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RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2010

SAFAR 11, 1431 AH

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from the editor’s desk

Play it fair! By Abd Al-Rahman Alyan Editor-in-Chief

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hen President Obama moved into the White House, he came with the promise of change and open dialogue as an alternative to George Bush’s ‘you’re either with us or against us’ policy. Yesterday the editors-inchief of the Kuwaiti press got firsthand experience of that change. US Ambassador Deborah Jones invited the press to a lunch with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. The lunch opened the opportunity for the Kuwaiti press, Mr Feltman and Ambassador Jones to exchange opinions on various issues in the Middle East and America’s role in these issues. Of course the Palestinian issue could not be avoided whenever the Middle East is being discussed and our lunch with Mr Feltman was no different. The Deputy Assistant Secretary was genuine in conveying the message that the US is all for a two-state solution. He also explained that the US cannot dictate to either side what they can and can’t do but it is negotiating with both sides in the hope of finding a solution. I would like to say that dialogue on all levels is a good approach when trying to bring both sides together. However, there is also the issue of trust, meaning that when a relationship has been tense for many years, don’t expect both sides to suddenly trust each other and forget the past. Therefore, with dialogue there has to be patience as well and the dialogue has to be renewed several times until some sort of trust is gained between both sides. Then and only then would dialogue be successful. This has pretty much been the case with the Israeli and Palestinian issue where the international community is being very patient and has been carrying on with dialogues since 1967. This patience over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is raising doubts over the international community’s commitment to solving this crisis, looking at the fact that countries that have defied and that are defying UN resolutions, such as Iraq and Iran, have not enjoyed the patience that Israel is currently enjoying. President Obama’s administration has its work cut out when trying to prove that the US is fully committed to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opening dialogues with old foes such as Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Because it has to change old mentalities and show that it is treating its ally Israel on equal footing with its Arab allies. (See Page 4)

Iraq executes Chemical Ali Three blasts targeting Baghdad hotels kill 37

Yemen Houthis offer truce to Saudi Arabia hostilities in return, the rebels would wage an “open war” on the world’s top oil exporter. Yemen’s central government has been fighting the rebels on and off since 2004, but the conflict intensified last summer when Sanaa launched Operation Scorched Earth to quash the latest upsurge in violence. Saudi Arabia stepped into the fray in November when rebels seized some Saudi territory, prompting Riyadh to wage a major military offensive against them. The conflict raging in the north has displaced around 200,000 people, according to the United Nations. Continued on Page 13

PORT-AU-PRINCE: A street vendor tries to keep the crowd from stealing her goods on Sunday. — AFP

Bodies pile up as Haiti begs for aid PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti’s prime minister begged donors yesterday to back the rebuilding of his quake-hit country and boost international aid as hundreds of thousands of people fought for survival in the rubble. Nearly two weeks after the worst recorded disaster in the Americas killed at least 150,000 people, a conference of foreign creditors in Montreal

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SANAA: The leader of Yemen’s Shiite rebels yesterday offered a ceasefire to Saudi Arabia and said his fighters would withdraw from the kingdom’s territory to avoid more civilian casualties. The announcement by Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi followed three months of border fighting between Shiite rebels and Saudi forces who also used their air force to bomb rebel targets. “To avoid more bloodshed and to stop aggression on civilians ... we offer this initiative,” Houthi said in an audio recording posted on the Internet. He warned that if Saudi Arabia did not end its

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heard that it would take at least 10 years to rebuild the stricken Caribbean nation. As bulldozers cleared more corpse-filled buildings in the center of the flattened capital Port-au-Prince, Haitians expressed both hope and skepticism about the emergency meeting of donor countries in Montreal. Continued on Page 13

BAGHDAD: Faisal Hadi, 53, is assisted to a hospital after he was wounded in a car bomb attack yesterday. (Inset) An image grab shows a still photograph broadcast by the state-run Al-Iraqiya television channel showing Ali Hassan AlMajid before his execution yesterday. — AP/AFP

BAGHDAD: Saddam Hussein’s notorious cousin and henchman “Chemical Ali” was executed yesterday, Iraq’s government said, eight days after he was sentenced to death for the 1998 gassing of thousands of Kurds. Ali Hassan Al-Majid was better known by his macabre nickname and as the King of Spades in the pack of cards of “most wanted” Iraqis issued by the US military in 2003, and will forever be associated with mass killings. He was “executed by hanging until death,” government spokesman Ali AlDabbagh said. “The execution happened without any violations, shouting or cries of joy,” in sharp contrast to Saddam’s death on the gallows, he added. State television later aired two still photographs of Majid, in which he was wearing an orange-red jumpsuit and the first of which clearly displayed his face. The second picture showed him on a platform, with a black hood over his head and with two men wearing balaclavas standing on either side. The execution, which was welcomed by Kurdish victims, came as three massive car bombs targeting hotels rocked central Baghdad, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100 in an apparently coordinated but as yet unclaimed attack. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said extremists were trying to upend progress toward democracy. Continued on Page 13

Ethiopia jet crashes off Beirut All 90 on board feared dead • Plane caught fire after takeoff BEIRUT: An Ethiopian Airlines plane carrying 90 people caught fire and crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Beirut early yesterday, setting off a frantic search as passenger seats, baby sandals and other debris washed ashore. No survivors had been found by nightfall, but emergency workers recovered at least 34 bodies including two toddlers. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Lebanon has seen stormy weather since Sunday night, with crackling thunder, lightning and rain. “We saw fire falling down from the sky into the sea,” said Khaled Naser, a gas station attendant who saw the plane go down around 2:30 am, crashing into the frigid waters of the Mediterranean that had reached just 18 degrees Celsius by yesterday afternoon. The Lebanese army said in a statement the plane was on fire shortly after takeoff. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said terrorism was not suspected in the crash of Flight 409, which was headed for the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. “Sabotage is ruled out as of now,” he said. Weeping relatives streamed into Beirut’s airport to wait for news on their loved ones. One woman dropped to

BEIRUT: Ethiopian women, relatives of passengers of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed in the sea, react upon their arrival at Beirut airport yesterday. — AP

her knees in tears; another cried out, “Where is my son?” Andree Qusayfi said his 35year-old brother, Ziad, was traveling to Ethiopia for his job at a computer company, but was planning to return to Lebanon for good soon. “We begged him to postpone his flight because of the storm,” Qusayfi said, his eyes red from crying. “But he insisted on going because he had work appointments.” Zeinab Seklawi said her 24-year-old son Yasser called her as he was boarding. “I told him, ‘God be with you,’ and I went to sleep,” Seklawi said. “Please find my son. I know he’s alive and wouldn’t leave me.” At the Government Hospital in Beirut, Red Cross workers brought in bodies on stretchers covered with wool blankets as relatives gathered nearby. Many people were giving DNA samples to help identify the remains of their loved ones. One man identified his 3-year-old nephew by the overalls the boy was wearing. The Boeing 737-800 took off around 2:30 am and went down 3.5 km off the coast, said Ghazi Aridi, the public works and transportation minister. “The weather undoubtedly was very bad,” Aridi told reporters at the airport. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKhorafi (right) meets his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani (left) upon his arrival at the airport yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Israel doesn’t dare strike Iran: Larijani By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The speaker of the Iranian parliament said yesterday that Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities are “empty talk”. “If they dared to carry attacks against Iran, they would’ve done that already,” Ali L arijani said after his arrival to Kuwait on a two-day visit yesterday. “I recommend that you don’t pay attention to such comments,” he said. Larijani also downplayed French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s call to place more sanctions against Iran. “Instead of placing pressure on Israel for their abusive practices against people in Palestine, the West tries to divert attention to Iran,” he

said. Larijani was in Kuwait on an invitation from National Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKhorafi, who headed the diplomatic delegation at the airport. “Iran and Kuwait have enjoyed good ties for a long time, even during ‘sensitive periods’,” Larijani said. His Kuwaiti counterpart said that the importance of the visit is derived from the importance of Iran in the region. “Iran has a significant role and good connections in the region. We are always in touch about the events taking place in this region, and there are negotiations between the two parliaments too,” Khorafi said. Continued on Page 13

FM assures MPs on Iraq border houses By B Izzak KUWAIT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah moved yesterday to assure MPs on Kuwait’s offer to build houses for Iraqi farmers, saying that the number of these houses is not more than 80 for Iraqi farmers whose current houses and land interfere with Kuwaiti territory. The minister was apparently responding to criticism by several MPs over his remarks that Kuwait has offered to build the houses for the farmers. Sheikh Mohammad said that the Iraqi farmers’ presence on the border constitutes a security liability for both countries. The minister’s statements came following a meeting with

the Assembly’s foreign relations committee during which he briefed members about a number of issues including the outcome of the recent GCC summit, the fighting in Yemen and relations with Iran. Rapporteur of the committee MP Ali Al-Rashed told reporters that the members agreed to make a field visit to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti borders along with the foreign minister and specifically to the area where the Iraqi farmers are located. The minister said that Kuwait has asked Iraq that the border area should be vacant in order to maintain security , adding that Iraqi farmers are currently living on Iraqi territory and not Kuwaiti. Continued on Page 13

Karroubi recognizes Ahmadinejad as prez TEHRAN: Iran opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, who had refused to accept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection, revealed yesterday in a major position shift that he now recognised the hardliner as president. Karroubi’s son, Hossein, told AFP about his father’s new stance, making him the first opposition leader to explicitly accept Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June 12 poll which returned him to office for a second term. “I am still of the same belief that the election was unhealthy and massively rigged. But since the (supreme) leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) endorsed (Ahmadinejad’s victory), I believe that he is the head of the government, meaning he is the president,” Hossein quoted his father as saying. Hossein spoke to AFP when asked to confirm an earlier report by Fars news agency

Mehdi Karroubi quoting his father as acknowledging Ahmadinejad to be the president. Fars asked Karroubi whether he now recognises Ahmadinejad as president. The ex-speaker of parliament, who won the fewest number of votes in the June election, replied: “I still maintain that there were problems (in the poll), but with regard to your question, I should say that Continued on Page 13


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NATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sheikh Salem Al-Ali’s return welcomed

Cabinet approves KAC privatization KUWAIT: The cabinet, in its weekly meeting late Sunday, tentatively decided to privatize the national airlines, the Kuwait Airways Corporation. The government, during a marathon session, reviewed results of assessment of condition of the KAC on the basis of studies, conducted by specialized international consultancy agencies. Managing Director of the Public Investment Authority Dr Bader Mohammad Al-Saad, with presence of the executive manager of the general reserves department, Bader Ajeel Al-Ajeel, and the advisor of this sector, Nouri Al-Salem, presented the executives with the adopted assessment methods and the attained results, on the basis of the tasking that had been granted to these consultancy houses. Moreover, necessary steps for the implementation of the law number 6 of 2008 regarding the transformation of the KAC into a shareholding company were reviewed during the session. Furthermore, the government discussed a recommendation by the committee of economic affairs regarding the privatization of the airways corporation, and tentatively approved a cabinet draft resolution with respect of the issuance of rules and executive measures of the law number 6 of 2008. The council also tasked the PIA to complete legal procedures to transform the corporation into a shareholding Kuwaiti company under the name, the Kuwaiti Airways Corporation, so it may undertake its tasks according to the mentioned law. The cabinet also welcomed the return of His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Head of the National Guards, to Kuwait next Wednesday, while approving a bill on draft budgets of ministries and government departments for FY 2010-

11. The cabinet, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, welcomed the return of Sheikh Salem following his long treatment journey. The cabinet hoped Sheikh Salem would enjoy lasting health under the leadership of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince, minister of state for cabinet affairs Roudhan AlRoudhan said in a statement after the meeting. He said finance undersecretary Khalifa Hamada, his assistant Abdulwahhab Al-Muzaini and senior officials briefed the cabinet about the 2010-11 draft budget, including the projected oil and non-oil revenues. They have also noted how the draft budget would tackle structural irregularities in the national economy, said Al-Roudhan who added that the cabinet approved draft budgets of ministries and government departments. A bill was referred to His Highness the Amir. The cabinet, meanwhile, took note of a letter sent by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon to the Amir including the UN’s efforts to banning and regulating the excessive force of conventional weapons. The cabinet approved a draft law on cultural, educational and scientific agreement between Kuwait and Spain, and referred it to the Amir, said Al-Roudhan. The government also approved bills concerning agreement on preventing double taxation and evasion of income tax and capital with Benin, double taxation prevention and evasion of income tax agreement with the Philippines, a double taxation prevention and evasion on income tax agreement with Mexico, in addition to an agreement to preventing double taxation and income tax and capital evasion with Armenia. — KUNA

local spotlight

The HRW report on Kuwait By Muna Al-Fuzai

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he rights of workers, women, bedoons as well as the freedom of expression were the main issues of concern that the Human Rights Watch (HRW) had detailed in its report about Kuwait. This report did not come as a big surprise as it only helped shed light on most of the existing issues. Some have been resolved while others are still pending. Nevertheless, the report should not be overlooked. Now, I agree that the HRW is an organization that champions the cause of human rights. It is also necessary that allegations be leveled in a just manner. Each issue raised by HRW should be given an appropriate answer and clarification. I personally wish to see local officials give the rights answers and analyze each accusation! Now, of course, all matters addressed in the report are of interest not only to citizens but to expats too. The report also claimed that systemic abuse against marginalized population were being carried out, although some improvements in Kuwait’s human rights record were registered during the past year. Now, I’m not sure of the improvements that Kuwait has made in this area and the criteria and statistics that this organization had followed. But the question is, if there has been an improvement then why are accusations still being raised? Why isn’t the level of improvement mentioned? Regardless of whatever this report states

about Kuwait, there are three main elements to be taken into consideration. First, who are the real people who formulated this report and what exactly do they represent- themselves, their governments or their personal ideas? What were their sources of information? If it comprises individuals who are not particularly appreciative about Kuwait, their testimony is not completely reliable. If it is government-aided, they should clarify their governments’ stance. If it represents the media then we should be careful , especially due to the presence of large number of newspapers in Kuwait. If the organization is about laws then that point should be clearly mentioned. I agree that several issues need to be addressed, not by the HRW but by Kuwaitis themselves. People who are not even Kuwaitis should not be passing judgments about our society without watching the complete picture. The fact is that Kuwait, like many Arab countries, has its share of problems that may take years to be resolved. What about women’s rights? What rights are they talking about? Women in Kuwait are lucky to be entitled to receive all the rights they want. However, if a woman here has decided to become a victim of abuse by her father or husband then that is her own fault. It is certainly none of HRW’s business. We, like the rest of the world, do face problems. There will be a new dawn where the people will realize what Kuwait needs most . muna@kuwaittimes.net

KUWAIT: The KJA delegation honored by the Social Reform Society included (from left) Editor at the Kuwait News Agency Mona Shishter, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait Times Abd Al-Rahman Alyan (on behalf of Badrya Darwish, General Manager of Kuwait Times), a member of the Kuwait Journalists Association, columnist of Al-Qabas newspaper Sami Al-Nisf, Chairman of the Kuwait Journalists Association Ahmad Behbahani, Board Chairman of the Social Reform Society Humoud Al-Roumi, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Al-Anba newspaper and the head of the journalist delegation to Gaza Adnan Al-Rashid, Dr. Isam AlFulaij from Al-Watan newspaper and an official of the Social Reform Society. — Photos by Joseph Shagrah

‘Social Reform Society’ honors KJA delegation to Gaza KUWAIT: The Chairman of the board of directors of the Social Reform Society (SRS), Humoud Al-Roumi has praised the efforts made by the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA)’s delegation that recently visited the Gaza Strip. The SRS’s International Mercy Committee recently organized an honoring ceremony at KJA’s headquarters with the attendance of media persons interested in the organization’s activities. “What our journalists did during that visit was not coincidental. It was a manifestation of heightened human feelings and genuine Arab traditions that the delegation and Kuwaiti people enjoyed,” said Al-Roumi. In a statement he made on the occasion, he pointed out that the Palestinian cause was currently on top of the world’s priorities and that this called for both governmental and public support. Al-Roumi also emphasized the religious side of the cause. Palestine is the birthplace of the world’s greatest religions. “It has the first of the two holy mosques that Muslims face during prayers, the third of the two holy mosques after Kaaba and the Prophet’s mosque and the destination to which the holy Prophet (PBUH) was carried on the night of Israa’ and Me’raj. Notably, KJA’s delegation paid a visit to the Gaza Strip in the beginning of January. The delegation included KJA’s Treasurer and Al-Anbaa’s Deputy Editor-In-Chief, Adnan Al-Rashid as delegation president, Al-Qabas writer Sami AlNisf, Dr. Essam Al-Flaij ( AlWatan), Mona Shishter, KUNA’s Editorial Manager and the Director General of Kuwait’s English daily, Kuwait Times, Badriya Darwish. During the visit, the delegation met with various official and public figures. They also visited projects funded by the people of Kuwait that were built under the supervision of SRS International Mercy Committee’s regional office in the Gaza Strip. The delegation also visited the Kuwait

Specialized Hospital that is valued at $335,000 that has a 16,000 bed capacity. At least 1,200 surgeries are conducted annually. The delegation also visited a large farm including 30,000 palm and various fruit trees that had been planted as a contribution from the Kuwaiti people so that residents from the Gaza Strip achieve food security. Moreover, the delegation took part in distributing food parcels to hundreds of needy families in Zaitoon (Olive) neighborhood,

Gaza Strip. It’s also noteworthy to say that, through its regional office in the Gaza Strip, SRS’ International Mercy Committee has been doing a lot to reduce the suffering of the Palestinian people through agricultural and medical projects, financial aids, digging wells, building bakeries, monthly sponsorship of families and orphans, seasonal projects such as Eid sacrifices , school bags, reconstruction projects. The committee plans to repair 1,000 destroyed homes in 2010.

