move. Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday reiterated the threats Britain faced as he announced the suspension of direct flights from Yemen until new security measures were in place. Brown said the Afghanistan-Pakistan border remained the “crucible of terrorism”, but the failed Detroit attack highlighted the threat from Yemen-based militants. A meeting in Britain on Wednesday was aimed at strengthening international support for Yemen in its efforts to combat AlQaeda. The day after, President Hamid Karzai would attend a high-level conference in London on the way forward in vio-

lence-scarred Afghanistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would also take part. Britain has been targeted by a number of attempted bombings in recent years, following the attacks of July 7, 2005, when four suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 others on the London transport system. Since the threat levels have been made public, they have twice briefly been raised to the top “critical” level, meaning an attack was expected imminently. The first time was in August 2006, after a plot to down transatlantic airliners was uncovered, and the second in June 2007, after car bombs failed to detonate in London and a burning Jeep was driven into Glasgow airport in an attempted attack. Britain’s decision to raise its terror threat alert came as India put airline passengers through extra security screenings and sky marshals were placed on flights. India put its airports on high alert amid reports that Al-Qaeda-linked militants planned to hijack a plane. — AFP

Biden visits Iraq amid election row Continued from Page 1 and has also exposed the failings of a much vaunted but apparently stumbling national reconciliation process. “I want to make it clear I am not here to resolve that issue,” said Biden at a joint press conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. “This is for Iraqis to do, not for me. After today’s discussions though I am confident that Iraq’s leaders are seized with the problem and are working for a final, just solution.” Biden said the United States supported the exclusion of candidates linked to Saddam’s regime but urged legitimate procedures. “The issue is not the goal of holding individuals accountable for their past actions but the process of disqualification itself,” Biden said. “Iraqis under their leaders understand that if the people see the process as fair and transparent it will enhance the credibility of the election.” As well as Talabani, Biden met Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, parliament speaker Iyad Al-Samarrai, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Iraq, Ad

Melkert, and a cross-section of other political leaders. Saleh Al-Mutlak, a leading Sunni MP and persistent critic of Maliki’s Shiite-dominated government, is among those who have been barred from the election. Maliki has denied that Sunnis have been targeted ahead of the vote. The election row sparked a flurry of contacts by Biden in recent days aimed at brokering a compromise, notably through Talabani, who is a Kurd. Biden “proposed that the disqualifications be deferred until after the election and that those candidates who have been barred condemn and disavow the Baath party,” said a statement from Talabani’s office earlier this week. Joost Hiltermann, a Washington-based Iraq specialist and Middle East deputy program director for the International Crisis Group, which studies conflict-hit nations, said Biden’s visit had not gone far enough. “Whatever the long-term planning may have been, his visit was clearly a rescue mission, certainly in the public eye, which is what counts,” Hiltermann said. “On paper, out of deference to Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqis’ strong sense of national pride,

he listened rather than proposing solutions. “Suggesting that the actual barring of candidates be postponed till after the elections was good but insufficient. It could lead to a big crisis when the election results come in, especially if people allied to Mutlak amass a lot of additional ‘sympathy’ votes.” Reider Visser, who runs the Iraqfocused website, said US leverage had always been limited “because American forces are on their way out anyway.” “At most, then, one can guess that Biden may have asked Iraqi leaders to make sure the appeals mechanisms reinstate some of the barred politicians, thereby reducing the sense of marginalisation.” Elections chief Faraj Al-Haidari told AFP on Friday more candidates could yet be barred from the ballot, after the government published lists naming individuals “who have criminal records or false diplomas.” Biden also used the Baghdad trip to announce an appeal against a US court ruling that dropped charges against the American private security firm formerly known as Blackwater whose guards are accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007. — Agencies

Sunday, January 24, 2010



NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Montreal 3, New Jersey 1; Colorado 2, Nashville 1; Dallas 4, Edmonton 3. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF New Jersey 33 15 1 134 Pittsburgh 31 20 1 166 NY Rangers 24 20 7 135 NY Islanders 23 20 8 137 Philadelphia 25 21 3 150

GA PTS 108 67 149 63 135 55 153 54 140 53

Buffalo Ottawa Boston Montreal Toronto

Northeast Division 30 12 7 141 117 27 21 4 145 153 23 18 8 125 124 24 23 5 134 144 17 25 10 139 180

67 58 54 53 44

Washington Atlanta Florida Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 32 12 6 191 141 22 21 7 155 164 21 21 9 142 153 20 20 10 130 156 15 27 7 125 167

70 51 51 50 37

Chicago Nashville Detroit St. Louis Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 35 12 4 169 115 29 19 3 143 142 25 17 8 129 130 22 21 7 132 142 20 24 9 140 176

74 61 58 51 49

Colorado Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Edmonton

Northw est Division 29 15 6 149 136 30 18 2 162 124 26 19 6 132 132 24 23 4 141 154 16 28 6 133 172

64 62 58 52 38

Pacific Division San Jose 34 10 8 174 126 76 Phoenix 29 17 5 137 131 63 Los Angeles 28 19 3 148 141 59 Dallas 22 18 11 148 164 55 Anaheim 23 21 7 144 161 53 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche celebrate a first period goal.—AP

Avalanche edge Predators DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche notched its fifth straight win and took sole ownership of the NHL Northwest Division lead with a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Friday. Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots, while Matt Duchene and Brandon Yip got the

goals for Colorado. Cody Franson scored the sole goal for the Predators, who dropped a third straight.

Canadiens 3, Devils 1 In Newark, New Jersey, Mathieu Darche had the go-ahead goal and an assist as

Montreal ended a three-game losing streak by downing New Jersey. Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves while Benoit Pouliot and Michael Cammalleri also scored for Montreal. Zach Parise scored the only goal for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils. Stuttering New Jersey has seen its

divisional lead sliced to four points.

Stars 4, Oilers 3 In Edmonton, Alberta, James Neal’s goal with 22 seconds left saw Dallas snap a 10game, road-losing streak and beat struggling Edmonton.

Kushnir, Lassila win WCup aerials again LAKE PLACID: Belarus’ Anton Kushnir withstood Friday’s best jump by Canada’s Warren Shouldice to win for the third time in five World Cup aerials events. Kushnir took out the competition at the Intervale Jumping Complex, finishing with a two-jump total of 253.10 points to beat Shouldice by 1.55 points. “This feels good before the Olympics, but Olympics is different competition,” Kushnir said. “You can not be on a podium and (then) do really good (there).” Shouldice finished in front of teammates Ryan Blais (250.80) and Kyle Nissen (249.59). Olivier Rochon was sixth and Steve Omischl ninth to complete an impressive showing by Canada ahead of the Vancouver Olympics next month. “We haven’t made a podium all year. It’s kind of unheard-of for us,” Shouldice said. “That was nice, just to prove to ourselves that we’re capable of it. It feels great. “He (Khushnir) has been winning everything,” Shouldice said. “One thing that he’ll probably learn down the road is that, as hot as he is right now, wins are tough to come by (in the Olympics).” In the women’s competition, Australia’s Lydia Lassila claimed victory with a two-jump total of 203.38, ahead of the Chinese pair of Li Nana (197.56) and Zhang Xin (181.72). “I got a bit tired today, so I decided to go with a more basic triple,” Lassila said. “They’re all good leading into the Games, and to do them in contests is great preparation. It keeps me safe and healthy. When I need to pull back, I can still win. I’m pretty excited. “The jumps that I do are good enough to win. I have another jump up my sleeve and another if I need to. I’ve got a lot of room to play here.” Guo Xinxin of China, the aerials leader entering the event, and teammate Xu Mengtao, who was second, finished 15th and 22nd.—AP

The Oilers have lost 10 straight — their worst losing streak since a dozen defeats in 2006-07. Down 3-2, Edmonton appeared to force overtime when Sam Gagner was credited with his second goal of the game after Mike Modano kicked the puck into his net with 1:02 to play.

But soon after, Jason Strudwick’s clearing attempt went straight to Neal’s stick, and he netted his 20th of the season. Jamie Benn, Trevor Daley and Modano also scored for the Stars, while Ryan Potulny had the other goal for the Oilers. —AP

America’s Cup yachts still tied up in legal fight

LAKE PLACID: Anton Kushnir of Bulgaria competes during the 2010 Freestyle World Cup aerials competition at Olympic Jumping Complex.—AP

LAKE PLACID: Lydia Lassila of Australia celebrates after her jump on her way to winning the 2010 Freestyle World Cup aerials competition at Olympic Jumping Complex.—AP

NEW YORK: The most contentious America’s Cup in 159 years is still in the hands of lawyers less three weeks before two powerhouse sailing teams are to begin their showdown in Spain. Two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland made two filings in New York State Supreme Court on Friday against American challenger BMW Oracle Racing. One defends the legality of the sails for its giant catamaran, Alinghi 5. The other questions the legality of the monster trimaran USA and said the craft should be disqualified if it doesn’t compete with a certain sail configuration. The continued bickering between two of the world’s richest men has threatened to delay the nautical grudge match for the oldest trophy in international sports. It’s set to begin on Feb. 8 off the Valencia coast in two of the fastest, most powerful sailboats ever built. BMW Oracle Racing spokesman Tom Ehman said the syndicate hopes the issues will be clarified in time for racing to begin as scheduled. “We don’t want a cloud to be hanging over the results of this match,” Ehman said on Friday from New York, where the team was preparing its response papers that are due on Wednesday. He said a hearing could be scheduled for early February. The Swiss also hope the racing isn’t delayed. The Americans “should end their legal strategy to try to delay the Cup and to try to gain competitive advantage over the defender and should proceed with the competition on the water,” said Fred Meyer, vice commodore of Alinghi’s backing yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve. The latest chapter in the long, convoluted fight between Swiss biotech mogul Ernesto Bertarelli and American software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. centers on each team’s interpretation of the Deed of Gift, the 1887 document that governs the America’s Cup. BMW Oracle Racing returned to court this month claiming the sails for Alinghi 5 must be built in Switzerland to conform with the Deed of Gift’s constructed-incountry clause. They said Alinghi was planning to use sails built at North Sails’ plant in Minden, Nevada. Alinghi countered on Friday by saying the Deed calls only for the hull to be constructed in the team’s country of origin, not the sails and other components. Even if the American team’s claim was legally viable - “and it is not,” the Swiss filing reads - Alinghi said its sails are constructed in Switzerland, using a template built in Nevada. The Swiss back their claim with an affidavit from Tom Whidden, the CEO and

president of North Sails who was Dennis Conner’s tactician in several America’s Cup campaigns. Whidden said Alinghi provides a design and North Sails makes pieces of the 3DL sail — a patented process of laminating carbon and other fibers between two layers of Mylar — and ships them to the team’s loft in Villeneuve, Switzerland. The Swiss then join the pieces to form the body of the sails and add finishing touches, Whidden said. “At North Sails, we consider the sail to be completed as a usable sail when the sail is in one piece and when the finishing process for the sail is completed,” Whidden wrote. Ehman likened the 3DL process to mixing ingredients and baking a cake. “Shipping that cake to Switzerland and adding some candles does not make it ‘Swiss-made,’ “ he said. The Swiss also filed a counter-motion in which they appear to be protecting themselves by saying that if the court finds the Swiss aren’t in compliance with the constructed-in-country provision, then it wants the court to look into the American boat, as well. In that filing, the Swiss say the addition of a radical wing sail on USA means the trimaran is no longer sloop-rigged as stated in the challenge papers filed in July 2007 by BMW Oracle Racing’s sponsor, Golden Gate Yacht Club. A sloop-rigged yacht has a mainsail and a foresail, or jib. The Swiss argue that the wing is not a sail. The Americans added the wing sail late last year while training in San Diego. Soaring 190 feet (58 meters) off the deck of the 90-by-90-foot (27-by-27-meter) boat, the wing has a front and a rear element separated by a spar. The rear element operates just like the flaps in an airplane wing. The wing allows the trimaran to accelerate and maneuver better than with a traditional soft-sail rig, with a mainsail and foresail. USA is believed to have sailed at three times the speed of the wind. Ehman said USA has sailed with both the wing sail and a jib. He called Alinghi’s argument “a red herring and complete rubbish.” Alinghi said BMW Oracle Racing’s “procedurally improper and meritless” motion should be denied or considered after the racing. But if the court considers the motion now, the Swiss asked that it order the Americans to use a vessel sailing with a mainsail and foresail at all times, consistent with the challenge certificate. “Otherwise, the court should disqualify GGYC, including after the race,” the motion said.—AP



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Can No.1 seeded Colts, Saints get to Super Bowl? NEW ORLEANS: For all the talk about the importance of home-field advantage in the NFL playoffs, the cruel truth for top-seeded teams is this: The last time both of them made the Super Bowl was 1993. The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints can’t like hearing that. Plus, both of them lost at home late in the regular season, albeit not in critical games. Even so, both are favored to reach the Super Bowl on Sunday when they host conference championships. The Colts welcome the surprising New York Jets for the AFC crown, while the Saints stage their first NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings. Only the Colts and Jets have won a Super Bowl, with one each in their current

guises. The Saints have never been to the big game while the Vikings have four times without a win — the last in 1977. The Vikings were a great team at home this season, but a mediocre one on the road. Not that star quarterback Brett Favre will be uncomfortable in the Superdome, where he earned his only Super Bowl victory (with Green Bay) and was home to the Saints team he cheered as a youngster growing up in Mississippi. Favre picked apart the Dallas Cowboys 34-3 last week, and Dallas has a much better defense than New Orleans. The Saints, though, are very opportunistic, and will seize on any mistakes or bad decisions Favre makes. The Vikings, though, are drawing from Favre’s past: Two Super

Bowls and one win, and the most victories for any quarterback in NFL history. “When you have a quarterback that steps in the huddle and has that look on his face and the body language and the demeanor like, ‘Hey this is old hat, we can do this, this is nothing more than anything we practiced all week,’ regardless of the situation, it kind of builds confidence in the rest of the guys in the huddle and has the soothing effect,” said Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson. Of course, if Adrian Peterson gets the running game going, it will open up the entire field for Favre, Sidney Rice, Visanthe Shiancoe and offensive rookie of the year Percy Harvin. Minnesota will need lots of offense

against the potent Saints, whose receiving corps is deeper than even the Vikings’. Although New Orleans doesn’t have a match for Peterson, it has three solid running backs in Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and fit-again Reggie Bush, who was sensational in last week’s 45-14 rout of Arizona. The matchup of Favre against Saints passer Drew Brees is as spicy as a French Quarter etouffee. Both should find the end zone a few times. New York’s impressive run is expected to end in Indianapolis, but if the Jets are close in the fourth quarter, they can’t be counted out. Coach Rex Ryan has the Jets believing they can achieve anything, and so far they have. Since he mentioned they were out of playoff contention with a pre-

Christmas loss to Atlanta, the Jets have won four straight, twice on the road in the playoffs against division champions Cincinnati and San Diego. In their 29-15 win at Lucas Oil Stadium to end the Colts’ record 23-game regularseason winning string — including the first 14 this season — the Jets benefited greatly from Peyton Manning sitting out much of the second half. Ryan knows his topranked defense will see plenty of Manning on Sunday. With all the blitzing they do, the Jets are not great at sacking quarterbacks. They won’t likely rattle four-time league MVP Manning, whose supporting cast is deep and talented. While Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is the best cover man in the

NFL and will be charged with shutting down star receiver Reggie Wayne, Manning will find other targets. Frequently. Manning’s work this season was his most impressive considering he had to train two new wideouts in rookie Austin Collie and the raw Pierre Garcon. Tight end Dallas Clark had his best season with 100 catches. New York’s best chance is for its No. 1rated rushing game to dominate the ball and the clock. It could happen behind a superb offensive line, but the Colts shut down Baltimore’s staunch running game last week. If Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has to win this game, then the Jets will be in trouble.—AP

India eye 2-0 series win over Bangladesh FRANCE: Trevise’s lock Van-Zyl Corniel passes the ball during the H Cup rugby union match Perpignan against Trevise at the Aime-Giral stadium.—AFP

Ospreys edge Tigers to reach last eight PARIS: Welsh side Ospreys secured their third successive European Cup quarter-finals spot yesterday as they beat two-time champions Leicester Tigers 17-12 in a thrilling clash. The one try of the match came from Ospreys’ Irish winger Tommy Bowe, who touched down for his seventh try of the pool phase to become just the second player after Argentine Felipe Contepomi to score tries in every first stage match of the tournament. Ospreys, winning their 13th successive home match in the competition, are guaranteed to take one of the two best runners-up spots. London Irish or Northampton will take the other one, after French side Clermont topped their pool by crushing Italian whipping boys Viadana 59-20. Clermont and Ospreys joined three-time winners Toulouse, Biarritz and two-time champions Munster in the last eight, the Irish province having ensured a remarkable 12th successive appearance in the quarter-finals with a 12-9 win over 2000 champions Northampton on Friday. Ospreys and Leicester traded blows and points from the opening quarter in an enthralling and open game. Tigers took the lead three times through two penalties by Toby Flood and a superb drop goal by Irish centre Jeremy Staunton, only for Ospreys’ Welsh international fly-half Dan Biggar to level on all three occasions with successful penalties. The Tigers, though, were threatening to score a try but on each occasion either chose the wrong option or were thwarted, such as

when Wales full-back Lee Byrne intercepted scrum-half Ben Young’s pass on the 22. Instead it was the hosts who grabbed the try, which originally stemmed from a rampaging run by former All Black great Jerry Collins, with James Hook delivering a beautifully weighted grubber kick that bounced up perfectly for Bowe, who touched down. Biggar failed with the subsequent conversion. Ospreys came out all fired up in the second half but Biggar was unsuccessful first with a penalty and then a drop goal; both from distance but in front of the posts. Ospreys were so dominant that they had the ball inside their opponents’ half for 78 percent of the second period’s opening 10 minutes, but it was the Tigers who put points on the board when Flood landed his third penalty to leave the Ospreys 14-12 to the good. The Welsh side, though, made it 17-12 in the 56th minute when Biggar slotted over a penalty. However, the young fly-half was removed by Ospreys Australian coach Scott Johnson for the final 10 minutes as the clash became increasingly nervy and pressurised, with James Hook moving to fly-half and the experienced Sonny Parker coming on in the centre. The Tigers poured on the pressure in search of the try they needed to get the win but sterling defence by the hosts denied them time and again. The visitors’ last opening culminated in experienced All Black Aaron Mauger knocking on just five metres from the try-line as Ospreys held out for a superb victory.—AFP

Pakistan offers S Africa match at neutral venue KARACHI: Pakistan has offered to play South Africa in three Tests, five one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches in the United Arab Emirates later this year, an official said yesterday. “South Africa were supposed to tour us but because of their security fears they declined to come and that’s why we have offered them to play this full series of Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 at the neutral venue of the Emirates,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told AFP. Butt said instead of coming to Pakistan, South Africa wanted to play the series on their grounds, which was not cost effective. “If we play the series in South Africa, it would have incurred losses to us, so we have offered them to play in the Emirates and we hope they will agree to our proposal,” said Butt. The series would likely to be played in October-November this year. Pakistan has been a no-go country for foreign teams since the 9-11 attacks on the United States in 2001 and the ensuing war on terror for which the Washington counts Pakistan as an ally.

Although South Africa toured Pakistan in 2003 and 2007, they refused to play a match in Karachi over security fears. Pakistan’s reputation as a “dangerous venue” was further hit by a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March last year. The attack, which left seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach injured besides killing eight people, laid to rest any chances of Pakistan staging international cricket in the near future. The International Cricket Council relocated Pakistan’s 14 matches in the 2011 World Cup to the other host countries, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Pakistan was also forced to play its three home series - against the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand - in the UAE in the last two years after the three teams refused to tour over security fears. Pakistan are also scheduled to play their home Test series against Australia in England later this year. Australia have been refusing to tour Pakistan since 1998 over security fears.—AFP

DHAKA: India were bolstered by the return of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and key off-spinner Harbhajan Singh ahead of the second and final Test against Bangladesh starting today. The Indians, ranked number one in Tests, lead the short series 1-0 after their 113-run victory in the opening Test at Chittagong. Dhoni (back spasm) and Harbhajan (neck) missed the Chittagong Test and their return to the side in Dhaka will boost India’s chances of securing a 2-0 scoreline. “Harbhajan has recovered and is fit to play,” Dhoni said at a pre-match press conference on Saturday. “I took part in the training session today. At this stage the way it is, I am hundred percent fit to play.” India’s middle-order batsman Venkatsai Laxman, who hurt his left hand while fielding in the slips at Chittagong, was ruled out of the match while paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has flown home to tend to a hamstring injury. “Laxman is not fit and Sreesanth is also injured. We have to see what exactly the wicket looks like tomorrow before deciding on the final composition of the team,” said Dhoni. The Indian skipper also praised opener Gautam Gambhir who became the fourth batsman ever to smash a century in five successive Tests during the Chittagong match. “Gambhir is a very good batsman who is doing really well for us. We are just hoping he gets one more century in the Dhaka Test. It will be proud moment for him and for us.” Australian Don Bradman holds the world record of hitting hundreds in six consecutive Tests. South African Jacques Kallis and Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf are the others to have made centuries in five consecutive Tests. Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said his side would try to learn from the mistakes in the Chittagong Test and put in a better performance with both bat and ball. “We had a few positives in the Chittagong Test,” Iqbal said. “Mushfiqur Rahim hit a century, Shahadat Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan got five wickets each. We want to improve on that. “We made some mistakes at Chittagong and we’ll try not to repeat those again. We are not there just to take part. We are here to compete and fight. We believe that we can draw the Test series.” Iqbal also backed under-fire teammate and former captain Mohammad Ashraful, who had scores of 2 and 27 at Chittagong. “Ashraful is very good player. He has scored five centuries. He will be among runs very soon.” Bangladesh (from): Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Shahriar Nafees, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Enamul Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Shafiul Islam. India (from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Sudeep Tyagi. —AFP

DHAKA: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (right) bats as his teammate Virender Sehwag (left) looks on during a practice session at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium.—AP

Alguersuari completes Toro Rosso line-up LONDON: Jaime Alguersuari will race for Toro Rosso again this season, giving Spain three drivers on the Formula One starting grid for the first time when the season starts in Bahrain in March. The Red Bull-owned team said in a statement on Friday that the 19-yearold, who made his debut as Formula One’s youngest driver in Hungary last July, would remain in an unchanged lineup with Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi. The move, which was widely expected despite the delay in announcing a contract, left only four vacancies on a grid expanded to 26 drivers with the

arrival of four new teams. Renault have yet to name a team mate for Poland’s Robert Kubica while Spanish-based newcomers Campos Meta have signed only Brazilian Bruno Senna, nephew of the late triple champion Ayrton. The US F1 team have two seats to fill. Alguersuari joined Toro Rosso as a replacement for Frenchman Sebastian Bourdais, competing in the final eight races of last year without scoring a point. He joins double world champion Fernando Alonso, now at Ferrari, and the experienced Pedro de la Rosa at

Sauber in a trio of Spaniards. “Considering that he made his debut only halfway through 2009... with no prior testing, he did a good job, making steady progress throughout the second half of the year,” said team principal Franz Tost. “This season he will again face a steep learning curve, as all the circuits in the first part of the season will be new to him.” Tost said Alguersuari’s appointment reinforced the team’s commitment to bringing on graduates from the Red Bull young driver programme.—Reuters

ITALY: Britain’s Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton prepares to start during a test drive at the South Garda Karting track in Lonato.—AP


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Cycling world body mulls football-style transfers ADELAIDE: Cycling is set to clamp down on transfers of riders between teams after high-profile swoops by Britain’s rich new Sky outfit, the sport’s chief said yesterday., UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) president Pat McQuaid said criticism of Team Sky’s tactics had prompted a reappraisal of transfer rules, opening the door to football-style regulation. “Because of what other people feel was fairly harsh and businesslike work of Sky in trying to get exactly the riders they want, maybe we should tighten up the regulations in relation to transfers,” McQuaid said. “That’s something we are working on at the moment.” Sky raised disquiet in the conservative sport by sign-

ing Ben Swift, who was contracted to Katusha, and triple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins from GarminTransitions. Meanwhile America’s BMC Racing Team lured Australian world road champion Cadel Evans from Silence-Lotto, boosting their chances of gaining a place on the elite ProTour. “There’s no panacea for it because if a new team comes into the market... as with Sky last year, they’ve got to get 25 to 30 riders and most of them are already on a contract of one form or other,” McQuaid said. “It’s difficult for them to come in at a good level and just take the available riders who are already at the end of a contract.” He did not detail what mea-

sures were under consideration, but football operates a “transfer window” system where clubs can only sign during designated periods. McQuaid said under the current system, both teams needed to come to an agreement before a rider can move. But he said recent developments had shaken up the “small family” sport. “We probably do need slightly tighter controls and regulations on the transfer system,” he said. “That’s something we are looking at at the moment because this past winter there have been several controversies in relation to transfers.” Sky, with a reported multi-million dollar budget, was formed last year with the intention of producing Britain’s first Tour de France winner.

Meanwhile, drug testing during this year’s Tour de France will be carried out without the French AntiDoping Agency (AFLD), the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) said yesterday. The UCI and Tour organisers made the decision following a row with the AFLD over testing procedures during the 2009 race. Speaking in an interview with Reuters at the Tour Down Under, UCI president Pat McQuaid added that the sport’s governing body was in talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about collaborating on the Tour. “Next July, the UCI will carry out the tests and we are in discussion with WADA so that it sends its

observers to supervise the UCI’s work during the race,” said McQuaid. “The Tour de France is the biggest cycling event in the world and we want to preserve it.” Last October, the UCI accused the AFLD of failures in its testing procedures after president of the French Anti-Doping Agency Pierre Bordry publicly criticised the governing body’s work at the 2009 Tour. An AFLD report on testing procedures during the race suggested Astana, the team of winner Alberto Contador and seven-times champion Lance Armstrong, were given preferential treatment. Astana and the UCI dismissed the suggestions as groundless. McQuaid promised there would be no room for

debate over his testers’s methods during the 2010 Tour. “Every aspect of our work will be scrutinised. I want to say that (Tour organisers) ASO completely agree with us,” he said. “I must protect our sport. I do not accept doping in cycling, it is unacceptable but cycling is the sport that has been making the biggest efforts and I cannot accept AFLD’s criticism.” McQuaid, however, said no arrangements had been made yet for the other UCI-sanctioned races on French soil, such as Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix and the Dauphine Libere. “We are in talks with the president of the French Cycling Federation (FFC) because the FFC is

responsible for the controls on these races but no decisions have been made,” the Irishman said. He added the sport had made huge progress in tracking the cheats thanks to the biological passport. “I am convinced that cycling is on the right path but we must continue our efforts. With the biological passport... with our collaboration with the teams, I think we will soon come to the point where the fans will watch the riders’ performances with no doubt about how they achieved them,” he said. “There will always be black sheep, crazy riders who make mistakes but the riders must understand that it is not possible anymore to dope. That is the case for the very large majority of them.” —Reuters

Greipel sights victory as Armstrong hopes fade ABU DHABI: Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy tees off in front of a large poster at the 7th hole during the third round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. —AP

Kaymer ahead in Abu Dhabi, two tied for second place ABU DHABI: Martin Kaymer shot his third successive round of five-under-par 67 to lead the 1.5 million euro Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by one stroke and on course to repeat his success here in the 2008 edition. Going into the final day, the super-talented German — who was second here last year — was at 15-under-par 201, but snapping at his heels were Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Ian Poulter of England. The two were tied for second place after identical rounds of 67 each which put them at 14-under 202. Swede Peter Hanson was alone in fourth place at 203, while Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, England’s Chris Wood and Ireland’s Shane Lowry were a further shot behind. Overnight leader, Rick Kulacz of Australia could only manage a 73 and was eighth at 205. Kaymer, who led by six shots going into the final day of the 2008 championship, finally won the tournament by four shots over Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood for his maiden win on the European Tour. But he had a bit of a wobble that day as he won with a 74. The 25-year-old has since won three more titles, including the French Open and Scottish Open in back-to-back weeks last year, and is confident the experience he has gained will stand him in good stead as he tries to go one better than his second place finish last year. “Even thought I was leading by six shots on the final day, I played really shy. I didn’t go for the flags and my putting....I left quite a few of them short. My confidence wasn’t really there,” said Kaymer. “Obviously, I have played a few years on the European Tour since then and won a couple of big events. I have learnt a lot and I will surely play a lot differently now.” Kaymer, who is still playing with plates on his ankle following his surgery last year after a go-

karting accident, said his schedule does not give him enough time to take off the plates, even though he does not need them now. “I could take the plates off today has healed. The problem is that if I took them out, then it would take at least three weeks to recover, and at the moment, I don’t have three weeks off in my schedule. “I am not uncomfortable with the plates on. On certain shots, I’m a little bit more careful. So, I’m going to wait until the middle of the season and take them out in September.” Kaymer will also be boosted by his terrific playing record at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he has finished 1-2 in the last two years. “I really like the golf course in general and especially coming from such a long break, five or six weeks when I was in America, you arrive feeling really motivated and can’t really wait to play golf again. “I feel very comfortable out here. It felt very similar to the desert in Phoenix where I practise in the wintertime, so that’s why probably I just feel very comfortable coming here.” McIlroy had no problems in tackling the tough course conditions, but developed ‘stage fright’ thereafter, when he took more than an hour to submit his samples for a random drug test. “I got stage fright, because, obviously, they have to watch you do everything. “I think I drank three litres of water in the space of about 20 minutes. The whole process is pretty long anyway. You have to pick your cup, make sure it’s not tampered with, and once you’ve made your sample, you’ve got to seal it and put it in three separate bottles. “This is the first time I’ve had to do it on the European Tour. I did it last year at the Honda Classic, and I had to wait for Sergio (Garcia) in front of me, who took about two-and-a-half hours trying. So, an hour is not bad really!” —AFP

Watson takes two-shot lead LOS ANGELES: Long-hitting American Bubba Watson used a red-hot putter to charge two strokes clear of the field in the weather-delayed second round of the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, California on Friday. Making the most of his renowned power and rain-softened greens, Watson fired a sparkling 10-under-par 62 at the SilverRock Resort, one of four venues hosting the fiveround pro-am celebrity event in the California desert. In pursuit of his first PGA Tour title after four full seasons on the US circuit, Watson covered the front nine in a sizzling seven-under 29 on the way to a 16-under total of 128. Rookie Alex Prugh, making only his third appearance on the PGA Tour, remained in second place after following his opening 64 with a 66 on the Palmer Private course at PGA West. First-round leader Shane Bertsch carded a 69 to sit a further stroke back at 13 under, level with fellow Americans Joe Ogilvie (66), Martin Flores (65) and Collins (64), who all played on the Nicklaus course. Left-hander Watson, who

began the day four shots off the pace, was delighted with his display on the toughest of the four hosting venues in the California desert. “My length is definitely going to play a part on that golf course because it’s got wide fairways and I can rip it if I want to,” the 31-year-old told reporters after a round featuring nine birdies, an eagle at the fifth and a bogey. “The par-fives are reachable, unless you get a day like today. A lot of them are almost 600 yards, so it’s going to be hard for everybody. “But I putted well today,” added Watson, who totalled only 24 putts. “That was my key. I hit a lot of good shots but I putted well. If I don’t make all the putts, I’m not talking to you right now.” Watson, a self-taught golfer who is known for his creative shot-making, was annoyed to collect his first bogey of the week at the par-three 14th where his approach spun off the green. “I was mad about that,” he said. “I tried to hit the little eight and came up short, spun off the green. Then I tried to

putt it, it started hopping on me and left it about 15 feet short. Missed it.” Prugh, who qualified for the PGA Tour by finishing 16th in the Nationwide Tour money list last year, stayed in touch with the lead after covering the four par-fives in five under. “I played the par-fives pretty well, making an eagle on 18 there,” he said. “That was the highlight of my round, birdieing 17 and then eagling 18 ... those don’t add up to very much.” Thursday’s scheduled action was entirely washed out by heavy rain in the La Quinta area and the second round eventually began after a delay of two-and-a-half hours on Friday. With the 90-hole event already heading for a Monday finish, officials decided to send out the professionals in twosomes, without the amateurs, off split tees on Friday. Due to the wet conditions on all four courses, the players were again permitted to lift, clean and place balls in the fairway. “Conditions really weren’t bad at all,” Bertsch said. “It was real scoreable.” —Reuters

ADELAIDE: Andre Greipel put in a desperate chase to move within sight of a second Tour Down Under win yesterday as Lance Armstrong’s faint hopes ended on the race’s most notorious climb. In a thrilling finale, Greipel made up vital seconds in the last kilometres after world champion Cadel Evans led a fierce breakaway over stage five’s feared Willunga Hill. Greipel battled back to finish within nine seconds of stage winner Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez, another former Tour Down Under winner, giving him an overall lead of 11 seconds going into today’s final stage around central Adelaide. The German sprint specialist, backed by his HTCColumbia team, will be strong favourite to clinch victory over the mainly flat, 90-kilometre (56 miles) course after winning three stages already. “It was just awesome from the guys,” Greipel said. “There was no time to panic, we just needed to chase-we were 40 seconds behind. “Tomorrow I just want to go with the guys in front. Hopefully there will be not so many attacks. But I think with a strong team like I have we can hold on to the jersey.” Milram’s Luke Roberts finished second, Tour of Spain Alejandro Valverde was third and Evans fourth, but Armstrong was left trailing on the second pass over Willunga Hill and remains 47 seconds adrift overall. The American, 38, is using the race as preparation for his attempt on an eighth Tour de France title in July which would make him the race’s oldest winner. “It was good the first time, bad the second time. No excuses, that’s my own fault. I fell asleep a little bit,” he said. “I don’t know if I would have had the legs to go with those (leading) guys, they’re riding well.” Meanwhile Greipel’s HTCColumbia team-mate Michael Rogers said it was a group effort to drag the sprinter over Willunga Hill and close the gap on the leaders. “We were a little bit nervous leading into the final eight or nine kilometres but we used our experience and our brains,” Rogers said. “It came off perfectly in the end. We didn’t win the stage but first and foremost we held on to the (leader’s) jersey.” Greipel crashed out of last year’s Tour Down Under when he hit a parked police motorbike, ending his title defence and sidelining him for four months following shoulder surgery. “He will be hard to beat (on Sunday),” Rogers said. “We’ll be very motivated for the bunch sprint and he’s clearly moving much faster than anyone else in the last 200 metres of the race.” Armstrong is the biggest name in a strong field including 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro and Evans, who has twice finished second in cycling’s biggest race. Tour of Spain champion Valverde, another major star, is fighting a two-year doping ban in Italy as well as attempts to extend it worldwide. —AFP

AUSTRALIA: As the heat of the day rises from the hot road, team HTC-Columbia-USA, leads riders in the main peloton over a small crest during stage five of the Tour Down Under Cycling event in Snapper Point. —AP

Kuwaiti shooters on target By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Fresh out of their outstanding results during the Arab Shooting Sport tournament, Kuwaiti shooters participated in the annual Sheikh Jaber AlAbdallah Al-Sabah tournament from Jan 21-23. Representing the sponsor, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdallah said “this annual event gains the attention of Sheikh Jaber AlAbdallah, which carries on the sports of our forefathers.” This sports, progressed a lot through the achievements of Kuwait shooting club at all levels, and what I see today in shooters, calls for our satisfaction, that we have shooters at this level, and hope to see them achieving advanced places at the international level, and this is possible, as Sheikh Salman heads the club and give the shooters special attention. Meanwhile, President of the Asian and Kuwait Federations Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah said that “There is no doubt that our success brings out more pressure and calls for more efforts to keep improving.” He said Kuwait will host a tournament under the patronage of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad “the international police shooting tournament,” and Kuwait teams will work hard to achieve good results. Results of the tournament are as follows: In the skeet men’s event

KUWAIT: President of the Arab Shooting Federation Engr Duaij Al-Otaibi, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdallah and President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federation Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah. Abdallah Al-Rasheedi was first followed by Abdelaziz Al-Saad and Mohammad Al-Daihani. In the trap event, Khalid Al-Mudhaf was first followed by Tami Al-Turqi and Saud Al-Miqlid. In the double trap: Hamad Al-Ruwaie was first followed by Hamad Al-Afasi and Saad AlMutairi. In the men’s air pistol event Dawood Al-Shimmari was first followed by Mideth Al-Sahly and Abdallah Al-Mulla. In the men’s air rifle: Khalid Al-Subaie was first, followed by Abdallah AlHarby and Nasser Al-Essa. In the men’s 50m pistol:

KUWAIT: Shooters Huthama Al-Baghli, Mai Irzouki, Awatif Al-Qallaf and Maali.