‘Cooperation important for sustainable development’ By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: Cooperation is important to achieve complete coordination between countries to achieve sustainable development, said Dr. Salah AlMuthahe, General Director of Environment Public Authority. He was speaking during the opening of the 25th meeting of the Coordination Environment Committee (CEC) at the Gulf Cooperation Council level at the Sheraton Hotel yesterday. It is considered a preparatory meeting for the Gulf Environment Meeting which will be hosted in Kuwait on May 2010. Al-Muthahe also added that more work is needed to preserve the environment at all levels to achieve goals. “The GCC leaders had formulated policies and principles to protect the environment during their sixth summit that was held in Muscat. It marked the beginning of environ-

mental work that were translated by the environmental officials at GCC states into plans and programs of action,” Al-Muthahe concluded. Dr. Abdullah Ben Oqlaa Environment Secretariat, General Assistant for Human and Environment Affairs spoke about the results yielded as a result of cooperation between countries over the past year. It has taken steps to prevent the spread of radiation. The GCC countries emphasized commitment to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in addition to several achievements that were made during previous sessions. “These achievements cannot be ignored. Some of the problems and obstacles present are in the field of cooperation work. Some leaders are trying to expedite work, push cooperation work forward with the hope that work achieved will attain a good level,” Dr. Abdullah added.


NATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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in my view

The ‘lucky’ nationals

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he statement by Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah about building suitable homes for Iraqi farmers on the borders, as well as a Kuwaiti hospital in Basra is totally correct, writes Abdullah Al-Misfer in Al-Jarida. Sheikh Mohammad has saved us the trouble of looking for ways to spend the surplus money that we have, and don’t know where or on who to spend it! After years of hard and dedicated work, we in Kuwait have now reached the lap of luxury, and the simple citizen’s life has become complicated because of the many services presented to him. If we look at the health field, which we’ve often commented on the shortcomings of in recent years, it is now very well organized and of high quality. One need only look at the buttons installed in every home by the government to enable us to order what we want. As soon as the simple citizen feels that he may be suffering from the flu, he can simply push the button and moments later two good-looking young blonde nurses appear in front of him carrying red roses and telling him they’ll do whatever it takes to help. A few minutes later, the doctor arrives, conducts a full examination, then gives the citizen medicine of the best quality. As for education, all the citizen has to do is to press the button relevant to his son’s or daughter’s educational stage to have a group of school administrators and teachers arrive at his house to register the prospective pupil in school and organize his or her educational journey from the elementary stage all the way to graduation from university. In fact, the government provides him with a driver to take the boy to school and a maid to run his affairs... Did not I tell you that we’ve reached a great stage in our luxurious lives these days purely through the efforts of my beloved government...? As for housing, I do not want to talk about the stage we’ve reached so that other countries will not jinx us. While still in the womb our children find out that the government has already prepared their marital home in readiness for their moving in and all they have to do, once born, is to visit the house occasionally to supervise the decor and select the ceramics so that when the time comes to get married the house will be totally furnished and ready, with the young man or woman spending their first and most important night in their life in the house their “mother government” had prepared for them.

Lawyer slams Co-op head KUWAIT: Attorney Hesham AlRefaei has responded robustly to the denials issued by the CEO of the Rawdha and Hawally Cooperative Society of AlRefaie’s accusations of violations by Co-op management board members there. Al-Refaie was speaking after Ali Al-Anbaei, the Co-op CEO, condemned him for submitting an official complaint to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in which the lawyer alleged financial misdemeanors by board members. Al-Refaie said that he had made the complaint on behalf of Rawdha and Hawally Co-op shareholders and were fully supported by documentation provided by them, which had been submitted to the ministry for

examination, reported Al-Qabas. The lawyer stated that AlAnbaei could not refute the allegations against the board members, adding that he had followed all the correct legal procedures in submitting his complaint. Al-Refaie further asserted that the Co-op head had failed to respond satisfactorily to the points laid out in the complaint, launching a counter action emphasizing his “commitment to protect Kuwaiti families’ interests” in order to avoid doing so. The lawyer said that instead of criticizing the complaint, AlAnbaei should be meeting the responsibilities of his position by addressing the complaint’s points.

Drainage system is being installed here.

Where is the way to your flat? Where can you park your car?

Maidan Hawally riddled with holes

No end in sight for ‘digging’ By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Have you ever been to or at least visited Maidan Hawally recently? Maidan Hawally is a small but quiet neighborhood that lies close to Salmiya. Like other locations in Kuwait, Maidan Hawally (wedged between the Fourth Ring Road and Baghdad Street) is riddled with digging/excavation holes. These make residents’ lives difficult and miserable for some. Expatriates complained of the jarring din that emanates from heavy equipments and a barrage of metal barricades that damage cars and automobiles. They also complained of dangerous manholes that are not filled in after undertaking digging and excavation activities. “They destroyed roads and leave them open to all kinds of danger. Sometimes, car accidents take place here, but most of the time, impatient motorists get into fights on the road because they want to go first. This situation is really sad and a terrible thing,” said a visibly frustrated expatriate. “What kind of treasures are they hunting for in front of our flats? They do it (the work) early in the morning and even late into the night. It’s okay, if the purpose was really to make us feel better afterwards, but they aren’t. Besides, continuous dredging keeps my children and me awake,” she complained.

The frustrated expat went on to explain, “I just want them to explain to us about the excavation. Why does it take time and why doesn’t it ever end? They’ll open the road one day and cover it the next day. The following day another group (of people from the Municipality will come and open the same holes that were opened once and covered with sand.) It’s been a cycle, and the funny thing is that it never ends.” Only the Ministry of Public Works, Municipality and the Ministry of Electricity and Water can explain why it has been happening. They are ready to answer things. An official familiar with the ministry’s bureaucracy explained, “You better stop complaining! That’s the way we do it in Kuwait,” he quipped. “But I’ll tell you something; the reason why things are happening was because no proper coordination was achieved between concerned ministries. The Public Works Department will repair streets and eventually, the Municipality will come to fix things afterwards. The Ministry of Water will upgrade your drainage system as well-so they dig up a big hole in your place. Once again, here comes the Ministry of Electricity pretending to increase electricity voltage and they install some pipes and wires underground. That’s how it works, is that clear?”

The on-going road maintenance at Maidan Hawally. —Photos by Ben Garcia


NATIONAL

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Marlins prepare for trip to Iraq and Kuwait MIAMI: Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez has packed a dozen balls and a glove for the organization’s upcoming tour of Iraq and Kuwait. “You never know. Maybe we’ll do a little scouting trip while we’re there,” Gonzalez said with a chuckle Friday. The more serious goal is to spread some goodwill among the troops. Joining Gonzalez will be NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, catcher John Baker, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and four members of the team’s Mermaids dance crew. The group flies Sunday from Washington to Kuwait. The Marlins say the weeklong trip, sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, is the first of its kind for a major league club since the Iraq war began. The Marlins said they’ll be ready to play catch, pass out souvenirs or share stories about life in the majors - whatever helps the troops take their minds off the war. Gonzalez conceded he’s a little anxious. “We’re not going to Disney World,” he said. “The percentage of stuff that can happen is slim. But there is some nervousness on my part.” Coghlan and Baker both have relatives with military backgrounds. Coghlan’s brother spent four years with the Marine Corps in Iraq before returning to the United States, where he’s now enrolled

in junior college. “This trip isn’t for us, but when we walk away we’ll probably get more out of it than we ever thought we would,” Coghlan said. “Those guys over there are the real heroes. I’m able to fully understand that with my own brother, the closest person in my life, putting his life on the line.” Baker’s family includes a grandfather who served in World War II and two cousins recently retired from the Marine Corps. He said he has received much positive feedback from relatives about making the trip to visit the troops. “Just being a civilian, not even a baseball player, and heading over to see these men and women is a positive thing,” Baker said. “It brings a slice of home and America to them.” The Marlins have few details regarding their itinerary, and Gonzalez joked it’s classified. But Coghlan said he received a scouting report from his brother about what to expect. “We don’t know exactly where we’re going. It’s still confidential for security purposes,” Coghlan said. “But he said, ‘More than likely you’re going to go to the bases. It’s going to be real safe.’ He said, ‘You’ll be amazed to realize how supportive they are and thankful for you coming.’ He said, ‘They just want to take their minds off fighting.”‘ — AFP

Man dies of drug overdose KUWAIT: A citizen in his 20’s was found dead in his home in Salwa as a result of a drug overdose. His family members placed an emergency call after they found him lying unconscious in his room. Police and paramedics responded to the call and discovered he had died before they arrived.

Investigations revealed that the blaze started in the kitchen where the maid was located at the time. The fire’s location would have made it almost impossible for her to escape. A case was opened and investigations are underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Fatal accident A Pakistani truck driver was killed after a car accident on Salmi street. Police and rescue teams responded to the emergency and freed the driver from the wreckage. He was announced dead at the scene of the accident. Police are further investigating the incident.

Bootlegger held Farwaniya police arrested an Asian man for selling alcohol. He was found in possession of dozens of bottles filled with liquor and ready for sale. The arrest occurred after the man was pulled over while on his way to deliver some alcohol to a customer. He was taken to the proper authorities.

Maid dead in fire An Asian maid was burned to death after a fire occurred inside her sponsors’ home in AlQairawan. Firefighters, police and rescue teams responded to the emergency and discovered the maid’s body while putting out the flames.

Residency violators caught Police arrested 140 expatriate men and women on charges of violating residency and labor laws. The arrests occurred after police raided 30 apartments in eight buildings where the lawbreakers were hiding. They were all taken to the General Department of Criminal Investigations.

Egyptian found dead By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The dead body of a 35-year-old Egyptian man was discovered in his residence in Farwaniya. The body was removed for autopsy. Eleven injured A 38-year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to Jahra Hospital when he suffered a heart attack after being a car crash in the area. In a separate accident a 67-year-old Kuwaiti man sustained head injuries, while a 25-year-old compatriot complained of chest pain and a 43year-old suffered a suspected broken leg in a car crash in Rai. All were taken to Sabah Hospital. In an accident on Shuaiba Port Road, a 28-yearold Moroccan woman suffered fractures to her arms and legs. She was taken to the Amiri Hospital. In another incident, two Kuwaitis, aged 36 and 37, were taken to hospital after suffering deep

gashes to their legs in a car accident in Kuwait City. Meanwhile, two 35-year-old expatriates, an Egyptian and an Indian, suffered head injuries in a crash near Kaifan Exchange. Both were rushed to hospital. In another accident, a 21-year-old Kuwaiti man suffered cuts to his hands and complained of neck pain, while a 15-year-old compatriot suffered a possible knee injury following a collision on the Gulf Road near Seif Palace. Both were taken to Amiri Hospital. Thighbone broken An eight-year-old Kuwaiti boy suffered a broken thighbone when he fell from a high building in Fahad Al-Ahmad area. He was taken to Adan hospital. Meanwhile, a 55-year-old Egyptian man also suffered a broken thighbone when he fell from a height while carrying out work at the Ministry of Interior. He was taken to Mubarak Hospital.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

US official urges more GCC support for Iraq US ambassador hosts lunch for acting secretary, chief editors KUWAIT: A senior US official said that the United States is not happy with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC) countries policy towards integration with Iraq. The official added that when GCC countries complain that Iraq is turning into Iran it is very disappointing. He said that Iraqis are very proud of their heritage and that GCC countries should be there to remind them of their connection to the Arab world. The US Embassy in Kuwait yesterday hosted the visiting Acting Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs Jeffery Feltman at a casual lunch. Also in attendance were chief editors of local papers in Kuwait. US Ambassador to Kuwait, Deborah K Jones, hosted the lunch and also participated in the discussion. Jeffery Feltman started the discussion by describing what he has been doing with his time in the region. “We left Washington DC with the Vice President [Joe Biden] to Baghdad. We stayed an extra day after the Vice President left in order to continue our conversations with the Iraqis. The Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton] and the Vice President wanted to make sure that we came to Kuwait afterwards,” he continued. “We have a long, close friendship with Kuwait, and we want to make sure that we keep in close touch with Kuwait about our dialogue with the Iraqis. We know how sensitive the issue is and we want to make sure that you understand what our commitment to Iraq means. We want you to understand that our commitment to Kuwait will not be compromised with what we are doing in Iraq. We will also be going to Riyadh to talk to the Saudis -its actually my first bilateral trip to Saudi Arabia. I’ve visited Kuwait several times,” he said. “When asked about the situation in Yemen, he responded by addressing the country’s security and development troubles. “You cannot address the security challenges in Yemen without also addressing development and government challenges there,” he said. “Look at the challenges Yemen faces; Houthies and Al-Qaeda in the north, but also a population that will double by 2038. They are running out of water, they are running out of oil, and the govern-

KUWAIT: (From left) Jeffrey Feltman, Principal Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near Eastern Affairs, Yousuf Al-Marzouq, Al-Anbaa Editor-in-Chief, Peter VrooMan, Director for Iraq National Security Staff, Katharina Gollner-Sweet, Consoler for Press and Cultural Affairs, Mohammed Al-Rumaihi, Editor-in-Chief of Awan, Dr Ali Al-Tarrah, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Watan Daily, Abd AlRahman Alyan, Kuwait Times’ Editor-in-Chief and the US ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones during the business lunch yesterday.

KUWAIT: (From Left) Peter VrooMan, Waleed AlNisf Editor-in-Chief of Al-Qabas, Yousuf AlMarzouq and Jeffery Feltman.

KUWAIT: Al-Nisf shaking hands with Feltman at the presence of the US ambassador, Abd AlRahman Alyan and Dr. Ali Al-Tarrah.

ment is not able to develop and deliver services to the entire country. You can’t solve the security issue without facing the development challenge. The Yemen meeting called for by [Britain’s Prime Minister] Gordon Brown is to talk about all these things together,” he stressed. Feltman then returned to the discussion on Iraq and the country’s potential as a regional influence. “I think we all look at Iraq as a potentially [strong] country and that is a sensitive issue here [in Kuwait]. What’s interesting is when we talk to the Iraqis their perception of their country is different from the perception most of

Kuwait.” Feltman underscored the United State’s awareness of what happened in Kuwait and said the country is proud of the partnership we have with Kuwait. “Iraqis know very well how firmly we are committed to Kuwait’s independence,” he said. “Nevertheless, we are encouraged by the fact that the Iraqi officials we spoke to privately emphasize their understanding that they need to have a positive relationship with Kuwait.” He pointed out that raising sensitive issues during an election season is never a good idea. “The United States remains committed to work with you and the Iraqis

us have. When one looks at Iraq from the outside, as a potential power house, Iraqis themselves envision their neighbors, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, as playing too large of a role.” “I think Kuwait deserves all of our applause,” Feltman said when the conversation turned toward the Iraqi invasion of 1990 and comments made by current Iraqi government officials about Kuwait’s sovereignty. “Kuwait hosted the governor of Basra, and received many Iraqi leaders,” He pointed out. “We believe that it is well overdue for the Iraqis to send an ambassador to

through the technical issues, but let us wait until after the elections,“ he said When asked about a recent statement made by US President Barak Obama regarding the situation in Palestine, Feltman responded by pointing out the importance of returning to negotiations. “[US Senator George] Mitchell has a good talent in negotiations, as he proved in northern Ireland. I know the disappointment that people felt when we were unable to get the settlement freeze. We believe the Israelis should impose a settlement freeze, and this is our policy, but we did not set that,” he said.

Humanitarian side of the issue ignored

Kuwait special needs bill becoming ‘too politicized’ By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: Representatives of public service organizations concerned with providing for the people with special needs in Kuwait said that the special needs bill is becoming increasingly politicized. They claimed that this has diverted attention away from the humanitarian side of the issue. Their statements followed a seminar organized by a group of NGOs, known as ‘Forces of 11/11,’ on the premises of the organization Umbrella for Kuwaiti Action, in Shuhada on Sunday evening. Naser Al-Shleimy, Deputy Director of the Kuwaiti Society for Evaluating Parliamentary Performance, said that the group of NGOs decided to adopt the issue of the special needs law.