Dawood Al-Shimmari was first followed by Mideth Al-Sahly and Abdallah Al-Mulla. In the 50m men’s free rifle: Khalid S. AlSubaie was first followed by Mufarreh N Al-Sbaie and Bader Al-Kareedi. In the women’s trap event: Shahad Al-Hawal was first followed by Sarah Al-Hawal and Jinan Al-Fares. In the women’s skeet: Sheikha Al-Rasheedi was first followed by Afrah Adel and Iman Salem. In the women’s air pistol: Huthama Al-Baghli was first followed by Mai Irzouki and

Ghizlam Hussein. In the women’s air rifle: Maryam Irzouqi was first followed by Niran Irzouqi and Ayesha Al-Kandari. In the women’s 25m pistol: Mai Irzouki was first followed by Awatif Al-Qallaf and Huthama AlBaghli. In the men’s archery event: Dakheel Al-Dakheel was first followed by Zaid Al-Zaid and Abdelaziz Bousheri. In the women’s archery: Sanaa Al-Kharraz was first followed by Heba Al-Ruzouqi and Nour Hassan.

KUWAIT: Sanaa Al-Kharraz receiving her first place trophy in the archery event.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sports snippets Yamaha fear losing Rossi ROME: Yamaha are concerned they could lose Valentino Rossi to Formula One after the MotoGP world champion clocked good times in tests this week for Ferrari. “I have to be worried about these excellent times because Valentino really could get the desire to change sport,” Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio told yesterday’s La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The greatest danger is Ferrari (not MotoGP rivals Ducati).” Ferrari have previously tried to recruit Rossi, whose contract with Yamaha expires at the end of this season. Italian Rossi completed more than 600km behind the wheel at the Circuit de Catalunya and had a best time of one minute 21.900 seconds, compared to Jenson Button’s pole position time of 1:20.527.

India fined for doping NEW DELHI: India’s weightlifting body has been fined $500,000 after six lifters tested positive last year, a senior Indian weightlifting official said yesterday. “The International Weightlifting Federation has given us until the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October to pay the fine,” newly elected Indian Weightlifting Federation president Birendra Prasad Baishya told Reuters. “We received the letter yesterday. The amount is a 10year budget for our body. It is difficult to mobilise such a huge amount,” Baishya said. “We will try and appeal to the international body after discussing the matter with the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association,” he added.

Asashoryu wins sumo tourney TOKYO: Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia has defeated compatriot Harumafuji to win the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. Asashoryu sent Harumafuji sprawling to the dirt surface with an arm throw in yesterday’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan to improve to 13-1 and secure the Emperor’s Trophy with one day left in the 15-day tournament. Harumafuji fell to 10-4. It was Asashoryu’s 25th title overall and first since the fall tournament in 2009. Mongolian Hakuho and Estonian Baruto both won and improved to 11-3 but saw their title hopes dashed when Asashoryu overpowered Harumafuji.

Ono targets World Cup place TOKYO: Shinji Ono hopes his return to the JLeague can help him make the Japan squad for this year’s World Cup finals in South Africa. The 2002 Asian player of the year signed a two-year deal with Shimizu S-Pulse after an injury plagued two years with Bundesliga side Bochum. “It will be impossible unless I can play seriously for Shimizu in every game,” the 30-year-old midfielder told Japanese media on Friday. “I just want to go ahead to realise my dream.” Ono has played in the previous three World Cups but his last international appearance came in August 2008.

Royals sign Ankiel NEW YORK: The Kansas City Royals have signed free-agent outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one-year deal worth $3.25 million, the team said on their website ( on Friday. The deal for Ankiel, who started out as a pitcher with St Louis in 2000 before turning into a power-hitting centre fielder with the Cardinals, is subject to a physical on Monday. Ankiel had 11 home runs, 38 RBI and batted .231 in 122 games with St Louis last season, a significant drop from 2008 when he had 25 homers, 71 RBI and batted .264 in 120 games.

Massa happy with Ferrari LONDON: Brazilian Felipe Massa said he could not wait to get back to Formula One after completing 400km at the wheel of a 2008 Ferrari in Barcelona on Friday. Massa, championship runner-up in 2008, has not raced since he suffered a serious head injury at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. Testing is banned until Feb. 1 but Ferrari broke no rules by using an old car fitted with demonstration tyres. “I’m really happy I had this new opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Formula One single-seater on a race track,” he told the Ferrari website ( “I can’t wait to sit in the new car and get stuck in.”

Cunliffe bags British Open spot JOHANNESBURG: South African Josh Cunliffe booked a ticket for the British Open by rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt in a dramatic playoff at International Final Qualifying (Africa) on Friday. After heavy rain caused Thursday’s play to be abandoned at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Club, opening-round leader Jean Hugo posted a level-par 71 to finish tied first on six-under 136 with fellow South African Darren Fichardt (69). The third available spot at St Andrews in July was decided by a playoff involving Cunliffe, fellow South African Oliver Bekker and Dutchman Joost Luiten who were all on 138. After eagling the fourth extra hole to seal qualification, Cunliffe said: “It is going to be awesome to play at St Andrews”.

Thorpe gets prison term ORLANDO: American golfer Jim Thorpe, a three-time winner on the US PGA Tour, has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes. Thorpe’s attorney, Mark Horwitz, said on Friday that Thorpe must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. The golfer also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he’s on supervised release. In September, Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay income taxes and had faced up to two years in prison. Horwitz said Thorpe “has accepted his punishment and will be getting on with his life.” Thorpe also has won 13 times on the Champions Tour.

NEW YORK: Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (24) drives the ball around New York Knicks’ Larry Hughes (0) during the third period of an NBA basketball game. The Knicks defeated the Lakers 115-105.—AP

Celtics dump T’Blazers BOSTON: Ray Allen, who missed 11 of his first 13 shots, hit a 3pointer with just 42 seconds left in overtime to give the Boston Celtics a 98-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Friday’s NBA action. Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge followed with a miss from 3-point range, and after a scramble at midcourt Allen wound up with the ball and passed to Tony Allen for a breakaway dunk. Paul Pierce scored 24 for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett, who returned after missing 10 games with a knee injury, added 13. Andre Miller scored 28 points for the Blazers, who were without leading scorer Brandon Roy because of a strained hamstring.

and stretched the margin back out to 22 points. Gerald Wallace had 25 points as the Bobcats failed in their bid to win a team-record seventh straight.

Rockets 116, Spurs 109 In San Antonio, Houston ended a five-game road skid at the expense of Texas rival San Antonio. Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry scored 23 points apiece as the Rockets held off a furious San Antonio run in the final minutes led by Tim Duncan, who became the 35th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points. Duncan had 25 points, including the last 11 for the Spurs. But with San Antonio trailing by four with 37 seconds left, Richard Jefferson missed a jumper to end the comeback.

Lakers 115, Knicks 105 In New York, Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help Los Angeles bounce back from a disappointing loss and beat New York. Pau Gasol added 20 points, half in the final period, as the Lakers quickly made up for a defeat by title rival Cleveland the previous day. New York’s David Lee scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

Hawks 103, Bobcats 89 In Atlanta, the hosts overwhelmed Charlotte with dominating performances in the first and third quarters. Jamal Crawford scored 24 points and Al Horford had 23 for the Hawks, who made 11 straight shots in the opening period and raced to a 16-point lead. Charlotte pulled within four points by halftime but in the third, Atlanta made 12 of 18 shots, converted a trio of three-point plays

Grizzlies 86, Thunder 84 In Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis extended its franchiserecord home winning streak to 10 by edging Oklahoma City. Rudy Gay scored 25 points, including a game-winning 20-footer with 1.3 seconds left, and Zach Randolph also scored 25 points for the Grizzlies. Kevin Durant scored 30 points for the Thunder, but his desperate 3-point attempt at the horn bounced off the rim, snapping Oklahoma City’s threegame win streak.

Bulls 115, Suns 104 In Phoenix, Chicago shot 51 percent to win just their fifth road game of the season, handing Phoenix Suns only its fifth home loss. Derrick Rose scored 32 points and Luol Deng for the Bulls. Amare Stoudemire scored 23 in the Suns’ fifth loss in the last six games.

Magic 100, Kings 84 In Orlando, Florida, Orlando became the latest team to bully struggling Sacramento. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 15 rebounds, helping the Magic build a 32-point lead. The muchmaligned free throw shooter also made his first 10 from the line and finished 11 for 12. Tyreke Evans had 19 points for the Kings, who have lost six straight.

76ers 92, Mavericks 81 In Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams sizzled instead of sulking after getting bumped from the starting lineup, combining for 33 points from the bench to lead Philadelphia over Dallas. Young scored 16 of his 22 points in the second quarter to help the Sixers grab an early double-digit lead and beat the secondbest team in the Western Conference. Williams added 11 points in only his third game as a reserve this season. Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points to top the Mavericks.

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday. Orlando 100, Sacramento 84; Philadelphia 92, Dallas 81; Toronto 101, Milwaukee 96; Miami 112, Washington 88; Atlanta 103, Charlotte 89; Boston 98, Portland 95 (OT); Indiana 105, Detroit 93; Memphis 86, Oklahoma City 84; New Orleans 96, Minnesota 94; La Lakers 115, NY Knicks 105; Houston 116, San Antonio 109; Golden State 111, New Jersey 79; Chicago 115, Phoenix 104.

Boston Toronto NY Knicks Philadelphia New Jersey

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 28 13 .683 22 22 .500 17 25 .405 14 28 .333 3 39 .071

3 4 4.5 20

Pacific Division 33 10 .767 25 19 .568 19 23 .452 15 27 .357 13 28 .317

8.5 13.5 17.5 19

Cleveland Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Indiana

Central Division 33 11 .750 19 22 .463 17 24 .415 15 27 .357 15 28 .349

12.5 14.5 17 17.5

LA Lakers Phoenix LA Clippers Sacramento Golden State

Atlanta Orlando Miami Charlotte Washington

Southeast Division 28 14 .667 28 15 .651 22 20 .524 21 20 .512 14 28 .333

.5 6 6.5 14

Dallas San Antonio Houston New Orleans Memphis

Southw est 28 25 24 23 23

Division 15 .651 17 .595 18 .571 19 .548 19 .548

2.5 3.5 4.5 4.5

Raptors 101, Bucks 96 In Toronto, Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 27 points as Toronto came from 15 points down to beat Milwaukee. Chris Bosh added 17 and Marco Belinelli 16 for the Raptors. Luke Ridnour scored a season-high 27 points for the Bucks, while new signing Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench for eight points in 21 minutes.

Heat 112, Wizards 88 In Washington, Miami began the second half of its season with a flourish, routing Washington just

two nights after a heavy loss in Charlotte. Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, going 12 for 19 from the field with 10 assists to extend his domination of Washington this season. Andray Blatche scored 19 points for the Wizards.

nights after he did the same thing with 1.1 seconds to play to beat Memphis. Chris Paul had 23 points and nine assists for the Hornets. Minnesota was led by Al Jefferson’s 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Hornets 96, T’wolves 94

Pacers 105, Pistons 93

In Minneapolis, James Posey scored on a driving layup at the buzzer for a second straight game to give New Orleans the win over Minnesota. Posey’s winner came two

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Indiana won its first game in four by downing Detroit. Danny Granger scored 25 points and Troy Murphy added 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Pacers

Cuche wins World Cup downhill race KITZBUEHEL: Didier Cuche of Switzerland won a men’s World Cup downhill on the Streif course yesterday, one day after winning a super-G race. Cuche sped down the 3,312 meter-course in 1 minute, 53.74 seconds for his fourth win of the season in front of a crowd of 44,000. It was the 35-year-old Swiss skier’s third victory at the classic downhill race after winning in 1998 and 2008. He became only the third skier after Austrian greats Hermann Maier and Stephen Eberharter to win two Hahnenkamm races in one weekend. Slovenia’s Andrej Sporn was 0.28 seconds back in second for his first career podium finish. Werner Heel of Italy took third, 0.39 behind. “It’s incredible, I was thinking about winning the double yesterday,” Cuche said. “At the start, I was pretty relaxed and I knew I had to attack. I made no mistake so it was a huge relief to reach the finish. I am proud to have won again.” It was the final downhill ahead of the Vancouver Olympics and Cuche acknowledged that his back-to-back wins in speed events have made him a big favorite. “Sure, but I like that idea,” Cuche said. “I like to be hunted better that being the hunter myself.” Cuche said his preparations for yesterday’s race were helped by a video on the Internet of Eberharter’s winning run in 2004. He said he watched the clip at least 20 times recently.

GB 7.5 11.5 14.5 25.5

Western Conference Northw est Division Denver 28 14 .667 Portland 26 18 .591 Utah 24 18 .571 Oklahoma City 24 19 .558 Minnesota 9 35 .205

notched a rare road win. Detroit was coming off a home win over Boston but was never in the game despite Richard Hamilton’s 27 points.

Warriors 111, Nets 79 In Oakland, California, Stephen Curry scored a career-high 32 points as Golden State hammered hapless New Jersey. Corey Maggette added 29 for the Warriors. Brook Lopez had 21 points for the Nets, who lost their 10th straight.—AP

Kostner clinches third Euro gold despite fall

AUSTRIA: Switzerland’s Didier Cuche speeds down the course on his way to win an alpine ski, Men’s World Cup Downhill race, in Kitzbuehel.—AP “It was not possible to ski the exact same line as Stephan because some gates were set slightly different,” Cuche said. “But I think it has helped me today. I was clean from start to finish.” Carlo Janko of Switzerland finished 1.25 back in 11th and kept the lead in the overall standings ahead of Benjamin Raich of Austria, with 793 points to 743. Cuche is third with 726. “Winning the overall title is not an issue for me, but I’ll do my best to finish second or third,” said Cuche, who will compete in Sunday’s slalom, which also counts as a combined race with today’s downhill. Sporn was “really amazed” by his second-place

finish, just a couple of weeks after teammate Andrej Jerman posted a surprise downhill win in Bormio, Italy. “I am very happy. At every race this season I’ve got the feeling that I was doing well,” Sporn said. “But every time I had a mistake. Today I wanted to ski like in training and that worked out well.” Sporn started as a slalom specialist but switched to the speed events after undergoing back surgery. “I am only training downhill and super-G these days,” said the Slovenian, who has recovered from a left knee injury he sustained late last season. “The knee was hurt badly so I didn’t believe it would be possible to

have such a success.” Austria’s Michael Walchhofer crashed just before entering the finishing section. He stood up immediately after landing in the safety nets. “The right knee hurts, the ligament might have been overstretched a bit,” Walchhofer said. “I am very happy with three weeks off before the Olympic race. For now, I am very disappointed not to finish.” Last year’s winner Didier Defago lost time to Cuche on every section of the course and finished 1.12 behind in eighth place. Bode Miller was the fastest American finishing ninth, trailing Cuche by 1.16, and Erik Fisher and Marco Sullivan tied for 18th.—AP

TALLINN: Italy’s Carolina Kostner came back from a fall to win her third European figure skating gold here yesterday. The 2007 and 2008 champion took the title ahead of defending champion Laura Lepisto of Finland with Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia winning bronze. “I think with this I officially qualified for my Olympic team,” said the 22-year-old Italian, who had finished second at nationals. Skating to Bach’s Air and Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto she reclaimed the title she lost last year to Lepisto, finishing a comfortable 7.09 points ahead of the Finn with Gedevanishvili nearly nine points behind the winner. But three weeks before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the performance of the Europeans is unlikey to worry their rivals in Asia and North America, despite Kostner warning: “I think we from Europe are ready to fight the Japanese, Koreans and the Americans. Just be ready!” The 22-year-old from Bolzano opened her routine strongly with a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but her four-minute free skate included just four clean triple jumps. She fell on her bottom attempting a triple loop, singled her triple flip and fought to hold

her triple salchow-doubled toeloop combination. But she nevertheless placed first in the free skate with 107.66 points for an overall total of 173.46. “You do mistakes, that’s sport but you have to stand up and fight and I did that, and that makes me happy,” said Kostner. Lepisto, who last year became the first Finnish skater to win the title, also failed to skate cleanly despite a solid opening triple toeloop/triple toeloop combination. She also had four triples in her performance to Adios Nonino and Fuga y Misterio, but touched the ice on her first double axel, fluffed her second double axel and doubled planned triple lutz and triple loop jumps. She scored third highest in the free skate behind Gedevanishvili with 103.41 and 166.37 overall. Gedevanishvili’s performance to Bizet’s Carmen gave her country their first medal in an ISU event. The 20-year-old, coached by Robin Wagner who lead Sarah Hughes to the 2002 Olympic title, achieved the highest techncial scores, giving her 103.72 for the free skate and 164.54 overall. Finland’s Kiira Korpi, second after the short programme, finished off the podium, after a sloppy performance in which she fell on a triple loop and touched down on her triple flip.—AFP


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Soccer results/standings English Premier League results English Football League results Championship Blackpool 3 Watford 2; Middlesbrough 1 Swansea 1; Sheffield Wednesday 2 Peterborough 1.

Chelsea 2 (Anelka 37, Sturridge 47); Reading 1 (Sigurdsson 87) Burnley 0; Southampton 2 (Thomas 31, Antonio 74) Ipswich 1 (Counago 90); West Brom 4 (Olsson 17, Dorrans 31-pen, 72-pen, Thomas 76) Newcastle 2 (Carroll 62, 90); Wolverhampton 2 (Jones 37, Zubar 84) Crystal Palace 2 (Lee 3, Ambrose 49). Playing later Tottenham v Leeds

Postponed (waterlogged pitch) Plymouth v Barnsley League One Bristol Rovers 2 Hartlepool 0; Carlisle 0 Stockport 0; Gillingham 0 Colchester 0; Milton Keynes Dons 1 Tranmere 0; Norwich 1 Brentford 0; Oldham 0 Millwall 1; Southend 1 Wycombe 1; Yeovil 2 Exeter 1. League Two Aldershot 2 Bournemouth 1; Bury 1 Hereford 0; Cheltenham 1 Rochdale 4; Crewe 3 Darlington 0; Lincoln 2 Bradford 1; Morecambe 2 Barnet 1; Northampton 0 Chesterfield 0; Port Vale 0 Macclesfield 0; Rotherham 2 Grimsby 1; Shrewsbury 2 Dagenham and Redbridge 1; Torquay 2 Burton Albion 3. English FA Cup results 4th rnd: Accrington Stanley 1 (Symes 25) Fulham 3 (Nevland 21, Duff 59, Gera 80); Aston Villa 3 (Delfouneso 5, A.Young 48, Delph 63) Brighton 2 (Elphick 41, Forster 90); Bolton 2 (Steinsson 48, Elmander 84) Sheffield Utd 0; Cardiff 4 (Bothroyd 17, Whittingham 71, Burke 90, McCormack 90) Leicester 2 (Morrison 34, N’Guessan 39); Derby 1 (McEveley 88) Doncaster 0; Everton 1 (Osman 56) Birmingham 2 (Benitez 7, Ferguson 40); Notts County 2 (Hughes 26, Davies 41) Wigan 2 (Scotland 52, Watson 83); Portsmouth 2 (Utaka 42, 57) Sunderland 1 (Bent 15); Preston 0

Playing today Scunthorpe v Man City; Stoke v Arsenal. Scottish Premier League results Aberdeen 1 (Young 49) Kilmarnock 0; Hibernian 5 (Nish 16, Stokes 21, 53, Riordan 30, 49) Hamilton 1 (Paixao 69); Motherwell 2 (Murphy 56, Sutton 76) St Mirren 0; Rangers 1 (Little 90) Hearts 1 (Robinson 75). Playing today Falkirk v Dundee Utd; St Johnstone v Celtic. Scottish Football League results First Division Airdrie 0 Inverness CT 1; Partick 1 Dunfermline 4; Queen of the South 1 Dundee 1; Raith 1 Morton 2; Ross County 1 Ayr 0. Second Division Arbroath 1 Peterhead 4; Clyde 0 Brechin 3; Dumbarton 2 Cowdenbeath 1; Stenhousemuir 0 Alloa 2; Stirling Albion 3 East Fife 3. Third Division Albion 0 Forfar 1; Elgin City 1 Berwick 5; Montrose 0 East Stirling 1; Queen’s Park 3 Annan Athletic 2; Stranraer 1 Livingston 1.

English Premier League table English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Arsenal Chelsea Tottenham Man City Liverpool Aston Villa Birmingham Fulham Everton Stoke Blackburn Sunderland Wigan Burnley West Ham W’hampton Hull Bolton Portsmouth

23 22 21 22 21 22 21 21 21 21 21 22 21 20 21 21 21 22 20 20

16 15 15 11 10 11 10 9 7 6 6 6 6 6 5 4 5 4 4 4

2 5 3 4 3 3 5 6 8 3 4 7 6 5 6 6 6 8 8 7 7 8 6 10 5 10 4 10 5 11 7 10 4 12 7 11 6 10 2 14

English Football League tables Championship Newcastle 25 15 7 3 Nottingham 26 13 10 3 West Brom 25 13 7 5 Swansea 26 10 11 5 Cardiff 25 11 6 8 Blackpool 26 10 9 7 Sheffield Utd 25 10 8 7 Leicester 24 10 8 6 Crystal Palace 25 9 10 6 Bristol City 25 8 11 6 QPR 25 8 10 7 Middlesbrough 26 9 6 11 Doncaster 24 8 9 7 Watford 26 8 8 10 Coventry 26 8 7 11 Barnsley 24 8 6 10 Preston 24 7 8 9 Derby 26 8 5 13 Ipswich 25 5 13 7 Sheffield 26 7 7 12 Scunthorpe 25 7 6 12 Reading 25 5 8 12 Plymouth 24 6 3 15 Peterborough 26 3 9 14

53 59 52 42 42 40 29 21 26 30 19 23 30 23 22 28 17 20 28 18

41 39 51 23 44 42 36 29 29 33 40 35 31 36 31 31 28 28 30 31 30 27 21 32

19 25 18 24 30 26 18 19 24 34 26 39 38 44 43 37 38 46 42 32

16 20 27 20 29 32 33 26 27 31 38 31 28 42 39 39 33 39 36 42 46 41 35 48

50 48 48 38 38 37 36 33 27 26 25 24 23 22 20 19 19 19 18 14

52 49 46 41 39 39 38 38 37 35 34 33 33 32 31 30 29 29 28 28 27 23 21 18

League One Norwich 27 17 6 4 60 28 57 Leeds 25 17 6 2 46 16 57 Charlton 26 15 9 2 50 29 54 Colchester 25 13 7 5 39 26 46 Swindon 24 12 8 4 35 30 44 Huddersfield 25 12 6 7 48 29 42 Milton Keynes 26 13 3 10 39 33 42 Millwall 26 10 10 6 37 29 40 Bristol Rovers 25 12 2 11 34 36 38 Brentford 26 8 9 9 25 28 33 Walsall 23 8 7 8 33 31 31 Yeovil 26 7 10 9 35 38 31 Southend 26 8 6 12 30 35 30 Hartlepool 27 8 6 13 33 42 30 Southampton 25 10 9 6 43 30 29 Carlisle 24 7 8 9 29 33 29 Exeter 27 7 8 12 30 40 29 Gillingham 26 7 6 13 30 37 27 Leyton Orient 25 7 6 12 30 41 27 Brighton 25 7 6 12 32 44 27 Oldham 25 6 8 11 20 30 26 Tranmere 25 6 4 15 21 44 22 Wycombe 28 4 8 16 27 50 20 Stockport 25 3 6 16 21 48 15 Note: Southampton deducted 10 points for entering administration. League Two Rochdale 26 Bournemouth 26 Bury 26 Rotherham 23 Shrewsbury 27 Aldershot 24 D-ham/R-bridge25 Chesterfield 25 Notts County 22 Morecambe 25 Crewe 26 Port Vale 24 A Stanley 22 Northampton 26 Burton Albion 25 Bradford 25 Macclesfield 24 Barnet 25 Lincoln City 24

Robben sends Bayern on top

17 4 5 58 25 55 14 4 8 30 28 46 13 6 7 37 35 45 12 6 5 36 24 42 11 9 7 39 33 42 11 7 6 41 30 40 11 7 7 39 31 40 12 3 10 37 33 39 10 7 5 47 21 37 9 10 6 44 38 37 10 4 12 42 42 34 7 12 5 28 25 33 10 3 9 35 33 33 8 9 9 35 35 33 9 6 10 39 40 33 7 9 9 35 41 30 6 10 8 28 35 28 7 7 11 26 33 28 8 4 12 19 31 28

Hereford Torquay Cheltenham Grimsby Darlington

24 25 26 26 23

6 8 10 27 6 7 12 34 5 10 11 29 3 10 13 19 3 2 18 12

34 37 43 40 49

26 25 25 19 11

Scottish Premier League table Rangers 21 14 6 1 Celtic 19 11 5 3 Hibernian 20 10 6 4 Dundee Utd 20 9 7 4 Hearts 21 7 7 7 Motherwell 20 6 8 6 Aberdeen 19 6 6 7 St Mirren 20 5 5 10 St Johnstone 17 5 4 8 Hamilton 19 4 4 11 Kilmarnock 20 3 5 12 Falkirk 18 2 7 9

49 38 31 24 20 26 14 20 24 16 12 15

14 20 17 23 21 29 19 28 30 33 27 28

48 38 36 34 28 26 24 20 19 16 14 13

Scottish Football League tables First Division Dundee 22 12 8 2 Ross County 19 10 5 4 Queen 19 9 6 4 Partick 21 9 5 7 Inverness CT 20 8 7 5 Dunfermline 20 8 5 7 Raith 19 7 5 7 Morton 20 6 0 14 Ayr 18 2 6 10 Airdrie Utd 20 2 5 13

33 29 31 33 30 29 20 22 12 19

19 22 18 26 21 25 21 39 29 38

44 35 33 32 31 29 26 18 12 11

Second Division Cowdenbeath 19 10 Stirling 18 9 Alloa 18 9 Brechin 18 8 Dumbarton 18 7 Peterhead 18 7 East Fife 19 5 Stenhousemuir19 5 Arbroath 19 4 Clyde 18 4

5 4 6 3 4 5 5 5 4 7 3 8 7 7 6 8 5 10 3 11

31 32 21 26 24 22 25 21 19 15

18 24 16 16 28 26 26 22 34 26

35 33 31 29 25 24 22 21 17 15

Third Division Livingston 17 11 East Stirling 17 11 Berwick 18 10 Forfar 17 8 Queens Park 19 7 Albion 17 5 Annan Athletic 17 5 Stranraer 18 5 Elgin 17 3 Montrose 19 0

2 4 2 4 3 5 5 4 4 8 8 4 5 7 5 8 6 8 6 13

33 22 29 27 21 14 15 20 22 13

14 18 17 19 24 12 17 27 33 35

35 35 33 29 25 23 20 20 15 6

Todayʼs matches on TV (local timings) English FA Cup Stoke v Arsenal..........................16:30 Al Jazeera Sport +5 Scunthorpe v Man City................19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +3 African Nations Cup Angola v Ghana...........................19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +9 Italian League Lazio v Chievo............................17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +9 Livorno v Napoli.........................17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +7 Genoa v Atalanta........................17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Inter v AC Milan.........................22:45 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Spanish League Villarreal v Zaragoza...................19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +6 Tenerife v Valencia.....................19:00 Al Jazeera Sport +5 Getafe v Atletico........................21:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Real Madrid v Malaga..................23:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2

SPAIN: Sevilla’s Serbian defender Ivica Dragutinovic (right) vies with Almeria’s Swedish forward Henok Goitom (left) during a Spanish League football match.—AFP

Luck shines on Sevilla as Negredo downs Almeria MADRID: Sevilla enjoyed a huge slice of luck as they ended a run of four straight defeats with a 1-0 home win over Almeria yesterday and move level on points with fourth-placed Real Mallorca. Spanish international Alvaro Negredo scored the decisive goal on nine minutes to shoot down his old club Almeria although the waterlogged pitch played a decisive role with captain Wilmer Acasiete’s back pass stopping dead on the soaked surface to gift Sevilla their crucial goal. It was only Negredo’s fifth of a difficult debut season since his club record 15 million euro move from Real Madrid but it is a vital one to stop the losing sequence and push Sevilla closer to the Champions League spots. Almeria are two points above the relegation zone as new coach Junma Lillo struggles to guide the club to safety. Sevilla certainly had the rainsoaked pitch to thank for their goal with Acasiete’s back pass to goalkeeper Diego Alves stopping suddenly due to the wet turf and Renato was on hand to lay off to Negredo who rolled the ball into the empty net. Negredo seemed almost embarrassed to score the goal


Ghana protest ahead of Angola clash LUANDA: Hosts Angola and Ghana meet here today in what promises to be an electric Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final played out in front of the competition hosts’ 50,000 fan base at the 11 November stadium. The build-up has been dominated by claims from the Ghana Football Association of “intimidatory” tactics by Angolan security forces designed they say to destabilise the team. A Ghana fan and journalist have both been subjected to assaults by Angolan police in Luanda this week, but GFA spokesman Randy Abbey insisted Ghana would not be distracted from today’s quarter-final. “Psychologically this will not affect the team,” Abbey said. “That is why the leaders of the team have decided to take up this pressure and stress and allow the players to relax and focus on the match itself. “If it’s a new form of tactics, then they better think of breaking our legs as well,” he added. World Cup qualifiers Ghana made it through to the last eight as Group B runners-up after a 3-1 loss to Ivory Coast and a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso. Angola ensured their Cup party continued with an opening 4-4 draw to Mali, a 2-0 win over Malawi and a contentious goalless draw with Algeria to finish top of Group A. Ghana, who are seeking to end a 27-year title drought, go into today’s game buoyed by the return to fitness of Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan and Rosenborg midfielder Anthony Annan. Coach Milovan Rajevic has had to rely heavily on his squad’s younger members after a raft of injuries to key players, the latest Chelsea star Michael Essien’s training setback in the run up to Tuesday’s final Group B tie against Burkina Faso. Annan missed both first round games while Gyan had to come off injured against Burkina Faso. Udinese midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah is hopeful Ghana’s injury woes are behind them. “Hopefully, we will have some our colleagues back. Michael (Essien) is not returning, but the return of others will be pivotal.”—AFP

against old club Almeria where he spent two seasons on loan scoring 32 goals in 70 games before Real decided to sell him to Sevilla. It was tough on Acasiete and Almeria but the visitors responded and Henok Goitom should have equalised on 19 minutes. Negredo was at the centre of everything and had a great chance a minute after the break but his weak shot was held by Alves. Sevilla were indebted to inform goalkeeper Andres Palop, who denied Fernando Soriano in a one-on-one in the 69th minute and the hosts had an uncomfortable last quarter of an hour as they held on for the win. Champions Barcelona can go eight points clear of Real with victory at lowly Valladolid later on Saturday as they bid to reach the halfway stage of the season unbeaten. Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not scored in the league since a 2-0 win over Xerez on December 2 and believes the referees are blowing up against him due to his imposing 6ft 5in (1m 95cm) frame. “When I and an opponent go for the ball, it looks like I’m going to kill him because I’m so

big,” said Ibrahimovic. “I’ll just have to get used to the way they do things in Spain.” Real Madrid are in action on Sunday when they host Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu looking to bounce back from a shock 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao last time out. Real are five points behind pacesetters Barcelona but coach Manuel Pellegrini is still willing to part with 33-year-old Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy who has been strongly linked with a move to German side SV Hamburg. “We have four strikers and we are well covered,” said Pellegrini. “Now the season is quite advanced and I think he’s every right to take decisions that he thinks are best for him. The club has total respect for his career, his capacity as a player and as a person.” In yesterday’s late match Deportivo La Coruna host Real’s conquerors Athletic Bilbao at the Riazor Stadium. Depor lost 3-0 at home to Sevilla in the Kings Cup quarterfinal first leg in midweek but are going strong in sixth position while Bilbao are having a great season too and are a single point behind Depor.—AFP

BERLIN: Dutch star Arjen Robben hit a second-half wonder goal yesterday as Bayern Munich came from behind to win 3-2 at Werder Bremen as the German giants went top of the league. Robben’s stunning direct free-kick gave Louis van Gaalcoached Bayern their sixth straight league win while the Holland star hit his fifth league goal of the season on his 26th birthday. “I am a very happy coach,” beamed van Gaal. “Werder Bremen took a few risks and we exploited them this time. “I liked that we played with so much aggression, but we didn’t take all the chances we created.” Flying Dutch winger Robben, who signed for 24 million euros (33.9 million US dollars) from Real Madrid last summer, hit a curling freekick which gave Bremen’s Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese no chance of saving on 78 minutes. Van Gaal slipped over on the sidelines in his joy at the winning goal just before his compatriot Robben leapt on top of him to celebrate taking first place in the league. “It must have looked a bit bizarre the way we celebrated, but we were both pretty happy,” grinned Robben. “The win is important, it shows we are on the right path, we are playing good football.” It was a bitter blow for the home side who had opened the scoring after midfielder Aaron Hunt slotted home from close range after 10 minutes. Bayern hit back when rising star Thomas Mueller scored after good work by Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on 25 minutes before Croatia striker Ivica Olic netted from a Philipp Lahm cross ten minutes later. It left Bayern 2-1 up at the break as they welcomed back French midfielder Franck Ribery, who came on for Olic in the second-half to make his

first appearance for Munich since suffering a knee injury on October 3. Bremen equalised when Portugal striker Hugo Almeida slotted home a topclass goal on 75 minutes before Robben’s stunning winner. An injury time goal from Bochum’s Slovakia striker Stanislav Sestak robbed Schalke of the chance to go top as the Royal Blues were held 2-2. Schalke took the lead when Uruguay striker Vicente Sanchez converted a pass from Jefferson Farfan in the fifth minute before exGermany striker Kevin Kuranyi made it 2-0 to the hosts just before the half-time whistle. The result left Felix Magath-coached Schalke third in the table, but second-placed Leverkusen have the chance to regain the lead on Sunday providing they win at Hoffenheim. And defending champions Wolfsburg host struggling Cologne also on Sunday while fourth-placed Hamburg have the opportunity to get back into the league race if they win at fifth-placed Dortmund on Saturday night. Having picked up only their second win of the season last weekend, bottom side Hertha Berlin were held 0-0 at home by Borussia Moenchengladbach. Hertha’s Czech Republic goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny kept his side in the game when he saved a first-half penalty from ‘Gladbach’s Venezuelan midfielder Juan Arango while Nuremberg drew 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Having taken over from Andreas Bergmann as coach last week, new Hanover boss Mirko Slomka got off to a losing start when his side were beaten 1-0 at mid-table Mainz - their eighth game without a win.—AFP

Rooney sinks Hull Man United 4

Hull 0

LONDON: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring his third goal against Hull City during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium. — AP

Wigan survive County scare, Chelsea ease past Preston LONDON: Notts County came within seven minutes of a classic FA Cup giant-killing act before being forced to settle for a replay after a 2-2 fourth round draw with the Premier League’s Wigan yesterday. On a day which saw holders Chelsea ease past Preston, Reading followed up their elimination of Liverpool in the last round by accounting for another Premier League side, Burnley. But Notts County, who are threatened with bankruptcy because of an unpaid tax bill, almost created a much bigger shock after opening up a two-goal first-half lead against Wigan. The side from the fourth tier of English football fully deserved the lead established by former West Brom striker Lee Hughes and a 25-yard free-kick from Ben Davies. But they allowed Wigan to get back into the contest through Jason Scotland and Ben Watson snatched an 83rd-minute equaliser for Roberto Martinez’s side. There were no such heroics from County’s League Two counterparts Accrington Stanley. The lowest-ranked club left in the tournament went down to a 3-1 defeat by Fulham after having Darran Kempson sent off just before half-time. At that stage, the tiny Lancashire club were matching their Premier League guests with Michael Symes having can-

celled out Erik Nevland’s opener for Fulham. But the home side tired after the break and Damien Duff and Zoltan Gera sent the Londoners through. Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge struck either side of half-time as Chelsea eased into the last 16 with a 2-0 win over struggling Championship side Preston North End.

FA Cup Reading ensured they joined them in today’s fifth round draw when Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson scored an 87th-minute winner against Burnley. Birmingham extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches with a 2-1 win at Everton. Christian Benitez and Barry Ferguson gave Alex McLeish’s on-form side a first-half lead and despite pulling a goal back through Leon Osman, Everton were unable to conjure up an equaliser. Portsmouth gained some relief from their on and off-the-field woes by coming from behind to beat Sunderland 21. Darren Bent had given Sunderland the lead and the match was briefly interrupted by angry fans running on to the pitch. But a double from Nigerian striker John Utaka ensured the Pompey supporters departed Fratton Park in a better mood.

With Manchester United also having been knocked out in the third round, Chelsea and Arsenal are the bookmakers’ favorites to lift the Cup this season. Arsenal face a potentially awkward fourth round tie at Stoke today, which also sees Manchester City travel to Scunthorpe. Leeds, who knocked Manchester United out with a shock win at Old Trafford earlier this month, were due to face Tottenham in an early evening match at White Hart Lane. Aston Villa followed up their advance to the League Cup final with a 3-2 defeat of Gus Poyet’s Brighton. Nathan Delfouneso, Ashley Young and Fabian Delph were on the scoresheet for Martin O’Neill’s men. Tommy Elphick and Nicky Forster were on target for Brighton. Bolton registered their first win under Owen Coyle by beating Sheffield United 2-0 at the Reebok, Gretar Steinsson and Johan Elmander getting the goals. But Wolves must replay with Crystal Palace after being held to 2-2 draw at home to the on-form Championship side. West Brom beat Championship promotion rivals Newcastle 4-2 in an entertaining clash at the Hawthorns while Cardiff City beat Leicester by the same scoreline. Derby edged Doncaster 1-0 and Roy Keane’s Ipswich went down to a 2-1 defeat at League One Southampton. — AFP

LONDON: Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira (right) and Preston North End’s Callum Davidson battle for the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round soccer match at Deepdale. — AP

MANCHESTER: Wayne Rooney’s four-goal performance helped ensure Manchester United’s focus returned to onfield affairs as the defending Premier League champions moved to the top of the table for the first time in more than three months with a 4-0 victory over Hull. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of the need to give Rooney a rest but the England forward’s form and importance to his team make such a move unlikely any time soon. It took Rooney just seven minutes against strugging Hull to illustrate the point perfectly to his manager and also to ease the pressure and growing dissatisfaction around Old Trafford in the wake of recent developments off the field surrounding American owners the Glazer family. The announcement this week that United’s debts stand at 716 million pounds did not impress many of the club’s supporters, even though a successful 500 million bond issue will allow the Glazers to re-structure that debt. Ferguson felt moved, in his pre-match programme notes, to call upon supporters to show unity behind their club and cease their anti-Glazer agitating. However, as long as Rooney remains fit and in the sort of goalscoring form he showed against Hull, United’s future does not look quite so precarious. United’s first goal came after Park Ji-Sung played the ball into the path of Paul Scholes, who drilled in a vicious shot which Hull goal keeper Boaz Myhill could only parry. Rooney responded more quickly than anyone else on the field, gathering the loose ball and steadying himself before burying his 17th goal of the season into the gaping goal. Goal number 18 came in the 82nd minute after Myhill had made a poor job of dealing with a long-range Nani free-kick. Rooney himself kept the loose ball in play and Nani found the forward, who finished clinically from 15 yards. The hattrick was just three minutes away as the irrepressible forward ran in to meet Nani’s hanging cross and head into the goal from six yards. For good measure, the 20th goal of Rooney’s increasingly remarkable season followed in injury-time as he collected Dimitar Berbatov’s neat flick, saw three defenders back off, and converted his shot from 12 yards. Rooney, partnered by Michael Owen, who was making just his fifth league start of the campaign, was comfortably his team’s greatest threat, from early in the contest, and, midway through the first half, almost had a hand in two more goals. First, he met Nani’s cross with a devastating shot on the turn which looped off a defender and behind for a corner. Then, seconds later, Rooney produced an audacious back heel which played in Owen but the former England striker was slow to respond and Andy Dawson made the recovering tackle. Rooney was again the threat, just after the half hour, when George Boateng brought down Park on the edge of the area and Rooney curled a free-kick beyond the Hull wall and inches past Myhill’s right-hand post. While United only led by a goal, there was still anxiety, not aided when Jonny Evans’ weak back header almost allowed Nick Barmby to equalize, his shot being saved well by Edwin van der Sar. The other side of Rooney’s football personality was on display just before the half-time whistle when he was booked for hacking at Stephen Hunt out of frustration having just lost the ball badly to Ricardo Garcia. Also before the interval, Owen was on the end of the move of the match, a flowing passing sequence which ended with Nani’s neat through ball and a weak tap straight at Myhill from the out-of-sorts striker. It was a similar story after the re-start with United creating enough chances to win the game comfortably before Rooney put the outcome beyond all doubt with a devastating spell of three more goals in the final eight minutes. — AFP

LONDON: Manchester United’s supporters protest against the club’s owners and the team’s debt before their English Premier League soccer match against Hull at Old Trafford Stadium. — AP

Ferguson calls for unity as anti-Glazer protests mount MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United fans who have mounted protests against the club’s American owners that their actions could undermine his squad’s drive for silverware. The Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, have never been popular with United supporters and recent revelations about the scale of the debt they have loaded onto the club to finance their takeover have triggered anti-Glazer protests at home matches. Accounts filed this week revealed that United’s overall debt has risen to more than 700 million pounds, fuelling a view amongst fans that the burden of servicing the debt is acting as a brake on the strengthening of Ferguson’s squad.

The United boss has been supportive of the Glazers’ management of the club and he has made it clear he feels that the current mood of rebellion among a section of the support will not help his players. “One for all and all for oneit’s a terrible cliche but nevertheless it does sum up one of the essentials for success in team sport,” Ferguson wrote in his programme notes for United’s league match against Hull on Saturday. The Scot insisted he was not questioning the right of fans to voice their concern, but urged them to ask themselves who would benefit from their actions. “I’m not slow to express disapproval myself if there is something I don’t agree witheven in the boardroom with the

directors,” he wrote. “But once I walk out of the meeting I get on with my job as manager of the team. “Some of our fans are clearly unhappy with the financial position, but we mustn’t allow the situation to become divisive. “The danger, as I see it, is that we could be presented as being split, which could be harmful and inaccurate because I believe the vast majority of United fans are behind us and appreciate the importance of standing together in support of the team. “I could see our opponents rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of watching us fall out among ourselves if we don’t all think carefully about what we are doing. “We must not lose our

focus - which, from where I stand, is about building a strong football team that will win trophies. That’s what we are about or at least should be.” Ferguson added: “This is not about stifling criticism; it’s simply a plea to stand together rather than take action that will damage ourselves more than anyone else. “Manchester United is bigger than me, the players, the directors, officials, and the fans and, particularly at this critical stage of our season, we need to pull in the same direction. “It would be a shame to lose our concentration now because I can really see light at the end of the tunnel as we ready ourselves to push for the championship.” — AFP

Little gives Rangers a little cheer GLASGOW: Super-sub Andrew Little rescued a point for Rangers as he struck a last minute equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw against ten-man Hearts at Ibrox yesterday. Scott Robinson gave Hearts the lead in the 75th minute just 90 seconds after Hearts player Christian Nade saw red for his second bookable offence. A spirited performance from the Hearts defence looked to have sealed the win before Northern Irishman Little popped up to strike his first club for the club. The point takes the league leaders ten points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League although rivals Celtic have two games in hand, starting with their match against St Johnstone today. Rangers manager Walter Smith thought his side controlled the game. “A couple of lapses of concentration set us back and we had to show a good level of determination and spirit to come back and get the draw,” Smith said. Hearts manager Csaba Lazlo said his side should have held on for the win. “In this case if you have more concentration and

maybe more experience you don’t lose this goal. Rangers had one chance and it was created from our stupidity,” Lazlo said. In the absence of the 31-goal partnership of Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller through injury Kyle Lafferty and John Fleck, who between them had scored three this season, filled in up front for Rangers. Nade had the first real effort of the match in the fifth minute. Captain Michael Stewart picked him out at the edge of the box but he blasted his shot high over the bar. With some of the Rangers players slow out of the blocks it was Lafferty who was first to try his luck but the Northern Irishman’s shot on the turn didn’t trouble Marian Kello. Kello had to be at his best to produce a spectacular one-handed save low down to his right to prevent Steven Davis’ curling free-kick creeping in. The home side threatened again from another set-piece when Kevin Thomson’s floated free-kick into a packed Hearts box was headed just over by Kirk Broadfoot. Allan McGregor had to be alert at the start of the second-half when he saw Nade’s

low drive late and got a fingertip to it to force in round the post. Hearts were then forced on to the back foot with Sasa Papac stinging the hands of Kello with a 30-yard pile-driver. Hearts problenms deepened when they were reduced to ten-men in the 72nd minute following a moment of madness from Nade. The Costa Rican, who had been booked just three minutes beforehand for a foul on McGregor, kicked the ball away in frustration after being flagged off-side and referee Calum Murray gave him his marching orders. However the sending off seemed to spur Hearts on and they took the lead 90 seconds later. Lee Wallace’s low drive was superbly saved by McGregor but Robinson got in front of Papac to slide the rebound into the net. Papac blasted a chance high over from ten yards before Little rescued a point for Rangers in the final minute. McCulloch fiercely struck shot from the edge of the box was saved by Kello but the Northern Irish striker was first to the rebound to strike it home to keep Rangers’ ten-month unbeaten record at Ibrox intact. — AFP

Colmar stun Lille in French Cup PARIS: An under-strength Lille crashed out of the French Cup in the round of 64 yesterday after losing an epic penalty shootout 10-9 to 10-man Colmar of the Championnat de France Amateurs (fourth tier). The game finished 00 after 90 minutes and Colmar, who play in the same division as Lille’s reserves, were forced to play extra time with 10 men after midfielder Cedric Faivre was shown a second yellow card for attempting to score with his hand. The extra 30 minutes also failed to yield a goal and after each side scored four penalties in the shootout, sudden death ensued. Lille captain Stephane Dumont, who scored his first penalty, drilled his side’s 11th spotkick against the post, enabling Salim Mezriche to put his team into the next round and dump Ligue 1’s third-placed side out of the competition. “My feelings are slightly mixed because I would have preferred to play against Lille’s real first team, which I’ve been admiring for the past few weeks on the TV,” said Colmar coach Damien Ott. — AFP

FRANCE: Colmar players celebrate after winning the French Cup football match Colmar against Lille at the Colmar stadium. Colmar won 10 to 9 penalty kicks after extra-time (0-0). — AFP

Toyota’s recall may spread


Hershey on slower path

Russia economy back on its feet



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Regulators seize five US banks Failed banks include Columbia River bank, Charter Bank of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Evergreen Bank

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama speaks about financial reform at the White House in Washington. (From left) Council of Economic Advisers member Austan Goolsbee; Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chair Paul Volcker; President Obama; Vice President Joe Biden; former SEC Chairman William Donaldson, Senate Banking Committee Chair Sen Christopher Dodd, D-Conn; National Economic Council Chair Larry Summers; and Budget Director Peter Orszag. — AP

Bernanke fate in doubt as Senate opposition swells WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s administration is scrambling to save the nomination of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke as more opposition emerges from members of the president’s own party. Two Senate Democrats announced they would vote against Bernanke’s bid for a second term on Friday, underscoring a major populist shift in the political landscape after a Republican’s stunning Massachusetts victory ended the Democratic supermajority in the Senate. The embattled chief ’s fate spilled over into Wall Street, contributing in part to a threeday slump of nearly five percent spurred by renewed fears over the economic outlook, a tougher White House stand on banks and financial market regulation and worries over China’s overheating economy. But Obama is confident the Senate will confirm Bernanke, a White House spokesman told reporters traveling with the president en route to Ohio. “The president has a great deal of confidence in what chairman Bernanke did to bring our economy back from the brink,” deputy White House spokesman Bill Burton said. The comments came as senators Barbara Boxer of California and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin joined the growing ranks of lawmakers saying they will vote against Bernanke, whose term is up January 31, over sharp criticism of his role in the global financial meltdown. “Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Feingold said in a statement. Boxer criticized Bernanke for supporting policies of former president George W. Bush that “led to the current economic crisis,” and insisted that the next Fed chief “must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past.” As many as 10 Democrats are thought to oppose Bernanke, along with several Republicans. Yet by late Friday, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement supporting Bernanke, hinting that

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses the Economic Club of Washington in this file photo. — AFP Democrats may still manage to secure the 60 votes necessary to block any Republican parliamentary delaying tactics. “Conventional wisdom rarely credits those who averted disaster, but that’s precisely what chairman Bernanke did,” Reid said, noting his support “is not unconditional” and that he would hold Bernanke to his pledge of “transparency and accountability.” Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, one of Bernanke’s chief critics, said getting rid of him would be an opportunity to rewrite rules for the financial system. “A new Obama appointee could transform the Fed into an instrument for the middle class of this country rather than high-rolling Wall Street executives,” Sanders said. No vote has yet been scheduled in the Senate, but administration officials said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel were working to secure enough votes for the nomination. The opposition highlighted deep national worries about the economy as a dominant theme ahead of November mid-term elections.

Bernanke’s most vocal critics charge he has coddled Wall Street and turned a deaf ear to Main Street. Analysts said tossing out Bernanke could trigger new turmoil in financial markets. “I think what is going on now is that politicians feel that Fed bashing and bank bashing is the way to get back into favor with the American voters,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. “If he is not reappointed I think the markets would have a fit... This is a time when there is still a fair amount of uncertainty but one area of certainty is that there is a steady hand on the helm at the Federal Reserve.” Time magazine named Bernanke its 2009 “Person of the Year” in December, crediting him with helping guide the United States through financial turmoil. Although many economists agree that his efforts eased the impact of the worst crisis in decades and likely averted a new Great Depression, a number of lawmakers blame Bernanke for failing to stop the housing and credit bubble that led to the crisis. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Regulators have seized five US banks, driving up the tally in what is expected to be a busy year for bank failures. The failed banks are, the Columbia River Bank of Oregon, which had about $1.1 billion in assets and $1 billion in deposits as of Sept 30; Charter Bank of Santa Fe, New Mexico with about $1.2 billion in assets and $851.5 million in deposits as of Sept 30; Evergreen Bank of Seattle; the Premier American Bank in Miami; and the Bank of Leeton in Missouri, which had a single branch. All five failed banks were taken over by other institutions. The FDIC said this week that it expects failures to remain elevated this year as institutions continue to deal with distressed loans tied to mortgages and commercial real estate CRE. Last year 140 US banks failed, the highest annual level since 1992 in the wake of the savings and loan crisis. “While the economy is showing signs of improvement, recovery in the banking industry tends to lag behind other sectors. We expect to see the level of failures

US Wall Street dogged by economic, political woes NEW YORK: Wall Street is struggling with renewed fears about the economic outlook and at the same time feeling a chill from a tougher stand from the White House on banks and financial market regulation. The market was hammered over the past week by worries about the US outlook and trouble in China, where an overheating economy may prompt a credit squeeze that hurts the rest of the global economy. Also hurting the mood was a tough proposal from President Barack Obama to curb the size and scope of banks, and growing opposition to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s renomination. In the coming week, markets will deal with the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting, as well as the drama surrounding the Bernanke confirmation. A slew of earnings reports are also expected. On the economic front, data is expected to show a strong gain in US economic activity in the fourth quarter, but analysts say the figures will likely be skewed by a bounce in inventory activity. Over the holiday-shortened week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.12 percent to 10,172.98, in a sharp pullback from 15month highs. The tech-rich Nasdaq composite sank 3.61 percent to 2,205.29 the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 index slumped 3.90 percent to 1,091.76. The recent volatility “is a reflection of how much uncertainty that continues to swirl with respect to the economic landscape and the shape that financial market regulation will take,” said Diana Petramala, economist at TD Bank Financial Group.

Petramala said the markets were roiled by the proposals by Obama to cap the size and scope of bank activity, a plan unveiled after the White House called for a new tax on big financial institutions. “There is still a question mark around what the future holds for the US banking sector,” she said. “Adding to investor angst this week was the notion that a global recovery could be slower than expected,” especially with China appearing to be moving to cool activity, she added. Petramala said data Thursday on US gross domestic product could show a strong growth rate in the economy of 5.0 percent, but cautioned that “over half of the bounce in economic activity looks to have been due to a large inventory swing, and not to sustainable economic drivers.” Despite the renewed skittishness, some analysts said Wall Street is seeing an overdue correction, which could take some of the speculative froth out of the market and set the stage for more gains. “The market seems to want to take a breather, so it found negative spin this week,” said Linda Duessel at Federated Investors. “At a moment when most everyone is looking for a correction, there probably shouldn’t be a serious one.” Bob Dickey at RBC Wealth Management said traders have been using the current corporate earnings season to lock in profits, after having pushed up the market in anticipation of positive profit reports. “The market continues to trade in its backward fashion of pulling back on the good news of so many companies beating their fourth quarter earnings expecta-

tions,” Dickey said. This phenomenon “can help to explain why the market has rallied so strongly over the past nine months and is now giving some back in the face of apparent good news,” Dickey added. “We are confident that this is a dip within an ongoing bull trend, and it will be sharp but short, as is often the case. We expect a trading low sometime in the next few weeks, followed by a renewed uptrend into the summer months.” The coming week is likely to be packed with potentially market-moving events. Monday will see data on US existing home sales, followed by reports Tuesday on consumer confidence and new home sales Wednesday. Earnings are due from key firms Apple, Yahoo, Boeing, Caterpillar and others. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting widely expected to leave its stimulative policies unchanged, but that could be overshadowed by questions on the confirmation of Bernanke. Analysts said tossing out Bernanke could trigger new turmoil in financial markets. “The bulk of the investment community feels he has done a good job as chairman and the impact on credit markets would be adverse,” said Cary Leahey, senior economist at the research firm Decision Economics. Bonds found favor amidst the stock turmoil. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond dropped to 3.598 percent from 3.676 percent from 3.808 percent a week earlier and that on the 30-year bond dropped to 4.510 percent from 4.575 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions. — AFP

Low-cost Bahrain Air targets 1 million passengers in 2010 Airliner plans new destinations in Bangladesh, Turkey MANAMA: Low-cost carrier Bahrain Air plans to grow the number of its passengers to one million this year due to new destinations and targets break-even during 2011, an executive said. Bahrain Air carried some 750,000 passengers during 2009, about 200,000 less its initial forecast, Ibrahim Alhamer, the carrier’s managing director said on the sidelines of the Bahrain air show. Passenger traffic in the Middle East has coped with the global economic

slowdown better than other regions, but large fleet ordering programs funded by gover nments in the world’s largest oil-producing region, and airlines, have significantly reduced prices to keep up load factors. “Though there is growth, there is a lot of capacity being offered in the markets by start-ups and existing airlines adding more frequencies to protect their market share,” Alhamer said. “I believe that 2010 will be as difficult as 2009

and all airlines will have to struggle to keep their market share and sustain their operations,” he said. He said Bahrain Air plans to add Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Istanbul in Turkey as new destinations during 2010, which would help the airline reach its one million passenger target. Bahrain Air is a small regional airline that mostly competes with the country’s national carrier, Gulf Air. It operates six A319s and A320s it has leased from

Airbus. It has ordered two A319s to be delivered in 2012 or 2013, and has order another two planes, either A319s or A320s. The carrier has also signed an option to order an additional two Airbus planes, Alhamer said. “Not soon, we want to see how the market behaves first,” Alhamer said when asked when the company could fir m up this option to an order. “We think we will break even in 2011,” he added. — Reuters

continue to be high during 2010,” said Mitchell Glassman, director of the FDIC’s division of resolutions and receiverships, in testimony before Congress. The FDIC has said it expects the total bill for bank failures to reach $100 billion for the period of 2009 through 2013. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair told a commercial real estate conference on Wednesday that troubles in the commercial real estate sector will increasingly be a driver of bank failures this year. Woes in the banking industry have migrated from home mortgages to CRE, especially for community banks that tend to have higher concentrations of commercial real estate loans. Bair said that failed banks with high concentrations of CRE may be difficult to sell as a whole bank, meaning the FDIC may resolve more institutions through securitizations. Glassman said in his testimony that the FDIC has beefed up the division in charge of bank failures, almost tripling the staff to 1,161 in 2009. That number is expected to grow to 2,310 this year. — Reuters



Sunday, January 24, 2010

A group photo of the Electrozan staff at their Salmiya branch

The entrance of the new branch of Electrozan, Salmiya.

Electrozan opens 3rd branch in Salmiya KUWAIT: Electrozan Electronics Discount Store, opened its third branch in Salmiya, on Arabian Gulf Street next to the Holiday Inn and facing the Scientific Center for presenting its services to its clients in Salmiya and the surrounding areas. The showroom was chosen as it is constituted of wide spaces and three floors facing the Scientific Center. It was also chosen due to its strategic location in a non-crowded area. It includes wide parking spaces which can hold up to hundreds of cars and which help facilitate the entry and exit of the clients unlike any other electronics store in Salmiya area. Baiju Billai, the marketing manager, commented on the opening of the showroom by indicating that “the launching of this showroom followed the big success of Electrozan’s branches in Al Rai and Al Qurain. We provide our clients in Salmiya, by means of this showroom, with the best deals for the best trademarks. We consider these two aspects the basis for shopping in Electrozan Showrooms. The showroom shall also include the latest of everything as we have always done for our clients, working under the “Best Deal” slogan.” He explained that the new branch has many floors and that it has a special section for all Apple Macintosh products, one for Sony Vaio laptops, one for house appliances, one for mobile phones and cameras, one for LCD and LED screens, as well as a section for air conditioning appliances. It also includes a section where you can try products before you buy them and a section for wrapping gifts. As it had done before, the opening of this

Officials at the inaugural ceremony. branch of Electrozan included several fantastic offers which included the buy one and get the other for free promotion. This applied to LCD screens, several mobile phones and freezers. It also held a mobile craze offer, by means of which the client buying any

mobile phone of a well known brand can win a laptop daily. It held a Sony offer which grants the client, who buys Sony products, a free coupon. In addition, the surprise presented by Electrozan was the “Happy Hour’, by presenting special crazy

Customers gathered at Electrozan Salmiya branch yesterday. — Photo by Joseph Shagra offers on all LCD screens, freezers, laptops, microwaves, mobiles and other devices every two hours. The opening was attended by a big crowd of Electrozan clients and their families. Many of them benefited from the special offers which were

presented during the opening. The offers in the new branch shall continue until everything is sold out. Since its inauguration Electrozan has always been know for providing the latest electronic devices for unbeatable prices synchronously with the US market and without any extra costs.