On the sad demise of her father. May His Soul Rest In Peace

“The NGOs decided to offer help to public service organizations for humanitarian reasons because the issue is being constantly subjected to political maneuvering between the government and the National Assembly,” he said. Representatives of the group of NGOs criticized the government for not attending the parliamentary session designated for the second hearing of the law. The speakers urged the government to fulfill their responsibilities toward people with special needs. Ali Al-Thouayni, Deputy Head of the Disabled Affairs Follow up Society, urged everyone, including NGOs, to leave the issue of the disabled out of their ‘playground.’ “We have been kept aside in this regard for a long time,” he said. “We have already drafted a plan and handed it to all members of Parliament, but it was also ignored.” Al-Thouayni added that it is extremely necessary to concentrate on pivotal issues while deliberating on the disabled law. “The definition of the disabled is very important. We’ve seen an inflated budget for the

disabled that is going to people who are not disabled and who only managed to be listed because of their connections,” he explained. Head of Special Needs Society, Ayed Al-Shemmery, said that one of the areas of disagreement between the government and the National Assembly (NA) is who should run the disabled authority. The fact that the proposed law provides coverage for bedoons who are handicapped is a further point of difference between the two groups, he added. Hamad Al-Merry, representative for the Hearing Disabled Society, said that the law has fallen into a larger argument between the Government and National Assembly and that it is at the expense of disabled people. “Kuwait does not care about the issues of the disabled or their families,” he said. “What happened is a sad and frustrating thing for disabled people, especially considering the law has taken years of discussion and deliberating. We genuinely hope that the session on Feb 2 will not meet the same destiny,” Al-Merry concluded.


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Press freedom in peril

Proposed government amendments criticized

Attorneys criticize proposed amendments KUWAIT: The audio-visual amendment issue is still earning the attention of many, including people on the local legal scene. Several lawyers have asserted that imposing stricter penalties on the freedoms of expression with these new amendments will be a clear

violation to the constitution, reported Al-Qabas. Attorney Fahad Al-Ajmi said that while there are cases where journalists and other media personnel have been irresponsible in their publications that should not be used to justify stricter media penalties.

He said the actions will not address the problem and compared the proposed amendments to “painkillers that cannot cure a disease.” Al-Ajmi said that the Cabinet is going in the opposite direction of the global trend to lift restrictions on journalists. He

described the suggested penalties as “an unpromising development” and stated that the penalties silence people and jeopardize freedom and democracy.Attorney Adel Qarban described freedom as the base of the democratic system. while he expressed a belief that free-

doms should be organized by the law he said that it should not be used as a tool to suppress freedoms. He criticized the stricter penalties suggested in the proposed amendments and said that the bill would limit the freedoms that the constitution

guarantees. He questioned the real intention behind limiting journalists freedom of expression and also agrees that it is a threat to democracy. Attorney Mazied Al-Yousuf said that the media is an excellent tool to monitor the violations committed by governmen-

tal directorates and personalities. He added that it can also be used to observe negative trends in society and protect a country from flaws. Al-Yousuf explained how freedoms in the media were protected by the current audiovisual law by eliminating forms

of pre-monitoring of the media. He added that this original law was acknowledged by the Arab Human Rights Organization who described it as a step toward supporting freedoms of opinion and expression and a move in the right direction for Kuwait.

kuwait digest

Ministry incompetence reaches new heights n introducing amendments to the audio-visual law, the Ministry of Information should take great care to ensure justice and equality throughout the legislation and in the enforcement of these laws, writes Abdulaziz Al-Anjari in AlQabas. I believe in this case, however, that the ministry is not entitled to take decisions of this magnitude, simply due to its history of self-contradictory decisions, misdemeanors and the remaining suspicions of its waste of public funds. All these factors mean that the ministry should not be eligible to introduce amendments to the audio-visual law or to enforce monitoring on others. Further supporting this argument is the extensive list of violations committed by the ministry in the past, including mismanagement of the payment of allowances to state TV and radio stations’ employees, paying for work to be carried out without receiving prior Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approval and broadcasting shows before signing the contracts allowing them to do so, resulting in them having to pay more than the figures given in the contracts.

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All these incidents demonstrate the ministry’s incompetence and inability to achieve fairness. Among the new amendments, the information ministry is seeking to enforce the pre-censorship of material before broadcasting or publication in all the country’s broadcast and written media. Considering that Kuwait has 18 daily newspapers and 350 magazines, along with 12 satellite TV channels, how exactly would a comprehensive pre-censorship system be implemented, especially by a body which has already proved its absolute ineptitude? In all honesty, I find the proposed amendments laughable and would find them even more so if they were actually introduced since it would be virtually impossible for the ministry’s current officials to monitor the hundreds of media items in the manner proposed. That being said, I feel quite sure that should the amendments be approved, this would be immediately spark outrage from media workers and political activists and protests to force those responsible for rushing the amendments through to take an even faster step to abort them.

Good morning pen!

Lawmaker applauds jail omission from amendments KUWAIT: A member of the educational committee of the National Assembly MP Dr Ali Al-Omair applauded the Cabinet’s decision to remove the jail term penalty from the list of amendments proposed on the audio-visual law. He described it

as ‘a step in the right direction,’ and said that it would help achieve more compromise on the issue. Furthermore, Al-Omair indicated that in the committee’s meeting scheduled to be held today (Tuesday) the amendments will not

be discussed. This is mostly owing to the fact that the Cabinet failed to refer them officially to the committee for discussion. He further indicated that during the meeting only proposals made by MPs on issues pertinent to the

Kuwait University and the Public Authority of Applied Education and Training’s (PAAET) will be discussed, reported Al-Watan Meanwhile, Al-Amir asserted that the State’s development plan should gain approval from the

Environment Public Authority, similar to those received from the Audit Bureau and the Fatwa and Legislation Department. He further added that the EPA should be consulted before proceeding with any housing project.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah is playing with fire laying certain games can alter the player’s mind, inspiring him or her to more serious ideas, whether in writing articles, stories or poetry, painting or merely studying a subject, writes Jaafar AlRajab in Al-Rai. My own two favorite games are Monpoly and Risk, which I invite everyone to try and find out the

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pleasures of for themselves. Unfortunately, however, the information minister is playing a very different kind of game, a vile sectarian one, as he is accustomed to doing whenever he is threatened with a grilling motion to cover up his misdemeanors whenever he feels his position is at stake. Let’s recall that Sheikh Ahmad Al-

Abdullah has always played on sectarianism in every ministerial position he has assumed. Only two weeks after the controversial Saudi cleric Mohammad AlUraifi was banned from entering Kuwait to avoid sectarian troubles, the minister broadcast a lecture by Al-Uraifi on the state’s official TV channel, for all the world as if Sheikh

Ahmad Al-Abdullah were making fun of all the senior officials’ advice. Some might claim that Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah had no idea about the broadcast, but I assert that he knew and that he even gave verbal instructions to broadcast the lecture. I know that the minister would, of course, agree with what was said, knowing that some MPs would hail

the airing of the broadcast and thank him for airing it. But does Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah really believe that he will be able to beguile other MPs? I don’t believe they’re that naive. I once described Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah as the minister of fires and now he’s playing with fire and wants to burn the whole country, simply in order to keep his job.

Press law

ent

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committed,’ he added. Furthermore, Al-Hajri speculated about writers’ opinion would have if the Parliament passed the suggested amendments and pointed out that this would put many pens (writers) to rest. ‘I doubt that any honest MP who believes in the 1962 Constitution would approve of such amendments and laws,’ he added. He expressed optimism that the amendments would be rejected as many MPs already disagreed with them. Moreover, Al-Hajri noted that every now and then, international reports would hail the press freedom that Kuwait enjoys. ‘This would make it even harder and more embarrassing for the government if these unjust laws are passed,’ he concluded.

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he 1962 Constitution guarantees the right to criticize others without insulting them. It also allows us to express ourselves in the written and spoken form. This is something that the Ministry of Information has totally ignored. ‘It has formulated laws that are restrictive and oppress the freedom of expression,’ wrote Mubarak Mohammed AlHajri in his Al-Rai column. He pointed out that the ministry has previously passed laws that have not been enforced. More stifling laws only point toward the fact that freedom is dying in Kuwait. ‘If put into practice, the present laws are more than enough but the ministry officials are ignoring them and this gave radicals the impression that they could get away with offenses

r Gove

Parliament Al-Qabas


NATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

KUWAIT: US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah K Jones (center), Executive Director of ABCK and Kuwait Times columnist Muna Al-Fuzai (left) and PR executive Mohannad Al-Ahad in a group picture at the Kuwait Times booth during the ABCK celebration on Sunday. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah K Jones delivers a speech during the event.

ABCK holds 25th anniversary celebration

ABCK board member Gregg Stevens gives a speech.

Chairman of KGL Holding Dr. Ali Dashti delivers a speech during the ceremony.

Chairman of Middle East Chamber of Commerce (MECACC) John Habib gives a speech.

KUWAIT: The American Business Council of Kuwait (ABCK) celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s Grand Hashmi II Ballroom. Guests at the event included an array of prominent VIPs from Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf region. ABCK board member Gregg Stevens gave the opening address, which was followed by speeches from the US Ambassador to Kuwait Her Excellency Deborah K. Jones and Dr. Ali Dhasti, the Chairman of KGL Holding. John Habib, the chairman of the Middle East Chamber of Commerce (MECACC), also delivered some words of congratulations on the ABCK’s silver anniversary, praising the development and progress that it brought to the country over the recent years. The celebration also hosted an exhibition by the ABCK’s corporate membership, with the sponsors of the prestigious event including Ahmad and Ghazal General Trading Company, Kuwait Resources House (KRH), Gulf Bank, Al Twaijri & Partners Law Firm, Kuwait Times and POSTA plus.

ABCK board member Gregg Stevens (center) and guests.

Sheila and Lionel Gittens, the Head of the American General Trading Company and other guests attend the ceremony.

‘Turning point’ soon in Kuwait cancer treatment TORONTO: Cancer treatment will witness a turning point, said Director of Kuwait’s Hussein Makki Jumaa Center for Specialized Surgery Dr Ahmad Al-Awadhi here yesterday. Al-Awadhi said, after visiting cancer treatment departments at hospitals here, that a number of Canadian specialists will be visiting the Kuwaiti cancer treatment center soon. The

international experts will train Kuwaiti physicians on the latest treatments, he pointed out, stressing that such visits would strengthen cooperation between Kuwait and international health centers and would play a major role in the exchange of expertise. He said that during his meeting with Canadian doctors, he was briefed on programs

in the news Teachers plan handicrafts expo KUWAIT: With the aim of honing the skills of retired women and housewives and providing them with the opportunity to showcase their creativity and art, a group of female pensioners from the Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) will launch their Fourth Annual Handicrafts Exhibition on Thursday. It will be held between January 28 and 30 at the Society’s headquarters in Al-Dasma under the patronage of Sheikha Sheikha Al-Abdullah Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah. The Head of the Club, Fatima Al-Awadhi Fatima Al-Awadhi urged all retired women to participate in the event and announced that an open invitation be made available to all women. It will remain open from 9:30 am till 12:00 pm and from 4:30 pm until 8:30 pm. Attendance will be restricted to female visitors. Meanwhile, the society announced that it will be holding its 7th Annual Tourism Festival between February 3 and 10th.

Correction In the article “HRW slams treatment of domestics, bedoons” published yesterday in Kuwait Times, page 1, an editorial mistake was made. The correct number of bedoons in Kuwait is 120,000. We regret the mistake. Suppliers imposing price rises KUWAIT: Steep price rises have hit a number of local Co-ops recently, with one Co-op CEO indicating that his outlet has received notification from 50 major suppliers announcing increases of between 20 and 80 percent on a variety of products. Faihan Al-Mandeel, the head of Al-Ardiya Cooperative Society, said that among the products wholesalers are increasing the prices of are milk, juices, tea products, chicken and other basics, with milk set to rise from KD 19 to KD 26 per truckload. Al-Mandeel revealed the steep price rises at a press conference where he announced his intention to run for the presidency of the Kuwait Union of Cooperative Consumer Societies (KUCCS). He indicated that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is set to call for an election of board members shortly, reported AlWatan. Al-Mandeel revealed that Al-Ardiya Co-op achieved a 6.65 percent increase in revenue last year, compared to the previous one, also telling reporters that the Co-op is to send a Zakat (alms) donation of KD 47,000 from its profits to the Zakat House for the period.

on the treatment of cancer in particular. He also said the Kuwaiti Health Ministry was planning to attract Canadian teams to run Hussein Makki Jumaa Center for Specialized Surgery, emphasizing that a memo that was signed will contribute in developing KuwaitiCanadian medical relations. Kuwait is one of the countries with the

least number of cancer cases. A total of 14 people out of every 100,000 males and 13 out of every 100,000 females have cancer. The Kuwaiti Health Ministry registers around 1,300 new cancer cases every year, 50 percent of which get cured. Al-Awadhi is a member of a Kuwaiti health delegation visiting Canada.— KUNA

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INTERNATIONAL

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Iraq reinstates 59 election candidates

President to stick by demand for full settlement halt

Abbas to discuss latest US ideas with Arab heads RAMALLAH: President Mahmoud Abbas is studying a US proposal for talks between the Palestinians and Israel at a level below full-scale negotiations between their leaders, a Palestinian official said yesterday. The proposal is the latest idea by US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell to bring about

a resumption of peace talks that have been frozen for 13 months. Palestinian sources familiar with Mitchell’s weekend round of diplomacy said he had proposed confidence-building measures that would improve conditions in the Palestinian territories. Israeli officials, noting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Sunday welcomed unspecified “new ideas” for talks from Mitchell, said their government stood ready to take part in US-mediated discussions with Palestinian officials. The confidence-building steps cited by Palestinians as areas they would be keen to discuss included the transfer of authority from the Israeli army to the Palestinians in more of the West Bank’s territory, the removal of some Israeli checkpoints and release of a number of Palestinian prisoners. These measures would be discussed at a meeting of senior ministers from each side, but not the top leaders. Israeli political sources said they were not aware of specific secondary issues, such as prisoners, that might be discussed with the Palestinians-they spoke rather of talks at a ministerial or lower level that would look at narrowing differences over “core issues” in suspended peace negotiations. Core issues include the future borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and fate of Palestinian refugees. A year of US diplomatic efforts has so far failed relaunch talks aimed at ending the decades-old BERLIN: Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) walks past an honour guard as he arrives for a to conflict through a peace treaty agreeing to the crefour-day official visit to Germany yesterday, during which he will address the Bundestag lower ation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and house of Parliament. —AFP Gaza Strip. “Holding a low-level meeting with the Israelis that tackles issues related to the daily life of Palestinians will not be an alternative to political negotiations,” said the Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Abbas, who is facing US pressure to return to peace talks, would discuss Mitchell’s ideas with Arab leaders over the coming days “so that the with “his vision and hope for the future of Palestinian position will be backed by the Arabs”, BERLIN: Israeli President Shimon Peres a guard of honour and a 21-gun salute. “The trip marks the completion of a Israel, Germany and the Middle East.” arrived in Germany yesterday at the start the official said. In what is likely to be an emotional of a visit set to culminate in a historic personal circle for the president, whose Netanyahu said on Sunday he had heard “some speech in parliament to mark the own grandparents and uncle were burned visit, Peres will also hold a memorial ser- interesting ideas for renewing the (peace) alive in the Vishneva synagogue,” his vice at platform 17 of the Grunewald train process” from Mitchell. Holocaust. Peres, who was accompanied by sur- spokeswoman Ayelet Frish said, referring station from where Berlin’s Jews were “I also expressed my hope that these new expelled to Nazi labour and death camps. vivors of Nazi death camps, will also hold to a town in modern-day Belarus. ideas will allow for the renewal of the process. Peres’ trip comes exactly one week The president’s speech on January 27, talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Certainly if the Palestinians express a similar International Holocaust after Prime Minister Benjamin his German counterpart Horst Koehler, the Remembrance Day, “will mourn the six Netanyahu visited Berlin for a meeting readiness, then we will find ourselves in a diplohis spokesman said in a statement. The president emerged from his plane million Jewish lives that perished in the between the German and Israeli cabinets matic process,” Netanyahu said. A spokesman for the prime minister declined wearing a long, dark coat against the freez- Holocaust including those of his grandpar- dominated by the Middle East peace process and the Iranian nuclear pro- comment on Monday on the content of discusing Berlin weather and was received with ents and his uncle,” Frish said. sions with Mitchell. —Reuters The speech, in Hebrew, will conclude gramme. —AFP full military pomp and ceremony, including