Volkswagen World Premiere in Detroit New Compact Coupe unites 4.2 l/100 km with top dynamics WOLFSBURG: For Volkswagen this marks the beginning of an action-packed year, in which more new models will be introduced than ever before in the company’s history. Number 1 on the spectacular list of new products for calendar year 2010 is a car based on entirely new concepts and technology, a coupe with a hybrid drive that is extremely fast and yet futuristic in its fuel economy. It has sports appeal and sharp styling yet is remarkably elegant - positioned between Europe’s bestselling sports car, the Scirocco, and the internationally successful CC. Its name: the New Compact Coupe. Site of its world premiere Detroit, North American International Auto Show (January 11 to 24). Combined fuel consumption: 4.2 l/100 km! CO2 emissions: 98 g/km! Incredible, considering its fuel economy, are its top speed of 227 km/h and the short 8.6 seconds it needs for the classic sprint to 100 km/h. These values were made technically feasible by a high-tech alliance: a TSI engine (gasoline powered with 110 kW / 150 hp) that is as fuel efficient as it is sporty, an electric motor (20 kW / 27 hp) and a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) - which in the eyes of many car drivers is the best automatic in the world today. Just over a month after the debut of the most fuel-efficient four-seater in the world the Up! Lite in Los Angeles - this new concept car confirms once again that future Volkswagen hybrid vehicles will not only focus on fuel economy, but - similar to pure gasoline and diesel versions of Europe’s most successful automobile brand - will also aim to be sporty and fun to drive. In the first half of the year, Volkswagen will launch its first hybrid model on the market under the VW label - an SUV with full-time all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the New Compact Coupe shows, both technically and visually, how Volkswagen envisions a front-wheel drive hybrid for the compact class that would be implemented when the time is right. Hybrid Drive - TSI and Electric Motor plus DSG Downsizing at its best: The concept car is driven by an extremely innovative high-tech alliance that closely approximates potential production versions. Volkswagen is using a four-cylinder version of the TSI gasoline engine range here. Direct injection, turbocharging and intercooler generate a power of 110 kW / 150 hp from just 1.4 liter of engine displacement - downsizing at its best. TSI technology has impressively demonstrated its extreme durability in many car-racing events; including on the legendary Nordschleife of the German N¸rburgring - the most demanding race course in the world. Since the first TSI engine was introduced just over five years ago, 3.5 million units of these boosted and torquestrong four cylinder engines have already been installed in vehicles. The TSI of the NCC - which of course is also equipped with ESP - transfers a hefty 240 Newton-meter of torque to the front wheels at

The New Compact Coupe is 4.54 meters long and 1.78 meters wide. Its low body height of 1.41 meter adds styling energy to the interplay of its dimensions; the ratio of broad width to low body height intensifies Volkswagen’s dynamic image. Also large are the track widths (front 1.53 meter; rear 1.54 meter) and wheelbase (2.65 meters).

low engine speeds. Emissions-free by E-motor And there is even more power: An electric motor is integrated between the TSI and the efficient 7-speed automatic DSG; it can be used for pure electric emissions-free driving, or it can support the TSI with aggressive torque. The electric motor develops a power of 20 kW / 27 hp. The power and torque of the two drive units supplement one another during what is known as boosting - when accelerating to pass, for example. Since the NCC can also be driven in a pure electric mode, the drive system is classified as a Full Hybrid. A lithium-ion battery (1.1 kWh) at the rear of the vehicle supplies the electric motor with energy. By the way, in electric mode the TSI is not only shut off; it is also disengaged by a clutch to avoid drag losses. Frequently coasting As soon as the driver releases the gas pedal, the TSI is disengaged from the transmission. This so-called “coast-down” is even possible at higher speeds, as in freeway driving. Since drag losses are eliminated here too, the NCC coasts for a very long time. And this promotes an anticipatory style of driving that leads directly to reduced fuel consumption. Recovering kinetic energy In braking, the electric motor - now operating as a generator - recovers kinetic energy which is then stored in the lithium-ion battery. Of course, just like the new BlueMotion models from Volkswagen, the New Compact Coupe also has a Stop-Start system on board. This reduces fuel consumption, especially in urban areas and in stop-and-go traffic. Exterior design and dimensions The unique interplay of efficiency and dynamics is reflected 1:1 in the styling of the coupe that is painted in “Tungsten Silver Metallic”. Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer for the Volkswagen Brand, comments: “Styling of a coupe is considered the ultimate in auto-

motive design. Our team has achieved a symbiosis of efficient technologies and elegance in the New Compact Coupe that is unique in its expression. Just a few precisely placed lines and powerfully sculpted surfaces have created a timeless dynamic and purist elegance that is typical of Volkswagen.” Front end Showing a strong face: The front of the New Compact Coupe shows an extremely confident and focused expression. Moreover, the car’s width is emphasized by the horizontal line styling with integrated Bi-Xenon headlights - including LED daytime running and turn signal lights. The technically complex headlights contribute to unmistakable visual recognition of the concept car - both day and night. Side view A sharp profile: In the car’s side profile, styling properties characteristic of all new Volkswagens of the past year have been merged with elegant and yet sporty coupe features, resulting in a new interpretation of the design DNA. The best examples of this are the characteristic tornado line and the powerfully emphasized curves of the wheel arches. They intersect the main volume of the large, homogeneous surfaces, conveying a powerful dynamic. The image of the side windows rounds out this impression with a concise signature. Forging a stylistic bridge to current models are the 19-inch “Lugano” type alloy wheels. Rear A strong concluding statement: The cargo area of the New Compact Coupe is decidedly powerful in design. Clean surfaces and a muscular shoulder section dominate the image here too. Bright: the LED taillights. A spoiler lip that reduces air turbulence was styled into the top of the trunk lid; it further improves the car’s remarkable aerodynamics. At the bottom there is a stylized diffuser; the tailpipe of the exhaust system is embedded here for a positive aerodynamic effect. Dimensions - Millimeters at work for styling:

Interior - Ergonomics and dimensions Showing its true colors: The NCC is a fourseater with exceptional long touring comfort and generous occupant space on sport seats that are upholstered in a light-colored “Berry White” leather. Also designed in this color are the lower cockpit area, parts of the center console and the door trim panels. By contrast, all other surfaces (except accents and controls), including the leather-trimmed steering wheel, are styled in the darker “Grigio Quartz” color. In its interior, the Volkswagen offers the best feeling of spaciousness in its class. This means that despite the sporty low body height, the car offers ample head room (front and rear) as well as leg room in the rear. The coupe’s 380 liter trunk can handle luggage for four persons without any problem. Climb in, buckle up, drive away As soon as the doors of the concept car are opened, a reason for the Volkswagen brand’s tremendous success is revealed: unparalleled perfection in details and intuitive operation. The instruments are laid out ideally. The new multifunction sport steering wheel is the key interface between human and machine. The right hand rests naturally on the gearshift lever of the 7-speed DSG’ and in front of it the control panel sports newly designed controls for the automatic climate control system (Climatronic), the 8inch touchscreen for the radio-navigation system - also a new design - and at the top of the panel the hazard flasher switch and center air vents. The center console’s control panel is angled slightly toward the driver to perfectly align the cockpit to the driver’s needs. Also optimally laid out for viewing are the round instruments with their chrome bezels; the multifunction display (trip computer and additional navigation display) is placed between them. Upgraded with metal surrounds are all air vents, multifunction keys on the steering wheel, radio-navigation system, climate control, DSG gearshift unit, white accents of the door trim and instruments and switch panels (window lift and mirror adjustment) in the doors. Individual seats in the rear Designers have shaped the rear seating area in the style of large Gran Turismo cars. Passengers sit on two comfortable sport seats here. Between them is the continuation of the center console that passes through the entire interior. In the rear, the center console is equipped with additional storage space as well as climate controls and a fold-out center armrest. The finish and quality of materials in the interior make viewers forget completely that the New Compact Coupe is still a concept car.

Zain has not defaulted on any payment: Barrak KUWAIT: Chief Executive Officer of Zain Dr Saad Al-Barrak yesterday denied any difficulties in paying Zain Saudi Arabia debts, including the interests on those debts. “Zain has not defaulted on any payment (of debt) not even on payment of interest,” Al-Barrak told Al Arabiya channel. “We had a loan and we refinanced it through a murabaha loan, so, what took place is refinance and not rescheduling.” Al-Barrak said banks ask for some conditions and tie granting loans with four things - revenue, profits, rate of network expansion and number of customers, “and we are going on with what was agreed upon”. Al-Barrak said Zain revenues dropped by $31 million from what was agreed upon, as the goal was $840 million, and banks relieved the company from this undertaking based on the good performance average. Al-Barrak affirmed that Zain’s relations with banks are good, adding that the company’s revenues grew between June and December by 32 percent, while the company aims at a growth of 50 percent this year, adding that the economic crises had an influence. Al-Barrak said there is a mistake in translating the word “undertakings”, which means ties with performance rates as it comes in English, to the auditor, which means lack of achievement of detailed rates, and relieved the company from those undertakings, and the loan was renewed with more than the previous one, which indicates banks’ satisfaction with the

Dr Saad Al-Barrak company performance, with regular conditions. Al-Barrak said “we are sure about our success, as there is no third operator in a country where operation in it is at 100 percent and makes operational profits at the end of the first year of its operations”. Under a murabaha deal, an Islamic bank buys an asset from a third party and sells it to its customer at cost plus profit. This allows the bank to extend financing without charging interest, which is forbidden by Islamic law.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Greek farmers end Bulgarian border blockade THESSALONIKI: Protesting Greek farmers ended a five-day blockade at the main borderpost between Greece and Bulgaria Friday, police said, but maintained nearly 20 other roadblocks. Long lines of trucks that had been stalled on either side of Greece’s Promahonas border post since Sunday began moving after the farmers met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, a police official said. The farmers had decided to let the traffic through as a gesture of

“goodwill” after the meeting, which was at Borissov’s request and held just inside Bulgarian territory, the Greek news agency ANA said. Sofia had on Thursday called on the European Commission to intervene to reopen the route, saying a similar protest a year ago and cost Bulgarian transporters 10 million euros (14 million dollars). The Greek government has already rejected the farmers’ demands for thousands of euros in state

support to counterbalance falls in prices for produce including wheat, cotton and milk. They are also seeking price cuts on fertilizers, pharmaceutical products and seeds, a rebate on the cost of electricity and fuel, and a three-year freeze on their debts to the Greek Agricultural Bank. The protesters maintained about 20 other roadblocks in Greece. Traffic has also been interrupted at border crossings with Albania, Macedonia and

Turkey, as well as a second one with Bulgaria. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Friday criticized the action which comes as the debt-stricken country battles a recession and major financial crisis. Meeting the farmers’ demands “would be criminal for the Greek people”, Papandreou said in a parliamentary debate, adding the action was damaging the country’s already dented international image. — AFP

Ethiopian Airlines orders 10 next-generation 737 Boeing Deal valued at 767 million dollars

FLORIDA: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 (background) lands while Southwest Airline’s Lone Star One, a Boeing 737-300, taxis to the gate at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa. Flying against the headwinds of a recession and volatile fuel prices, Southwest Airlines Co made money in the fourth quarter and extended its string of annual profits to 37 years.—AP

WASHINGTON: US air manufacturer Boeing announced Friday that Ethiopian Airlines has ordered 10 next-generation 737-800s, in a deal valued at 767 million dollars. Ethiopian Airlines, based in Addis Ababa, is aiming to expand its fleet and broaden its network, which has been operating Boeing planes since the airline’s founding in 1945, according to Boeing. “Ethiopian Airlines has been among the most profitable airlines in the region and one of our most valued partners,” Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement. Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Ato Girma Wake said the Boeing 737 series “has proven to be a reliable and profitable component of our fleet.” Ethiopian operates five 737700s and two 737-800s. It also operates nine 757s and 10 767s, and was the first African carrier to sign up with Boeing for its 787 Dreamliner, ordering 10 of them in 2005. Earlier this month Boeing said it delivered 481 commercial aircraft in 2009, in line with its forecast, despite difficult economic conditions. The Boeing 737 remained the company’s top seller with 372 deliveries for the year. —AFP

PROMAHONAS: Tourists pass the border on foot between Greece and Bulgaria in Promahonas as Greek farmers with tractors block the road some 80 kilometers north of Thessaloniki. Greek farmers blocked major highways and border crossings with Bulgaria as well as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to press demands for quicker payment of state aid. Using tractors and agricultural machinery, farmers cut the highway network at more than a dozen points, forcing drivers to make long detours. — AFP

Masdar signs MOU with the province of Alberta Agreement paves way for cooperation on Carbon Capture, Storage research KUWAIT: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy initiative, and the Ministry of Energy of the Government of Alberta, Canada yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M0U) for government-to-government cooperation on carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives. The MoU, which was signed during the World Future Energy Summit (WEFS), sets out a strategic agreement between the two governments for the sharing of research and evaluation and analysis on non-confidential CCS projects and technologies. CCS works by capturing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial sources, thus preventing their release into the atmosphere, and permanently storing these underground in geological structures such as oil reservoirs. Some 40% of the world’s carbon emissions currently come from power generation, making CCS a promising new technology in the global effort to combat climate change. Talking on the importance of the M0U, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive of Masdar said: “Masdar is committed to developing partnerships with global energy organizations, such as the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Energy, to test and prove efficient, commercially scalable sustainable energy solutions that can be replicated global-

ly.” “The importance of developing CCS technology cannot be underestimated. Global warming is directly related to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; therefore, t is imperative that we work with other leading energy organizations to develop cost effective processes for the capture and storage of CO2” he added. “The Province of Alberta is rich in energy and mineral resources including natural gas, conventional oil, oil sands, petrochemicals, electricity and coal,” said Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta. “We understand well the importance of CCS and are delighted to have signed this agreement with Masdar, which like us, is committed to reducing carbon emissions both locally and globally through the management of clean fossil fuel power and greater industrial energy efficiency.” Masdar is developing one of the world’s most ambitious largescale CCS projects. The CCS network will capture carbon dioxide from power plants and industrial facilities and then transport it via a UAE-wide pipeline network for injection into Abu Dhabi’s oil reservoirs for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). The first phase of the project is currently in the frontend engineering and design stage and upon completion in late 2014 will capture 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Al-Sayer launches ‘Queen’ and ‘Icon’ of luxury Mohamed Naser Al-Sayer & Sons Automotive Co, exclusive dealer of Lexus in Kuwait, held a press conference on the event of launching the Lexus LS600HL and Lexus GX460 2010 at the Lexus Al Rai Showroom on Jan 21, 2010. The event was attended by VIPs, local media and Lexus representatives from Japan. Mubarak AlSayer, CEO - Automotive/MNSS, welcomed the Lexus representatives from Japan. “I am so pleased to have you with us during this event with Lexus taking us to further heights and standards of luxury and innovations demonstrated by the first debut of Queen of Luxury: LS600HL and Icon of Luxury: GX460. As part of Lexus relentless pursuit of perfection, these two models mark a new milestone with Lexus setting new standards for luxury cars in the Kuwaiti market. But first very warm welcome to Suzuki Hedio, GM - Middle East, TMC, and his delegation who traveled all the way especially to be with us on this historic event further pushing the boundaries of luxury car standards exceeding customer expectations,” he said. Mubarak Al-Sayer commented on the history of Lexus by saying: “Going to back to when Lexus was first launched, our target market was the US as the largest world car market. But with GCC and other dealers determination to take on the challenge, Toyota agreed to introduce this luxury brand in such markets subject to dealer proper organization, timelines and dedicated showrooms and sales force as best fit with the nature of its customers. It’s no surprise that after 20 years Lexus became the best selling luxury car brand in Kuwait, thanks to its most reliable quality, technology and performance reporting lowest problem incidence rates. In a relatively

short period of time, it has overtaken the competition brands with highest market share. “Over the past twenty years, the Lexus luxury range rightfully set best examples of legendary performance and quality: LS460 luxury flagship of the range, SC430 for personal luxury, GS300/460 for luxury SUV’s, ES 350 for modern times luxury, IS300 for dynamic performance, ISC300 for freedom, LX570 for top 4WD luxury performance, and RX350 for the youth. A most impressive and captivating lineup, which pushed Lexus faster and harder to

the top leading other luxury brands by far. “Twenty years on, Lexus is surprising the world again by conquering new heights in quality, performance and innovative technologies with all-hybrid engines shaping the future of luxury car industry. All those features, very well as you see in the all new Queen of Luxury LS600HL with its V8/5.0 L engine, generating typical power of V12/6.0 L engine. Surprisingly enough, it’s just as fuel efficient as V6/3.0 engine. “The hybrid engine was first received by media just as an environment friendly engine. But Lexus with its farsighted long

term strategy turned this concept by delivering a hybrid engine which is both environment friendly and as powerful as 438 hp. In fact, it is the most powerful hybrid of its kind featuring plenty of Lexus patents and innovative technologies worldwide. It won’t be too long before other luxury car makers follow in the footsteps of Lexus with such hybrid engines. In addition, Lexus is pleased to unveil another all new luxury icon GX460 with its assertive absolute power. It is the first luxury medium size vehicle of its kind with all 4WD capabilities as a V8/4.6 L/292 hp

engine. “We do pride ourselves on representing the best luxury car brand around the world. In 2010, we’ll be opening our all exclusive Lexus showroom in Shuwaikh of 3,000 sq meters, offering 5-star service to our valued Lexus customers. It is a true milestone in the luxury car showroom industry in Kuwait featuring ultimate luxury design as a unique feat in architecture which fits with the well established remarkable image of Lexus brand.”. Suzuki Hedio GM, Middle East Division TMC, thanked his strategic partner Al

Sayer. “On the outset, I would like to extend sincere thanks to our strategic partner Al Sayer for inviting me to this event unveiling two more luxury feats in the Kuwait luxury car market”. Hedio added: “It’s Lexus, which has become the top luxury car brand since it was first launched just 20 years back, with its stateof-the-art hi-tech equipments and innovative technologies, and with sales volumes outperforming all competitive brands. Twenty years on from its first debut, Lexus now offers 10 different luxury models in Kuwait, topped now by LS600HL with best hybrid engine in the world, along with GX460, the flagship of mid size Luxury 4x4 , featuring latest luxury technologies and significant addition to Lexus prestigious range. In its 20th anniversary, Lexus, as a luxury brand, continues to exceed the various needs and expectations of its customers of all ages maintaining highest all time standards and innovations.” Hedio also praised Al Sayer for their compliance to Lexus standards. “Our 55year long relationship with our strategic ally Al Sayer in Toyota business, and now 20 years in Lexus earned Al Sayer top management greatest respect and appreciation not only for such a yearslong relationship, but also for Al Sayer’s firm and noncompromising commitment to the fullest and highest levels of customer care.” Mubarak’s Al Sayer also addressed Lexus customers:” We can assure you that we’ll spare no effort to meet and even exceed our customer needs and expectations. On behalf our chairman and board members, we promise each one of our Lexus customer that we will keep up our promise of continued improvement and development to make Lexus ownership a unique and unrivaled luxury experience”.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Out of race for Cadbury, Hershey on slower path Hershey may be better off without borrowing to buy Cadbury HARRISBURG: The Hershey Co has conceded the race to acquire British candy maker Cadbury, opting for a slower road to international expansion but also possibly a tougher battle for shelf space in grocery stores at home. The all-but-certain acquisition of Cadbury PLC by American food giant Kraft Foods Inc marks the second time in two years that the most recognizable name in American chocolate must stand by while its competitors make plays for much faster growth. The Kraft-Cadbury combination coming on the heels of the 2008 acquisition of Wm Wrigley Jr Co. by privately held Mars Inc also could erode Hershey’s strength in domestic distribution channels in coming years. “Both point in the same direction: They’re going to be, relatively speaking, a weaker player,” said Jet Hollander, a former candy industry executive who now runs a North Carolina-based packaged-food consulting firm. By veering away from the most direct path to international expansion, Hershey effectively chooses a more circuitous and costly course, some analysts said. For now, analysts say Hershey remains in a strong position in North America, where it is No 1 in chocolate and No 2 in the wider candy category that includes mints and gum. It has seen six straight strong quarters, partly because of heavier spending on marketing but also because the recession prompted many chocolate lovers to give up pricier specialty brands for Hershey’s mainstream products, such as Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Hershey may be better off without borrowing to buy Cadbury, some analysts say, because that could have overstretched the company begun more than a century ago in the town named for founder Milton S Hershey. A key allure of Cadbury was its large footprint in India - where it pulls in more than 30 percent of retail candy sales, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor International. Acquiring a

company with solid market share in India or another developing nation is attractive because candy sales are growing much faster there than in the United States and Europe. Hershey has joint ventures in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere, but those sales are small and growing slowly and may never catch up to a commanding market share like Cadbury’s. “In terms of time and investment ... it’s more efficient to expand through acquisition,” said Ildiko Szalai, a packaged-foods analyst for Euromonitor. Now, if Hershey is to acquire market share in developing nations, it is more likely to happen through smaller, piecemeal acquisitions. The combination of Cadbury and Kraft - maker of Toblerone chocolate, Velveeta processed cheese and Oreo cookies - would create the world’s biggest confectionary company, edging out Mars from the top spot. Behind them, in order, are Switzerland’s Nestle SA, Hershey and Italian candy maker Ferrero International SA, according to Euromonitor. Still, a combination with Nestle or Ferrero is not out of the question for Hershey and would place it within striking distance of Mars and Kraft, based in Northfield, Illinois, some analysts say. “I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom,” said Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo. “It does put them in a little bit of a spot, but I think there’s solutions to that and ways out of it.” In the United States, Hershey has the license to make and distribute several Cadbury candies, and it has an iconic name in chocolate, elements that should protect its space on shelves in the next few years. Eventually, though, the heft of Mars and a Kraft-Cadbury juggernaut could squeeze Hershey in negotiations with retailers. “In their existing markets, I think there’s going to be a lot of inertia,” Hollander said. “I don’t think that’s an imminent risk, but, over time, say five 5 to 10 years, they could see erosion.” — AP

Centrepoint awards ‘Superbrands 2010’ KUWAIT: Centrepoint the leading fashion retailer in Kuwait once again makes headlines by getting accorded the “Superbrands 2010” status for the second consecutive year. Centrepoint emerged as a Superbrand once more following rigorous assessment across well established criteria by the Superbrands Kuwait Council. Eclipsing big names in the communication industry, retail industry, trading industry and other sectors, Centrepoint Kuwait was recognized for its outstanding achievement for the year 2009-2010 from over 1300 short listed brands. Brands have been short listed based on their demonstrations of high brand awareness, consumer recall, a credible reputation, corporate social responsibility programs and strong product offerings. With this principle in mind, the Superbrands organization which is acclaimed worldwide as being an independent authority branding excellence has winnowed out Centrepoint as a Superbrand. Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Group Kuwait said “To be voted as a Superbrand is a very important acknowledgement of our performance. We are proud of the fact that Centrepoint has been recognized for the second year in

succession in this second edition of Superbrands Kuwait. This places Centrepoint amongst the strongest brands in Kuwait” “Superbrands is an important industry recognition and this credit reflects on our continuous efforts to build upon our competencies and offer customers added value in the coming years”. “Added value and a sustainable approach have always been at the core of our business philosophy. We believe that one of the key elements of our success is our approach towards our customers. We are committed to providing our customers with the best quality of products and services at pocket friendly prices” further concluded Basu Centrepoint Kuwait emerged a Superbrand again this year following rigorous assessment across well established criteria by the Superbrands Kuwait Council. This year the council broadened the selection process by involving senior managers & executives in a survey to score the brands. The scoring then is tabulated to result in the top scoring brands being designated Superbrands. The Superbrands council members in Kuwait comprise individuals who have shown exceptional aptitude in business and who have a thorough knowledge of Kuwait’s market and

methods of business. The list includes: Bader AlHumaidhi -Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak-Deputy Chairman & Managing Director Zain Group, Khaled Al Khaled- Board Member on the Board of Directors Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Matt Daniels Country Manager DHL Express, Mohammad Al-Qabandi- Director Superbrands Kuwait, Fadi Roueissy -

General Business Manager Nestle Kuwait, Manar Al-Hashash- Kuwait E Award Secretary General of Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences, Dr Zuhair Al-MazeediFounder and Director Arab’s Media Consulting & Marketing, Safa Al Hashem- Chairman & Managing Director Advantage Consulting and Nabila Al-Anjary-General Manager Al Jazeera Real Estate Company.

Bank plan highlights Volcker’s new clout Geithner, Summers seen still wielding huge influence WASHINGTON: When US President Barack Obama launched a fight with Wall Street by announcing a new plan to limit banks’ size, the man standing at his side was former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Volcker’s clout on the White House economic team was on full display as the 6-foot-7-inch longtime adviser took the choice spot next to Obama, who named his proposal to restrict bank trading activities “the Volcker Rule.” The 6-foot-1 Obama referred to Volcker as “this tall guy behind me.” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and senior economic adviser Lawrence Summerswho attended the announcement but at a greater distance from the president- still wield a tremendous amount of power. Volcker, who commands respect on Wall Street and among both Democrats and Republicans, is seeing a resurgence of his influence after venting frustrations to friends that he had been left out in the cold when it came to economic decision-making at the White House. The 82-year-old Volcker was one of Obama’s most influential advisers during his 2008 presidential campaign and now chairs a panel of outside economic advisers to the White House. He had rarely been seen in Washington since the start of the Obama administration and made no secret of a difference in opinion with the White House over how to deal with the problem of “too big to fail” financial firms. Volcker’s fear, shared by some other economists, is that newly consolidated US banks might engage in reckless behavior on the belief that the government would never allow them to fail because of their sheer size. Such risky activity could leave the financial system vulnerable to another crisis, these economists say. CLOUT Asked by the New York Times in October about reports he was losing sway with the Obama White House, Volcker retorted that he “did not have influence to start with.” That made Volcker’s presence at the announcement all the more significant to showing Obama’s resolve to push the new regulatory approach that Wall Street appears set to fiercely oppose. “Volcker being there was huge,” said Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. The bank announcement elated many of Obama’s liberal supporters, who have welcomed his tougher rhetoric in recent weeks toward the banking executives he referred to in December as “fat cats.” Geithner and Summers, veterans of the Treasury Department in the Clinton administration, have been criticized by some liberal supporters of Obama who view them as too cozy with Wall Street. Legislation in 1999 tearing down the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law separating commercial and investment banking passed under their watch. Obama’s new bank rules would not bring back Glass-Steagall but would revive its spirit. Volcker, who has been consulting on Capitol Hill about Obama’s bank proposal, could be an asset to the administration in selling the proposal, said Johnson. He shared Volcker’s frustrations that the White House had not moved earlier to limit the size of banks, which get an implicit subsidy in the form of federal deposit insurance. “Volcker carries a cachet that is unparalleled,” said Johnson, noting the former central banker’s role in breaking the back of doubledigit inflation in the early 1980s-a victory that came despite a huge popular backlash against the economic pain brought on by his interestrate increases. RIFT WITH GEITHNER? In an indication of a possible rift, financial industry sources said on Thursday of some reservations Geithner had expressed behind the scenes about the new bank plan, which was not

WASHINGTON: In this file photo, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) talks with National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. — AP included in the original plan on financial regulatory reform that the administration unveiled last June. Administration officials, while noting the importance of Volcker’s role, insisted the decision to go forward with the plan was unanimous. Geithner and Summers worked closely with Volcker late last year on it and had largely finalized it by late December. They put the finishing touches on it on Jan. 13. Aides said Obama personally felt strongly about moving ahead on curbs on the banks, in part because of concerns about risk-taking by banks after they returned to profitability in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial meltdown. White House officials played down any talk of Geithner and Summers losing influence. A trademark of Obama’s management style, which was apparent during the deliberations over his Afghanistan strategy, is to encourage the airing of dissenting views and then to work with his advisers to arrive at a consensus. “He is concerned to make sure that he’s exposed to all points of view,” Summers told a small group of reporters in a briefing last week when asked to describe Obama’s decision-making process. “So he wants to hear disagreement with things that he has said or advisers who have different perspectives to share those differing perspectives.” Interviewed on CNBC on Thursday night, Summers defended the bank proposal against industry representatives who pointed out that proprietary trading by banks was not central to the last crisis. “What’s important is to not be like the generals who fight the last war. What’s important is to think about the potential sources of risk in the future,” Summers said. Obama’s proposals could bar institutions from proprietary trading operations, which are unrelated to serving customers, for their own profit. Proprietary trading involves firms making bets on markets with their own money and has been the source of much of banks’ bumper profits. Also emerging as a bigger player in shaping economic policy is Vice President Joseph Biden, who devoted much of his time last year to helping to oversee the $787 billion stimulus program that Obama signed into law last February. Biden feels “passionately about the same set of problems” of firms becoming too big to fail and helped to shape the proposal on banks, said one White House official. — Reuters

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 .4660000 .4090000 .2760000 .2760000 .2610000 .0045000 .0020000 .0775570 .7556190 .4020000 .0750000 .7407520 .0045000 .0500000

.2910000 .4760000 .4170000 .2850000 .2840000 .2700000 .0075000 .0035000 .0783370 .7632140 .4180000 .0790000 .7481970 .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 .2857000 .4686710 .4112230 .2788670 .2782420 .0552610 .0406890 .2638600 .0367920 .2058450 .0031600 .0063130 .0025060 .0034210 .0041860 .0778240 .7582150 .4040620 .0762260 .7424560 .0063060

.2878000 .4719820 .4141280 .2808430 .2802140 .0556520 .0409780 .2657240 .0370520 .2073030 .0031820 .0063580 .0025240 .0034450 .0042150 .0783210 .7630520 .4069240 .0767120 .7471920 .0063510

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2878000 .4719820 .2808430 .0767120

285.600 198.310 281.700 265.100 285.000 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

3.189 6.284 3.394 2.509 3.942 207.400 36.980 4.152 6.252 8.744 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 52.963 1.379 219.920 405.500 193.920 6.325 37.080 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

76.574 78.890 745.940 762.600 78.202 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

222.000 115.000 59.000

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

287.000 414.600 473.000

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

SELL CASH 263.500 765.340 4.560 275.900 694.400 15.800 55.800 167.800 55.470 411.300

SELL DRAFT 262.900 765.340 4.168 274.400

206.300 52.969 409.800

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

37.810 6.620 0.035 0.280 0.251 3.300 408.380 0.194 87.750 39.000 4.240 208.700 2.183 50.700 747.570 3.500 6.450 79.600 76.840 206.310 40.300 2.765 468.800 40.800 280.100 6.400 9.090 222.000 78.530 288.200 1.420

37.660 6.255

406.790 0.193 87.750 3.930 207.200 747.390 3.410 6.225 79.170 76.840 206.310 40.300 2.513 466.800 278.600 8.900 78.530 267.800

GOLD 10 Tola


Sterling Pound US Dollar

2.515 4.170 6.255 3.185 8.725 5.540 3.950

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 466.800 287.800

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 286.900 3.415 6.290 2.515 4.160 6.285 78.164 76.640 763.000 52.935 473.600 0.0000306 1.550 407.700 5.750 418.300 286.500

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

287.350 279.710 470.710 410.330 276.450 704.305 761.985 78.215 78.860 76.655 405.486 52.980 6.265 3.400

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

Transfer rate 287.300 407.850 468.000 276.800 3.160 6.240 52.965 2.514 4.160 6.225 3.409 765.000 78.200 76.550


Sunday, January 24, 2010


US lawmaker: Abolish Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac WASHINGTON: A top lawmaker is calling for the elimination of mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the establishment of a new system to provide money for US home loans. Rep Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, the chairman of the House Financial Services

Committee, said Friday he supports replacing the two companies entirely. “I believe this committee will be recommending abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their current form and coming up with a whole new system of housing finance,” Frank said at a hearing on executive compensation issues.