Peres begins German trip to commemorate Holocaust

Sara Netanyahu

Israel PM’s wife sues paper for libel JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara sued a leading Israeli newspaper for libel yesterday, a spokesman said, amid a growing scandal over her alleged treatment of household staff. Sara Netanyahu filed the 1million-shekel (265,000 dollars, 190,000 euros) lawsuit against the Maariv daily, charging a recent article accusing her of firing a 70-year-old gardener at the premier’s residence was a lie, said Shaya Segel, a spokesman for the Netanyahu family. The Maariv article was an attempt to “humiliate the prime minister’s wife and portray her as an unfeeling woman who preys on the weak, treating a veteran gardener cruelly and firing a bereaved father without a reason,” Segel said in a statement. “There is not a shred of truth in the false article. The gardener who worked at the prime minister’s residence was never fired by the plaintiff and continues to work there as a gardener to this day,” according to the papers filed at a Jerusalem court. The libel claim comes on a day when another newspaper reported that Sara Netanyahu was facing a second lawsuit

from a housekeeper. The case was filed more than two months ago but the court imposed a gag order at the request of the housekeeper who made the complaint, Yediot Aharonot reported on Monday. While no details of the case were given, the revelation is certain to cause further embarrassment to the hawkish prime minister, who has tried in vain to get the media to stay out of his family affairs. In the first lawsuit which came to public attention earlier this month, housekeeper Lillian Peretz claimed that while in Netanyahu’s employ, she was made to shower and change her clothes several times a day and to compliment the first lady, telling her “she was pretty and smart.” The lawsuit alleges Peretz’s woes were “like the story of Cinderella,” evidently comparing Sara Netanyahu-a former air stewardess and now a practising psychologist-to the fairy tale’s evil stepmother. Netanyahu “piled on her impossible tasks, tyrannised her and screamed at her... insulted her femininity... until her mental and physical collapse.” —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraq has reinstated 59 election candidates among more than 500 who had been blacklisted because of their alleged links to executed dictator Saddam Hussein, an official said yesterday. Ali Al-Allami, a senior official from an integrity and accountability committee, said 150 people had appealed for their names to be removed from the controversial list of candidates excluded from the March 7 poll. The blacklist includes Iraqis from the minority Sunni Arab community as well as dominant Shiites but analysts say the barring of those with links to Saddam could exclude Sunnis from the political arena and spark new sectarian tensions. “After we got new information, we decided to accept the requests of 59 candidates,” Allami told AFP, referring to errors in applicants’ names, dates of birth or other personal details that have since been corrected. “We received a total of 150 requests,” he added, without specifying the status of the 91 appeals that remain active. According to Allami, 458 people are currently barred from contesting the election. The move also threatens to damage the ballot by creating a campaign battleground where past quarrels will be exposed rather than healed under a much vaunted but stumbling national reconciliation process. The excluded candidates are accused of membership or other links to Saddam’s outlawed Baath party, feared Fedayeen (Men of Sacrifice) militia or Mukhabarat intelligence agency. The integrity and accountability committee whose probe has inflamed the political climate less than six weeks from polling day is headed by Shiite politician Ahmed Chalabi, who was deputy prime minister after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam. The election row sparked a flurry of diplomatic activity in the past week, including a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden at the weekend who said he was “confident” that Iraq’s leaders would resolve the dispute. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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Soviet war veterans say US must shift strategies in Afghanistan MOSCOW: The United States is repeating the mistakes that the Soviet Union made in Afghanistan, Russian veterans say, convinced the USSR’s disastrous near decade-long war there harbours deep lessons for Western forces. “It is now (nearly) nine years since the coalition invaded Afghanistan and nothing has changed,” said retired Lieutenant General Ruslan Aushev, 55, who served five years in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation there from 1979-1989. However, Aushev, who was made a Hero of the Soviet Union after

being wounded on his third Afghan deployment, admitted that NATO and US troops face a fiercer enemy today than did Soviet troops. Then, the Red Army untrained for the mountainous terrain found themselves bogged down in an unwinnable guerrilla war against Mujahedeen Islamist fighters backed financially and militarily by Washington. “Today, the situation is more complicated. The Mujahedeen were more moderate than the Taliban, who are radical. In our era, there were no suicide bombers,” said Aushev, who now heads the Afghan veterans committee.

Major General Makhmud Gareyev was a former deputy chief of the Red Army general staff and a top military adviser to Afghan President Najibullah, who was overthrown by Islamic insurgents in 1992 and hanged by the Taleban four years later. After the Soviet pullout in 1989, Gareyev stayed behind to support the Kremlin’s client regime. He expressed doubts that the current mission in the region had much chance to deliver long-term stability, if coalition forces did not rapidly shift strategy. “The Americans are fighting a

people and not a regular army. Napoleon never could win in Spain. They should understand that it is impossible to fight against a nation,” Gareyev, now president of the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow, told AFP. The only strategy forward for the US-led coalition forces is to focus on reconstruction and development in Afghanistan, according to Gareyev and other Russian veterans. “They have to change their politics and find other solutions. They must help rebuild the country and offer financial, economic and humanitarian aide,” he insisted.

Moscow initially saw its incursion into Afghanistan in December 1979 as a brief mission to bolster its Afghan supporters but became bogged down in a protracted and bloody struggle that lasted nearly 10 years. The war, which cost over 13,000 Soviet lives and killed as many as one million Afghans, helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the takeover of Afghanistan by the Islamist Taleban. Retired General Victor Yermakov, who commanded Soviet forces in Afghanistan from 1982 to 1983, has been among the first to point to the

Soviets’ failure as a warning to the West, calling Afghanistan an “impossible” fight. “The only way to be respected, would be to take the money now spent on maintaining troops in Afghanistan and spend it instead on agricultural development and the reconstruction of schools, mosques and roads,” Yermakov said in an interview with Russian state television Vesti-24. One week before a London conference aimed at promoting Afghanistan’s development, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a long-term, non-military

strategy to stabilise Afghanistan along those lines. The plan unveiled Thursday calls for sending more civilian experts to the region to rebuild the Afghan farm sector, improve governance and bring extremists back into mainstream society. US President Barack Obama said in December that the United States would deploy another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2010 — on top of more than 70,000 already there-to undercut a resurgent Taliban. Under his plan, US troops are to begin withdrawing in July 2011. —AFP

Belfast government faces ‘High Noon’

British, Irish leaders race to rescue N Ireland power-sharing

OSLO: A policeman stands outside the Oslo apartment of a Kurdish cleric Mullah Krekar, who founded an Iraqi-based militant group, after unknown attackers fired shots into his apartment, injuring one of his relatives in Oslo, Norway yesterday. —AP

Shots fired at Oslo home of Islamist group founder OSLO: Attackers fired shots into the Oslo apartment of a Kurdish cleric who founded an Iraqibased militant group, injuring one of his relatives, Norwegian police said. Mullah Krekar, the 53-year-old founder of the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, was not hurt in the shooting early yesterday, but his son-in-law was shot in the arm and taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said. Witnesses saw two men fleeing the scene, but police said in a statement they had no suspects. They were also investigating whether a car that was set ablaze in a nearby parking lot shortly after the shooting was connected to the incident. Investigators are treating the incident as attempted murder but it’s not clear whether Krekar was the intended target, said Grethe Lien Metlid, of the Oslo police force’s violent crimes unit. Krekar, born Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, founded Ansar al-Islam while a refugee in Norway. The group is listed as a terrorist organization by the US and others. It is suspected of having carried out suicide bombings against coalition forces in Iraq. Krekar’s lawyer, Brynjar Meling, told broadcaster NRK the shooters tried to break into the apartment before firing in what he said appeared to be “a well-planned and professional attack.” He did not say whether he believed any specific group was responsible for the shooting, though he acknowledged that Krekar frequently receives threats.

Metlid said “several shots” were fired around 2 a.m. (0100GMT) from a covered walkway outside the fifth-floor apartment. She said five people — Krekar, his wife, son, daughter and son-in-law — were in the apartment at the time. The son-in-law, identified only as a 27year-old man visiting from London, was the only person injured. His wounds were not serious and he was released from the hospital after receiving treatment, Metlid said. Yesterday afternoon, police were still interviewing neighbors in the five-storey apartment complex with a peeling teal interior in Oslo’s largely immigrant Toeyen neighborhood. The kitchen window of Krekar’s apartment had three bullet holes and a larger hole where part of the pane had been shot out. Inam Ullah, a 40-yearold bus driver who lives next door to Krekar, told The Associated Press that he initially thought the gunshots were fireworks. “I thought maybe it was drunk kids making noise. I was surprised when the police came,” he said. He described Krekar’s family as “very quiet” and “good neighbors,” a “family (that) never causes any trouble.” Krekar has said he no longer leads Ansar al-Islam, and denies links to al-Qaeda. The United Nations in December 2006 added him to a list of people believed associated with al-Qaeda. Norway ordered the cleric deported in 2005 after declaring him a national security threat, but authorities have refused to expel him because of the security situation in Iraq. —AP

7-year-old raises $160,000 for Haiti LONDON: A young British schoolboy has raised nearly 100,000 pounds ($160,000) for Haiti’s relief effort. Sevenyear-old Charlie Simpson was so upset by the devastating images of Haiti’s deadly earthquake that he asked his mother if she could help him set up a sponsored bicycle ride around his local park in west London. Charlie originally hoped to raise 500 pounds ($800) for UNICEF’s Haiti appeal with Sunday’s 5-mile (8-kilometer) bike ride, but his Internet page was flooded with donations. He raised nearly 50,000 pounds in a single day and money is still flooding in after Charlie’s story was splashed on the front page of Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper yesterday. His mother Leonora Simpson says she can’t believe the public response. —AP

LONDON: Charlie Simpson waves during his five mile cycle ride around South Park, west London, yesterday. —AP

Jailed ETA members launch hunger strike MADRID: Jailed members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA announced yesterday they have launched hunger strikes to demand they be granted political status. “With this hunger strike, we want to give some strength to our demand for political status that is our right,” an association representing ETA prisoners, EPPK, said in statement released to the pro-independence Basque newspaper Gara. Gara said that the EPPK gave no further details on the protest but said that one inmate, Lorentxa Gimon, has already been refusing food in a prison in Roanne, in central France, since January 2.

A spokeswoman for the Spanish prison service said she had “no information” on the matter. Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba acknowledged that Basque prisoners were staging a “protest.” This “protest has more to do with internal cohesion of the prisoners than with prison policies which have been largely the same for the last 20 years,” he told Spain’s Punto Radio. EPPK, which represents some 750 ETA members detained in Spain and France, announced on January 4 it planned a series of protests throughout 2010 in response to what it called the two countries’ “cruel prison policy.” —AFP

BELFAST: British and Irish leaders said they would make an unscheduled Minister Gordon Brown said he and Irish premier Brian Cowen hoped to dash to Northern Ireland yesterday to help its power-sharing executive “assist the completion” of talks between the nationalist Catholic Sinn Fein resolve a deadlock on policing that threatens its future. British Prime and the pro-British Democratic Unionists (DUP) who share power in Belfast. Negotiations between the two partners over the transfer of police and justice powers from London to their joint government are the final and most controversial part of the devolution process. But the discussions have stalled, and Sinn Fein has warned that it could pull out of the government altogether unless progress is made. The sense of crisis has been heightened by a sex and funding scandal involving the wife of first minister Peter Robinson, who had an affair with a 19-year-old whom she helped financially, triggering a police investigation. Robinson, the leader of the DUP, has stood aside temporarily as first minister vowing to clear his own name, but remains engaged with the devolution talks. After a meeting in London, Brown and Cowen-whose governments facilitated the powersharing agreement-expressed hope that a deal could be done. “We’re going to Belfast to LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (R) shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen at see where we can assist this 10 Downing Street, in central London, before their meeting, yesterday. —AFP process. We believe it’s very important that we get a successful outcome to these discussions,” Cowen told reporters, ahead of the visit later Monday. Brown highlighted the role devolution played in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, which endured three decades of violence between Catholic republican opponents of British rule and Protestant unionists who supported it. He said the policing issues were “all soluble problems”, adding: “We believe that together we can assist the completion of these talks.” “I believe that the end product will be that devolution of policing and justice will take place,” Brown said. Sinn Fein called an emergency meeting in Belfast Monday between its deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, the DUP’s Robinson, to address the lack of agreement. At the weekend, Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams described the meeting as “critical” and suggested his party could walk away from the power-sharing process unless a deal was made. He has accused the DUP of derailing the talks by demanding concessions on policing controversial Protestant Orange Order parades. However, Robinson has insisted progress is being made. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s talks, McGuinness accused the DUP of failing to uphold a 2006 deal that paved the way for the power-sharing government. He said Sinn Fin had made a “historical and monumental move forward on the issue of policing” after the St Andrews Agreement, but “three years on, we are waiting for the DUP to deliver and honour their commitments”. However, he calmed fears that Sinn Fein would abandon the process, saying that making devolution succeed had become “my life’s work”, “because I passionately believe in power-sharing”. The sectarian violence in Northern Ireland was largely ended by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and all the main paramilitary groups from both sides have now disarmed, although some dissident groups remain active. Most recently, a policeman lost a leg in a car bomb attack earlier this month. Two men aged 34 and 33 were arrested over his attempted murder yesterday. —AFP


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INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cold snap leaves 430 dead in eastern Europe BUCHAREST: A cold snap in eastern and southeast Europe has left more than 40 people dead as temperatures plunged to minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 Fahrenheit), authorities said yesterday. Snow has blanketed swathes of western Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, while Poland has again gripped by a deep freeze that has killed more than 200 people since November. In Bulgaria, schools remained closed on Monday in many eastern towns while rescue services fought their way through four-metre-high snowdrifts to bring

bread and other necessities to cut-off villages. In Romania temperatures fell to minus 34.4 degrees Celsius in the centre of the country, roads were cut off and dozens of trains cancelled. “A total of 22 deaths have been recorded since the current cold snap started five days ago,” health ministry spokeswoman Oana Grigore told AFP. “Most of them were elderly, homeless people,” junior minister Raed Arafat said on Realitatea TV channel. With no let-up in

view before tomorrow, authorities have multiplied efforts to identify thousands of homeless people and take them to shelters. Siberian cold is expected to continue in the centre and north-east of Romania until Wednesday, according to the Romanian meteorological institute. In Turkey, five people died after a fierce snowstorm caused power outages at the weekend in Istanbul, while further west, near the Greek and Bulgarian borders, villages and major roads were blocked by snow. Snow could reach 35 centimetres (14

inches) deep in some parts of Istanbul, a city of 14 million people, according to the natural disaster coordination centre. In Bulgaria, the Siberian cold front left three people dead over the weekend, authorities reported yesterday. The whole country saw temperatures well below freezing, in what weather services had said would be the coldest day this winter. Minus 29 degrees Celsius was recorded in the northern town of Glavinitza. In Poland temperatures as low as minus 35 Celsius over the weekend claimed 11 lives, police said yesterday. “The victims are

mainly homeless and individuals who abused alcohol,” lowering their resistance to cold, spokeswoman Kamila Szala told AFP. Police believe that alcohol also played a part in the death of a 13-year-old boy who died of hypothermia near his home in Glowienka, a village in south-east Poland. “We know that Kamil was drinking alcohol Saturday with his 15-year-old brother and 16-year cousin, who both went home to alert parents,” local police spokesman Pawel Miedlar told AFP. “The parents alerted the police Sunday

morning, when it was already too late.” “This winter’s death toll is tragic-despite constant police warnings and aid to people at risk,” Szala said, adding that 202 people had lost their lives to exposure in Poland since November. The victims were mainly homeless men aged 35 to 60 under the influence of alcohol who refused to stay at shelters for the homeless, she added. Weather forecasters have predicted more severe sub-zero temperatures across Poland in the coming days. — AFP

Clinton says foreign troops vital to Haiti

Haiti aid conference opens in Montreal MONTREAL: Top world officials gathered in Montreal yesterday for emergency talks to hash out plans to rebuild Haiti, nearly two weeks after a killer earthquake devastated the impoverished nation. Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US Secretary

of State Hillary Clinton and officials from the United Nations were among those taking part. Canada is eager to assert its role in coordinating the emergency response to the January 12 disaster, which left more than 150,000 dead and hundreds of thousands others homeless, hungry and wounded.