“That’s the approach, rather than the piecemeal one.” The two companies, which have been run by the government since they almost collapsed in September 2008, have required $111 billion in federal aid to stay afloat. Late last year the Obama administration pledged to cover unlimited losses

through 2012 for both companies, lifting an earlier cap of $400 billion. Regulators announced last month the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie could get paid as much as $6 million for 2009. That has outraged Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. “We are paying these people bonuses to lose tens of

billions of dollars,” said Rep Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, at Friday’s hearing. “What people do with their money is their business. What they do with the taxpayer money is our business.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide vital cash to the US mortgage industry by purchasing home

loans from lenders and selling them to investors. Together, they own or guarantee almost 31 million home loans worth about $5.5 trillion, or about half of all mortgages in the US. So far, the Obama administration has been quiet about its plans for the two companies. In an

interview Thursday on PBS, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Obama administration will “propose a set of detailed reforms beginning this year” for Fannie and Freddie. But he said legislation will have to wait until next year “because it’s just a complicated thing to get right.” —AP

BofA, Citi CEOs have committed to attending forum

2 bailed-out banks send CEOs to Davos INDIANAPOLIS: A KeyBank branch is shown in downtown Indianapolis. KeyCorp said that its losses narrowed in the fourth quarter and the regional bank holding company set aside $756 million for bad loans. —AP

MediaNews files for bankruptcy SAN FRANCISCO: The owner of 54 US daily newspapers filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, joining the procession of publishers choking on too much debt. The filing by Affiliated Media Inc., the holding company of MediaNews Group, was expected. The privately held company had said Jan 15 that it would seek to reorganize its finances in bankruptcy court. MediaNews, based in Denver, says its newspapers, which include The Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, and 8,700 employees won’t be affected during the bankruptcy proceedings. Affiliated Media worked with its major lenders and shareholders to hammer out a plan aimed at shortening the company’s stay in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. Affiliated hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection within a month or two. The plan calls for Affiliated Media’s debt to fall to $179 million from $930 million, according to a person familiar with some of the additional bankruptcy documents expected to be filed late Friday. This person wasn’t authorized to discuss them before they were filed. In exchange for this $751 million concession, a group of lenders led by Bank of America become the company’s majority owners with 88 percent of the stock. The remaining 12 percent goes to MediaNews’ management team, which is led by William Dean Singleton, who is also chairman of The Associated Press. The MediaNews executives will receive warrants that eventually could boost their combined stakes to 20 percent. Heading into the bankruptcy filing, Singleton held a roughly 30 percent stake in Affiliated. Richard Scudder, who co-founded MediaNews with Singleton in 1985, will relinquish his interests in the company to the lenders. Singleton will also continue to run MediaNews, signaling the lenders remain confident in him despite the company’s recent struggles. The decision probably stems from Singleton’s reputation as a hard-nosed businessman who has never shied away from cutting costs, said Alan Mutter, a former newspaper editor who blogs on the media business. “Who do we know who can

go in and run the hell out of a newspaper and make a buck?” he said. “The only answer is William Dean Singleton.” MediaNews spokesman Seth Faison declined to comment Friday. Despite MediaNews’ troubles, Singleton says all but one of the company’s newspapers are profitable. He hasn’t identified which one is losing money. “By aggressively facing the challenges of the newspaper business, we will continue to deliver high-quality journalism and will prepare our newspapers for a promising future,” Singleton said in a statement Friday. Apparently, not even Singleton could figure out a way to deal with all the debt that MediaNews took on to expand into new markets. Like other publishers, Singleton borrowed heavily before the Internet and recent recession began to devour the newspaper’s main source of income - advertising. Last year was particularly hard on big newspapers as the industry’s print ad sales plunged by nearly 30 percent. Some of the revenue is expected to return as the economy bounces back, but much of it is expected to remain on the Internet, where many marketers are finding they can generate more sales for less money. At least 14 US newspaper publishers have now filed for bankruptcy protection in the past 13 months. Affiliated’s annual revenue has fallen by $270 million, or 20 percent, during the past two fiscal years. The erosion pared Affiliated’s revenue to $1.06 billion in fiscal 2009, which ended June 30. Another major newspaper publisher, Hearst Corp, is one of the biggest losers in Affiliated’s reorganization. The plan calls for Hearst to lose the roughly 30 percent stake it held in MediaNews’ newspapers outside the San Francisco Bay area. Hearst got its MediaNews stock as part of a complicated deal to acquire The Monterey County Herald and St Paul Pioneer Press from McClatchy Co. in 2006. Hearst invested $317.3 million in MediaNews, which then bought the two newspapers and the Torrance Daily Breeze from Hearst. Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer declined to comment. —AP

IMF completes bond agreement with Brazil WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said Friday that Brazil finalized an agreement to buy 10 billion dollars worth of IMF bonds over the next two years. The purchase, first announced last year, reflects the emerging nation’s rising world clout and turns a former debtor to the IMF into a creditor. “The agreement offers Brazil a safe investment instrument at the same time as boosting the Fund’s capacity to help its members to weather the global financial crisis,” an IMF statement said. “The Fund can now add these resources to those already available through agreements signed with other members, which contribute toward an increase in Fund resources that was requested in April 2009 by G20 (Group of 20) leaders and the International Monetary and Financial Committee.” The deal marks a sharp turnaround from 2002 when Brazil obtained an IMF loan of 30.4 billion dollars, the biggest in the history of the IMF, to avoid a massive

TOKYO: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks before the press in Tokyo in this file photo. Brazil has finalized an agreement to buy 10 billion dollars worth of IMF bonds over the next two years. —AFP debt default. The combined bond purchase of Brazil, India and China is one-sixth of the total 500 billion dollars pledged

by the G20 largest rich and emerging-market economies in April to triple the IMF’s resources. —AFP

NEW YORK: The CEOs of two major bailed-out US banks plan to go to official Kevin Steinberg. Last year, all but one major U.S. bank CEOthe World Economic Forum’s schmoozefest at a glitzy ski resort in JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Jamie Dimon-skipped the forum amid critiDavos, Switzerland. Citigroup Inc’s Vikram Pandit and Bank of cism from politicians over the role of the banks in the financial crisis America Co’s Brian Moynihan are set to attend the annual gathering and excesses at the top, including the size of bankers’ bonuses and the of business and political elites from Jan 27 to 31, according to WEF use of private jets. This year, a number of CEOs of major American banks will be “no shows.” Some communications experts say that being seen supping on kirsch and fondue in the Alps with other businessmen and the occasional Hollywood star is not the best image to project in a harsh economic climate. Banks are facing another lashing from politicians and the public over super-sized compensation only a year since massive amounts of government money helped rescue the banking system. On Thursday, in a response to still simmering public anger over the financial crisis, US President Barack Obama proposed what may be the biggest overhaul of Wall Street since the 1930s - including restrictions on the activities and size of the biggest banks. In these times, it might look better for bank chiefs to have other plans than attending the daily apres ski in Davos. “The last thing you want is to be seen doing anything other than working at your desk, growing your company,” said Michael Robinson, a crisis communications consultant with Levick Strategic Communications. “You don’t want to be seen hanging out with Bono,” he said, referring to the investor, activist and frontman of rock band U2, who has attended the Davos event in previous years. In the past, banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc and the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers might have held lavish parties. And there would have been lots of debating, networking, dealmaking - and skiing. Davos is the place where the top NEW YORK: Diners eat lunch at Wollensky’s Grill, inside the famed New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. men of Wall Street, such as forThis year companies are tying up more of the rewards not in cash but in stock that can’t be redeemed for years, mer Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and former Lehman CEO slowing the economic benefits for businesses that cater to the Masters of the Universe. —AP Dick Fuld, could rub shoulders with the likes of rock stars, actress Sharon Stone or supermodel Naomi Campbell. In these more austere days, entertainment heavyweights are mostly gone and so, too, are many bank CEOs. LESS PROMINENT Most of the big banks will be represented, but by less prominent executives. Morgan Stanley is sending John Mack, but he is WASHINGTON: President Friday. But he pledged, “I He also stepped up his es of everyday Americans.” chairman after recently passing Barack Obama is seeking to can promise you there will recent attack on bankers The White House, the CEO reins to James Gorman. reassure voters he is deter- be more fights in the days and bonuses, defending his meanwhile, has been workGorman will not attend, a mined to create jobs while ahead.” proposal to tax big banks to ing aggressively to keep Morgan Stanley spokesman said. his administration is trying He tried out a revamped recover bailout costs and to congressional support for Steinberg, chief operating officer of the US arm of the forum, said to protect an architect of message focused mainly on limit their size and activi- Bernanke from eroding furmost big US banks plan to send the increasingly unpopular the economy that is part of ties. Obama just completed ther as he seeks another senior delegates. “We have been banking bailout that may a stepped up effort to con- his first year in office and term. Several Democratic closely in touch with a lot of the have helped prevent a vince Americans that he’s will address the nation senators have said they banks and they have been activefinancial collapse. Obama’s doing all he can to create Wednesday in his State of won’t support Bernanke’s ly working with us to contribute efforts on the economy jobs. “This isn’t about me. the Union address. But that re-nomination, but the to the program and actively parcome after a Massachusetts This is about you,” he said. address comes after one of administration’s concerns ticipate,” Steinberg said. Senate election this past Obama told his audience at the worst weeks in recent about the nomination were Representatives for the week that suggested voter the Lorain County times for the White House. lessened somewhat by the banks were not eager to discuss unrest when Republican Community College “the Brown’s seizing of the knowledge that some their plans for Davos. Originally Scott Brown claimed a worst of this economic Massachusetts Senate seat Republican lawmakers on the list of prospective guests Senate seat in Democratic storm has passed. But fam- held for decades by the late were committed for was JP Morgan’s Dimon, but he backed out. Dimon is not attendhands for more than a half- ilies like yours and commu- Sen Edward M Kennedy Bernanke. ing because commitments before century. Brown gives the nities like Elyria are still cost Democrats their Bernanke has no real and after the forum, a spokesRepublicans a crucial 41st reeling from the devasta- supermajority of 60 votes in Senate constituency with woman said. JPMorgan investseat in the 100-seat Senate, tion left in its wake. the Senate. either party because he was ment banking head Jes Staley taking away the Democrats’ Folks have seen jobs you That means Republicans appointed to his first term will be part of a group of execusupermajority and threat- thought would last forever will be able to stop or seri- by President George W tives attending. Goldman CEO ening Obama’s agenda. disappear.” He said a new ously slow down legislation Bush but is now closely Lloyd Blankfein will not attend, And the administration stimulus spending bill at will. The Republican vic- linked to Obama’s econombut Gary Cohn, the firm’s presihas been working to shore emerging in Congress - the tory was also a poor omen ic policies. White House dent and chief operating officer, up eroding support for White House is calling it a for November’s midterm deputy press secretary Bill will be there. A Goldman Federal Reserve Chairman jobs bill - must include tax elections. And Thursday’s Burton said the president spokesman declined to comBen Bernanke, who is breaks for small business Supreme Court ruling over- has “a great deal of confiment. seeking another four-year hiring and for people trying turning limits on corporate dence” in the actions Sallie Krawcheck, president of Bank of America’s global wealth term. In the face of daunt- to make their homes more political spending opened Bernanke already has taken and investment management ing political conditions, energy efficient - two pro- the way for businesses and and believes he’s “the best unit, will show up, a spokesObama was sounding feisty posals he wasn’t able to get special interests to spend person for the job.” Burton woman said. The bank had not as he told a town hall crowd into a bill the House passed money freely on commer- said the White House still determined by last week whether he was more determined last month. Obama defend- cials for or against individ- believes that Bernanke, 56, Moynihan would go, a spokesman than ever to help the econ- ed as necessary his admin- ual candidates. Obama said will get enough votes in the said. Bank of America has omy and pursue his agenda. istration’s widely unpopular the 5-4 decision would Senate to run the nation’s planned a party for clients and “I’m not going to win every moves to bail out financial allow wealthy special inter- central bank for another constituents, a holdover from round,” Obama said in Ohio and auto companies. ests to “drown out the voic- term. —AP Merrill Lynch’s participation in the forum. —Reuters

US president scrambles to revive economic optimism



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Germany to host conference on regulating markets BERLIN: Germany is to host a conference on regulating the financial markets ahead of the next G20 summit, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview to be published today. “It is important not to weaken our international

efforts to secure better regulation,” he told the Welt am Sonntag weekly. “To sustain this process I am going to organize a high-level international conference before the next summit of the G20,” which is scheduled for the end of June in Toronto.

According to the weekly Der Spiegel, the conference is planned for late May in Berlin, with finance ministers and central bank officials from the Group of 20 leading and emerging economic powers. Schaeuble hailed recent moves

by US President Barack Obama aimed at reforming markets and banks.” “Something moving in the United States on this issue is a welcome development,” he said. “It makes the chances of finding a common solution all the greater.” Calling for European

countries to take the initiative if wider efforts fail, he said Germany wanted the financial sector to share fully the costs of the current crisis and any future crises. Berlin would be making its own proposals to this effect in the

next few weeks, Schaeuble said. The international Financial Stability Board, set up by the G20 last year to coordinate regulatory reform in the wake of the financial crisis, said yesterday that it was considering moves like those planned by the Obama adminis-

tration to cut the risks posed by big bank failures. The FSB welcomed the US plans announced on Thursday and said it would publish its full recommendations in October 2010. It is to release an interim report after the G20 summit in June. —AFP

Co-founders relinquishing some of their control

Google co-founders to sell $5.5bn combined in stock ness partners will each sell 5 million Google shares during a fiveyear period that will commence with the first trade. The sales will occur periodically to lessen the chances of hurting Google’s stock price. Page and Brin, both 36, will remain Google’s most influential shareholders, although they will be losing some of their clout. The two iconoclasts own a special class of Google stock that gives them combined voting power of about 59 percent enough to override the wishes of all other shareholders if they wanted. The duo secured this veto power to ensure Google remained true to their values, which are summed up in the company motto, “Don’t Be Evil.” After the sales, the founders’ holdings will be whittled to a combined 47.7 million shares with 48 percent voting power. Falling below the 50 percent threshold might not matter because they run Google as a ruling triumvirate with the company’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, whose shares hold 10 percent voting power. Although the trio acknowledge occasional disagreements, they insist they always work things out amicably. What’s more, Schmidt, Page and Brin have agreed to remain at Google at least through 2024. Executives and founders of companies commonly enter into predetermined MOUNTAIN VIEW: A sign is posted outside of the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. —AFP stock trading plans to raise cash and diversify their investments. Page and Brin each currently have about $16 billion of their fortunes tied up in Google stock. By their own choice, their annual salary at Google is just $1. “They are both as committed as ever to Google and are integrally involved in our day-to-day management and product strategy,” Google spokeswoman Jane Penner said. “The majority of their net KUWAIT: Burgan Bank Mohammed Ahmed Stareian account in the country that deposit, the more chances worth remains with Google.” declared the names of the Asfahani. gives account holders a you will have of winning. For This marks the second time daily winners of the Yawmi Congratulating the win- chance to win KD 5000 every example, if you deposit the Page and Brin have sold big Account draw which took ners, Burgan Bank Chief single day except on week- minimum of KD 500 for one chunks of stock since Google place at the Bank’s head Retail Banking Officer Mr. end and public holidays”. month, you will receive 10 went public in August 2004. Burgan Bank’s Yawmi entries into the draw. office on Sunday 17th. The Simon Clements said: “On Three months after the company’s initial public offering, lucky winners for the five behalf of the Bank, I would Account entitles customers Opening a Yawmi account is Page and Brin filed an 18daily draws last week will like to congratulate and who deposit KD 500 for a simple, just visit your nearmonth plan that divested 7.2 take home a handsome cash- extend my warm wishes to period of 30 days to be eligi- est Burgan Bank branch and million shares apiece. Back prize of KD 5000 each. The all the winners of the Yawmi ble for a daily draw to win KD get all the details. Or simply then, Google shares were lucky winners are Rehab draw. The Yawmi Account 5000. For every KD 50 call 1804080 and our Call trading around $169.40. The Sultan Essa, Ahmad Nahar continues to be very popular deposited in your Yawmi Center executive will be stock is worth three times as Qatea AL-Ajmi, Hussein which can be seen from the Account you receive an addi- more than happy to assist much now, closing at $550.01 Subhi Al-Qaqori, Samad number of increasing account tional entry into the draw, you. For further information Friday after falling $32.97, or Ramadan Rahimi Absardi and holders. This is the only which means the more you visit 5.7 percent. —AP SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are relinquishing some of their control over the Internet search leader with the sale of 10 million shares worth $5.5 billion at current prices. Under a plan disclosed Friday, the longtime busi-

Burgan Bank announces Yawmi Account winners The only account in Kuwait to give away KD 5000 cash-prize daily

Rolls-Royce names Torsten as new chief executive Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today announced that Torsten Muller-Otvos will join the company as its Chief Executive Officer. He will assume the role at the end of March 2010 from Tom Purves, who will retire after 25 years service with the BMW Group. During his more than 20 years with the Group, Torsten has held a number of management positions in the Sales and Marketing Division and was instrumental in brand and product management for MINI between 2000 and 2003. He successfully relaunched the MINI brand and internationally re-established this quintessentially British marque as the first premium small car brand. In 2004 he assumed responsibility for central marketing and brand management at BMW. Torsten has been running BMW global product management since April 2008, as well as parts of its

Torsten Muller-Otvos after-sales business. Torsten will continue to report to Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Group Sales

and Marketing and also Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Ian Robertson said, “Torsten has many years of solid experience in the

fields of brand and product management as well as marketing. He is the perfect candidate to lead RollsRoyce Motor Cars into a period of expansion - having not only a successful track record as a manager, but also a feel for the unique attributes of a traditional brand.” Robertson also took the opportunity to thank Tom Purves: “Tom’s breadth of experience and successful track record over many years with the Group have proven extremely valuable to Rolls-Royce as the company moved through an important stage of its development. He has successfully overseen the launch of our new Ghost model series and hands over the helm of a company in excellent shape for the future. I wish him the very best for a welldeserved retirement.” Purves said, “It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Rolls-Royce, particu-

larly at this exciting point in the company’s history. I have always felt a special connection with RollsRoyce, having started my career in the car division and it is very special to be retiring having headed this great company. I have every confidence in the future success of the company in the hands of its new CEO.” Purves succeeded Robertson as CEO of RollsRoyce Motor Cars in July 2008. His previous posts included more than nine years as President of BMW North America, LLC and head of the sales region there, where he successfully managed BMW Group activities throughout North and South America. Under his tenure sales and market share more than doubled. He began his career in the automotive industry in 1966 as an apprentice engineer at Rolls-Royce in Crewe before joining BMW Group in 1985.

MOSCOW: In this file photo cars are on display outside the Manezh exhibition hall where the Extravaganza 2008 exhibition, a luxury lifestyle show, opened in Moscow. Russia’s oil-dependent economy is getting back on track after its biggest downturn in a decade as higher crude prices and new inflows of capital have shored up the country’s banks, government finances and stock markets. —AP

Russia economy back on its feet MOSCOW: Russia’s oil-dependent economy is getting back on track after its biggest downturn in a decade as higher crude prices and new inflows of capital have shored up the country’s banks, government finances and stock markets. Fitch Ratings on Friday became the second ratings agency to raise its outlook on Russia’s creditworthiness, following Standard and Poor’s The agency said the upgrade from negative to stable reflects a greater confidence in Russia’s economic and financial stability, as the broader domestic economy picks up and more money from abroad comes into the country, reversing the outflows that alarmed markets during the crisis. Investors have flocked back to the Russian market, considering it undervalued at the start of 2009 after it lost 74 percent during 2008. The market was the second-best performing in 2009 next to Brazil. The rubledenominated MICEX benchmark has more than doubled since January 2009, moving from under 600 points to close at 1,410.38 on Friday though it remains well below its peak. A year ago, Russia was flirting with financial and currency collapse. The ruble was routinely losing 2 percent a day against the US dollar, while the government was spending billions of dollars from its reserves earned from oil profits during better years - every week to shore up the currency. Investors feared that Russia would burn through its rainyday fund and watch the ruble plunge sharply. But the Central Bank was able to manage a gradual decline of the ruble’s exchange rate and avoid a sharp drop like the one during a 1998 collapse that saw the country default on its debts. With oil prices recovering, the ruble has now regained about 10 percent in value against the dollar since late January 2009.

“The market then was seized by fears that the Central Bank would fail to stabilize the ruble and spend all of its reserves,” said Yulia Tsyplyayeva, chief economist at Merill Lynch in Moscow. “We are talking about completely different things now.” Oil has been key. The price of crude rose from a 2008 low of $45 to $83 a barrel this month. Russia posted a net private capital inflow of $11.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 against outflows of $33.4 billion in the third quarter. The Central Bank has forecast some $42 billion to flow into the country this year. Although the gross domestic product is expected to have contracted by 8.5 percent in 2009, the economy has been growing for two consecutive quarters and is expected to grow by at least 3 percent this year. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Friday upgraded its forecast to 3.9 percent from 3.1 percent. A year ago, the market was worried about non-performing loans, and although their share in banks’ loan portfolios remains high - at 20 percent across the sector - the country seems in better shape to cope with that problem now. Fitch said in its Friday report that “downside risks to the banking sector have lessened somewhat due to the stabilization of the economy and banks’ increasing loss absorption capacity”. “Even if NPLs are high, (the government has) resources at hand to re-capitalize the banking system,” Tsyplyayeva said. Russia’s government has reported that the federal budget deficit was 5.9 percent of GDP in 2009 compared with a projected 7.7 percent. Six months ago, most analysts predicted the deficit would be as much as 10 percent. Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist at Deutsche Bank in

Moscow, said this demonstrates that the government not only received extra revenues but also managed to cap expenses. The downturn has shown how vulnerable Russia is to any movement in oil prices the true backbone of its economy. President Dmitry Medvedev has repeatedly emphasized the need to shake off the dependence on oil and diversify the economy, but little has been done. Lissovolik, however, said the government should be given time, as its priority during the first year of the crisis was to mitigate the impact of the recession. “Now that the crisis is easing, one could expect that the task to modernize the economy will start to get implemented,” he said. Russia announced last year that it would have to borrow abroad - for the first time in a decade - to cover its budget deficit. Although the budget will need less money than originally thought, the government is still set to tap debt markets later this year. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin lauded Fitch’s move on Friday, saying this will help Russia borrow more cheaply on global markets. Lissovolik of Deutsche Bank said Russia is likely to borrow less than previously thought but still needs to do so, at least in order to set a benchmark for future borrowings. “To some extent it will also make it easier for Russian companies to borrow abroad,” he said. Tsyplyayeva agreed that borrowing would be wise, since this would allow the government to keep its $60 billion rainy-day fund in reserve in case oil prices drop. As less money is being pumped into real economies around the world, Moscow-based economists fear that Russia’s recovery might be bruised as any slowdown in the global recovery will hurt oil prices. —AP

KHABAROVSK: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signs a first pipe of the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok natural gas pipeline in Khabarovsk, about 6100 kilometers southeast of Moscow. —AP


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Computers have a bit of everything

Phones have TV signals, TVs have Internet feeds LAS VEGAS: “Convergence” is too bulky a word to do justice to all the pretty gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show, or to describe how they are increasingly doing more to give consumers the content and connectivity wherever and whenever they demand it.

SICHUAN: Computer users at an Internet cafe in Suining in southwestern China’s Sichuan province yesterday. Beijing has issued a stinging response to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism that it is jamming the free flow of words and ideas on the Internet, accusing the United States of damaging relations between the two countries by imposing its “information imperialism” on China. — AP

Obama wants ‘answers’ from China over Google cyberattacks WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama is “troubled” by cyberattacks on Internet titan Google and wants answers from China, the White House said. The State Department said meanwhile that US and Chinese diplomats have held several meetings to discuss the attacks, which Google said targeted the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists, and more talks were expected. “We are having high-level meetings and we will continue to have meetings and we will continue to press this issue aggressively,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “We will continue to seek an explanation from China. “A blanket denial that nothing happened we don’t think is particularly helpful,” Crowley added. Obama is also looking to Beijing to shed light on the cyberattacks which have prompted Google to say it will stop censoring Web search results in China, a move that may force it to leave the country entirely. “As the president has said, he continues to be troubled by the cybersecurity breach that Google attributes to China,” White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton said. “As Secretary (Hillary) Clinton said yesterday, all we are looking for from China are some answers.” Clinton on Thursday urged Beijing to conduct a thorough investigation into the cyberattacks on Google and other US firms and criticized China and other nations for censoring the Web and restricting the “free flow of information.” The secretary of state’s comments, in a wideranging speech on Internet freedom, drew the strongest reaction to date from China since the Google dispute erupted last week. “We firmly oppose such words and deeds, which go against the facts and are harmful to China-US relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. “We urge the United States to respect facts and stop using the so-called Internet freedom issue to criticize China unreasonably.” Ma urged the United States not to let the Google row upset relations, which are already dogged by a range of disputes over trade and currency issues, US arms sales to Taiwan and climate change. Ma said China hoped both sides would “respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, properly handle differences and sensitive issues to maintain the healthy and steady

development of Sino-US relations.” State Department spokesman Crowley said the United States had “taken note” of the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement but had no further comment. He said the latest US-China meeting had been between Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and the Chinese ambassador here, Zhou Wenzhong. He said Clinton’s speech, Google and the “broader aspects of our relationship” were discussed. “We have a broad relationship with China,” Crowley said. “We think that it is far more stable than it has been in some time. That said, we have a range of issues where we have, you know, disagreements.” He also said that Washington had “not yet” made a formal request to Beijing known as a “demarche” asking for an explanation for the cyberattacks on Google. A senior State Department official told reporters that while the United States and China have differences on the issue of Internet freedom, Clinton’s speech “was not directed at China individually.” Asked about China’s public posture and the diplomatic talks, the official said: “There are things that China does for public consumption and that may or may not reflect the conversations that we have in private.” “The Chinese understood the context of the secretary’s speech and that it wasn’t specifically directed at them,” said the official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity. Google has not yet stopped censoring search results on, but Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Thursday it will happen soon. “We continue to follow their laws, we continue to offer censored results. But in a reasonably short time from now we will be making some changes there,” Schmidt said. China is believed to employ thousands of people in a vast system of Internet censorship dubbed the “Great Firewall of China,” which polices what the world’s largest online population can see and do on the Web. Beijing regularly invokes the need to stamp out pornography as a key reason for the controls but critics contend its primary purpose is to quell political dissent or content seen as threatening to Communist Party rule. — AFP

Motorola to launch application store for China’s Android users CHICAGO: Motorola said it is launching an Android application store for mobile-phone users in China, hoping that third-party applications will take off in the crucial Asian market as they have in the US and elsewhere. Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola, which is making a huge bet on Google’s Android platform as it turns around its mobile devices business, already has encouraged growth in applications by hosting conferences in the US and making resources available to software developers. The concept of mobile phone applications is still in a very early stage in China, where Apple’s iPhone — which is largely credited with popularizing apps in other countries — has been officially available only since the end of October. Android is also new; Motorola released its first two Android devices for China last month. “Within the Chinese (Android) market specifically, there hasn’t been a mechanism for users to customize or personalize their devices by downloading applications,” said Christy Wyatt, Motorola’s corporate vice president for software and services in mobile devices. She added that global developers also have been seeking a way to sell their applications in China. The Chinese store is called SHOP4APPS, and its Chinese name translates to “Place for Apps Wisdom.” The store will be launched in time for Chinese New Year next month. Motorola

said the store eventually will be available for licensing by other companies, including device manufacturers. Motorola’s announcement comes amid a turbulent period for Google in China, as the search giant has threatened to pull out of the country over government restrictions on searchengine results. News reports this week also said Google was delaying a planned launch of two Android phones, one manufactured by Motorola, because of uncertainty around the California-based company’s Chinese operations. On the new Android device that Motorola launched with China Telecom, Google search is the only one that comes pre-

loaded on the phone. The SHOP4APPS store will have search applications from a number of providers, including Chinese company Baidu, which is the leading search engine in the country. “We have the ability to customize the search experience, depending on the operators’ preference,” Wyatt said, emphasizing that customers using SHOP4APPS will have choice when it comes to customizing their phones with applications. Wyatt said Motorola’s investment in the Chinese Android market and burgeoning developer community is a longterm commitment that is expected to flourish despite the current noise. — MCT

The idea of breaking down barriers among these electronic devices has occupied the personal technology industry for years. The latest crop of products at CES may be the first to start making good on this promise. Consider Toshiba’s flagship product at the show, Cell TV. It’s a 3-D-ready plasma set with a processing power 10 times faster than a standard desktop computer. Cell TV can connect to the Internet and comes with a video camera and microphone for videoconferencing. Not all of the Internet-connected TVs hitting the market will have the bells and whistles of Cell TV. But the coming generation of sets, unveiled at CES last week, showed that the line between characteristics of a TV and a PC continues to blur. Skype, the Voice over Internet Protocol service, is available on LG and Panasonic TVs, enabling videoconferencing in high definition. The universe of portable, Web-connected devices also is

expanding to encompass not just smart phones, but netbooks and tablets. These computer-like hand-held gadgets made a splash at CES this year, with many manufacturers getting into these product categories for the first time. And third-party applications, similar to the ones consumers put on their mobile phones, are proliferating for TVs. Samsung announced at CES that it is creating an application store that will serve up content for a variety of gadgets and be open to all developers. Partners including Blockbuster, Netflix, YouTube, Twitter and Picasa have signed up. “TV can be your DJ, your gaming opponent or your weatherman,” said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America. In consumer technology, trends that seem visionary at the outset often go nowhere. Most consumers probably have forgotten about WebTV, a service in the mid-1990s that connected the TV to the

Here’s what it means, though: Televisions are becoming more like computers. Computers are becoming more like mobile phones. And mobile phones are becoming more like both computers and televisions.

Internet using a special settop box. Microsoft acquired the company, but the service faded into obsolescence. This time, advances in Web-connected TVs are encouraging more device manufacturers and content providers to jump onboard, said Ronald Jacoby, senior director and chief architect of Yahoo! Connected TV. In other words, it’s not just a handful of companies pushing the trend, which means the chances of the technology’s survival is high. As an example, Jacoby pointed out a new TV and remote control by Vizio that is integrated with Connected TV. The remote has a slide-out keyboard, making it much easier to navigate the TV like a PC. Also new this year: A box by Viewsonic that can connect an older TV to the Internet. These new products represent small steps that will lead to a fundamentally altered concept of TV, Jacoby said. “We’re getting to this ubiquity of platforms and democratization of content,” he said. Rather than

a model in which several content providers determine the programming, tech companies are “enabling anyone to go out there and make a widget and get your content out there.” These changes don’t come without friction, however, and companies disagree on how to deliver on an industry buzzphrase like “TV everywhere.” For Vivek Khemka, vice president of customer technology at Dish Network, “‘TV everywhere’ should mean you pay one time for your content and take it everywhere.” Dish Network is launching a service this year that allows customers to watch live and recorded TV on a laptop or Web-enabled mobile phone. They also can use these portable devices to instruct their home set-top box to record programs. This is a similar service to one recently announced by Comcast, which is allowing subscribers to watch TV via a Web browser. But streaming content on a mobile device is problematic because of bandwidth issues,

said Bill Stone, president of Flo TV, which is billed as the only national mobile broadcast network in the country. Many consumers experience network hiccups, which result in a halting feed, he said. “The premise and the hype is that, ‘Everyone’s got a mobile phone and everyone’s watching TV, so how hard can it be to put them together?’” Stone said. “It’s darn hard.” It may take several more years for consumers to sort through the array of products and services as more choices hit the market. But the industry is moving toward a future where personalized content is available at any time on any device, said John Burke, senior vice president of broadband home solutions in Motorola’s home and networks mobility division. “I think the scale and magnitude of the shift from analog TV to digital TV to the Internet era of television is an unprecedented evolution that’s happening today,” Burke said. — MCT

Pope to priests: Go forth and blog

One of the music dowloading site.

Judge cuts $2m penalty in song-sharing case MINNEAPOLIS: A federal judge on Friday drastically reduced a nearly $2 million verdict against a woman found guilty last year of sharing 24 songs over the Internet, calling the jury’s penalty “monstrous and shocking.” US District Judge Michael Davis reduced the $1.92 million penalty a jury imposed against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to $2,250 per song, or about $54,000. “The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music,” Davis wrote. Davis also denied ThomasRasset’s request for a new trial. He gave the Recording Industry Association of America seven days to either accept the smaller penalty or to ask for another trial to set new damages. Cara Duckworth, spokeswoman for the RIAA, said the group’s attorneys were still analyzing the ruling and would have

no immediate comment. Reached on her cell phone, Thomas-Rasset said the ruling was positive but that her attorneys are planning an attempt to get it lowered further. “Whether it’s $2 million or $54,000, I’m a mom with four kids and one income and we’re not exactly rolling in that kind of dough right now,” she said. Kiwi Camara, one of Thomas-Rasset’s attorneys, said he was pleased with Davis’ decision. Now, he said, the only question is whether the remaining damages are constitutional _ an issue he could appeal to the 8th Circuit. This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it all the way to trial. The vast majority of people targeted by the music industry had settled for about $3,500 each. The recording industry has said it stopped filing such lawsuits and is instead working with Internet service providers to

fight the worst offenders. Under federal law, the recording companies are entitled to $750 to $30,000 per illegally downloaded song - but the law allows the jury to raise that to as much as $150,000 per track if it finds the infringements were willful. That’s led to other large verdicts, including one against Rhode Island graduate student Joel Tenenbaum, who last year was fined $675,000 for downloading and distributing 30 songs. His lawyers are seeking a new trial or reduced damages. Davis wrote that he arrived at the $54,000 figure by tripling the $750 minimum, thus arriving at $2,250 per song. He wrote that were it his decision, he might have reduced it even further. “It was the jury’s province to determine the award ... and this Court has merely reduced that award to the maximum amount that is no longer monstrous and shocking,” he wrote. — AP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: Go forth and blog. The pope, whose own presence on the Web has heavily grown in recent years, urged priests yesterday to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures. And just using e-mail or surfing the Web is often not enough: Priests should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities, Benedict said in a message released by the Vatican. “The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,” but priests are “challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,” he said. The message, prepared for the World Day of Communications, suggests such possibilities as images, videos, animated features, blogs, and Web sites. Benedict said young priests should become familiar with new media while still in seminary, though he stressed that the use of new technologies must reflect theological and spiritual principles. “Priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ,” he said. The 82-yearold pope has often been wary of new media, warning about what he has called the tendency of entertainment media, in particular, to trivialize sex and promote violence, while lamenting that the endless stream of news can make people insensitive to tragedies. But Benedict has also praised new ways of communicating as a “gift to humanity” when used to foster friendship and understanding. The Vatican has tried hard to keep up to speed with the rapidly changing field. Last year it opened a YouTube channel as well as a portal dedicated to the pope. The Pope2You site gives news on the pontiff’s trips and speeches and features a Facebook application that allows users to send postcards with photos of Benedict and excerpts from his messages to their friends. Many priests and top prelates already interact with the faithful online. One of Benedict’s advisers, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the archbishop of Naples, has his own Facebook profile and so does Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles. In yesterday’s message — titled “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word” — Benedict urged special care in contacts with other cultures and beliefs. A presence on the Web, “precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, nonbelievers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute,” he said. Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the Vatican’s social communications office, said that Benedict’s words aimed to encourage reflection in the church on the positive uses of new media. “That doesn’t mean that (every priest) must open a blog or a Web site. It means that the church and the faithful must engage in this ministry in a digital world,” Celli told reporters. “At some point, a balance will be found.” — AP

China slams US of Internet controls

The long awaited open source Android Operating System from Google presently only exists on the G1 with the T-Mobile network.

BEIJING: Beijing has issued a stinging response to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism that it is jamming the free flow of words and ideas on the Internet, accusing the United States of damaging relations between the two countries by imposing its “information imperialism” on China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu defended China’s policies regarding the Web, saying the nation’s Internet regulations were in line with Chinese law and did not hamper the cyber activities of the world’s largest online population. His remarks followed those made by the US secretary of state, who in a speech Thursday criticized countries engaging in cyberspace censorship, and urged China to investigate computer attacks against Google. “Regarding comments that contradict facts and harm China-US relations, we are firmly opposed,” Ma said in a statement posted Friday on the ministry’s Web site. “We urge the US side to respect facts and stop

using the so-called freedom of the Internet to make unjustified accusations against China.” In her speech in Washington, Clinton cited China as among a number of countries where there has been “a spike in threats to the free flow of information” over the past year. She also named Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. A state-run newspaper labeled the appeal from Washington as “information imperialism,” and Ma insisted that China had “the most active development of the Internet” of any country. Washington, meanwhile, carried its message on Internet freedom directly to Chinese bloggers. The US Embassy in Beijing and consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou hosted Internet-streamed discussions with members of the blogging community on Friday afternoon — the latest example of Washington’s outreach to Chinese bloggers as a way of spreading its message. — AP

VATICAN: In this Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 file photo, Monsignor Paul Tighe from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications talks to the Associated Press during an interview to illustrate how Web surfers can now send online Christmas greetings to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: Go forth and blog. — AP



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Study: Green sea slugs able to live on sunlight like plants LOS ANGELES: Part animal, part plant! This may sound like a tabloid headline, but scientists showed this month that a green sea slug has managed to incorporate enough algae parts to easily live off of sunlight, just as a plant does. Scientists already knew that a handful of slugs, including the leaf-shaped Elysia chlorotica, could eat algae but save the algae’s chloroplasts from digestion, and feed off of the remaining energy from the

chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are where photosynthesis occurs - that is, the plant process of turning light into energy. But this was not a self-sustaining system, since most slugs cannot make their own chlorophyll, a green pigment needed to fuel the chloroplasts. To get more chlorophyll, the slugs would have to eat more algae. The green sea slug, however, can make its own chlorophyll.