MONTREAL: Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, third from right addresses a conference on Haitian reconstruction as Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, fifth from right, listens yesterday, in Montreal. — AP

US seeks international support for Yemen against Al-Qaeda WASHINGTON: The United States is set to hold talks with European and Arab partners in London tomorrow to try to rally support behind a drive to help Yemen defeat a growing Al-Qaeda threat. The impetus for the meeting comes from a botched bid on Christmas Day to blow up a US airliner over Detroit by a Nigerian passenger allegedly trained by the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Though there has been no official confirmation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will likely attend the meeting in London which comes days after Britain raised its terrorism threat assessment from substantial to severe. The United States hopes donors will speed up aid previously pledged to Sanaa to help it tackle a set of growing troubles threatening the stability of a country some analysts call a “failing state.” However, persuading donors to deliver on all of the 4.7 billion dollars pledged at a London conference in 2006 apparently depends on whether Yemen can carry out the reforms needed to reassure them the funds will be spent properly. US officials did not explicitly make the link, but did not deny one. Clinton spoke of a “common threat” from violent extremists when she appeared in Washington last Thursday with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi as they discussed Yemen’s problems and plans for the London conference. “We have seen al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula kill tourists in Yemen, Yemeni security officers, and being involved in the training and equipping of the perpetrator on the attempted Christmas Day airline bomber,” she told reporters. Her spokesman Philip Crowley said later that Clinton pressed Kurbi on the need for Sanaa to do more to promote “development and creation of economic opportunity as a tool to help reduce both extremism and conflict within Yemen.” Yemeni President Ali Abdullah

Saleh’s government is not only grappling with the AQAP but also a Shiite rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south, a water shortage and a crumbling economy. Crowley said the chief US diplomat also pressed Kurbi on his government’s plans for not only defeating Al-Qaeda but also resolving a Shiite revolt. The meeting is “not going to be a donors conference, per se, but just simply to outline what we think the most significant requirements that Yemen has to be able to stabilize itself,” Crowley said. “The secretary pledged that we will look to see how we, in the most urgent areas, how we can speed up assistance,” Crowley said, confirming that aid from the 2006 conference was slow in coming. Kurbi said he believes donors now realize “the delay in implementation (of aid) is not the fault of the

Yemeni government,” but rather the result of “bureaucratic” and “technical” issues. But a senior State Department official told AFP three weeks ago on the condition of anonymity that donors have hesitated to deliver on their pledges amid doubts about accountability in the country. Marisa Porges, a former US government advisor on counter-terrorism now with the Council on Foreign Relations, said the London meeting will help put the international community “on the same page” on how to tackle Yemen’s problems. It will also “put pressure on Yemen’s leadership to live up to expectations, or have the response that would be most helpful to solve the situation,” whether it is AlQaeda, the rebellion or other issues, she told AFP. Analyst Daniel Byman said in remarks earlier this month on the

Brookings Institution website that the problem in Yemen was far more complicated than simply shoring up a fragile government. He noted that the Saleh government had been “half-hearted” in taking on Al-Qaeda in the past, partly because it used the group to fight its domestic enemies, and Sanaa may want to keep such an option open in the future. “We have to watch this one closely,” he said. The United States for its part has been helping Yemen to train and equip its forces since 2006, and officials say its contribution is expected to rise to 63 million dollars in development and security assistance in the 2010 fiscal year. Both countries are sharing intelligence and the United States is widely suspected of having helped Yemeni forces conduct airstrikes against Al-Qaeda targets in the past few weeks. — AFP

NEW YORK: In this April 18, 2006, file photo, released by the US Marine Corps, troops from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment fold US flags after raising each on a flagpole in memory of three Marines and one Navy medic, who died, April 2, 2006 when a bomb destroyed their vehicle, in a ceremony at Hurricane Point Marine base in Ramadi, Iraq. — AP

“Know that Canada, the group of friends of Haiti and the international community and non-governmental groups are pledging our support during this period of crisis and beyond,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon told Bellerive. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, founder of the international charity Doctors Without Borders, was also participating in the six-hour closed-door talks. The ministers were discussing how to streamline delivery of food, water, drugs and medical supplies to the swelling number of people living in makeshift camps around the shattered capital of Portau-Prince. Speaking here Sunday, Bellerive urged Haitians living abroad to actively participate in rebuilding the country. “There is no other solution today but the Haitian diaspora’s integration in the reconstruction effort,” he said. Washington has taken a frontline role in the disaster relief effort, sending in tens of thousands of troops and rescue teams and anchoring a hospital ship offshore to treat injured Haitians. Experts have warned that hundreds of thousands of Haitians will be living off foreign aid and in temporary housing for years to come during the slow reconstruction process. Thousands have been left disabled. In Ottawa, Cannon spoke of Canada’s intention to “fully support Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive’s commitment to move beyond reconstruction to rebuild a new Haiti.” The conservative government is keen to shore up political support for Canada’s role in assisting Haiti as it faces growing protests at home for its decision to prorogue parliament until March while it deals with the Haiti crisis. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is fully engaged in the humanitarian response to this devastating earthquake, and has set in motion a rapid, comprehensive and determined disaster-relief effort on behalf of the government of Canada,” Cannon said. Foreign ministers and other officials from Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Japan and Spain were also set to participate in the emergency meeting. They were joined by officials from the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Japan said it would pledge 70 million dollars in aid to Haiti and deploy as many as 300 peacekeepers to the UN mission there. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, leftist regimes that have criticized the presence US troops on Haiti soil, did not participate in the conference. But their foreign ministers met in Caracas Sunday to discuss their own assistance program. The Montreal talks were expected to lay the groundwork for a full-fledged donors conference on Haiti in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that military contributions from around the world were vital to helping Haiti as she headed to an emergency aid conference in Montreal. Clinton, meeting in Washington with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, applauded Rome’s decision to send an aircraft carrier with 800 soldiers and a floating hospital to earthquake-battered Haiti. “What we see is an enormously committed and effective international effort that could not succeed without additional military assets,” Clinton told reporters. “It’s just easier for the United States to get there first because Haiti is our neighbor,” she said.— AFP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haitains wait for buses at a bus station in Port-auPrince yesterday to leave the capital. More than 235,000 Haitians have taken advantage of free transport to flee the quake-struck Port-au-Prince area, where as many as 800,000 are thought to have gathered in makeshift camps, the UN said yesterday. — AFP

Chicago man pleads not guilty to plotting Mumbai attacks CHICAGO: A Chicago businessman pleaded not guilty yesterday to helping an old friend from military school in Pakistan plot the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 49, has been held in jail since his October arrest on charges of helping plot an attack on the Danish newspaper that published incendiary cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005. Prosecutors allege that Rana helped his friend David Coleman Headley, a key suspect in the Mumbai attacks, by allowing him to use his immigration company as a cover for surveillance trips to India and Denmark. Rana was charged last week with three separate counts of providing material support for terrorism in the Mumbai attacks, the Denmark terror plot, and to the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Also indicted on conspiracy charges related to the Denmark plot were Ilyas Kashmiri, an alleged terror kingpin in Pakistan who prosecutors accuse of being in regular contact with Al-Qaeda leaders, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani military. Neither man is in US custody. Headley, 49, has pleaded not guilty to 12 terrorism related charges and remains in custody where he is cooperating with prosecutors. The Washington-born son of a former Pakistani diplomat and American mother, Headley reportedly befriended Bollywood stars and even dated an actress during his lengthy surveillance trips to Mumbai. The indictment alleges that Rana acted as a messenger while Headley scoped out the Mumbai terror targets, taking photos and video and entering their positions on a GPS device. Nearly a year after the bloody 60-hour siege which began November 26, 2008, Headley was

allegedly recorded discussing five future targets with Rana. Prosecutors said the targets included Bollywood, the Indian temple Somnath, the National Defense College in Delhi, Shiv Sena, a political party in India with roots in Hindu nationalism and the Danish newspaper. Headley had already begun the planning for a second Indian attack during a March 2009 surveillance trip whose targets included the National Defense College and Chabad Houses in “several cities” in India, the indictment alleges. He was also working on the Danish newspaper plot weeks before the Mumbai attack was carried out, the indictment alleges. Headley is accused of once again using Rana’s immigration business as a cover in order to arrange a visit to the Copenhagen and Aarhus offices of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s highest circulating daily. During a February meeting in Pakistan, Kashmiri allegedly told Headley that they should use a truck bomb to attack the newspaper and directed him to meet with European contacts who could provide the money, weapons and manpower for the attack. Headley and Rana were arrested in October on terror charges related to the plot to attack Jyllands-Posten and kill an editor and the cartoonist. Headley was charged last month with spending two years casing Mumbai, even taking boat tours around the city’s harbor to scope out landing sites for the attackers. Rana, a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen who owns the Chicago-based First World Immigration Services that Headley allegedly used as a cover, insists that he is a pacifist who was “duped” by his friend. — AFP

ROME: Pope Benedict XVI (C) smiles as he arrives to preside the celebration of Vespers at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity yesterday at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome. — AFP

326 killed in Nigeria religious violence JOS: Sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in central Nigeria left 326 people dead last week, a state police commissioner said yesterday, pledging to bring those responsible for the killings to justice. Acting Plateau State Police Commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba said officers have arrested 303 people in connection with the rioting in Jos, a one-time tourist and mining town that straddles Nigeria’s Christian south and Muslim north. Of those arrested, 139 have been taken to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, for questioning. Aduba said more suspects remained at large, including those who took part in killings that nearly wiped out a small village on the southern outskirts of Jos. Volunteers there discovered bodies shoved into communal wells and sewer dumps. Others lay dead in the bush outside the village, vic-

tims of gunshot and machete wounds. Aduba also promised those arrested would face trial in Jos. Government leaders in Jos have complained that those involved in previous riots later made bail in Abuja and never faced justice. Sectarian violence in this central region of Nigeria has left thousands dead over the past decade. The latest outbreak came despite the Nigerian government’s efforts to quell religious extremism in the West African country. There are conflicting accounts about what unleashed the recent bloodshed. According to a state police commissioner, skirmishes began after Muslim youths set a Christian church ablaze, but Muslim leaders denied that. Muslims say it began with an argument over the rebuilding of a Muslim home in a predominantly Christian neighborhood that had been destroyed in November 2008. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

11

Hong Kong democrats press votes-for-all campaign HONG KONG: Five pro-democracy lawmakers said yesterday they would push ahead with a plan to resign over at the slow pace of democratic reform in Hong Kong, despite growing opposition from communist mainland China. The group said they would quit today, in the hope that the by-election would be a defacto referendum on universal suffrage in the southern Chinese territory, 13 years after it was returned to Beijing by Britain. Only half of Hong Kong’s legislature is

directly elected while a largely pro-China committee effectively selects the remainder and appoints the city’s leader. The Chinese government has said Hong Kong’s chief executive could be directly elected by 2017 and the legislature by 2020, but pro-democracy lawmakers want universal suffrage by 2012. Beijing issued a statement earlier this month expressing “grave concern” over the campaign and said the “referendum” was not in line the Basic Law, which spells out

Hong Kong’s political system. Meanwhile, the Liberal Party has indicated it would not take part in any by-election after the democrats used the word “uprising” in a campaign advert, implying the use of force to overthrow a government. Audrey Eu, leader of the Civic Party, which will have two members giving up their seats in the 60-member legislature, asked opponents not to focus on one word to distort the campaign. “You have to put the word in context.

Ours is a sensible, peaceful and mild movement in pursuit for Hong Kong people’s dream for democracy,” she told a press conference. “It’s about ballots, not bullets.” Constitutional reform can only take place with the approval of two-thirds of Hong Kong’s legislature, meaning the democrats, who hold 23 seats, are unlikely to be able to force their agenda on policymakers. But Eu said her party would stick to the plan even if other pro-Beijing lawmakers follow the lead of the Liberal Party, which is

widely seen to be pressured by the mainland to stay away from any by-election. “Even if Beijing is so powerful as to make all these parties drop out, it doesn’t mean we have failed.” Wong Yuk-man, chairman of League of Social Democrats, who will resign from his seat with two other core members of his party“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan-vowed that they would not retreat because of their opponents’ verbal

attack. Wong threatened to launch legal action if pro-Beijing lawmakers block funding for the by-election. Stephen Lam, the city’s Secretary for Mainland and Constitutional Affairs, appealed to the democrats to drop their plan, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday. “The two parties should rein in the horse at the edge of the cliff... If they want to push forward Hong Kong’s democratic development, they can stay on the legislature and do so.” — AFP

Dalai Lama seeks full independence

Dalai Lama’s envoys to re-open talks with China DHARAMSHALA: Representatives of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will revive stalled talks with China today over the thorny issue of the Himalayan region’s autonomy, his office said. The last round of talks

NAGO: Anti-US base candidate Susumu Inamine, center, dances with his supporters as his wife Ritsuko, holding a bouquet, claps in celebration as he was virtually assured of his victory in a mayoral election of this small Okinawan city of Nago, Japan, Sunday night. Residents of Nago on Sunday elected the mayor who is staunchly against moving a US base there from a larger city nearby. — AP

Japan PM vows US base decision by May TOKYO: Japan’s leader yesterday promised not to delay beyond May a decision on the fate of a US base, as a feud with Washington over the nagging issue threatens to further erode voter support already hurt by a funding scandal. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama seemed to have even less room to manoeuvre in the dispute over the Marine base in Okinawa, southern Japan, after a candidate who opposes an existing plan to relocate it won a local election on Sunday. The vote came a day after prosecutors questioned the No. 2 in his Democratic Party over the funding scandal, which is clouding the outlook for the annual budget from April 1, aimed at bolstering a fragile economic recovery. The lower house passed on Monday an extra budget for the current year to March 31 to fund 7.2 trillion yen ($79.7 billion) in stimulus aimed at supporting the economy. It will be debated in the upper house budget committee this week. Although Japanese media said the extra budget was likely to be enacted given the risk of public backlash over policy delays, opposition parties have called for more debate on the scandal in parliament. Concerns over the deliberations for the 2010/11 budget could weigh on Japanese stocks in the short term, although there has been little impact so far. Additionally, it could also cloud voter support

for Hatoyama ahead of a midyear election for parliament’s upper house. The Democrats need to win an outright majority in the upper house vote to reduce reliance on two small but vocal coalition partners who could add pressure for more spending and increase an already huge public debt, pushing up government bond yields. Hatoyama brushed off concerns he could keep dithering over Tokyo’s dispute with Washington over the Futenma base, which has bred voter doubts about his four monthold government’s ability to manage relations with its top security ally. “The government has promised to start from scratch and to be responsible in reaching a conclusion on this issue by the end of May,” Hatoyama told reporters. “We will definitely fulfil that.” Media reports have said Hatoyama may visit the United States around May, although no official decision has been made. A weekend poll by broadcaster TBS showed the government’s approval rate at 46.4 percent, down 6.6 points from earlier this month and below the disapproval rate of 53.1 percent. Hatoyama faces an increasingly tough decision on the airbase, which under a 2006 deal with Washington was to be relocated to the city of Nago in a less crowded part of the southern island. Washington wants Japan to implement the plan. But

Hatoyama is under pressure from his tiny coalition allies to stick to a pledge to move Futenma off the island, where many residents feel they shoulder an unfair share of U.S. forces. Given Hatoyama’s growing headaches, the 2010/11 budget, if not the extra budget as well, could become a political football, said Tsuneo Watanabe, a senior fellow at the Tokyo Foundation think tank. The key could be the fate of the Democrats’ kingpin Ichiro Ozawa, who Hatoyama has stood by despite his funding scandal because his undisputed electioneering skills are seen as important to the party winning the upper house election. Ozawa has denied any wrongdoing in the scandal that has led to the arrests of three current and former aides on suspicion of misreporting political donations. “The real battle will be concerning the annual budget,” Watanabe said, adding that Ozawa might decide to step down from his No.2 post while keeping actual control of the campaign in exchange for smooth passage of the budget. Watanabe also said Hatoyama might eventually have to step down over the Futenma dispute, especially if he opts for the original plan to keep Washington happy. Despite the anti-base mayoral candidate’s victory, the vote was extremely close, reflecting divided local opinion. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Protestors asking for the release of prominent jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo demonstrate outside the Central Government Liaison Office — responsible for ties with Beijing, in Hong Kong yesterday. The European parliament called on January 21 for the immediate release of prominent jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, accusing Beijing of judicial harassment. — AFP

“We are meeting the Chinese and this is an important process of trying to find a mutually agreed solution,” the Dalai Lama’s spokesman Tenzin Taklha said yesterday. “The agenda of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the same: That the problem has to be solved only through dialogue,” he said. Taklha added that the exact venue for the meeting in China had not been confirmed but said the envoys would return to India by the beginning of February. After their last interaction in November 2008, China said the door would be kept open for future discussions despite the “serious divergences” that remained. Lodi G. Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen will again lead what will be the ninth round of talks, said officials in Dharamshala, the Indian hill town where the Dalai Lama has lived for five decades and where many Tibetan exiles are based. China said last year it would consider reviving the dialogue, which began in 2002, but has often repeated demands that the Tibetan leader renounce “separatist” activitieswhich he denies supporting. The Dalai Lama has sought “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet since he fled his homeland following a failed uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule, nine years after Chinese troops invaded the region.

collapsed 15 months ago with Beijing saying no progress had been made and insisting it would not compromise on the status of Tibet as an integral part of China.