Scientists at the University of South Florida have identified several algae genes within the slug’s body that are crucial to photosynthesis. “This is the ultimate in horizontal gene transfer,” said Terry Gaasterland, a University of California, San Diego, professor and director of the Scripps Genome Center who was not involved in the study. Once it incorporates algae genes into its system, the green sea slug, which lives

in the salt marshes of New England and Canada, passes these genes on to its offspring. Upon hatching, the babies need one last ingredient to make the whole system work: chloroplasts (the slugs don’t have the genetic instructions to produce the chloroplasts on their own). All a young slug has to do to get such instructions, however, is have a big meal of algae.

Once the chloroplasts are in the green sea slug’s system, the slug is capable of making its own food out of light. It might never have to forage for algae again, said Sidney K. Pierce, a biology professor at the University of South Florida who presented the findings Jan. 7 at the annual meeting for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. The slugs’ success at grabbing genes from another species - and incorporating

them biologically - without waiting for evolutionary providence could help unlock key advancements in genetic technology, Pierce said. “Probably no one cares about slug biology except me and a few other people in the whole world,” Pierce said. “But this whole idea of gene transfer is enormously important. If we can figure this out, it may help with not only genetic engineering, but gene therapy down the road.” — MCT

Obama concedes problems with health care overhaul Forty million to 50 million Americans are uninsured WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama pledged to press for ambitious changes in the US health care system despite major problems facing starkly differing proposals already passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Obama acknowledged, however, that the

effort had run into serious opposition. And a leading member of his party suggested Congress slow it down on health care, a sign of eroding political will in the wake of Tuesday’s Republican election upset in Massachusetts.

OHIO: US President Barack Obama answers a question during a town hall meeting on jobs and the economy at Lorain County Community College, in Elyria, Ohioy. Obama vowed on Friday to keep on fighting for health care reform, admitting he always knew it would be a hard battle.— AFP

CT scanner checks on well-being of ageing US nuclear weapons WALNUT CREEK: A sophisticated X-ray machine co-developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists began providing its inaugural batch of highresolution images of nuclear weapons’ innards this month. The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the nation’s weapons laboratories, is hailing the machine as a breakthrough in assuring the safety and reliability of the nation’s aging nuclear weapons stockpile. “We are fortunate to have dedicated scientists working together from across the nuclear security enterprise to develop cutting-edge tools to monitor aging in critical weapons components,” said Thomas D’Agostino, administrator of the agency. The 20-foot-long CT scanner is installed

at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, where the nation’s only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility is operated. Researchers there teamed with Livermore scientists to develop it. Because of a congressional ban on building new nuclear weapons, many warheads in the nation’s stockpile are decades old. Yet it’s essential to assure their continued reliability to serve as a credible deterrent against attack, nuclear security agency officials say. The CT scanner, which goes by the acronym CoLOSSIS, is modeled after the same machines used in medicine to look inside the human body without making an incision. But X-rays from this machine are much more powerful, enabling them to move through heavy metal. CT scanners yield precise 3-D images.

Until the scanner became fully operational this month, the other alternative for determining if critical nuclear weapons components were defective or sound was to cut into weapons and disassemble critical parts. With a federal ban on even reassembling the component — also a costly procedure — it meant the component was ruined. “One of the exciting things about this is it’s nondestructive,” said Patrick Allen, deputy program manager for the Livermore Lab’s enhanced surveillance program, which monitors the nuclear weapons arsenal. The first user of the CT scanner is Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The lab is using it to assess critical components in the Air Force’s B61 gravity bomb, which is designed for deployment by highspeed aircraft. — MCT

Abandoned patients another burden for Haiti’s hospitals PORT-AU-PRINCE: A severely handicapped four-year-old abandoned on a doorstep is just one of the latest grim findings by nurses and doctors of a French field hospital in the decimated Haitian capital. On the child’s blanket, an ominous message: “This little boy has no father and no mother. Whoever cares about him is his family. Thank you for your goodwill.” Volunteers from the French aid group La Chaine de l’Espoir and from the Alliance for International Medical Action, who manage the field hospital associated with France’s Clinique Lambert, spent a day finding a new home for the child who was born with cerebral palsy. He was finally placed in the care of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. The volunteers are also scrambling to find a solution for a 20-year-old woman, Chichi Nelson, whose broken leg is now set in a plaster cast. She too has lost her parents. “She should have left today because she is staying in a bed that would be more useful for a more severely wounded person but she has no one,” explained Veronique Barbas, a volunteer. The 60-bed field hospital, which French police installed

where the French high school once stood, has accommodated six quadriplegics. No one knows what to do with them. “These people are completely paralyzed. They no longer have a home or a family. They need someone to take care of them constantly and they are taking up six

beds,” said Colonel Michel Orcel, a doctor. “We already have no room for convalescents, we don’t keep amputees for more than two days and these six people are giving us trouble because they don’t belong in an emergency center.” His frustration is shared with

many of the other doctors, nurses and volunteers struggling to care for the wounded who just keep coming while even the most basic of medical supplies remain scarce. Learning about the hospital from word of mouth, three pregnant women showed up as they were about to give birth. —AFP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Doctors treat a young Hatian earthquake victim aboard the USNS (United States Naval Ship) Comfort hospital ship in the harbor off Port-au-Prince, Haiti. — AFP

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, who ushered the overhaul legislation through the Senate’s health committee last year after the death of health reform champion Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said Obama and lawmakers could “maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks.” The president did not offer a specific prescription for moving forward, but he delivered a full-throated defense of his signature domestic issue, which threatens to stall in Congress as the new 41st Republican senator will deny Democrats the 60-vote supermajority needed to assure passage of contentious legislation in the 100seat Senate. Lawmakers ended the week having charted no clear path, though aides promised to work through the weekend to look for a compromise, possibly one that could allow the Senate to act with a simple majority instead of the supermajority Democrats now lack. Obama put fixing a broken health care system at the of his 2008 campaign for the presidency, and once elected made it the top priority of his first term. He has faced solid opposition from the Republican minority, which has rolled over into his fellow Democrats in Congress and to growing numbers of voters. Despite assurances from Obama and his administration, opposition to his plans have grown among people who bought into allegations of higher taxes, unbearable government deficits and serious government meddling in health care. The United States is the only industrialized country without a version of universal health care. Americans get their health insurance mainly through their employers, with government programs to cover mainly retirees, military veterans and members of Native American tribes. Forty million to 50 million Americans are uninsured and get medical care largely through hospital emergency rooms. Obama has spoken about the patchwork nature of the US health care system but said it is politically impossible to throw out the system and start from scratch. Thus the two bills passed by the Senate and House, which under normal congressional rules must be negotiated into a joint bill and repassed by both chambers. Just a week ago the health legislation had appeared on the cusp of passage after Obama threw himself into marathon negotiations with congressional leaders to work out differences between the House and Senate bills. “There are things that have to get done. This is our best chance to do it. We can’t keep on putting this off,” Obama said Friday at a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio, warning listeners that spiraling medical costs threaten to bankrupt them and the country unless Congress acts. “I am not going to walk away just because it’s hard,” the president said. Obama has used immense political capital to advance the health care overhaul and remake a system that has frustrated past administrations. Whether he can succeed where others have failed is now anything but clear, and Obama seemed to acknowledge as much. House Republican leader John Boehner said the Massachusetts election should send a very loud warning to Democrats. “My home state of Ohio has endured nine straight months of double-digit unemployment,” he said in the weekly Republican radio and video address Saturday. “And for the better part of those nine months, Democrats in Washington have been focused on this government takeover of health care that working families just can’t afford and want nothing to do with.” — AP

BAHIA: File TV grab taken on December 15, 2009 showing an X-ray of the stomach of a two-year-old boy who had 32 sewing needles inserted into his body. The boy left hospital after a month of operations and recovery, a spokeswoman said on January 22, 2010. He underwent three complicated operations to remove needles that were close to his heart, lungs and liver. Around five of the slivers remain in his body and are to be removed later in simpler, outpatient surgery. — AFP

Scientists identify 4 subtypes of deadliest brain tumor CHARLOTTE: The most common and deadly form of brain tumor is not one disease, but at least four subtypes, scientists at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and other institutions reported Tuesday. Each type of tumor, called a glioblastoma, has distinct molecular features that possibly arise from different causes. Knowing that should help scientists develop targeted treatments. Currently, glioblastomas are nearly always fatal, and the average survival after diagnosis is about a year. It is the form of brain cancer that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy last year, despite aggressive treatment that included surgery at Duke University Medical Center. The UNC-Chapel Hill team — participating in a National Institutes of Health effort to map the genetic structure of 20 cancer types — scoured a vast database to compare healthy human DNA against glioblastoma. A surprising pattern emerged. While the brain tumors looked the same under a microscope, they showed remarkable differences when examined more closely at the molecular level. Some were missing parts of chromosomes; others had extra parts. “This is really a quantum step,” said Dr. David Neil Hayes, lead author and researcher at the looking at a time and progress in science that’s equivalent to some of the major advances such as the microscope. This is the dawn of a new era in the study of human disease.” The new frontier has been touted for years as personalized medicine _ disease diagnoses and treatments gauged to a patient’s unique genetic makeup. Already, doctors are making treatment decisions for some breast and other cancers based on the molecular construction of the tumors. With glioblastomas, Hayes said, a similar approach is not far off, and he said new drugs in the pipeline have the potential to target one or another of the four tumor subtypes. Patient groups welcomed the findings, which were published Tuesday in the journal Cancer Cell. “This is a wonderful discovery,” said Dianne

Traynor, president of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in Asheville, N.C., which funds research and provides advocacy to patients and families. “This is very important, because it can be sparing to patients when we know the differences.” Traynor said some patients may opt to forego treatment if they know it’s ineffective on their type of tumor. Additionally, less medicine may work on tumors that do respond, sparing patients from toxic side effects. The findings could also spur research into new drugs. “This study will be highly relevant to patients in speeding up development of appropriate new therapies for their particular tumors,” said David R. Hurwitz, chief science officer of the National Brain Tumor Society. Hayes, the UNC researcher, said the mapping effort for glioblastoma is just the start of a five-year mission to decode the molecular structures of cancer tumors. The program, called The Cancer Genome Atlas, involves dozens of research institutions, with UNC working to decipher how the genes are expressed. “(The Cancer Genome Atlas) is mobilizing the entire cancer community to find new strategies in detecting and treating cancer faster,” National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said in a prepared statement. “These findings are just a hint of what we expect to result from the comprehensive data generated by (the program) over the next few years.” Research findings about ovarian cancer are expected to be reported next, Hayes said. ABOUT GLIOBLASTOMAS: • They’re the most common form of brain cancer, accounting for 20 percent of malignancies. • The tumors are fast growing and aggressive. • They are most common in adults ages 4555, and they affect more men than women. • The cause is unknown, although genetics may play a role. • Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. —MCT



Math Relay at KNES

Sunday, January 24, 2010

uwait National English School (KNES) Year 4 students participated in a fun filled and exciting Math Relay Competition. This competition is a continuation of a series of Mental Maths and Problem Solving Competitions, which begun last term and is in keeping with our aim of developing critical thinking skills and teamwork amongst students. The students enjoyed the competitive atmosphere within a venue outside of the classroom.


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

IEAS experiences the value of education through travel s wonderful as it is to read about places and things that interest us, to experience those places and things allows us to learn and appreciate our world, and our own lives, in a deeper, more lasting, and more meaningful way. The students of Indian English Academy School, Salmiya - Kuwait, experienced this opportunity through an Educational Tour to Egypt. First of its kind, this marvelous experience opened the doors of their minds to limitless new things, people, places and experiences. The tour was undertaken from 26th December ‘09 to 2nd January ‘10. A total of 14 students and two teachers went on this excursion with enthusiasm and gusto. Developing a sense of team spirit, independence and discipline was the main objectives of this


fabulous eight days travel. Cairo, Aswan and Luxor were the highlights of the tour. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, the Papyrus factory, the Nile Cruise and its tour to the West and East Bank of Luxor, the Khan El Khalili market, etc. enlightened the students with a lot of knowledge and hands - on - experience. Our special thanks to the management and the parents of IEAS for all the support and encouragement rendered to make this pioneer effort of an Educational tour at IEAS a grand success. We are also thankful the organizers of tour - the Caesars’ travels for their guidance and support throughout the tour and for sponsoring caps and Tshirts for the students of IEAS. It was indeed an astounding experience!!!!

BSK Geography field visit to the REUSE 3.0 educe. Reuse. Recycle. Three words that once implemented can help save the environment. In relation to this, we were privileged to visit the REUSE 3.0 exhibition, held at the Avenues. It was not only a good way to introduce one of our IGCSE topics; Sustainability, but also coincided with the recent climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. The moment we stepped out of the prominent white BSK bus at the entrance of the Avenues, excitement filled us all. Making our way underground, the parking lot had been completely transformed into different works from artists and young people from all over Kuwait. For the third consecutive year, en.v Initiative had organized the REUSE 3.0 exhibition whereby the local community came togethgether


too promote recycling through art by reconstructing a series of pioneering artistic and design solutions relating to Climate Change. Amazed, we could not help but take pictures of different furniture’s, paintings and photographs that related to Kuwait. One particular piece that attracted everyone’s attention was based around the theme of smoking, which not only affects one’s health but also the environment. One artist had created a house of packs of cigarettes which they had found on the streets. They had also put up a huge recycled cloth that encouraged smokers to sign under the title of: ‘I vow that I will not smoke for the rest of the day’. The editor of The Student Talk magazine had kindly offered us a tour of the exhibition, where she told us the

backgroupnd to the displayed items. We also learnt that all damage to the environment through the exhibition would be made up by investing in ‘green projects’ after a carbon footprint audit had been completed. Sponsored by Zain Telecommunications Company, we were kindly given Viva inspired gift boxes that included memory sticks, notebooks and TShirts. When asked as to what we will do with the boxes once we have used the items, one of us answered; ‘Coming to the exhibition made us aware of the great danger that our planet is in. It would be foolish if we were to throw away these boxes after visiting an exhibition that has opened our eyes to how we can help save the environment through the use of just the 3 R’s: by Reducing, Recycling and Reusing’.

NPIS, Hawally holds annual sports day inds need relaxation and sports are the best way to refresh and enhance mental abilities and to prepare the students for a healthy competition in life. The Annual Sports Day, the most awaited event is always played with great physical fervor and enthusiasm.


The Annual Sports Day 2009/2010 was held in Hassan Abul Stadium Dasma on 11th and 12th December 2010. The students from class 1-4 enjoyed the event on the 11th and the students from class 5-8 on the 12th December. The students categorized into four houses displayed

unique and mind-blowing enthusiasm and their participation was appreciable. The games played were pleasure-seeking and enchanting. The games like Rope Skipping, Relay Race, Sack Race, Jumping the Pole, Basket Ball with the hockey stick and Three-legged Race were

the hallmark of the event. To add to the rapture of the occasion, healthy food was provided to the students. Anita Bukharey, the director of the school, honoured the occasion and gave away medals to the winners.

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: e-mail:; fax: 24817103, and tel no: 24817100, 24817101, 24817102. EMBASSY OF INDIA On the occasion of the Republic Day of India, a Flag hoisting ceremony will be held at the Embassy of India premises on Arabian Gulf Street at 9 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2010. The flag hoisting will be followed by the reading of the message of the President of India, rendition of patriotic songs by Indian school children, and an Open House Reception. All Indian nationals in Kuwait are cordially invited to attend the Flag Hoisting Ceremony. 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.



Sunday, January 24, 2010


any happy returns of the day to Albin M Jinse who is M celebrated his first birthday. May Almighty God bless him and keep him in good health. Best wishes come from papa Jinse, mum Swapna relatives and friends in Kuwait and India.

Punalur NRI Association get-together eethambara Kurup, the Member of Parliament from India inaugurated the Punalur NRI Association annual get-together in Kuwait. On stage sitting from left are Manoj Mathew, Rev Raju Thomas, Jacob Channapetta and Joy Karavaloor. A send-off was given to Rev. Fr Raju Thomas (Associated Vicar Mar Thoma Parish Kuwait) during the meeting. Jacob Channapetta presented a memento to Fr Raju Thomas. Around 300 people attended Punalur NRI Association get-together.


any happy returns of the day to Aiswarya Satheesh, who celebrates her 7th birthday. May Almighty God’s blessM ings be on you. Wish you an evergreen, enjoyable and devoted life. Best wishes and lot of love from : Satheesh Kumar, Usha Satheesh, Lakshmi, friends and realatives.

Former Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahaman’s birthday celebrated

irthday greetings Rovel B Rajan Thottungal.

ounding Chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) martyr President Ziaur Rahaman’s 74th birthday celebration amid discussion meeting and prayer mahfil was held recently in Kuwait City. President in charge of Kuwait BNP and President of JASAS Kuwait chapter Akram Ali Babul presided over the function. On the occasion of 74th birthday of martyr President Ziaur Rahaman a special prayer was conducted for the peace of his


Best wishes from parents, relatives & friends.

reetings from father Afsar G Khan, Best wishes

Announcements JANUARY 27 Lecture by Dr Muna: TIES Center presents: “Intercultural Communication Competence” a lecture by Dr Muna A. Ali PhD. Dr Muna head of the Euro-Gulf studies Center at Kuwait University as well as the Prof. of Political Science & International Relations. Her lecture will focus on avoiding communication conflicts when interacting both socially and in work related activities with other cultures. Join us for an intercultural experience and test your communication skills! Wednesday, January 27th from 7 to 8:30 pm at Ties Center Shuhada, Block 4, Street 413, Villa 67, Call 25231015 or 97798222. JANUARY 29 Drawing contest: The Kuwait RSC (Risala Study Circle) is conducting drawing contest (“NIRAKOOT”) for children as part of its Zonal conference. Venue On 29th January 2010 Friday at 4 pm in Abbasiya community hail. The participants have categorized as Junior and Senior (up to 7 year old as junior, in between 7 and 12 as senior) those who are interested to join the contest may call 66009656, 99118976 or Email at before 22nd January. 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

countrymen. They expressed sympathy to two sons of martyr president Ziaur Rahaman respectively Tarek Rahaman the Senior Vice president of BNP central executive committee, and Arafat Rahaman for their not being able to celebrate this auspicious occasion along with their mother and party activists. City BNP general secretary Engineer M.A. Sayed presented the program. The chief speaker was Kamrul Hasan Bablu executive member

of BNP and the President of Seschsasebak dal Kuwait chapter. Among others City BNP President Abul Bashar, President of Hawalli province BNP and general secretary of Seschsasebak dal Abdul Kader Mullah, Senior vice president of JSS Shalijamal Khondakar, Senior vice president of City BNP Kabir Hosen, General Secretary of Hawalli province BNP Abdul Latif, member Sher Ali, Md Zamal addressed the audience.

Frontliners new team for 2010

Happy b’day to Shahrukh Khan

from sisters Uzma Khan, Shifa Khan.

departed soul. After the prayer mahfil a birthday cake was cut and distributed to a number of children and leaders of BNP and it’s co-organizations in Kuwait. It was followed by the discussion meeting where all the speakers emphasized the day as an auspicious one in terms of life long achievements of BNP founding chairman martyr president Ziaur Rahaman. They extended good wishes to his family members as well as to all

rontliners, Kuwait held their annual meeting on 17-012010 to elect new committee for the year 2010. President Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane welcomes all the members and thanked them for their support. He thanked advisors and patrons for their support. He in particular thanked the Founder Mr.N.C.Mohandoss for his tireless contribution to FRONTLINERS. Advisor Mr. Lakshaminarayanan elaborated various activities performed by FRONTLINERS over the past 12 years and welcomed new members who joined. Mr. Velu proposed new com-


mittee for the year 2010, which was unanimously approved by all the members present. Following are executive members for the year 2010. President: Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane; Vice President: S.Singaravel (Velu), Secretary: S.Chelladurai (Durai) Joint secretary: Mrs. Nasrin Aziz, Shibu Treasurer: G. Nagasubramanian, Joint Treasurer: A. Mariappan, Function co-ordinators: P. Arumugam, Joseph Panickar, C. Lakshmanan, Labour welfare: K. Mathi, Kavi V.E.P.Mathi, R.T.Arasu M.Durairaj, Mustafa Al-mass, & Founder & Coordinator: N.C.Mohandoss.

KKIC to hold mega Islamic seminar uwait Kerala Islahi Centre (KKIC) will be conducting a mega Islamic seminar from 24-27th February 2010 at Farwaniya Garden ground. The mega Islamic seminar will be a memorable event and pioneer in the expatriate communities in Kuwait. In the four-day program there will be several useful and informative sessions such as Peace Assembly, Leaders conference in the context of expatriate community, scholars conference, students meet, women conference, visual debate and medical camp. An exhibition will be conducted for awareness of the message of Islam. Prominent scholars of Kerala TP Abdulla Koya Madani (President KNM), MM Akbar (Director - Niche of Truth), Adv Mayinkutty Mathar, CP Saleem, Abdulrasheed Kuttamboor, Anas Moualvi, Husain Salafi (Sharjah) and other dignitaries will attend the conference. Ministers and MPs in and outside Kuwait will grace the program. A souvenir will be released on this occasion. An organizing committee formed to conduct the follow up activities of seminar as Chairman P.N. Abdullatheef Madani and General Convenor TP Abdul Azeez. The office bearers of the committee: Abdul Khader Saheb (Chief Patron); Malayil Moosakoya, Mukhtar Mauroof, Galeb Mashoor, EK Abdurazak, Kareem Irfan (Patrons); NK Abdussalam (Convenor) and Apsara Mahmood (Vice chairman). Khaleel Adoor (Chairman-Program), Kabeer Busthani (Convener-program); Ashraf Ayur (Chairman - publicity), Sayed Mohammed (Vice Chairman - Publicity), Sunash Shukoor (convener-Publicity), Munawar (Chairman - IT), Eng. Mudar Kannu (Convener-IT), Sidheeq Valiyakathu (Chairman-Press & Channels), Sathar Kunnil (Vice Chairman - Press & Channels),


Maqbool (Convener - Press & Channels), Basheer Batha (Chairman - Volunteer), Favas Moosakutty (Vice ChairmanVolunteer), Sakeer Koyilandi (ConvenerVolunteer), Dr.Shabeer (Chairman Reception), K.P.Usman (Vice Chairman Reception), Sadathali (Convener Reception), Bayan Moosa (Chairman - Food & Refreshments), Moideen Barbees (Vice Chairman - Food & Refreshments),

Lukhman Kannur (Convener - Food & Refreshments), Abdussamad A.M. (Chairman - Venue), Abdul Kader (Vice Chairman - Venue), Abdu Adakani ( Convener - Venue), Abdussamad Lulu ( Chairman - Transport), Jaffer Kodungallur (Convener - Transport), Sainudheen Makthoom (Chairman - Light & Sound), Shukoor Echo Restaurant (Vice Chairman Light & Sound), Habeeb.P.K (Convener Light & Sound), Dr Ameer (Chairman Exhibition), Shajahan Thiruvananthapuram (

Vice Chairman - Exhibition), Nasar Iqbal (Convener - Exhibition), Abdul Kader Lulu (Chairman-Souvenir), Mehaboob K.K (Vice Chairman - Souvenir), Shabeer Nandi (Convener- Souvenir), K.C.Muhammed Najeeb(Chief Editor), Aboobacker Kallan (Chairman-Stall), Yaqoob Elathur ( Vice Chairman - Stall), Kasim.T.T. (ConvenerStall), A.K.Sadiq Ali (Chairman - Finance & Sponsoring), Musthaq Kannur (Vice Chairman-Finance & Sponsoring), Faisal.T. (Convener-Finance & Sponsoring), Abdul Rahiman City Centre (ChairmanPurchasing), M.P.Abdul Salam (ConvenerPurchasing), Taha Thangal (ChairmanBadges & Printing), Hydros Babu (Chairaman-Badges & Printing), Aboobacker Koya (Convener-Badges & Printing), Hashim Parammal (Chairman Mementos), Sakeer Koyilandi (Convener Mementos). The events will be coordinated by Saleh Batha (Chairman - Leaders Meet), C.P.Abdul Azeez (Convener-Leaders Meet), Haris Ideed (Chairman-English Program), Sunash Shukoor (Convener English Program), Rafi Nandi (ChairmanStudents Meet), Hamza Hawalli (Vice Chairman-Students Meet), Ashraf Ekarool (Convener-Students Meet), Swalahudheen Swalahi (Chairman - Women’s Meet), Umer Bin Abdul Azeez (ConvenerWomen’s Meet), Musthafa MTC (Chairman- Peace Assembly), Shabeer Mundoli (Vice Chairman- Peace Assembly), Aslam Kapad(Convener- Peace Assembly), Noushad City Clinic (Chairman-Medical Camp), Dr.Jafer(Vice Chairman-Medical Camp), Shaju Hawalli (Convener-Medical Camp), Ali Mathra (Chairman-Recording) and Nishad Mangaf (Convener-Recording).

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 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.



Sunday, January 24, 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


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Chest Hospital


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Adan Hospital


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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

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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

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New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

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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

22433377 24379900 177 22477631 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 24, 2010



ACCOMMODATION Furnished sharing accommodation available for a Keralite bachelor or family in Abbassiya. Contact: 66577233. (C 20234) 24-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for Keralite couple from January 26th or February 1st onwards. Rent KD 65. Contact: 66598187. (C 20228) Flat near Al Ommooma hospital, rent KD 160, with new furniture, for sale, 3 dishes and 6 LNPs, separate parking, available from 25th January. Contact: 97549378/ 94054916/ 66511549. (C 20232) 21-1-2010 Single room available in Bneid Al-Gar for working decent ladies, central A/C, available from this month, very near to Al-Salam hospital. Please contact: 97879611. (C 20224) Room for rent at Al Mugera St Salmiya near Fahaheel Expressway for Filipinos only, call 99057302 any time. (C 20226)

One furnished room available in C-A/C 3 bed flat in Jabriya block 8, near Hadi hospital, rent KD 80/PM for decent couple or working lady. Contact: 66706118, 99067385. (C 20225) Sharing accommodation available for a small family in a 2 bedroom, hall & kitchen central A/C flat near Emirates hotel, Abu Halifa with Keralite Christian family. Contact: 97612421. (C 20227) 20-1-2010 Fully furnished sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for couple or for two bachelors from Feb 1st. Contact: 99264892. (C 20222) One room accommodation available for single Indian bachelor in C-A/C flat near Indian Community School Salmiya, rent KD 65. Contact: 97237934, 25658475. (C 20223) 19-1-2010 Fully furnished sharing accommodation available for Keralite family at Abbassiya (only 4 months, from Feb 1st). Contact: 99962214, 66957146. (C

18-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available for family or bachelor, central A/C building, bathroom attached near Garden store, Abbassiya. Contact: 65662085, 66274078. (C 20208)

FOR SALE Mitsubishi jeep Nativa 6 cylinder engine, alloy rim, fog launch, silver color, excellent condition, cash price KD 3,100 negotiable, installment possible. Contact 66507741. (C 20229) Corolla 2002 (1.8), for sale, run km 180,000, registration on 6-4-2010, KD 1350 final. Contact: 99864113. (C 20230) 21-1-2010 ATV 50cc E-Ton run great!. Call 67039015. (C 20220) Household goods for sale. Call 67039015. (C 20221) 20-1-2010 Toyota Camry XLi, 4 cylinders, model 2006, white color, done KD 47,000, excellent condition, price cash KD 3,150. Contact:

97213518. (C 20219) Mercedes 99 E240, silver, very good condition, full option, sunroof, wood decoration, cruise control, company original paint, lady driven, price KD 1750. Contact: 66321932. (C 20218)

Sony TV, Electric oven, boiler/ Coffee maker and dishwasher for sale. Please call 97850290.

No: 14619

Pejot Pointer delivery van, 2008 model, KD 1,350. Phone: 66052331. (C 20199)

Mitsubishi Gallant, model 2003, silver grey color, in very good condition and insured up to October 2010, engine overhauled in November 09, from M/S auto-1 (ex Al Gannam), price fixed KD 1150. Call: 66608427. (C 20217) 19-1-2010

Jeep Ford Escape, model 2001, color yellow, four doors, 6 cylinders, very good condition with original paint, 200,191 km, price KD 1,250 fixed. Phone: 97786744/ 66804825.

Mitsubishi Pajero 2000 model, (V6) very good condition, golden color, KD 1650. Phone: 99951793, 66605926. (C 20204) 17-1-2010

I, Eusebio Fernandes holder Indian Passport No. E 3358259, hereby change my name to Eusebio Salvador Fernandes. (C 20231) 21-1-2010




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


0457 0134 084 800 0173 0693 857 215 510 0303 0239 0217 0125 0367 2101 703 227 982 2003 473 1025 542 0177 674 166 786 614 744 102 458 552 618 0647 0459 2011 217 402 0136 859 172 502 981 0449 0429 081 0117 0185 389 636 043 2201 1029 205


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


Departure Flights on Sunday 24-01-2010 Flt Route









































14:35 14:40



















































































































































































































































































































































Sunday, January 24, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You may find yourself a

bit serious and your words for the next few days are work and concentration. You may also find yourself distracted and wishing you were at home with your own personal projects. Feeling handcuffed to your desk and your responsibilities at work today, you get down to business and accomplish more than you expected. The evening brings up some interesting conversations around the dinner table concerning plans. All will contribute their own dreams and wishes for themselves. Some conversations lead to memories past and comparisons of the present and perhaps, some possibilities of the future. You can sway others with your ideas—you are probably a speaker or in a religious field. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Idealism, rationality and

critical thinking become more and more a part of your mental patterns and the way you communicate. You are inventive, original and high tech. You may find yourself analyzing your life situation and surroundings. A relationship that has been touch and go lately may find you deciding to back off—this may be the wisest time to let go—fish or cut bait, so-to-speak. Control issues may have to be studied in order to create happier future relationships. Review your limitations as well as your expectations. Respect the differences. You are wise to balance your personal and your professional life now. You will have an opportunity to enjoy visiting with friends, family and neighbors this evening. You listen to inspiring conversations.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Wild ox of mountainous areas of eastern India. 5. (informal) Of the highest quality. 8. The local time at the 0 meridian passing through Greenwich, England. 11. Large sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit having a thick wrinkled skin. 12. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 13. Of or relating to a member of the Buddhist people inhabiting the Mekong river in Laos and Thailand. 14. Spring-loaded doorlock that can only be opened from the outside with a key. 17. Before noon. 18. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 19. Capital and largest city of Iraq. 21. Offering fun and gaiety. 24. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 25. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 30. (computer science) A coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors. 31. The cry made by sheep. 32. A light touch or stroke. 34. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 37. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 40. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 44. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 47. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 48. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 49. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 50. A castrated tomcat. 51. An independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia). 52. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 53. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. DOWN 1. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 2. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 3. In or of the month preceding the present one. 4. A narrow zigzag ribbon used as trimming. 5. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 6. Baby bed with high sides. 7. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 8. Showing or causing joy and pleasure. 9. God of death. 10. Having a toe or toes of a specified kind. 15. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 16. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 20. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 22. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 23. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 26. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 27. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 28. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 29. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 33. Measuring instrument in which the echo of a pulse of microwave radiation is used to detect and locate distant objects. 35. (folklore) A corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living. 36. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 38. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 39. An island in Indonesia east of Java. 41. Medium-sized tree having glossy lanceolate leaves. 42. A town in north central Oklahoma. 43. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 45. A master's degree in business. 46. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Political issues may be running around in your head today. Tending to errands this morning may bring issues to the forefront of your attention. There is talk about a new rule regarding the requirement for a valid photo ID before sending a letter. You may even conjure up the memories when everybody actually sent cards—thank you cards, birthday cards, anniversary cards, etc. There is something about freedom that is precious and precarious—you may decide to write a local newspaper. Perhaps a letter to some editor is in order. Talk a neighbor into a walking exercise with you—you may find these walks, as well as the friendship, will boost your energies. A loved one wants to hear your ideas and you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This morning is in your favor for completing any unfinished personal business. You may also find yourself politically expressive regarding some sort of neighborhood project. This may mean that you get people to sign a petition or you collect money to help with future spring planting of trees or building a covered bus stop. You may be contemplating some citywide issues. This could mean a volunteer job for you. This is a fun time to purchase beauty or toiletry products—perhaps a new scent or skin protection product. You also can see the benefit of making your own skin product to keep the unsuitable chemicals away from your body—fun. Of course, you always want to abide by the safety precautions of developing any products; particularly soap. Leo (July 23-August 22) Personal chores can be accomplished today but interruptions are likely; now you have been forewarned. You may want to stay as flexible as possible. Relatives express their admiration of your ability to adjust to change. Good fortune happens in a natural and timely manner and by the end of this day you will wonder what you did to create so many good vibrations. There are lots of opportunities to enjoy the afternoon; you are wanting and able to do almost anything. Today you may be successful in scheduling a travel plan for yourself. You feel great support for your ideas. Set clear priorities that will help you eliminate the unessential. Look at the companies that discover or work with navigation tools and remote control equipment for a future investment.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You attract people that give you encouragement. A new friend may come into your life that is new to your part of the country. You can also attract high-strung people that worry and aim for advancement. Perhaps you need this difficulty in your life just to create a challenge in problem-solving. As you help people with their problems . . . they will move forward with their lives. Don’t expect these people that you have helped to stay in one place. Perhaps you will do well in lecturing, motivational speaking or writing how-to type of books. Allocate some of the home responsibilities today by taking a vote on who will do what chore. Have clarity in direction and desired results with rewards for going beyond the call of duty. Positive energies are available.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Feeling two ways at once takes up most of the day. Although many things are positive, some difficulties can occur in your day. You have a way of wording things so that people see a particular subject your way . . . you can persuade others with your argument. You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Problems are short-lived. Continual discovery, persistent search and continual change and transformation keep you on the move and growing. You are able to penetrate and get to the very heart of things; thus if you are doing research, you will find much success. When you express yourself honestly and take a stand for yourself you may find an attentive and fair-minded partner gives you more than the time of day.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Good luck, good

opportunities and interesting relationships make this a fun and rewarding day. If there is something you need help in accomplishing or new projects to begin . . . today is your day. Someone close to you is supportive of your ideas and will help you. There is motivation for disciplined work, but push too hard and you may break something. Keep your resolutions regarding health and fitness. This afternoon some political issues may come to your attention. The power of attraction and desire for love is great, but you should exercise caution before entering a new relationship that may come about during this time. An evening meal of turkey is good; it will help you relax for the evening. Enjoy family togetherness this evening. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are tuned in to the world around you and not too many things will get by you today. You can just about set your own pace for now. Simplicity is the word for the day. A pop-around visit from a co-worker may not be welcomed. You may feel they stay too long or they want to know information that you are not ready to share. You will tolerate few interruptions today with short but sweet comments. Accomplishments in your work can be limitless. A small amount of exercise can bring your tolerance level up this afternoon. Any problem from the past or anything that slows you down needs understanding before there is more confusion. Relax and take things easy this evening. Make sure your nutrition is balanced and you are breathing fresh air.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You like


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

salads; so create some tempting ones for this week. Tuna and chicken salads could be made for the first of the week and some finger food like rolled lunch meat and low fat cheese with crackers can go for the end of the week. Whatever you do, you enjoy cooking a week ahead so you can magically pull out special items all week long with little work. Perhaps you will think about publishing a cookbook—one for people that work and need easy-toprepare foods to take to work. Educational plans need changing: you realize that they may not suit you as well as you’d like. Anything connected with publishing, advertising, or broadcasting requires examination. Your dreams of further education or travel keep coming into your mind. Create a plan. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Be wise in your communications with an authority figure today. You may find someone you meet just now is too secretive for your taste. Sometimes things are very clear and then again, you regain consciousness. Just like the mirror on your vehicle that is marked, objects-are-closer-than-you-think. The things that you see and hear today may need time to develop. If you read about a job opportunity, send out your resume. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus—give yourself a chance. You have insight into your emotions and drive and you can talk about your feelings with great insight. Social invitations and romance are in the forecast—you may take some time this afternoon to get a new suit or dress for the event. Pisces (February 19-March 20) The flow of your work or finances may have run into a wall of resistance this last day or so. There may be instances when you will have to give a full accounting of your labors, particularly to superiors or those interested in buying your wares. Be cooperative and all will go well. You will see an overall improvement in your sales very soon. This month has allowed you time to adjust before the real demands begin. You will feel able to cope with whatever comes to your attention. You are intent on seeing the big picture and getting to the point. Being in touch with ideas and people on a large scale, keeps you on your toes; so-to-speak. Make a determined effort to practice balance in your life. Compartmentalizing and prioritizing will be your safety net.


Sunday, January 24, 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 One Tree Hill 05:00 Lost 06:00 GMA Recorded 07:00 Inside the Actors Studio 08:00 Law & Order 09:00 Private Practice 10:00 Grey’s Anatomy 11:00 Ally McBeal 12:00 One Tree Hill 13:00 Cold Case 14:00 Ally McBeal 15:00 Inside the Actors Studio 16:00 GMA Live 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 One Tree Hill 19:00 The Ex-List 20:00 Law & Order 21:00 Private Practice 22:00 Grey’s Anatomy 23:00 Nip/Tuck ANIMAL PLANET 00:50 Night 01:45 Animal Cops Houston 02:40 Untamed & Uncut 04:30 Animal Cops South Africa 05:25 I Was Bitten 06:20 Animal Cops Houston 07:10 Aussie Animal Rescue 07:35 Vet on the Loose 08:00 Wildlife SOS 08:25 Pet Rescue 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:45 Animal Precinct 10:40 Aussie Animal Rescue 11:05 Miami Animal Police 11:55 Animal Cops South Africa 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Snake Buster 14:40 Planet Earth 15:35 RSPCA: On the Frontline 16:30 Pet Rescue 17:25 Crime Scene Wild 18:20 Into the Pride 19:15 K9 Cops 20:10 Escape to Chimp Eden 21:10 Planet Earth 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 Into the Pride 23:55 Austin Stevens Adventures

16:15 Sport Today - U 16:30 Africa Business Report - U 17:00 Bbc World News - U 17:10 The Conspiracy Files - U 18:00 Bbc World News - U 18:10 The Doha Debates - U 19:00 Bbc World News - U 19:30 Reporters - U 20:00 Bbc World News - U 20:30 Equestrian World - U 21:00 Bbc World News - U 21:10 My Country - U 22:00 Bbc World News - U 22:15 Sport Today - U 22:30Middle East Business Report - U 23:00 Bbc World News - U 23:10 The Doha Debates - 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 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 Skunk Fu! 08:25 Chop Socky Chooks 08:50 Chowder 09:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:40 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:05 Batman: The Brave and The Bold 10:30 Chop Socky 60 11:30 The Secret Saturdays 11:55 Best Ed

02:30 Talkasia 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:30 World Sport 05:00 World Report 05:30 Worldview 06:00 News Special 06:30 Ireport For Cnn 07:00 Revealed 07:30 World Sport 08:00 World Report 08:30 Best Of Backstory 09:00 World Report 09:30 Revealed 10:00 World Report 10:30 World Sport 11:00 World Report 11:15 Cnn Marketplace Middle East 11:30 Mainsail 12:00 Political Mann 12:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Global Edi 13:00 Larry King 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 News Special 15:30 Inside Africa 16:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 17:00 State Of The Union With John King 18:00 World Report 18:30 Ireport For Cnn 19:00 Mainsail 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:45 Cnn Marketplace Middle East 21:00 African Voices 21:30 Revealed 22:00 World Report 22:30 News Special 23:00 Amanpour. DISCOVERY CHANNEL 00:00 Time Warp 01:00 Mythbusters 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Brainiac 03:50 Smash Lab 04:45 Factory Made 05:10 Ultimate Survival

BBC ENTERTAINMENT 00:05 Carrie & Barry 00:35 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 01:20 Nighty Night 02:20 Little Britain 02:50 Green Green Grass 03:20 Massive 03:50 Carrie & Barry 04:20 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 05:05 Nighty Night 06:05 Canterbury Tales 06:55 Cash In The Attic 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 Balamory 11:00 Cash In The Attic 12:00 Doctors 14:30 A Year At Kew 15:00 A Year At Kew 15:30 Life In The Undergrowth 16:20 Jane Eyre 17:15 Popcorn 18:10 The Weakest Link 18:55 Casualty 19:45 Casualty 20:35 A Year At Kew 21:35 Life In The Undergrowth 22:25 The Whistleblowers 23:15 Goldplated BBC LIFESTYLE 00:30 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 01:20 Come Dine With Me 03:25 The Restaurant Uk 05:50 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 07:30 Come Dine With Me 08:00 Antiques Roadshow 09:40 Saturday Kitchen 10:40 Coleen’s Real Women 11:25 10 Years Younger 12:15 The Clothes Show 13:00 Saturday Kitchen 14:00 Living In The Sun 14:45 Coleen’s Real Women 15:30 10 Years Younger 16:15 The Clothes Show 17:00 It’s Not Easy Being Green 17:25 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 19:05 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 20:45 Come Dine With Me 22:50 The Restaurant Uk BBC WORLD 00:00 Bbc World News - U 00:30 Equestrian World - U 01:00 Bbc World News - U 01:30 Newsnight - U 02:00 Bbc World News - U 02:30 Africa Business Report - U 03:00 Bbc World News - U 03:30 This Week - U 04:00 Bbc World News - U 04:10 The Doha Debates - U 05:00 Bbc World News - U 05:10 The Conspiracy Files - U 06:00 Bbc World News - U 06:10 My Country - U 07:00 Bbc World News - U 07:30 Hardtalk - U 08:00 Bbc World News - U 08:30 India Business Report - U 09:00 Bbc World News - U 09:30 Fast Track - U 10:00 Bbc World News - U 10:10 The Doha Debates - U 11:00 Bbc World News - U 11:10 My Country - U 12:00 Bbc World News - U 12:30 Dateline London - U 13:00 Bbc World News - U 13:30 Equestrian World - U 14:00 Bbc World News - U 14:30 India Business Report - U 15:00 Bbc World News - U 15:30 Newsnight - U 16:00 Bbc World News - U

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

Sonny With A Chance Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Fairly Odd Parents Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Tarzan The Replacements Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Jonas Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Phineas & Ferb Famous Five Fairly Odd Parents Jonas Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Jump In Hannah Montana The Suite Life of Zack & Cody The Replacements Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana

E! ENTERTAINMENT 00:15 Wildest Tv Show Moments 00:40 E!es 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 25 Most Stylish 08:35 E! News 09:25 Ths 11:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 12:00 E! News 12:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 13:15 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 13:40 E!es 14:30 Leave It To Lamas 15:25 Ths 17:10 Behind The Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:50 Perfect Catch 19:40 Ths 20:30 Ths 21:20 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:10 E! News 23:00 Perfect Catch 23:50 Reality Hell EXTREME SPORTS 00:00 Strikeforce 01:00 Strikeforce 02:00 Fim World Motocross Championships 2009 03:00 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 04:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 05:00 I-Ex Season 2 07:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 08:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 10:00 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 11:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 12:00 X Games 15 2009 13:00 Red Bull Empire of Dirt 14:00 Breitling Airsports 2008 17:00 X Games 15 2009 18:00 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 19:00 Red Bull Empire of Dirt 20:00 IFMXF 2009 23:00 X Games 15 2009

A Mighty Heart on Show Movies 1 12:20 Eliot Kid 12:45 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 13:10 Megas XLR 13:35 Samurai Jack 14:00 Ben 10 14:25 Codename 14:50 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 15:15 The Life & Times of Juniper Lee 15:40 George of the Jungle 16:05 Skunk Fu! 16:35 Chop Socky Chooks 17:00 Robotboy 17:25 Squirrel Boy 17:50 Batman: The Brave and The Bold 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 19:30 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 20:00 Megas XLR 20:25 Samurai Jack 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 23:50 Megas XLR CINEMA CITY 01:00 Crazy Girls Undercover - R 03:00 Teknolust - PG15 05:00 Familiar Strangers - PG 07:00 Midnight Bayou - PG15 09:00 Greetings From the Shore - PG 11:00 The Other Half - PG15 13:00 Little Girl Lost: Delimar Vera Story - PG 15:00 Memoirs of an Invisible Man PG 17:00 Leaving Barstow - PG15 19:00 Saving God - PG15 21:00 The Level - PG 23:00 The DarkRoom - 18 CNN INTERNATIONAL 00:00 Mainsail 00:30 Revealed 01:00 Best Of Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report

06:05 07:00 07:55 08:50 09:45 10:10 10:40 11:05 12:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Mythbusters Wheeler Dealers Street Customs Biker Build-Off Factory Made Eyewitness Eyewitness Ultimate Survival LA Hard Hats Factory Made Brainiac Smash Lab Dirty Jobs Mythbusters Black Gold Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates

DISCOVERY SCIENCE 00:40 Sci-Trek 01:30 Mighty Ships 02:20 Race to Mars 03:10 Science of Beauty 04:00 Sci-Trek 04:50 Mighty Ships 05:45 Weird Connections 06:40 Test Case 07:10 Japanese Schoolgirls 08:00 Junkyard Wars 09:00 Sci-Fi Science 10:00 Robocar 10:55 Superships 11:50 Mighty Ships 16:25 How Does That Work? 16:55 Science of Beauty 17:50 Discovery Project Earth 18:45 What’s That About? 19:40 How It’s Made 20:30 Engineered 21:20 Sci-Trek 22:10 Mighty Ships 23:00 Future Weapons DISNEY CHANNEL 00:00 Jonas 00:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:45 Suite Life On Deck 01:10 Fairly Odd Parents 01:35 Replacements 02:00 Phineas & Ferb 02:25 Little Einsteins 02:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 03:10 Handy Manny 03:35 Lazytown 04:00 Jonas 04:25 Suite Life On Deck 04:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:15 Hannah Montana

FOX SPORTS 00:00 PGA Tour: Bob Hope Classic, Rd. 4 Palm Springs, CA 03:00 Inside the PGA Tour 03:30 Champions Tour: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Rd. 2 Ka’upulehu-Kona, HI 06:00 Inside the PGA Tour 06:30 The Golf Channel - TBA 09:00 Golf Central International 09:30 NFL GameDay 10:00 College Basketball Game of the Week: Texas at Uconn Storrs 12:00 European Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Final Rd. 16:00 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships Compulsory Dance Spokane, WA 17:30 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships Ladies Short Program Spokane, WA 20:00 College Basketball Game of the Week: Texas at Uconn Storrs 22:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Washington St. at UCLA FRANCE 24 00:00 News And Magazines - U 21:00 The France 24 Debate - U 21:30 News And Magazines - U MGM 01:10 Favour, The Watch, And The Very Big Fish 02:40 Chattahoochee 04:10 Youngblood 06:00 Exposed 07:40 Cooley High 09:25 Defiance 11:05 Home Is Where The Hart Is 12:30 The Black Stallion Returns 14:10 Nobody’s Fool 15:55 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum 17:30 Women Vs. Men 18:55 Interiors 20:25 The Burning Bed 22:00 The Winter People 23:40 There Goes My Baby NAT GEO ADVENTURE 00:30 Excellent Adventure 02:30 Minnie Driver 03:30 Destination Extreme 04:00 Word Travels:the Truth Behind 04:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 05:00 Pressure Cook 05:30 Lonely Planet 06:30 Excellent Adventure 08:30 Minnie Driver 09:30 Destination Extreme 10:00 First Ascent

10:30 11:30 12:30 13:30 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:30 19:30 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:30

Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Surfer’s Journal Jailed Abroad Finding Genghis First Ascent Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Surfer’s Journal Jailed Abroad Finding Genghis First Ascent Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue

SHOW SPORTS 4 00:00 Live NCAA Basketball 02:15 WWE ECW 03:00 Bushido 04:00 WWE Bottomline 05:00 WWE SmackDown! 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 WWE Bottomline 09:00 WWE ECW 10:00 WWE SmackDown! 12:00 NCAA Basketball 16:00 WWE Vintage Collection 17:00 NFL Game Day 17:30 NCAA Basketball 19:30 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 22:30 NFL Game Day 23:00 Live NFL

NAT GEO WILD 00:00 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 01:00 Wild Russia 02:00 Flight Of The Elephants 03:00 Animal Extractors 04:00 Animal Autopsy 05:00 Lizard Kings 06:00 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 07:00 Wild Russia 08:00 Flight Of The Elephants 09:00 Animal Extractors 10:00 Animal Autopsy 11:00 The Last Lioness 12:00 Alaskan Killer Shark 13:00 Chimp Diaries 13:30 Monkey Thieves 14:00 Ancient Creatures 15:00 Dragon Hunt 16:00 Rescue Ink 17:00 The Last Lioness 18:00 Alaskan Killer Shark 19:00 Chimp Diaries 19:30 Monkey Thieves 20:00 Ancient Creatures 21:00 Dragon Hunt 22:00 Rescue Ink 23:00 The Last Lioness ORBIT NEWS 1 00:00 MSNBC Countdown w/K. Olbermann 01:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 02:00 ABC World News Live 02:30 NBC Nightly News Live 03:00 ABC World News (Sat) 03:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 04:00 NBC Saturday Today Show 06:00 ABC 20/20 (Sat) 07:00 ABC World News (Sat) 07:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 08:00 ABC World News (Sat) 08:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 09:00 NBC Dateline 10:00 ABC World News (Sat) 10:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 11:00 MSNBC Hardball 12:00 MSNBC News The Ed Show 13:00 MSNBC (Fri) Dr. Nancy 14:00 ABC 20/20 (library) 15:00 NBC Dateline (library) 16:00 NBC Sunday Today Show Live 17:00 NBC Meet The Press Live 18:00 ABC This Week 19:00 MSNBC Hardball weekend 19:30 MSNBC Your Business 20:00 NBC Meet The Press (Sun) 21:00 ABC This week (Sun) 22:00 MSNBC News The Ed Show 23:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show ORBIT NEWS 2 00:00 MSNBC (As Live) Investigates 04:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer (Sat) 05:00 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 05:30 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 06:00 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Mon) 06:30 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 07:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer (Sat) 08:00 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 08:30 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 09:00 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Wed) 09:30 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 10:00 ABC NOW Nightline Twitter (Mon) 10:30 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 11:00 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 11:30 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Fri) 12:00 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 12:30 ABC NOW Nightline Twitter (Mon) 13:00 MSNBC (As Live) Investigates 14:00 MSNBC (As Live) Investigates 15:00 MSNBC Hardball Weekend (as live) 15:30 MSNBC Your Business (as Live) 16:00 MSNBC Live 20:00 MSNBC (rec. 13:00G) 21:00 MSNBC (rec. 14:00G) 22:00 MSNBC (rec. 15:00G) 23:00 MSNBC (rec. 16:00G) PLAYHOUSE DISNEY 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:25 Handy Manny 08:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:15 Imagination Movers 09:40 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 10:05 Special Agent Oso 10:20 Chuggington 10:55 Handy Manny 11:20 Imagination Movers 11:40 Happy Monster Band 11:55 Lazytown 12:20 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:45 Lazytown 13:10 Special Agent Oso 13:35 Imagination Movers 13:55 Little Einsteins 14:20 Bunnytown 14:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:15 Special Agent Oso 15:30 Chuggington 15:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 16:15 Little Einsteins 16:40 Imagination Movers 17:05 Happy Monster Band 17:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:35 Handy Manny 18:00 Chuggington 18:10 Chuggington 18:20 Imagination Movers 18:45 Special Agent Oso 19:00 Handy Manny 19:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:50 Chuggington 20:00 Special Agent Oso 20:15 Little Einsteins 20:40 Handy Manny 20:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh

SKY NEWS 00:00 News, Sport, Weather - U 00:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 01:00 Sky News At Ten - U 01:30 Sportsline - U 02:00 Sky News Tonight - U 02:30 Press Preview - U 03:00 Sky Midnight News - U 03:30 Cbs News - U 04:00 News On The Hour - U 04:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 05:00 News On The Hour - U 05:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 06:00 News On The Hour - U 06:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 07:00 News On The Hour - U 07:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 08:00 News On The Hour - U 08:30 Cbs News - U 09:00 Sunrise - U 13:00 Sunday Live - U 15:00 Weeekend Lunchtime - U 17:00 News, Sport, Weather - U 20:00 Live At Five - U 21:00 Sky News At Six - U 22:00 Sky News At Seven With Steve Dixon - U 22:30 Sportsline - U 23:00 News, Sport, Weather - U

Meet The Spartans on Super Movies 21:00 End Of Programming SHOW COMEDY 00:00 Friends 00:30 Seinfeld 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 02:30 The Colbert Report 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 Watching Ellie 09:30 After You’ve Gone 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 Two And A Half Men 11:00 Til Death 11:30 8 Simple Rules.. 12:00 Ellen 12:30 Watching Ellie 13:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 Home Improvement 14:30 After You’ve Gone 15:00 Friends 15:30 Seinfeld 16:00 Ellen 16:30 Watching Ellie 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 Til Death 19:30 Malcolm In The Middle 20:00 Friends 20:30 Seinfeld 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 22:30 The Colbert Report 23:00 Nut Case 23:30 Til Death SHOW MOVIES 1 01:00 A Mighty Heart - 18 03:00 He Was A Quiet Man - PG 15 05:00 Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist - PG 15 07:00 The Flying Scotsman - PG 15 09:00 D- War - PG 15 11:00 Stardust - PG 13:15 Why Did I Get Married? - PG 15 15:15 D- War - PG 15 17:00 Stardust - PG 19:30 Surfer Dude - PG 15 21:00 Rachel Getting Married - PG 23:00 The Other Boleyn Girl - PG 15 SHOW MOVIES 2 00:00 Quadrophenia - 18 02:00 Days Of Glory - PG 15 04:00 Nearing Grace - 18 06:00 Xanadu - PG 08:00 Son Of Rambow - PG 10:00 The Nanny Diaries - PG 15 12:00 Gone For A Dance - PG 15 14:00 The Perfect Child - PG 15 16:00 The Nanny Diaries - PG 15 18:00 Gone For A Dance - PG 15 20:00 Mystic Pizza - PG 15 22:00 As Good As It Gets - PG 15 SHOW MOVIES ACTION 01:00 Corleone - PG 15 03:00 Child’s Play - 18 05:00 The Last Winter - PG 15 07:00 Cloverfield - PG 15 09:00 Godzilla - PG 15 11:30 The Return - PG 15 13:00 Solo - PG 15 15:00 Godzilla - PG 15 17:30 The Return - PG 15 19:00 The Marsh - 18 21:00 Art Of War Ii: Betrayal - 18 23:00 Prisoner - PG SHOW MOVIES COMEDY 00:00 Touch Of Pink - 18 02:00 Superstar - PG 15 04:00 Christmas At The Riviera - PG 06:00 Just For Kicks - PG 08:00 Superstar - PG 15 10:00 Leave It To Beaver - PG 12:00 Big Daddy - PG 15 14:00 Holiday In Handcuffs - PG 15

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Leave It To Beaver - PG Big Daddy - PG 15 My Name Is Bruce - PG 15 Barely Legal - 18

SHOW MOVIES KIDS 00:30 Max Keeble’s Big Movie - PG 02:15 The Fox And The Child - FAM 04:00 The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones - FAM 05:45 D2: The Mighty Ducks - PG 07:45 Dragonlance - PG 10:00 Tales Of The River Bank FAM 11:45 D3: The Mighty Ducks - PG 13:45 War Of The Buttons - PG 15:30 Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie - FAM 17:00 Only Yesterday - PG 19:00 War Of The Buttons - PG 20:45 Tales Of The River Bank FAM 22:30 D3: The Mighty Ducks - PG SHOW SERIES 00:00 House 01:00 Life 02:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 03:00 Survivor: Samoa 04:00 Law And Order 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 House 07:00 24 08:00 Lipstick Jungle 09:00 Survivor: Samoa 10:00 Law And Order 11:00 24 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Life 14:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 15:00 Lipstick Jungle 16:00 House 17:00 Survivor: Samoa 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Law And Order 20:00 Doctor Who: Voyage Of The Damned 21:00 C.s.i. Miami 22:00 24 23:00 Lipstick Jungle SHOW SPORTS 1 00:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 00:30 Scottish Premier League 02:30 Premier League Arabic Review 04:00 Premier League 06:00 Portugol 06:30 Brazilian League Highlights 07:00 Premier League 09:00 Scottish Premier League 11:00 Premier League Classics 12:00 Barclays Premier League 14:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:30 Premier League Highlights 15:30 Goals Goals Goals 16:00 Portugol 16:30 Scottish Premier League 18:30 Live Scottish Premier League 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Premier League World 21:30 Futbol Mundial 22:00 Goals Goals Goals 22:30 Scottish Premier League SHOW SPORTS 2 01:30 Masters Football 04:30 European Challenge Cup 06:30 Live Cricket One Day International 15:00 Premier League World 15:30 European Challenge Cup 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Premier League World 18:30 Gillette World Sport 19:00 PGA European Tour 23:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights SHOW SPORTS 3 00:30 European Challenge Cup 02:30 Test Cricket Highlights 04:30 European Tour Weekly 05:00 PGA European Tour 09:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 10:30 Premier League World 11:00 Gillette World Sport 11:30 European Tour Weekly 12:00 Live PGA European Tour 16:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 17:00 ODI Cricket

SUPER COMEDY 00:30 The Jay Leno Show 01:30 SNL 2009-2010 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 The Simpsons 07:00 Frasier 07:30 Two And A Half Men 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 The Simpsons 12:30 Two And A Half Men 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 Simpsons 19:30 Drew Carey Show 20:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 20:30 Two And A Half Men 21:00 Two And A Half Men 21:30 SNL 2009-2010 23:00 Weeds 23:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live SUPER MOVIES 01:00 Bronson - R 03:00 Meet The Spartans - PG15 05:00 Deep in the Valley - 18 07:00 We are Marshall - PG 09:00 Loins of Punjab Presents - PG 11:00 Unaccompanied Minors - FAM 13:00 Futurama: Bender’s Big Score - PG 15:00 No Reservations - PG 17:00 Gnomes and Trolls: The Secret Chamber - FAM 19:00 Where God Left His Shoes PG 21:00 I am Legend - PG15 23:00 Humboldt County - 18 TCM 00:40 Rhapsody 02:35 *2001*: A Space Odyssey 05:00 Victor/Victoria 07:10 The Screening Room 08:00 Elvis on Tour 09:30 Ride the High Country 11:00 Rhapsody 12:55 On the Town 14:30 Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? 16:00 *2001*: A Space Odyssey 18:20 Quo Vadis 21:05 Mogambo 23:00 Love Is All There Is (1996) THE HISTORY CHANNEL 00:40 Desperate Crossing 03:10 The Universe 04:00 Hotel Ground Zero 04:55 102 Minutes that Changed America 06:40 Desperate Crossing 09:10 The Universe 10:00 Hotel Ground Zero 10:55 102 Minutes that Changed America 12:40 Desperate Crossing 15:10 The Universe 16:00 Hotel Ground Zero 16:55 102 Minutes that Changed America 18:40 Desperate Crossing 21:10 The Universe 22:00 Evolve 22:55 How the Earth Was Made 23:50 Warriors THE STYLE NETWORK 00:00 Dr 90210 - PG 15 01:00 Clean House - PG 02:00 My Celebrity Home - PG 03:00 How Do I Look? - PG 03:50 Split Ends - PG 04:40 Clean House - PG 05:30 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? - PG 06:20 Glow - FAM 06:45 Area - FAM 07:10 How Do I Look? - PG 08:00 Style Star - PG 08:30 Style Her Famous - PG 09:00 Clean House - PG

Star listings (UAE timings) Star Movies 17:00 My Name Is Earl 18:00 The Office 18:30 The Office 19:00 Asia Uncut 20:00 Eli Stone 21:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 Asia Uncut 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 The King Of Queens 04:00 According To Jim 05:00 Cops 06:00 Bones 07:00 The Office 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 The King Of Queens 09:00 How I Met Your Mother

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The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven Bones [V] Tunes Asia Uncut The Simpsons The King Of Queens According To Jim

Granada TV 20:45 Britain’s Youngest Mums And Dads 2 22:00 Revenge TV 23:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) * 00:00 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Series 2) 01:00Don’t Try This At Home (Series 2) 02:00 Prime Drama: Prime Suspect

(Series 5) 04:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) * 05:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2) 06:00 Coronation Street WEEKEND OMNIBUS 07:30 Airline (Series 5) 08:00 Art Crime 09:00 Holiday Homes From Hell 10:00 The Real Good Life (Series 1) 10:30 Motoring Madness 11:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) * 12:00 Divas II 13:00 Parkinson (Series 6) 14:00 Big Bad World (Series 1) 15:00 All About George (Series 1) * 16:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) *

17:00 Divas II 18:00 Parkinson (Series 6) 19:00 Big Bad World (Series 1) Channel [V] 22:00 [V] Plug 00:30 Double Shot 01:00 Loop 02:00 [V] Tunes 05:00 Backtracks 06:00 [V] Special 07:00 [V] Countdown 09:00 The Playlist 11:30 Double Shot 12:00 [V] Special 13:00 The List 14:00 The Goode Family 14:30 Keys To The VIP 15:00 Parental Control Double Bill

16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

Backtracks [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Loop [V] Special [V] Tunes

Fox News 20:00 FORBES on FOX 20:30 Cashin’ In 21:00 America’s News HQ Host host Brian Wilson 22:00 America’s News HQ Hosts Kelly Wright and Jamie Colby 23:00 The Journal Editorial Report 23:30 Fox News Watch 00:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 01:00 America’s News HQ hosts

Gregg Jarrett and Uma Pemmaraju 03:00 America’s News HQ hosts Rick Folbaum and Juliet Huddy 04:00 FOX Report Saturday host Jamie Colby 05:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 06:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 07:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 08:00 The Journal Editorial Report 08:30 Fox News Watch 09:00 FOX Report Saturday 10:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 11:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 12:00 FOX Report Saturday host Julie Banderas 13:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera

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Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck The Journal Editorial Report Fox News Watch FOX and Friends Sunday America’s News HQ

National Geographic Channel 20:00 Japan’s Secret Subs 21:00 Convoy - War For The Atlantic Brink Of Defeat 3 22:00 Reverse Exploration -2 23:00 Situation Critical -Moscow Theatre Siege 00:00 Japan’s Secret Subs 01:00 Convoy - War For The Atlantic Brink Of Defeat 3 02:00 Reverse Exploration -2 03:00 Nat Geo Junior -Monkey Thieves : Trading Places 10



Sunday, January 24, 2010

never leaves home he ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor hates the attention he receives whenever he leaves the French property he shares with long-term partner Vanessa Paradis and their two children, Lily-Rose, 10, and Jack, seven, so shuts himself away from the “insanity” of modern life. Johnny - who also owns a private island in the Bahamas - said: “I don’t leave the house anymore. If it isn’t necessary I don’t go anywhere. I stay at home. I’m adamant when it comes to that. I will never get used to it. If you do, you must be insane. I’m thankful


for everything, but there’s a limit to what a person can endure. I don’t know how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can bear that kind of life, because personally it’s an issue for me.” The intensely private actor - who only feels truly relaxed when on his island- said his life is so insular, he learns everything from his children. The 46-year-old actor explained to Germany’s Tele 5: “Because I never leave the house I live outside society. But I’m a witness of my children’s lives. I see how they’re doing at school and how they treat their friends. My kids are a lot smarter than me. When I watch them I learn a lot. I don’t think there’s anything they could learn from me.”

Landlord sues Barton ischa Barton is being sued for not paying her rent. The former ‘OC’ star has been accused by her landlord, M.R.A. Realties, of failing to provide her $7,000a-month rent on her New York apartment for the last three months and the company has now filed a lawsuit. While Mischa’s representative is yet to comment on the claims, the landlord wants her to pay the rent and legal fees. Mischa - who also has a home in Los Angeles - signed the one-year lease last September so she had somewhere to live while she filmed her TV series ‘The Beautiful Life’. However, it was cancelled after just two shows. Last year, Mischa was hospitalized


Clooney wants to make hi-tech underwear he ‘Up In The Air’ actor claims he is worried that new airport scanners which can see through a passenger’s clothing will lead him to being subjected to many more security checks by inquisitive airline staff


and is thinking of taking drastic action. The 48-year-old actor joked: “It is a concern. I have nothing to hide of course but nobody likes to be taken advantage of. I think there

could really be a market for some special underwear to protect us all from that kind of exposure because it is a little disconcerting.” Meanwhile, George - who is dating Italian model Elisabetta Canalis - has admitted he is astonished as to how many famous faces have agreed to man phone lines for the telethon he hosted to raise money for the victims of earthquakehit Haiti. However, the star won’t let the seriousness of the occasion stop his infamous love of practical jokes. He said: “You got about 130 to 140 actors, athletes, singers and television hosts, and they’re all coming up not to be on TV, but simply to answer the phones. “It’ll be the biggest bank of faces that you recognise answering the phones. And that will be streamed live on the Web the entire time. So if you call and you get Daniel DayLewis on the line, you can wave at him, and you’ll see him. It’ll be kind of funny, actually. I told everyone to say they’re Daniel Day-Lewis.”