BOGHGAYA: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama smiles during the last day of teachings at The Kalachakra Ground near The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya on January 9, 2010. Representatives of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will revive talks with China today on the thorny issue of the Himalayan region after a 15-month impasse, his office said. — AFP

China says the Dalai Lama actually seeks full independence. Tibet erupted in violence in March 2008 on the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising and the remote region has since been tightly controlled. The Dalai Lama, 75, has attracted huge support for the Tibetans’ cause over decades of global campaigning, and he is likely to meet US President Barack Obama shortly-an event sure to spark outrage from Chinese leaders. Obama faced intense criticism last year when he declined to meet the Dalai Lama, the first time in nearly two decades that the spiritual leader has not met the president during a visit to Washington. Critics of Obama said he avoided an encounter so as not to upset Beijing before the president’s highstakes debut visit to China in November. However the Dalai Lama later praised the president for taking up the issue of Tibet during Obama’s visit to Beijing. “He, actually publicly as well as behind the scenes, has really taken up the issue of Tibet with Chinese leaders very seriously,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in New Delhi. China, which earlier this month named as its new Tibet governor a military veteran who vowed to ensure stability in region, has yet to confirm the latest round of talks. — AFP

in the news Churches torched JAKARTA: A Muslim mob torched unlicensed churches and priest’s home in western Indonesia last week and security forces have deployed to ensure order, a government spokesman said yesterday. No one was hurt when hundreds of villagers burned down two Protestant churches Friday in Sibuhuan village, North Sumatra provincial spokesman Baharuddin Djafar said. No arrests were made, but he promised authorities would “investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to court.” Relations between religious groups are generally peaceful in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, but minorities are sometimes targeted by conservative Islamic groups opposed to religious diversity. Christians say it has become increasingly difficulty to obtain licenses to operate churches and that violence is more frequent. Yudhoyono releases pop album JAKARTA: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has taken a break from battling rampant corruption and mutinous coalition partners to compose another album of romantic

pop songs. “Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana” (I’m Certain I’ll Get There) was released Sunday and features some of Indonesia’s best-known singers and musicians. Like the 60-year-old former general’s previous two albums, “Ku Yakin” deals with themes such as love, loyalty and patriotism. “In my spare time from fulfilling the people’s mandate as president, I like to express my feelings in works of art,” the president commonly known as SBY writes on the album cover, which features an image of children running with the Indonesian flag. “His songs are about life. While travelling in the car, he will observe things around him and then jot down the lyrics and read them out.” Yudhoyono’s debut release was “Rinduku Padamu” (My Longing for You) in 2007, which was followed by “Evolusi” (Evolution) in 2009. Quake hits off Japan TOKYO: A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off southern Japan yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, and no tsunami warning was issued, government agencies said. The quake struck at 4:15 pm (0715

GMT) at a depth of 58 kilometres (36 miles) below the sea floor, 104 kilometres southeast of Kyushu island’s Kagoshima prefecture, said the US Geological Survey in a preliminary report. Around 20 percent of the world’s most powerful earthquakes strike Japan. Asylum-seekers blew up boat SYDNEY: Asylum-seekers desperate to reach Australia may have caused an explosion which blew apart their crowded boat, tossing most those onboard into the water and leaving five dead, a court was told yesterday. An inquest into the deaths of the five Afghans heard that in the lead-up to the blast, those on-board the vessel, which was being guided by the Australian navy, wrongly thought they were being taken to Indonesia. “They became noisy and agitated and ultimately control of them and the vessel was lost,” Stephen Walsh, counsel assisting the coroner, told the inquest. Walsh said there was “a body of evidence” which suggested the rickety boat had been sabotaged and set alight before it exploded last April as it was being taken to an immigration processing centre on Christmas Island.

2 jailed in Malaysian ritual killing KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court yesterday sentenced a man and his cousin to 10 years each in prison in the fatal beating of the man’s parents during a ritual to expel evil spirits, but acquitted the main defendant by reason of insanity. The three men, in their 20s, were charged with causing the death of the two relatives during a family gathering in an apartment in Kuala Lumpur in October 2008. The victims were beaten with brooms and motorcycle helmets to purge them of evil spirits and cure them of smoking habits and other problems. The victims were supposed to be revived afterward, but they did not survive the beatings, court officials have said. A Kuala Lumpur court found Muhamad Fauzi Abdul Razak and his cousin, Muhammad Nizam Mohamad Ibrahim, guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced them to 10 years in prison, said public prosecutor Aidatul Azura Zainal Abidin. Muhammad Nizam is the son of the deceased. The principal defen-

dant, Muhamad Ilyas Abdul Razak, was acquitted of the charges but ordered to be sent to a mental hospital. He is the brother of Muhammad Fauzi. “The court said he was insane at the time of the occurrence,” Aidatul said. Aidatul said she had sought the maximum penalty of 30 years for the two others but the court took into consideration that the accused were still young. Muhammad Ilyas, 25, had testified that he was bestowed with powers from the leader of a banned cult to heal sicknesses and raise the dead. He had testified that he beat his uncle and aunt in a ritual to cleanse them of evil spirits that could have harmed the family. A government psychiatrist testified that Ilyas was mentally unsound and had a bipolar mood disorder. Superstitious beliefs are strong in the majority Islamic country. In villages, it is common for people to seek the help of spiritual healers for mental and physical illnesses, but their rituals are rarely known to involve violence. — AP

MANILA: Catholic priests wave white handkerchiefs during a fiveday National Congress of the Clergy yesterday, in Manila, Philippines. The Congress is aimed at strengthening vows of priests in the predominantly Catholic Philippines as well as define their role in the May 2010 presidential elections. — AP


12

INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Turkey hosts Afghan neighbours ahead of London conference

61ST REPUBLIC DAY

Talks with Taleban loom over Pakistan-Afghanistan summit

MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT OF INDIA

ISTANBUL: The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan will seek closer cooperation in the fight against militants during a summit in Istanbul yesterday, but a plan to reach out to Taleban insurgents will likely dominate the talks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meet ahead of a London conference where Afghanistan and the international com-

munity are set to agree a framework for the Afghan government to take responsibility for its own security. The two men were due to hold talks on the sidelines of a summit with Turkey, which has been working behind the scenes to repair relations between Islamabad and Kabul, notably over negotiations with the Taleban.

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Abdullah Gul (C) is flanked by Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai (L) and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari (R) as they convene for talks for the Turkey-AfghanistanPakistan trio summit meeting to discuss closer cooperation against Taleban insurgents and improve ties poisoned by the insecurity plaguing their rugged border, in Istanbul, yesterday. — AFP

S Korea president offers to help India build nuke plants NEW DELHI: South Korea’s president offered yesterday to help energy-hungry India build more nuclear reactors as he forecast a new trade pact between the Asian powerhouses would push ties to new heights. President Lee Myung-bak touted what he said was his nation’s expertise in building nuclear reactors as he expressed hope that South Korean companies could help India’s construct new atomic power plants. Lee said South Korea, which recently won a 20.4-billion-dollar deal to design, build and operate four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates, has displayed its “global competitiveness” in the nuclear field. South Korea was a key supporter of New Delhi in its successful bid to have a 34-yearold embargo on the export and sale of nuclear technology to India lifted. In a speech to business leaders, Lee added that a far-reaching trade pact which came into effect at the start of the year would put relations on to a new trajectory. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between South Korea and India which scraps or reduces most trade tariffs heralds a “great new era” for the two countries, said Lee. The president, who was accompanied by a high-powered political and business delegation, was slated to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day national celebrations today. Lee, who is on a four-day visit, met top Indian leaders yesterday to discuss furthering trade between the two countries, which has increased more than five-fold to 15.6 billion dollars from three billion in 2002.

NEW DELHI: South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, left, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, yesterday. Lee, on a four-day state visit, will be the chief guest at Republic Day function today. — AP Leading Indian industry group FICCI forecast bilateral trade could hit by 100 billion dollars by 2020. Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma said New Delhi was hoping for greater Asian economic integration to make the 21st century “Asia’s century” and the trade deal with South

Korea would help achieve that goal. He said South Korea could also play a big role in improving India’s dilapidated infrastructure, noting the country aims to spend 1.5 trillion dollars on improving its ports, highways and other facilities in the coming 10 years. — AFP

S Lanka president urges fair vote COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse vowed yesterday to ensure the first post-war nationwide election goes off peacefully, as he prepared to face his former army chief after an acrimonious campaign. Rajapakse urged the authorities to ensure a free and fair vote in today’s presidential contest amid claims from the opposition that he plans to rig the result and is preparing a coup in the event that he is defeated. “The Sri Lanka government calls for a peaceful election and stands committed to taking whatever steps deemed necessary,” his office said in a statement. Rajapakse, who ordered the military offensive that ended a 37-year conflict against Tamil rebels in May last year, faces a strong challenge from Sarath Fonseka, the army chief who led the troops in battle. A total of 68,000 police and 250,000 public officials will be on duty to monitor the election, which is seen as too close to call. There are no reliable opinion polls in the Indian Ocean island nation. In the run-up to the vote, the opposition and government have made claim and counter-claim about each other’s intentions, raising the prospect of instability and a contested result. Warning of street protests and resistance to any attempt by Rajapakse to steal the election, Fonseka declared Monday: “If there is a war, we will face it.” At least five people have been killed and hundreds wounded during campaigning, according to the private Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). The two candidates, both Sinhalese

nationalists, fell out after the war, with Fonseka retiring from the military after he was sidelined by Rajapakse and launching his surprise bid for the presidency. Rajapakse called the vote after only four years of his six-year mandate to try to harness public acclaim for victory over the

Tamil Tiger rebels, who controlled onethird of Sri Lanka just 10 years ago. The conflict with the Tigers, who began fighting for a homeland for the minority Tamil group in 1972, cost between 80,000 and 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates. — AFP

VAVUNIYA: This combo made from file photos shows Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, left, waving at a function to release former Tamil Tiger combatants in Manik Farm in Vavuniya, Jan 9, 2010, and presidential candidate of the common opposition and former military chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka waving to his supporters during a public rally in Vavuniya, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. Sri Lanka’s ruling party plans to instigate violence to keep voters from the ballot box in an attempt to secure victory during the upcoming presidential election. — AP

Pakistan has long played an important role in Afghan affairs, having nurtured the Afghan Taleban during the 1990s, but Kabul remains suspicious that Islamabad is pursuing its own agenda in the country to the detriment of Afghanistan. Masood Khalili, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Turkey, told state news Anatolian the aim of the meeting was to “forge cooperation that might lead to reconciliation in the region. Everybody in the region is thirsty for peace.” Karzai, under intense pressure from his Western backers to strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces at a time of worsening violence, is preparing a programme to reintegrate some Taleban insurgents in order to encourage them to lay down arms. Pakistan is seeking to play a role in that process. The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it was reaching out to “all levels” of the Afghan Taleban in a bid to encourage peace in its neighbour. Signaling NATO was open to a political solution even as US President Barack Obama sends an extra 30,000 US troops, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan said he hopes increased troop levels will weaken the Taleban enough that its leaders will accept a peace deal and bring the war to an end. “As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there’s been enough fighting,” Stanley McChrystal said in an interview in the Financial Times yesterday. Karzai met Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul, whose country has increased its diplomatic role in the Muslim world since the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party took power in 2002. Gul was to hold separate talks with Zardari later. Military and intelligence officials from Afghanistan and Pakistan-which have a history of mutual distrust-were attending the talks. Obama has emphasised that success would not be possible in Afghanistan without the support of Pakistan. Today Turkey is hosting a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbours today to seek a common approach to the conflict. British officials say they want to persuade regional players to work together to help stabilise Afghanistan. Turkey has said the foreign minister of China and officials from Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan will attend as well as British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and US Special envoy Richard Holbrooke’s deputy, Paul Jones. — Reuters

Mumbai gunman demands trial by international court MUMBAI: The alleged gunman in the 2008 bloody siege of Mumbai said yesterday he should be tried by an international court because he does not expect justice in India. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, told a special court that police had falsely implicated him in the case. “I should be tried in an international court,” he told Judge M.L. Tahiliyani. Ten gunmen rampaged through India’s commercial capital Mumbai in a commando-style attack on two luxury hotels, a busy train station and a Jewish center in November 2008. The three-day siege left 166 people dead, and nine of the gunmen were killed. Last month, Kasab retracted his confession that he sprayed gunfire into a crowd at the railroad station. He also said police tortured him into admitting having a role in the attacks. Kasab also said yesterday he wanted to call witnesses from Pakistan for his defense, and that he should be allowed to meet Pakistani officials. Witnesses would include a passport officer, he said, without providing other details. The judge asked him to file a petition through his attorney. Kasab could face the death penalty if convicted. Murder and conspiracy to wage war against India are among the charges he faces. Kasab told the judge he came to Mumbai as a tourist and was arrested 20 days before the siege began. On the day the attacks started, Kasab said police took him from his cell because he resembled one of the gunmen. They then shot him to make it look as if he had been involved in the attacks and re-arrested him, Kasab said. — AP

President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressing to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day. My fellow citizens,

O

n the eve of our 61st Republic Day, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you across the country and also to those living abroad. To the members of our Armed Forces and Para-military forces who guard our frontiers and to our internal security forces, I extend my special greetings. 26th January, this year marks the completion of six decades of working, striving and, all along, being guided by the principles and objectives of the Constitution that was framed after careful deliberations and adopted in 1950. I often recall the speech of Mahatma Gandhi at the launch of the Quit India Movement on 8th August, 1942, where he said that power, when it comes, will belong to the people of India. The wish of the Father of the Nation found expression in the very opening words of the Constitution - We, the people of India. This was a strong affirmation that the impulses of the nation and its future would be guided by its people. They would reflect their aspirations and choices, through democratic means. They would also enjoy the fundamental rights that guarantee their freedoms and dignity. Today, is a reminder that upholding the values, determining the direction and propelling the growth of our nation is a task that must be fulfilled by every citizen of the country. In the first decade of the 21st century, India witnessed transformational changes. It also emerged as a force driving change in the world. Our achievements and experiences have, indeed, brought the nation to a definitional stage, where the promise of a bright future as a developed and progressive nation is for us to claim, as we all work together with conviction and commitment. However, as we overcome deficiencies and convert our strengths into an energetic force, we must remain deeply conscious of what we must preserve and what we must change. Foremost amongst what we must continue with, is our democratic principles and way of life. We have ably demonstrated that we are a functioning democracy, by time and again, choosing our governments through the ballot and by taking democracy to the grassroots. Also, as we are aware, democracy is very much more demanding. It is the rule of law. It is the rule of reason. And, as India has shown to the world, it is the rule of non-violence. Democracy involves a pattern of behavior, in which every individual must act responsibly, show respect towards dissimilar opinions and address differences in a constructive and accommodative manner. This will build harmony and tolerance - values which are intrinsic to our philosophy; these form the bedrock of a society that embraces the diversity of language, religion and culture to create a composite whole. These values must be followed uninterruptedly in a nation that is, as vast and as varied as ours. Secularism, our constitutionally chosen path, entails respect for all religions. Its place in our national life is unalterable. India is a land where followers of different religions have lived together for centuries. We must maintain social cohesion. Our tradition of living in accord with each other must continue to form an integral part of the rhythm of life of our future generations. Belonging to a civilization that has deep reverence towards nature, we must also be sensitive inhabitants of the Planet, in which climate change has become a major challenge. We must judiciously use its resources, work to conserve its rich flora and fauna as well as adopt environment friendly approaches. Use of energy efficient technologies and renewable sources of energy, are some steps that can reduce the carbon footprint. Dear Citizens, Our nation has made significant strides. We are the fourth largest economy of the world in terms of purchasing power parity. Our target of achieving a double digit growth rate is plausible and realistic, given our impressive performance during the last decade and our resilience during the global economic downturn. We should continue with policies that promote growth, and also take growth patterns to the bottom of the pyramid and, to those currently outside its purview. Empowering the poor and the disadvantaged, enabling them to move up the economic ladder, to join the ranks of the prosperous, is a task that must be accomplished by all of us. Women need to be made full and equal partners. The inclusive growth strategy, which we have chosen, can make our growth process equitable and sustainable. The roadmap to inclusive growth requires social justice that can be delivered through an effective social sector infrastructure. It should make quality education and good health facilities available to all citizens, along with social services and job opportunities. This, in turn, will create a human resource base which has the skills, knowledge and capacity to work productively. Hence, our attention must remain focused on this, especially as we have a young population. They must be nurtured and prepared for taking up their responsibilities. Future growth in all sectors will depend on knowledge workers and skilled workforces. They can make our economy dynamic, our service sector efficient and competitive, our manufacturing industries broad based and our agriculture and allied sectors strong. Furthermore, integrating and developing linkages between sectors, say agriculture and industry, will further reinforce growth. These linkages can be fortified by having connectivity at various levels. For a nation which is the seventh largest in geographical terms and the second largest in terms of population, our existing physical infrastructure is inadequate. This constrains and limits connectivity. We have to change this situation. The number of bridges, roads, harbours as well as our power generation capacity and transport facilities, among others, require extensive additions. But, do not forget that along with these structures of cement, steel and mortar, it is also important to bridge our differences, build roads to connect hearts and minds, harbour compassion, generate goodwill towards all and transport these feelings to strengthen the unity of the nation. We will also have to create an atmosphere for our citizens to exercise their rights and tell them to perform their duties as well. This is important to make the development of a democratic nation of over one billion people, participatory and sustainable. In the next decade, not only must we witness the speedy building up of infrastructure, but also a greater cohesiveness among citizens. A bottleneck and an impediment in bringing about the desired results, for which policies and schemes have been formulated and huge allocation of funds made, is weak implementation and corruption in the system. The causes of the chronic ailment of tardy implementation have to be treated. There should be