Alba’s second-hand furniture essica Alba’s furniture is mostly second-hand. The ‘Valentine Day’ star - who lives in Los Angeles with her film producer husband Cash Warren and 19-month-old daughter Honor Marie - loves scouring the classified advertisements on website Craigslist to find interesting and quirky pieces for her home. She told Self magazine: “I’ve bought 70 per cent of my house off Craigslist! I’ve found so many things; couches, tables, lamps. I


Garner’s ennifer Garner went to therapy after her divorce. The 37-yearold actress realized she needed help following her split from actor Scott Foley in 2003 because she couldn’t express her real feelings. She said: “I had a lot of growing up to do. “I don’t like to argue. But back then, I couldn’t have a fight. I couldn’t work things out because I wasn’t able to say what I needed to say. It was a huge heartbreak for me. So I went to work on it. I started therapy.” Jennifer is now happily married to Ben Affleck - with who she has two daughters, Violet, four, and 12-month-old Seraphina - and the couple make sure they spend time together without the children to keep the romance alive. She explained to Parade magazine: “You steal the time. You steal a date, you steal a kiss, you steal a whisper. After the kids are asleep you... well, you know. Whatever it is. You slip away for a night.” The 37-year-old beauty also admits she sometimes struggles with being a working mother. She said: “I hate to miss even one bedtime with my girls. I understand that being an actress as well as being at home isn’t some heroic thing. That doesn’t mean it isn’t confusing or difficult - especially that question of how you find a balance.” — BangShowbiz


after being placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold but has since spoke positively about the experience saying it gave her the chance to take time out and reassess her life. The 23-year-old actress said: “I went to the hospital because of pain with my wisdom teeth and I ended up getting ‘put in’, but that’s because I was so overwhelmingly stressed out and upset. “I think it was my teeth and the stress of having a new job and travelling. I was miserable. Actresses aren’t given the time to recover after stuff like that. “I was shocked it went that far but I think it was necessary for me to take that time out. I’m so much more settled and calm now.”

Rourke’s new girlfriend is a gift ickey Rourke’s new girlfriend is “a gift from heaven”. The 57-year-old actor - who was nominated but failed to win Best Actor for his performance in ‘The Wrestler’ at last year’s Academy Awards - is besotted with Russian model Anastassija Makarenko and insists their six-month romance has brought him more happiness than career success ever could. He said: “She’s a gift from heaven. Obviously she’s a very beautiful woman. But she’s got the biggest heart, she’s got a great family, she’s really close to her mother and father - they’re great people. “I wouldn’t trade her in for 20 Academy Awards.” Anastassija has already taken the actor - who recently presented her with a Pomeranian dog named Tango - to Germany to meet her parents and says they have given the romance their blessing. She told “They loved him. He’s the most beautiful man in the world, he’s a sweetheart, and the best boyfriend.” It was recently claimed that Mickey - who has been married twice before - and Anastassija are planning to wed in April. A source said: “They haven’t booked a venue or made any solid plans. He just knows he wants to do it in April, and he’s been asking what is involved in a traditional Russian wedding ceremony.” However, the couple refused to comment on the rumours.


love the idea of recycling furniture and there being a history there.” The 28year-old beauty - who married Cash in May 2008 after four years of dating also admitted her relationship remains as fresh as ever and she still loves the way the producer makes her feel. She explained: “I love the way I feel after Cash and I wake up. Or talk on the phone. Everything! Every time I see him or talk to him, I fall in love with him all over again.” Jessica is delighted

he actress - who picked up an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in ‘The Reader’ and two Golden Globes for her performances in ‘The Reader’ and ‘Revolutionary Road’ respectively in 2009 - decided to take some time out so people wouldn’t get tired of her. She told the Daily Mail newspaper: “I was in hiding a little bit, just doing family stuff and very little work. “To be honest, I felt so over-exposed this time last year with the Golden Globes and the Oscar. It was fantastic and everything, but I was sick of me, let alone what other people must have felt.” However, Kate is ready to get back to work and presented an award at the Golden Globes ceremony last Sunday and will do the


with the home she and Cash have created but recently admitted her workload was smaller so that she could spend more time there watching Honor grow up. She said: “Life moves so fast as a new mom. Sometimes I wish time would slow down. “Every milestone is memorable, from the numerous wardrobe changes in her first five months due to her explosive diarrhea to the first time she said, ‘Mama.’ “

same at the Academy Awards in March. Discussing her upcoming projects, Kate is shooting a mini-series for US TV channel HBO based on the James M. Cain novel ‘Mildred Pierce’. She revealed: “We’re doing it from the book, not the film version with Joan Crawford. “It’s such a deliciously meaty role and we cover a lot of ground, with Mildred raising her two girls during the Depression era. She runs her own business and, of course, there are men. And because it’s a mini-series for HBO we can really explore the characters and go into the kind of things you could only hint at when the film was made in 1945.”

Winslet was ‘over-exposed’ last year


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Music & Movies

Donation of Spears’ dress OK for Haiti relief Sundance Film Festival In this Sept 7, 2008 file photo, singer Britney Spears accepts the award for best video of the year for ‘Piece of Me’ at the MTV Music Awards in Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. —AP


No other changes to the conservatorship were announced during a brief open session after Spears left the courtroom. It was Spears’ first meeting with Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz since the singer concluded a world tour promoting the “Circus” album last year. Before the hearing, she smiled as she walked in through the courtroom’s backdoor and stood next to her father and an attorney. Spears did not speak before Goetz closed the courtroom to the public and reporters, stating that medical and sensitive personal information would be discussed. Spears’ father and others have controlled the singer’s personal and financial affairs for nearly two years. The conservatorship was created after a series of high-profile hospitalizations and incidents of erratic behavior by the “Womanizer” singer. Britney Spears has since experienced a career resurgence and had substantial weekly visits with her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. —AP

Actress Anjelica Huston, brother actor Danny Huston and niece Stella attend the ceremony honoring Anjelica Huston with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. —AFP

Anjelica Huston honored on Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ scar-winning actress Anjelica Huston was immortalized on the streets of Hollywood on Friday as she became the latest celebrity to have a star laid in her honor on the district’s “Walk of Fame.” The veteran actress, whose films include “Prizzi’s Honor” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” follows in the footsteps of her father John Huston, the legendary director who also has a star inset on Hollywood Boulevard. A crowd of family, friends and celebrity well wishers joined Huston Friday for the presentation of her star, the 2,398th on the Walk of Fame. “The beauty of this award is that it’s as permanent as anything in life these days,” Huston said. “It can’t be misplaced or left in the ladies room by accident and I always get the same billing. “From here on, I’ll always know where to find myself and so will other people. Now I don’t have to join Facebook, because when someone wants to find me, this is where I’ll be and I’ll always be here.” Huston became the third generation of her family to win an Academy Award, earning the prize for her performance in 1985’s “Prizzi’s Honor.” Her father directed classic films such as “The African Queen” and “The Maltese Falcon,” while her grandfather, Walter Huston, won an Oscar winner for his performance in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Huston’s honor came ahead of the release of her latest film, “When In Rome,” in which she plays the curator of New York City’s Guggenheim Museum. —AFP


Angels & Airwaves plans free digital album release link-182 guitarist/ vocalist Tom DeLonge is taking a break from major-label life with the release of the forthcoming album by his other band, Angels & Airwaves. The group’s third studio album, “Love,” will arrive Feb 14 as a free digital download. DeLonge and Angels & Airwaves manager Rick DeVoe agree that self-releasing the 10-song set is a financial risk, especially with DeLonge spending up to $500,000 of his own money to fund the process. But the artist hopes to recoup through corporate sponsorships, touring, merchandise sales, premium exclusive tracks and videos on the band’s Web site and by selling a deluxe version of “Love” with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus material. “We’re redefining the music business,” says DeLonge, who finished a reunion tour last fall with Blink-182. “And I honestly think we’re going to be 10 times bigger because of it.” Angels & Airwaves’ past two albums-”We Don’t Need to Whisper” (2006) and “I-Empire” (2007), which have sold 571,000 copies and 268,000 copies in the United States, respectively, according to Nielsen SoundScan-were released on Geffen. DeLonge initially approached the label with the idea of releasing the album for free. But “there are certain costs they couldn’t throw under the rug,” he says. After failed negotiations, Geffen agreed to allow Angels & Airwaves to self-release “Love.” “When you sign with a label early in your career, it’s because they have the advantage of investing in your brand,” DeLonge says, noting that he owns the masters and publishing rights for “Love.” “Now it’s changed, because the majority of


the kids now get their records for free (and) the labels don’t have money to invest.” Multimedia project “Love” will be available as a free download on Angels & Airwaves’ Web site, and a

deluxe version of the album will be sold at stores and digital retailers, including iTunes, for about $5-$10. A final release date for the deluxe version hasn’t been set. Additionally, a feature film titled “Love” will hit select theaters later in the year, according to DeLonge. The music from “Love” will serve as the soundtrack to the film, which centers on an astronaut who is stranded in a space station as the Earth collapses. To help market and promote

the album, Angels & Airwaves partnered with Live Nation, Fuel TV and Hurley, among others, to feature the download link on their Web sites and send e-mail blasts to their customer databases. The combined lists will reach

about 55 million people, according to DeLonge. DeLonge hopes to distribute at least 20 million downloads of the free album. His intention is to expose Angels & Airwaves’ music to as many people as possible, with the idea that those new fans will return to the band’s Modlife-powered Web site and buy merchandise or sign up for a premium membership, which costs $6.95 per month and gives access to advance ticketing and digital content. —Reuters

Jean Simmons, 80, dies in California ritish actress Jean Simmons, who starred opposite Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet” during a career spanning 60 years, has died in California, Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. Simmons, who was 80 and had lung cancer, died at her home in Santa Monica on Friday night, it quoted her agent Judy Page as saying. Born in London, Simmons started acting in British films as a teenager and later moved to the United States to star in movies such as the 1955 musical “Guys and Dolls” with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, and Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus” with Kirk Douglas in 1960. Simmons won a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for playing Ophelia in “Hamlet” in 1948 and a best actress nomination for her role in “The Happy Ending”-a 1969 film directed by her second husband Richard Brooks. Her marriage to Brooks ended in divorce in 1977. She married Brooks in 1960, months after divorcing actor Stewart Granger. “As a 14-year-old dance student she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood’s precocious sister in ‘Give Us the Moon’ (1944),” according to a biography of the actress on IMDb.COM movies website. By the 1980s, she mainly appeared in TV miniseries and won an Emmy for her role in “The Thorn


In this May, 24, 1950 file photo, Jean Simmons, British screen actress, holds the trophy she received in London after being voted her country’s No 1 film actress of the year in the fifth National Film Award ballot. —AP Birds” in 1983. Simmons “made a comeback to films in 1995 in ‘How to Make an American Quilt’ co-starring Winona Ryder and Anne Bancroft, and most recently played the elderly Sophie in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Hauru no ugoku shiro’,” a 2004 animated film, according to IMDb.COM. Simmons is survived by her two daughters, Tracy Granger and Kate Brooks, Los Angeles Times said. She lived in Santa Monica with her pets, a dog and two cats, according to IMDb.COM. —Reuters

Kardashian obtains restraining order ourt records show reality TV star Kim Kardashian has obtained a temporary restraining order against a man she describes as “extremely delusional.” Kardashian’s attorneys obtained a stay-away order against 26-year-old Dennis Shaun Bowman on Tuesday. The order prohibits Bowman from trying to contact the reality television star in any way, including via Twitter.


Kim Kardashian

ritney Spears is lending a hand, or rather a dress, to help out Haiti. A court commissioner on Friday approved a request allowing the singer to donate the dress she wore to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards so it can be auctioned, with the proceeds going to help Haitian earthquake victims. The court’s permission was needed because the pop singer remains under a courtordered conservatorship. Her father, Jamie, who will oversee the donation, controls his 28-year-old daughter’s personal and financial affairs. The court also granted her father authority to get rid of some of Spears’ property that was used during last year’s “Circus” tour. The items are described as being “valueless” and occupying several storage containers. The 2008 MTV VMAs were the start of a public comeback by Spears, who retreated from the public eye after being placed in the conservatorship in February 2008. She won three awards at the show, including video of the year for “Piece of Me.”

(Left) Spencer Susser, front center, director, ‘Hesher,’ poses with cast members, from left, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Carroll Lynch and Brendan Hill at the premiere of the film during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Friday. (Right) John Wells, right, writer/director of ‘The Company Men,’ poses with cast member Ben Affleck at the premiere of the film during the Sundance Film Festival. —AP

Kardashian is a celebrity model and pitchwoman and stars in the E! series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Her filings state Bowman has repeatedly showed up her appearances, sometimes in facepaint depicting him as the Joker character from “Batman” fame. Kardashian sought the order after Bowman allegedly ignored cease-and-desist letters from her attorney and orders from Los Angeles police to stop pursuing the 29-year-old. Bowman did not immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment. —AP

‘Up in the Air’ a down to earth movie Sunil Cherian well written script, loosely based on Walter Kirn’s 2003 novel, is the backbone of the new contemporary comedy ‘Up in the Air,’ starring George Clooney. Director of the film, Jason Reitman, tells us the story of a corporate executive who is hired to fire employees whose ‘positions no longer exist.’ Ryan Bingham, Clooney’s cool character, shuttles between flights giving management lectures on ‘How to Lose Your Backpack.’ Bingham himself is at heart a loner, surrounded but isolated, whose backpack of human relation burdens him. The movie’s transcending grace is his realization that he has failed to connect with the world around him. ‘Up in the Air’ begins without pretensions. Clouds that seemingly turn into tides and the aerial view of recognizable cities is a familiar view for us. We start our trip with a man who has travelled 350,000 miles in the last year alone through Dallas, Omaha, St Louis, Wichita, Tulsa, Des Moines and tens of other cities. As a viewer you need to settle down and


watch the movie with a patient eye. Put down the backpack of your own expectations and you will be well rewarded. The plot is complicated for a commercial feature film. It explores just how difficult it is to tell an

employee that they are no longer needed. In the film Bingham and his co-firer terminate people in various ways, including video conference. Bingham is apparently indifferent to the experience but for his colleague it’s heart breaking, especially after

she experiences a similar situation where she is dumped by her boyfriend by text message. ‘That’s like firing someone through the Internet’, says Bingham. Reitman’s approach to the subject couldn’t be better. The director

approaches downsizing with a straightforward and comedic view, but not in a silly way - no slapstick, no sentiments and no suspense. The film is rich with humorous one-liners that are delivered well by an experienced and well led cast. Throughout the movie we learn that ‘emptying the backpack’ isn’t that simple for Bingham. As the plot thickens we learn that the title of the movie is a metaphor for Bingham’s attitude towards life. He represents the busy, engaged, on the go and time-framed modern generation. He has a clever way of firing people such as convincing them to explore hidden talents and spend more time with their children. Bingham is blind to the agony he causes people and unexpected consequences change his perspective on his lifestyle. As a twist, it is the downsized a n d b r u t a l l y f i re d w h o e f f e c t Bingham the most. ‘Up in the Air’ is currently playing in Kuwait. The film offers more than meets the eye and is worth mulling over with friends. It has been nominated for several awards and won this year’s Golden Globe for best screenplay.



Sunday, January 24, 2010


Sparks fly on day 2 of Paris’ menwear shows ohn Galliano put the fear of God into the crowd Friday, with catwalk-side flamethrowers shooting real fire high into the air at his rollicking fallwinter 2010-2011 menswear show. The British designer’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired collection-full of deerstalker caps and kilometers- (miles-) worth of fine tweeds-managed to wow them, too. Givenchy’s Italianborn designer Riccardo Tisci drew on his Catholic roots for a pared-down collection inspired by priests’ frocks and monastic robes, while Belgium’s Kris Van Assche served up a collection of wearable dark suits with a grunge twist. Yves Saint L aurent’s Stefano Pilati also delivered largely wearable suits in a somber palette. Then as a dare to his male consumers, he dotted the collection with an impossibly chic variation on overalls-to be worn, preferably, with dramatic over-the-elbow gloves. Niche US designer Rick Owens continued sharpening his vision of post-apocalyptic chic. Let’s just say it involved sweatpants, which are emerging as an unlikely must-have for men of style next season. Sweden’s Jesper Borjesson made his debut at storied house of Cerruti with a collection of slim, vaguely 1960s-style suits in sumptuous mohair and bulky aviator jackets in shearling. Yesterday, Paris’ four-day-long menswear shows move into day three, with displays by luxury brands Kenzo, Dior Homme and Hermes.


JOHN GALLIANO Only a Galliano could possibly call for props including a flame-throwers and a gigantic magnif ying glass, stage such disparate characters as lacedup London dandies in ladies’ corsets and fiercelooking martial artists with pigtails-and then chalk the whole thing up to Sherlock Holmes. Galliano looked beyond the caricature cinematic Holmes to Conan Doyle’s brilliant but troubled investigator and martial arts afficionado with an opium habit. Models in layers of swishing overcoats in heavy tweeds and fur-lined deerstalkers opened the show, followed by straightlaced Victorian gentlemen in bowler hats and razorcut three piece suits. Some of those particular characters-modeled on Holmes in his Baker Street daywearwere laced tighter than others, as evidenced by the ladies corsets that peeked out from beneath their slim trousers in Prince-of-Wales checks. Then came Holmes the martial arts enthusiast, his head shrouded in gauzy bandages and wearing jewel toned briefs and dragon printed satin boxing robes. Holmes the decadent frequenter of London’s opium dens came next, in bejeweled Chinese pajama pants and jackets in deep purple velvet. Security guards refused to let latecomers to the show crouch next to the elevated catwalk, and it eventually became clear why: Flame-throwers propelled massive flames several meters (yards) into the air as the models took a final lap on the runway, sparking shocked squeals from the generally blase fashion crowd. “It was a super spectacle,” model-turned-photographer Ellen Von Unwerth gushed after the display, which was held in a hollowed out former bank on Paris’ glitzy Place Vendome. “I loved the story, the roles the guys played, and how sexy they were.” GIVENCHY Schubert’s “Ave Maria” boomed over the loudspeaker and the spicy odor of incense filled the ornate hall at Paris’ Sorbonne university as models clad in crocodile Jesus sandals and gilded thorn necklaces padded down the catwalk. “Religion is a big part of my DNA and this collection was about my Catholic(ism) and every other religion in a way,” designer Tisci told The

Associated Press in a backstage interview. He said he had looked to men of the cloth-priests in their stark black and white frocks, the brown robes of Franciscan monks and the layered suits of Jewish rabbis-for inspiration because their garb represented “the most chic way, the most pure way of dressing.” The show marked a departure from Tisci’s heavily ornamented style of seasons past: Gone were the heaps of chunky, L atino homeboy chains, the gilded star insignia and the keffiyeh printsreplaced by a stripped-clean silhouette in black and white.

Kris Van Assche tested star of the show were the overalls. In a charcoal or butterscotch tweed, they were cut like old time men’s swimsuits, with thin straps and a low-cut bib. One pair was worn with a pair of long, lean gloves for an added dose of glamour. The result was surprising but immediately appealing, and it was easy to imagine the well-dressed crowd of fashion insiders strutting their stuff on the streets of Paris next fall in Pilati’s overalls.

Stefano Pilati for the Yves Saint-Laurent fashion house —AP/AFP photos Slim, dark suits were worn with crisp white shirts-some so plain they were shorn even of their buttons. Still Tisci, a critical darling who is known for his Gothic sensibility, didn’t come completely clean. The collection retained a hint of his trademark subversive kinkiness, particularly in the tailored black skirt-short hybrids worn over neoprene leggings. “This is the real me,” said Tisci. YVES SAINT LAURENT Pilati sent out bulky overcoats cinched tight at the waist-sometimes with what appeared to be fringed scarves _ and suits with drop-crotched harem pants and long shirts with tails of tiny pleats that emerged, flirtily, from beneath the jackets. But the uncon-

RICK OWENS Owens continued to plumb the depths of the dark side, delivering a collection full of asymmetrical hemlines and great floppy flaps of fabric that looked like the kind of wardrobe the father and son in Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic fable “The Road” would have fashioned out of found detritus. Androgynous models with enviable cheekbones skulked down the catwalk in bulky, tie-waisted trenches in lacquered shearling or wrinkly microfiber with stiff, standup necklines and drop-crotched harem pants. Some wore ribbed turtlenecks with kneelength flaps in the front and back, while others sported leather tank tops that left their backs bare. For added weirdness, their lanky arms tapered into blunt tips-the work of elbow-length leather gloves that ended in a kind of snout or suction cup shape. Owens, who hails from California but whose designs look like they’ve never seen a ray of sun, strayed away from his usual somber palette, sending out some looks in light gray or shiny off-white. A furlined coat in blinding gold lame looked sure to please rap star Kanye West, who watched this and many other of the day’s shows from his front-row perches. KRIS VAN ASSCHE Paris had a grunge moment, as Van Assche served up razorcut suits and plaid shirts that conjured Kurt Cobain after a makeover. Models in oversized knit caps sported blazers with multiple lapels, their slouchy pants tucked into high-top motorcycle boots. Others wore zip-up jackets over sweatpants-a popular legwear choice on Paris catwalks. “I’m not a real grunge fanatic or whatever, but if grunge means deconstructed tailoring and comfort, I’m fine with that,” Van Assche, who also designs for Dior Homme, told The AP in a backstage interview. In what looked like an homage to the late Nirvana frontman’s fabric of choice, Van Assche sent out layered suits in somber plaid and topped off suits in solid black or charcoal with navy paid shirts with their sleeves scrunched up. “It’s about a certain kind of luxury, but not too precious,” he said. —AP

John Galliano

Riccardo Tisci for the Givenchy fashion house



Sunday, January 24, 2010


Catwalk shows move over for film and web atwalk shows as we knew them appear to be moving over for film and the web, with menswear shows in Paris and Milan this month increasingly offering live streaming, twitter feed, and


even film. Cult couture designer Yves Saint Laurent on Friday unveiled its autumn/winter collection with a film from cult photographer Bruce Weber featuring eye-stopping boys, some nicely-tailored clothes, and a lot

of female nudity. Titled “Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing”, with Marvin Gaye singing, the seven-minute black-and-white movie kicking off the YSL collection premiered on YouTube

and Facebook. Likewise the grand old house of Dior yesterday launches its 2010 autumn/winter mens’ lines with a giant catwalk show viewable live on the net at Dior Homme. —AFP

Kaviar Gauche

ʼ50s-inspired Kenzo models take to the street

Models display creations by German fashion brand Frida Weyer during the Fashion Week in Berlin, Germany, yesterday. —AP photos


enzo stopped traffic Friday with a cinematic, 1950s-flavored fall-winter 2010-2011 menswear display that culminated with a traffic jam of vintage Citroen cars. Designer Antonio Marras looked to legendary French filmmaker Jacques Tati for inspiration, sending out a collection built around the director-cum-actor’s hallmark uniform of grandpa sweaters, highwater trousers and argyle socks in eye-popping hues. Models in chunky cardigans, with smart printed ties, cropped pants and flashy socks ambled through the sprawling boutique where the show was held, some carrying oversized totes and umbrellas. Highlights of the quirky, charming collection included a smart sportscoat in gray tweed with leopard-printed sleeves and a twinset in geometric moss green knit. “I love Tati’s freedom, his joy, the way he was always whistling as he walked through the streets,” Italianborn Marras told The Associated Press in a backstage interview. “In his films, we get the idea that he’s looking at everything through a child’s eyes, and that’s what interests me: I want to look at things with his sense of amazement and see the joy in things.” And because


Models present creations by Italian designer Antonio Marras for Kenzo at the end of the show with old Citroen DS cars on place des Victoires in Paris as part of the Men ready-to-wear AutumnWinter 2010-2011 fashion shows in Paris.—AFP it was Kenzo-a brand known for ending its runway shows with a grand, theatrical bang-the show culminated with the re-creation of a scene from Tati’s 1971 movie “Traffic,” featuring cars jostling round Paris’ Place des Victoires. Guests spilled out of the boutique, and passer-by snapped photos as the models walked in circles around the center of the plaza, a rainbow of long, futuristic Citroen DSs spinning around them, with faux gendarmes in period costume directing traffic. The scene was one of controlled chaos-full of cacophony and wideeyed surprise. Jacques Tati would certainly have approved. —AP

unite to help Haiti in telethon G

From left to right model Cindy Crawford, actresses Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. George Clooney is shown at “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief”.

Robert De Niro, left, Ellen Barkin, center, and Leonardo DiCaprio work the phone bank.

Bono, and Rihanna

Jennifer Aniston, left, and Daniel Craig.


They should have been walking,” he said. “Instead they were heavy in my arms. ... Right now we can see the second wave of the disaster coming ... We have to make sure that the second wave never makes it to Haiti.” Jean ended his comments with a message directly to the Haitian people, in Creole. Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation is one of the groups that will benefit from the evening’s donations; Jean had come under criticism for the spending practices of the foundation, and before the telethon Friday announced a new accounting firm to handle the group’s finances after acknowledging past mistakes. The telethon was broadcast from New York, London, Los Angeles and Haiti, and was featured on all the major networks and channels. It was also streamed live on sites like YouTube and MySpace. Haitians were able to listen on Radio One Haiti. Leonardo DiCaprio was among those celebrities who urged viewers to donate; on Thursday, he joined the list of previous celebrities donors with a $1 million gift to The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, one of several organizations that will benefit from the telethon. Musician John Mayer called in a $500,000 donation before the telethon began, according to a representative for MTV. People were able to start donating even before the telethon at a newly established Web site, and also through text or telephone. Viewers will also be able to purchase performances from the evening on Saturday by way of iTunes for 99 cents, with those proceeds going to relief aid as well. The telethon won’t be the last major celebrity effort for Haiti; BET plans to hold its own all-star telethon on Feb 5, with Diddy and Queen Latifah as hosts. It will also be aired on MTV and VH1. — AP

Ellen DeGeneres

Tim Robbins and Meg Ryan

goes on show in London unique collection of art goes on disLowry, as well as Roman vessels and play at the Victoria and Albert medieval jewelry. “Greenhalgh was probMuseum in London yesterday — all ably the most diverse art forger that we of it fake. More than 100 forged paintings have never heard of,” said Detective and sculptures seized by the capital’s Sergeant Vernon Rapley, head of the Metropolitan Police are on show for Metropolitan Police’s the first time, including fake antiqArt and Antiques Unit uities and works attributed to which has put on the exhibition. Giacometti and contemporary “He created objects of so British artist Banksy. If they many different styles and were real, the collection from so many periods that would be worth more than he was not really detectfour million pounds (6.5 miled,” Rapley told AFP, notlion dollars, 4.5 million ing that he worked for 17 euros), organizers said. years without being caught. Many of the items come The forgers featured in from the workshop of the the exhibition often cermost diverse art forger tificates of authenticity ever known. signed by experts to help Shaun Greenhalgh sell their works, some of was jailed for four years which are on display and eight months in 2007, alongside the items but not before he proOthers, A fake Egyptian coffin themselves. duced an astonishing such as brothers array of fakes in multi- mask by art forger John Robert and Brian ple disciplines. One of Andrews is displayed at Thwaites, even went his most notorious an exhibition of recov- so far as to stick bits works is the “Amarna newspaper from ered forged art at the of Princess”, which was the Victorian era V&A gallery in West bought by a museum behind fake paintings in Bolton, northern London on 22 January attributed to an artist England, for 400,000 of that period, John 2010. — AFP pounds. It thought it Anster Fitzgerald. was a rare piece from the era of the The exhibition, “The Metropolitan Police Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. Service’s Investigation of Fakes and The forger also succeeded in imitating Forgeries” is open from January 23 to paintings by the English painter LS February 7. — AFP


A fraudulent relief sculpture, allegedly from the 8th-6th century BC by art forger George Greenhaigh.

Leonardo DiCaprio


rim-faced celebrities and musicians with mournful tunes set the tone for the all-star, international “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, which featured two hours of desperate pleas for an even more-desperate nation. But it ended on a hopeful note, with a buoyant call for Haiti’s revival by native son, Wyclef Jean. “Enough of this moping man, let’s rebuild Haiti, let’s show ‘em how we do it where we come from!” Jean shouted after singing the slow song “Rivers of Babylon,” with a Haitian flag around his neck. He segued into the joyful tune “Yele” with an island beat, as musicians danced around him, singing the refrain: “Earthquake, we see the earth shake, but the soul of the Haitian people will never break!” It was a stark contrast from the opening of the telecast: no words, simply photos of Haiti’s tragic citizens as a backdrop, as Alicia Keys called for the help of angels in somber tune. “Can you send me an angel to guide me?” Keys from her song “Prelude to a Kiss.” There was no audience or applause, allowing the moment to sink in for the millions expected to watch. “The Haitian people need our help,” said George Clooney, who helped organize the two-hour telecast. “They need to know that they are not alone. They need to know that we still care.” Then, after an impassioned plea from Halle Berry, Bruce Springsteen dedicated a song for Haiti — “We Shall Overcome.” Since Haiti suffered the devastating earthquake on Jan 12 that killed more than 200,000 people, the entertainment world has responded with an outpouring of charity, from million dollar donations to songs designed to raise money for relief. On Friday night, those efforts became collective as the biggest celebrities from music, film, sports and even politics joined together for the telethon. Stars like Mel Gibson, Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts manned telephone lines while CNN’s Anderson Cooper gave reports about the situation from Haiti. Heartbreaking video showed Haitians buried in rubble and badly injured, with tears and overwhelming sorrow etched on their faces. Although the celebrity phone bank appeared to be continuously busy with donation calls, some of which were piped into the telecast, it was not immediately known how much money was raised by the show. Most of the musical performances were downbeat, emotional songs. John Legend sang “I Feel Like A Motherless Child.” Kid Rock, Keith Urban and Sheryl Crow sang “Lean On Me.” Beyonce, with Coldplay’s Chris Martin backing her on piano, revised her hit “Halo” with new lyrics: “Haiti we can see your halo, we pray you won’t fade away.” Madonna provided one of the few upbeat moments with her choir-backed performance of “Like A Prayer,” while Sting’s “Driven To Tears” was also spirited. Jay-Z, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge debuted a new song, “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour),” as Jay-Z rapped from London: “When the sky falls, and the earth quakes, we can gon’ this back together, we won’t break.” Mickelson Civil, a Haitian filmmaker, fought back tears as he talked about relatives who died and those who are barely surviving: “The survivors shouldn’t have to go hungry or be afraid now,” he said. Jean made one of the more personal celebrity appeals of the evening, speaking of his experience after witnessing the torment of the nation first hand. “I carried bodies of my people in the cemetery.

Mel Gibson

Painting in ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ row to auction in New York painting that once triggered a major art world row after being mistakenly identified as the work of Leonardo da Vinci will go on auction in New York this week. No one really knows who painted “La Belle Ferronniere” and it will go on the block at Sotheby’s on Thursday listed as by “a follower of Leonardo da Vinci.” The oil painting, depicting a richly dressed woman looking out over her left side, is estimated to sell for 300,000 to 500,000 dollars-an absolute bargain compared to an authentic da Vinci. “It’s clearly not by Leonardo, although there was a huge amount of controversy,” said George Wachter, co-chairman of Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings department. “If it was an authentic Leonardo, it would be worth more than 250 million dollars.” Experts haven’t always been that confident. In 1929, “La Belle Ferronniere” provoked one of the art world’s most heated debates and almost brought a foremost international expert to his knees. A French-American couple had arranged to sell the painting, said by a French expert to be a da Vinci, for the then-princely sum of 250,000 dollars to a Kansas museum. However, renowned specialist Sir Joseph Duveen immediately declared the picture no more than a skillful copy and the sale to the museum fell through. He was sued by the owners and although the jury was unable to reach a verdict,


A forged bust of John Adams in the style of Horatio Greenough by art forger Shaun Greenhaigh.

Jack Nicholson

Duveen was required to pay compensation. In 1993 a da Vinci specialist ruled that the painting was executed in the mid-17th centurymore than a century after the Italian genius had died. — AFP

La Belle Ferronniere

24 Jan 2010  

Kuwait, Times

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