accountability for lack of implementation of projects, programmes and schemes. This is critical for bringing about positive change. Public-Private Partnerships and SHGs, that is SelfHelp Groups, are important mechanisms for outcomeoriented action and for creating a wide network of stakeholders for growth. There have been numerous examples of how women in urban and rural areas have been able to become financially self-reliant through the SHG route. A movement towards universalisation of SHGs, that brings within its ambit all eligible women, can be a powerful instrument for the economic empowerment of women and for inclusive growth. Facilitation of their formation and functioning will, thus, create a wave of progress and change. Dear Citizens, The world over, as also in our country, there is a rising demand for food-grains. This foretells the need for an intense focus on increasing agriculture productivity to ensure food availability, particularly of agricultural produces which are in short supply, to avoid spiraling food prices. To achieve this very important objective, I call for urgent steps towards a Second Green Revolution. There should be use of new technologies, better seeds, improved farming practices, effective water management techniques, as well as more intense frameworks for connecting the farmer with the scientific community, with lending institutions and with markets. Our farmers are ready and willing to work, earn and learn. We have to respond positively and do some “out of the box thinking”. Higher agriculture incomes will improve the living standards of the over 145 million rural households, in the over six lakh villages of the country. With higher income levels, the rural economy will generate demand and provide impetus for growth in other sectors. Recognizing this reality, we have to involve the agriculture economy more pro-actively into the growth process, both as a centre of production and as a generator of demand for various products and services. There are many complementarities that exist between farming communities and the corporate world because both are private enterprises. The possibilities of win-win partnerships between industry and agriculture should be explored. For example, the food processing industry when located close to agricultural areas can transform India’s rural landscape. Currently, food processing in India is as low as 10 percent of production, as compared to 65 percent to 80 percent, generally seen in the developed countries. Other agro-based industries would be equally important as propellers of growth. The question is how to attract farmers into such partnerships, which do not adversely affect, but rather keep the interests of farmers in the forefront and take into account their various sensitivities, particularly about their land-holdings. This needs to be done in a farmer-friendly manner and by creating awareness in the farming community. Some Indian companies have understood that linking farmers to industrial units would be beneficial to both. They have developed interesting models of engagement with the farming community. We should study these experiences, as we look at viable options that suit Indian conditions for harnessing the potential of village economies. Dear Citizens, Today, the optimum use of capital or labour or resources across the entire spectrum of our national activity is dependent on cutting-edge technologies and technological breakthroughs. We need technologies for more efficient and cleaner energy, for our industry and agriculture. India has to chalk out strategies that will promote research and development resulting in innovative methods and techniques. The quality of research in our country must be upgraded to build knowledge structures. I think the nation should take this up as an urgent calling. A knowledge economy requires an education system that encourages creativity and a capacity to think in a novel fashion. Also, our research institutions should join global knowledge networks to keep themselves abreast of worldwide advancements in research. Technology should reach a broader section of our society, and also the movement of grassroots innovations should receive encouragement. A change which is required, and of which I have spoken often is the eradication of social malpractices in particular those related to discrimination against women. These pose a hindrance on our path to building a more progressive and equitable nation. We should follow a positive agenda for the empowerment of women. A change in our mindsets will be important to remove prejudices and create equal opportunities for all citizens. This is essential for our inclusive growth agenda and for tapping the full potential of our population. In any mission, particularly one as complex and challenging as nation building, as has been said by our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, “We have to labour, and to work, and to work hard, to give reality to our dreams.” For this, motivational levels have to be kept high. Media can have an important influence on how people see the country. With relentless advances in technology, media is now an integral part of our daily lives. It can create awareness by bringing information to the people, getting them to reflect, and making them realize their responsibilities towards the nation. With a media that plays a constructive role, people would be inspired to take actions that would contribute to building the nation and also to learn about the benefits of positive actions. For growth, an environment of security is essential. Government is committed to maintain high vigil and take appropriate measures to address internal security challenges. Our country has been a target of terrorism for more than two decades. Government has taken and will continue to take necessary steps to tackle threats emanating from terrorism. It will also continue to work with the international community to combat this menace. As in the past, in the future also, the voice of India in the world would be a voice for peace, a voice for development, and a voice of hope. In the global arena, we will seek a change in the structure of multilateral institutions, so that they reflect contemporary realities. We will continue to cooperate with the international community to deal with global issues. We will seek to build friendly relations with countries in our region and those across the world. As 2009 came to a close, there have been many analyses about what are the possible prospects of the next decade for India. Some refer to it as the deciding decade, the decade of reckoning. On reflection, I fully agree that it will be so. It must, therefore, mean a decade in which all Indians must do their work with a sense of responsibility, discipline, integrity of mind and purpose as well as with a spirit of cooperation. We will have to inspire our young generation so that they are virtuous, with good character and a sense of fellow feeling towards others. We must channelise all our efforts towards the goal of taking the country to a higher level of all round national development and not rest till we achieve our goal. We can then be proud that we have performed our duty and borne our responsibility well. It is said that, fortune is an outcome of good work and can slip away, if we are lax in our work. I am reminded of a few inspirational lines:With these words, I once again wish all fellow citizens peace, prosperity and progress on the occasion of our Republic Day. JAI HIND.


13

NEWS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Iraq executes Chemical Ali Continued from Page 1

ISTANBUL: A woman walks in snow-covered Istanbul yesterday. — AP

Man hurls shoe at Bashir KHARTOUM: A Sudanese man hurled his shoe at President Omar Al-Bashir yesterday but missed him, witnesses said, adding the assailant was promptly arrested. The man, who was in his 40s, threw the footwear at Bashir in a hallway of the Friendship Hall, where the president hosts guests, witnesses said on condition of anonymity. Security men quickly detained the shoe thrower. He was later identified as Adil Mohammed Fath AlRahman Mahjub, a man who once held a position in government and suffers from psychiatric disorders, the official news agency SUNA said without elaborating. “He wanted to

deliver a letter to the president... but was intercepted by guards of the president who told him the time and place were not appropriate. He then took off his shoe and threw it,” the agency said. The man was otherwise unarmed, SUNA said, adding the shoe thrower was treated at a psychiatric hospital before being released to his family. “The man was close to the podium and threw the shoe but it didn’t reach him,” said one witness, saying the incident appeared to shock the dozens of officials gathered for the conference on strategic planning for governing Sudan. “He seemed calm, even after he was arrest-

ed,” said another witness. Witnesses said journalists at the event had recording equipment and cameras taken from them by security guards after the incident. Bashir has ruled Sudan since seizing power in a military coup in 1989 and he is standing for re-election in April, when Sudan holds its first general election in 24 years. The president, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the restive Darfur region, is the latest leader targeted by a shoethrower. In the best known incident, Iraqi journalist Muntazer AlZaidi threw his shoe at then US

president George W Bush on Dec 14, 2008, during his farewell visit to Baghdad. Zaidi said at the time it was a “farewell kiss” for Bush. He was jailed for nine months but flown out of the country after being released for his own security. The assault caused massive embarrassment to Bush and his host, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, particularly since throwing a shoe at someone is considered especially insulting and humiliating in Arab culture. Other officials who have had shoes thrown at them include Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao while on a visit to Britain and Israel’s ambassador to Sweden. — Agencies

Karroubi recognizes Ahmadinejad as prez Continued from Page 1 I recognise the president.” Karroubi, along with main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, had earned the wrath of the Islamic republic’s hardliners over the past eight months for vociferously campaigning against Ahmadinejad’s re-election. He was heavily criticised for alleging that several protesters who had demonstrated against Ahmadinejad were raped while in prison. Karroubi’s new stance comes a day after his political party, Etemad Melli, said the cleric would back all the antigovernment remarks he has been making since the election dispute erupted. “It is necessary for you to know that Mr Karroubi is standing firm and tall and has evidence for all his comments,” the party said on its website Sahamnews.org and had even called for permission to stage

demonstrations. In a separate statement yesterday, Karroubi made clear he had not fundamentally changed his views on the election and its aftermath. Karroubi said he was “ready to pay a higher price over insisting on my position and I’m not afraid of pressures,” according to a report by the pro-reform Parlemannews website. “In the end, those within the establishment who were planning to eliminate the people’s role will have no other choice but listening to people’s demands and accepting the people’s sovereignty,” it quoted Karroubi as saying. “In an interview ... today I said be certain that Ahmadinejad’s government will not last four years,” an aid to Karroubi quoted the cleric as saying, according to the opposition Jaras website. Karroubi and Mousavi led the opposition movement despite Khamenei endorsing

Ahmadinejad’s victory at a key Friday prayer sermon on June 19, just a week after polling day. On July 1, reacting to the confirmation of the election result by the Guardians Council, which rules on election results, Karroubi called Ahmadinejad’s victory illegitimate. “I do not consider the government coming from this election as legitimate and will not participate in the endorsement ceremony,” he had said ahead of the official ceremony to endorse Ahmadinejad as president for a second term. Iranian political analyst Mohammad Saleh Sedghian told AFP yesterday that Karroubi’s latest stance was an indication of moves towards reconciliation between hardliners and reformists. “We find that they (opposition groups) are leaning towards recognising the Ahmadinejad government, but they keep objecting to the mechanism in which the elec-

tion was held,” Sedghian said. “The trend is towards reconciliation, which the reformists and several moderates have called for.” The post-election unrest against Ahmadinejad led by Karroubi and Mousavi saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in protest against the president and sometimes even Khamenei. The demonstrations, which erupted soon after the election, shook the very pillars of the Islamic regime and split the nation’s clergy. Protesters have taken every opportunity since to stage anti-government demonstrations, the latest on Dec 27 as the nation commemorated the Shiite ritual of Ashoura. Dozens of Iranians have been killed and wounded in such protests since June, and hundreds have also been put on trial accused of attempting to revolt against the regime. — Agencies

FM assures MPs on Iraq border houses Continued from Page 1 Sheikh Mohammad expressed hope that the Iraqi general elections in March would lead to forming an Iraqi government that will continue to hold the same ideas of living in peace with its neighbours. On Yemen, Sheikh Mohammad called for helping Yemen to confront external threats, adding that GCC members cannot remain spectators while one of its members - Saudi Arabia - is fighting against the Yemeni Houthi rebels. He said that GCC foreign ministers and some Arab ministers will take part in the international conference on Yemen in London. Sheikh Mohammad said that he also briefed the members on relations with Iran, especially after the visit of the Kuwaiti prime minister to Tehran and Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani’s visit to Kuwait, which began yesterday. He stressed on the importance of maintaining a direct and

open dialogue between the GCC states and Iran in order “to express our hopes and fears and also listen to our Iranian brothers”. On his arrival, Larijani told reporters that the Kuwaiti-Iranian relations have been strong for many years and remain strong despite the sensitive situation. He added that his talks in Kuwait will focus on political, economic and cultural relations. Meanwhile, the Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee yesterday approved amendments to the 5-year development plan which was approved in the first reading about a week ago. MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari said the committee will meet again on Thursday to study more amendments and then call for a special session of the Assembly to pass the plan in the second and final reading. Also, the women affairs committee yesterday approved an article in the draft law on women’s civil and social rights that

requires the government to provide adequate housing to Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis in addition to divorced women and widows who have children. Head of the committee MP Maasouma AlMubarak said the committee has expressed its support for the government’s proposal to set up the housing fund for Kuwaiti women. She said the committee will hold another meeting on Jan 30 to discuss parts in the bill that relate to social security rules for women. She however said the committee expressed reservations on a proposal that calls for granting Kuwaiti housewives a monthly salary, saying that children should not be a barrier for women to go to work. In a related development, MP Mubarak proposed that the government should provide permanent residence for children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, and also to their husbands after five years of marriage.

Yemen Houthis offer truce to Saudi Arabia Continued from Page 1 The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said yesterday that humanitarian conditions in northern Yemen are worse than they have ever been and that fighting had “dramatically worsened” the fate of Yemeni civilians. Yemen is also in the throes of a crackdown on AlQaeda whose regional wing is based in the country, while also trying to contain simmering unrest from a southern separatist movement. Western powers and Riyadh fear Yemen will become a failed state, allowing a resurgent Al-Qaeda to exploit chaos to use the country as a base for more international attacks. Yemen’s Interior Ministry said on its website that around 30 suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed recently in a campaign against the group, but did not say when the deaths took place. Al-Qaeda also killed three soldiers in the south of the country in a Sunday attack, a security

source said yesterday, while six people including three soldiers were wounded in clashes with separatists, according to a local official. Yemen’s foreign minister Abubakr AlQirbi told Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper yesterday that the country was asking for help in facing Al-Qaeda, but not against Shiite rebels or southern secessionists. “We are asking for help when it comes to Al-Qaeda and development, but in interior issues we look to treat them as interior issues,” he said. Qirbi denied US jets had been carrying out strikes on Yemeni soil but said Yemen needed practical aid from Washington. “We are asking for more means of support to the (security) forces in the fight against terrorism in Yemen, such as the provision of aircraft, helicopters, means of transport, means of communication,” he said. In the southern province of Dhalea, where secessionists staged a strike to protest against government marginalisa-

tion, six people including three soldiers were wounded in clashes between government forces and activists, a local official said. A dozen people were wounded in similar clashes the previous day. Also in Dhalea, five soldiers were wounded when armed men attacked their dawn patrol, local media reported. Shops and markets were closed yesterday as part of a general strike aimed at forcing separatist grievances onto the agenda of a Yemen conference in London on Wednesday to coordinate counter-terrorism and aid efforts for the troubled country. Protests where southern secessionists clash with the central government’s security forces represent a growing threat for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. North and south Yemen united in 1990 under Saleh, who had been president of the north since 1978. The bumpy merger led to a brief 1994 civil war won by the north. Southerners say state jobs and resources have gone to the north ever since. — Reuters

The first bomb struck near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels in Abu Nawaz, close to where a giant statue of Saddam was symbolically toppled almost seven years ago, at around 3:30 pm (1230 GMT), an interior ministry official said. The second and third blasts just minutes later targeted the Babylon Hotel in the central district of Karrada and the Hamra hotel in Jadriyah, in the south of the capital, he added. Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad Major General Qassim Atta said all three bombings were suicide attacks. The streets leading to the hotels were immediately sealed off, preventing journalists from approaching. A security source said armed clashes broke out near the Hamra in what appeared to be a diversionary attack before the suicide bomber drove his minibus at the hotel seconds later and detonated it. The first explosion in Abu Nawaz shook ground miles away from the site of the blast and sent plumes of smoke rising hundreds of metres into the sky. Yesterday’s attacks differed from recent high-profile bombings in Baghdad in that they targeted hotels, one of the capital’s few remaining symbols of tourism, rather than government buildings. The hotel bombings were followed around 90 minutes later by a government announcement that Majid had been executed. Majid was sentenced to death on Jan 17 for ordering the gassing of Kurds in the northeastern town of Halabja which killed an estimated 5,000 people and was one of the worst crimes of Saddam’s iron-fisted regime. “I was happy to see the news of the execution on television,” said Kamal Abdelkadir, 24,

who lost his parents, five sisters and a brother in the atrocity and who continues to require medical treatment for his injuries. Fadhel Rifat, 27, who now lives in Sulaimaniyah, the eponymous Kurdish province in which Halabja is situated, was also just a young boy at the time of the attack. “My father and many relatives died because of Chemical Ali,” he said. “I am happy that he is dead.” Three-quarters of the victims at Halabja were women and children, in what is thought to be the deadliest ever gas attack against civilians. The conviction for the gas attack, that came as the Iran-Iraq war drew to a close, was the fourth time that Majid, who was arrested in Aug 2003, had received a death sentence. Handing down the ruling, Judge Abud Mustapha Al-Hamani branded Majid’s offences as “deliberate murder, a crime against humanity” when the verdict was delivered amid muffled applause in the courtroom. Majid’s execution had previously been held up by legal wrangling. It had first been due to be carried out by Oct 2007 but was delayed so as not to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said Majid’s execution was warranted as he was “one of the worst henchmen of the former regime, who committed heinous crimes against the Iraqi people”. “His name is associated with the mass graves that fill Iraqi land from north to south,” Maliki said. “This turns another dark page in the genocide, repression and crimes against humanity committed by Saddam and his agents.” Saddam, Majid’s close cousin, was himself hanged in Dec 2006 for the killing of 148 Shiite villagers after an attempt on

his life in 1982. In contrast with Majid’s hanging, however, footage of that execution posted on the Internet showed shouts of applause and barracking of the dictator before and as he died. Majid earned his moniker for ordering poisonous gas attacks in a brutal scorched-earth campaign of bombings and mass deportations that killed an estimated 182,000 Kurds in the 1980s. He had already been sentenced to hang for genocide over the Kurdish offensives when in Dec 2008 he received a second death sentence for war crimes committed during the ill-fated 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq. Last March, the Iraqi High Tribunal handed down a third death sentence over the 1999 murders of dozens of Shiites in the Sadr City district of Baghdad and in the central shrine city of Najaf. Majid orchestrated the Halabja attack when in March 1988, Iraqi jets swooped over the small town and for five hours sprayed it with a deadly cocktail of mustard gas and the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin and VX. Considered Saddam’s righthand man and bearing a strong resemblance to the former dictator, he was a member of the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council and was regularly called upon to crush rebellion. As Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran came to an end in 1988, fighters from the rebel Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, with backing from Tehran, took over the farming community of Halabja, near the border. As Saddam’s enforcer, Majid ordered the gas attack to crush the uprising. He said he took action against the Kurds, who had sided with Iraq’s enemy in the war, for the sake of Iraqi security. He refused to express remorse. — AFP

Ethiopia jet crashes off Beirut Continued from Page 1 Pieces of the plane and debris were washing ashore in the hours after the crash, including passenger seats, a baby sandal, a fire extinguisher, suitcases and bottles of medicine. Marla Pietton, wife of the French ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, was on the plane, the embassy said. Most of the Lebanese passengers were Shiites from southern Lebanon who have business interests in Africa. Helicopters and naval ships were scrambled for a rescue effort as waves reaching a half-meter slammed into the shore. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced a day of mourning and closed schools and government offices. Ethiopian Airlines has regular flights to Lebanon, catering for business clients and the thousands of Ethiopians who work there as domestic helpers. Some passengers had been en route to Angola and other African countries. Col Dave L apan, a Pentagon spokesman, said the US military has deployed a guided-missile destroyer, the USS-Ramage, as well as a P-3 surveillance aircraft to help with search and rescue efforts. A statement from the defense ministry in Cyprus, which sent reinforcements to help in the search, said 34 bodies have been recovered so far. Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Girma Wake told journalists in Addis Ababa that he had no information on the fate of those on board or about the cause of the crash. He said the aircraft had been serviced on Dec 25 and passed inspection. He also said the plane had been leased in September from New York-based CIT Aerospace. CIT

spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to Ethiopian Airlines. The plane was carrying 83 passengers and 7 crew, Lebanese officials said. Aridi, the transportation minister, identified the passengers as 54 Lebanese, 22 Ethiopians, one Iraqi, one Syrian, one Canadian of Lebanese origin, one Russian of Lebanese origin, a French woman and two Britons of Lebanese origin. Ethiopian Airlines reported that there were 82 passengers and eight crew; the discrepancy could not immediately be explained. The Boeing 737 is considered one of the safest planes in airline service. The jet was first introduced in the 1960s, and today is the workhorse on many shortand medium-range routes. Still, over the past 15 years it was involved in a series of incidents and crashes linked to problems with a valve in the rudder assembly. The valve reportedly would malfunction and cause the rudder to turn independently of the pilot’s commands. The problem was considered resolved after operators of older Boeing 737s were ordered to carry out inspections and upgrades of the critical rudder control systems. Sidney Dekker, a professor of flight safety at the School of Aviation at Lund University in Sweden, said the rudder problem has been corrected by the manufacturer and that he’d be “hugely surprised” if it had anything to do with the crash. Dekker, himself a 737 pilot, said that if reports of an engine fire proved to be correct, the accident could have resulted from a loss of control at a relatively low altitude where it would have been difficult to recover. He noted that the 737’s engines

were overpowered in order to fulfill performance requirements in the event of the loss of an engine at takeoff. This tended to produce a turning movement of the entire aircraft - known as yaw - toward the dead engine. Poor visibility in low clouds combined with high winds may have contributed to the problem faced by the pilots trying to regain control, he said. Aviation safety analyst Chris Yates said it was far too early to say what caused the crash, but he noted that modern aircraft are built to withstand all but the foulest weather conditions. “One wouldn’t have thought that a nasty squall in and of itself would be the prime cause of an accident like this,” said Yates, an analyst based in Manchester, England. He said reports of fire could suggest “some cataclysmic failure of one of the engines” or that something had been sucked into the engine, such as a bird or debris. The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines has long had a reputation for high-quality service compared to other African airlines, with two notable crashes in more than 20 years. A hijacked Ethiopian Airlines jet crash-landed off the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean when it ran out of fuel in November 1996, killing 126 of the 175 people aboard. In September 1988, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after taking off when it ran into a flock of birds, killing 31 of the 104 people on board. Ethiopian Airlines announced last week that it signed an agreement with Boeing to buy 10 more of the 737-800s at an estimated $767 million. The order will expand the airline’s fleet from the 36 aircraft it has now - not including the 737-800 that crashed yesterday. — Agencies

Israel doesn’t dare strike Iran: Larijani Continued from Page 1 On relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia amidst accusations that Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Larijani said “enemies of the Islamic world always try to divide these countries”. He accused these “enemy” nations of instigating sectarian hatred between Shiites and Sunnis, as well as fueling instability in Iraq and other areas.

“You noticed how one of the clerics insulted Imam Sistani - these practices are carried by the enemies of the Islamic nation,” he added. Larijani denounced accusations that Iran is supporting the Houthis as “false and baseless”. However, he added, “We have good relations with the countries in the region, and this applies to Saudi Arabia too. Only out of amity we told the Saudis that what is being done against

the Houthis is not for their best interest.” Larijani also spoke on the post-election unrest in Iran. “There is no problem in Iran. The situation in Iran is stable, democracy in Iran is serious, and that’s why you see that the negotiations between the two groups are also serious. This might appear to others as something not normal, but in Iran, it’s a normal and regular thing,” he said.

Bodies pile up as Haiti begs for aid Continued from Page 1 “The country is ravaged, I ask myself how it can be rebuilt after this catastrophe. The Haitian government is very corrupt,” said Gesnel Faustin, 29, living in a tent outside the destroyed presidential palace. “But if the United States, France and Canada get together for reconstruction, it will work.” In Montreal, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said the top priority was to “satisfy the vital needs of victims like food and water, shelter and health care” but that longer-term needs were huge. “I just want to say that the people of Haiti will need to be helped to face this colossal work of reconstruction,” Bellerive told officials including his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Harper said rebuilding Haiti would take “at least 10 years of hard work” following the 7.0-magnitude quake which struck on January 12. Oxfam and The World Council of Churches called for the cancellation of Haiti’s $890 million of foreign debt. The United Nations said yesterday that it has so far received pledges of more than $270 million in emergency relief funding for Haiti, representing nearly half of its target.

In ravaged Port-au-Prince, Health Minister Alex Larsen said 90,000 bodies had already been counted and the final toll was expected to be around 150,000, with around one million homeless. But the country’s communications minister said 150,000 bodies had already been collected - the differing figures underscoring the disorder gripping the Haitian government. With the search for buried survivors officially over, one rescue team’s hopes of success 13 days after the quake were dashed when signs of life picked up by radar turned out to be a false alarm caused by a worm-filled body. Rescuers have saved 133 people from the debris, including a man who survived for 11 days on cola and snacks. Looters continued to plague Haiti’s wrecked commercial areas but in less-affected districts residents tried to return to some kind of normality yesterday, with people going to work and shops reopening. The UN said more than 235,000 Haitians have taken advantage of free buses to flee the filthy conditions in Port-auPrince for more hygienic camps outside the capital. Larsen said tents were being readied for 400,000 quake victims at minivillages outside the capital that will initially

hold 20,000 people, and in the long term accommodate around one million. But the mass exodus is putting a huge burden on small towns like Saint Marc, some 80 km from the capital, where 10,000 refugees were lodging with friends, strangers or in churches. “My house was destroyed. We slept on the pavement near the wounded, we had to leave,” said Magalie Esteverle, a 43-year-old dressmaker with three children staying with a distant cousin of her husband. The situation has prompted European nations to agree to send some 300 police officers to help keep order and ease aid distribution. The international aid effort came under fire from Italy’s public safety chief, sent to Haiti last week, who criticized a lack of leadership in the response to the quake. Guido Bertolaso, who led the response to the L’Aquila earthquake in April 2009, told Italian television it was “a terrible situation that could have been managed much better” and said the US force had “too many officers” to find a capable leader. The United States has taken a frontline role in the disaster relief effort, sending in 20,000 troops and anchoring a hospital ship offshore, while the United Nations is also heavily involved. — AFP


OPINION

14

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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issues

Will corporate ads buy 2010 voters? By Sharon Theimer

T

he Supreme Court has opened the door to a new era of big and possibly shadowy election spending, rolled back anti-corruption laws. In the middle of it all will be voters, trying to figure out who’s telling the truth. The court’s ruling Thursday lets corporate America start advertising candidates much as they market products and tell viewers to vote for or against them. While it almost certainly will lead to a barrage of hard-hitting TV ads in the 2010 elections, its implications reach far beyond that. The ruling was a victory for the US Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO trade union confederation, the National Rifle Association and other interest groups most likely to run ads with money from their treasuries. It’s unlikely major corporations would want their name on an ad, but they can avoid that by giving money to interest groups, who would then run ads and disclose the spending under the groups’ names. It also presents a new option to wealthy individuals who were allowed to spend millions on their own to run election-time candidate ads before, but now can join forces to do so and get more bang for their bucks. The court’s 5-4 opinion represents the latest development in the cycle of scandal-law-loophole that has typified the United States’ approach to campaign finance regulation. From the corporate titans of the early 20th century bribing candidates, to Watergate in the 1970s, Democratic fundraising scandals during the Clinton years in the 1990s and most recently, the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling case, Congress has periodically tried to rein in political spending only to have loopholes emerge or political players mount successful constitutional challenges to the rules. The court seemed to sweep those concerns aside, saying that it doubted election-time ads could lead to the corruption of lawmakers and that in any case, proponents of the ban hadn’t provided any proof of corruption. Campaign finance watchdogs predict members of Congress now will cast their votes on controversial legislation with an eye to whether their position on it risks inviting a barrage of special-interest ads against them before the election, or on the flip side, could draw outside spending favorable to them. “I just think the court got it dead wrong if it thinks that a $10 million expenditure in a campaign can’t buy influence of a corrupting nature the same way that a $10 million contribution can,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, who pressed for the ban on election-season corporate- and union-financed ads that the court swept away. For those like Wertheimer who believe the threat of corruption justifies restrictions on campaign money, it could get even worse. Heartened by

the court’s view that corporations have the same freespeech rights as citizens, opponents of campaign finance restrictions think the time is ripe to press the justices to go still further and do something not allowed since the robberbaron bribery scandals of a century ago: let corporations and unions give money directly to candidates. “If all speakers are going to be treated the same, why wouldn’t a corporation be able to make a contribution to a candidate” just as individuals and political action committees can? asked Jim Bopp, a conservative lawyer involved in several lawsuits that have scaled back campaign finance rules over the past few years, including the one decided Thursday. Bopp thinks the conservative-leaning court might even go for a case arguing that donors should be able to give as much money as they want to a candidate: “You certainly have some justices who say that the contribution limits cannot be imposed at all.” The ruling could bring more than office politics to the workplace: Bopp reads it to permit corporations and unions to speak freely about elections to employees and authorize partisan politicking on their property, rather than stop at simply encouraging workers to vote, as they’ve had to do until now. Just as opponents of campaign finance regulation are considering further challenges, campaign finance watchdogs and their allies in Congress plan to pursue legislation to try to deal with Wednesday’s ruling. What they could do to restrict corporate and union campaign ads after the nation’s highest court called a ban unconstitutional is unclear. And in the middle of it all are voters, the people whose opinions the new spending will seek to influence. The court seemed to agree with the US Chamber of Commerce’s contention that voters want more election ads and that they are craving the viewpoints and information that will be presented in them. But if the country’s experience in the years before the McCain-Feingold law, when corporations and unions poured millions of dollars into election-time ads that targeted candidates but stopped short of calling for their election or defeat, is any indication, much of the new ad spending will likely be aimed at turning voters against a particular candidate, rather than urging them to vote for one. That may please voters who do not like the candidate anyway, but it could turn off some voters so much they tune out. Getting key voting blocs to stay home on Election Day can be as important as getting voters to turn out. The ruling leaves intact major parts of a hard-won 2002 campaign finance law, but it is unclear what will happen with those in coming months. The Republican National Committee is challenging one of the law’s pillars, a ban on corporate and union donations to political parties. — AP

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

‘Silent pandemic’ will force drug price rethink By Kate Kelland

A

“silent pandemic” of chronic disease is creeping up on poor countries and will force pharmaceutical firms to take a more tiered approach to pricing some of their most lucrative medicines. Drugs for diseases which were previously dominant only in the rich, well-fed world, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, are increasingly in demand in poorer nations in Asia and Africa, whose populations are now living longer. But the price of many of these medicines and their unsuitability for emerging markets are high barriers to access. And yet unless those hurdles are overcome, experts say, chronic diseases could swamp developing health systems and kill many millions - and the hopes of drugmakers like GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and SanofiAventis of supplying vast new markets in emerging economies will struggle to come to fruition. Discounting prices for poorer countries, a move already made by some big drug firms, is a start. But pharmaceutical bosses will also be under pressure to join patent pools to promote downward price pressure on drugs for major chronic diseases by increasing the number of producers, and may face legal challenges to force them to allow in more generic competition. “Until now companies had been able to separate out drugs that are needed in developing countries from drugs that primarily make up their market in rich countries,” Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of Medecins Sans Frontieres’ campaign for access to essential medicines, told Reuters in an interview. “But the divide which saw infectious diseases as primarily affecting the poor and chronic diseases

affecting the rich is now changing, and that will demand a change of strategy.” Global health projections leave little doubt that chronic diseases are rapidly overtaking infectious diseases, such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), as the world’s biggest killers - a shift emphasised by a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report on global health risks. It said populations are ageing partly due to success against infectious diseases, and changing patterns of food, alcohol and tobacco consumption are creating a “double burden” for poor nations, piling chronic diseases on top of infectious diseases. The World Economic Forum’s 2010 global risks report, published ahead of its annual meeting in Davos next week, characterised the shift as a “silent pandemic”. It said that while deaths from infectious diseases, maternal conditions and poor nutrition will fall by 3 percent in the next decade, deaths from chronic disease will increase by 71 percent. Cases of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, for which major weight gain is a big risk factor, are predicted to rise rapidly as the obesity epidemic takes hold in the developing world. Diabetes, which the WHO says accounts for 5 percent of all deaths globally, with around 80 percent in developing nations, is seen rising by 42 percent from 2005 levels by 2015 in Africa, and by 39 percent in the same time frame in southeast Asia. Cancer is already a bigger killer in developing countries than TB, malaria and AIDS combined and experts see a doubling of global cancer cases in the next 20 years. WHO expert Colin Mathers says the shifting disease burden is the price of success against big killers, such as malaria and AIDS. “Because people are living longer, they’re living to ages

where chronic diseases are an increasing problem,” he said. Some pharmaceutical firms are already making

moves to cut drug prices for poorer people, hoping to smooth access to faster-growing emerging markets - and

make up for sluggish growth in markets like the United States, Japan and Europe. — Reuters

Peace talks hinge on US guidance By Omar Karmi

W

ith pressure mounting on the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel even without a full settlement construction freeze in occupied territory, the onus has very much shifted onto US diplomatic efforts to ensure that talks are renewed. Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, continues to resist the pressure, which is now coming from Arab countries as well as Washington, insisting that Israel must completely end construction work in settlements before he will return to talks. The longer the PLO holds out against the pressure, the harder it will be for Abbas to back down from that pledge, and the greater must be the incentive offered from Washington. Palestinians consider settlement construction a way for Israel to create facts on the ground that pre-empt the outcome of negotiations. What is the point of negotiating while the land in question is disappearing even as talks are held? Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, asked. In response, the United States has urged the sides to consider the bigger picture, or “look at the forest”, in the words of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state. Washington wants the sides first to discuss borders as a way to resolve other issues. Borders, after all, cannot be agreed upon without also implicitly agreeing on settlements and Jerusalem. However, in and of itself, asking the sides to discuss borders first will not mitigate for the lack of a full settlement freeze. In parallel, the United States is understood to be drafting letters of guarantees to both sides. It has been reported the White House plans to offer the Palestinians assurance that any state will be based on the 1967 borders with only minor adjustments and the Israelis a promise that some settlements will remain and be annexed to Israel. To avoid any danger of contradiction in these guarantees, the United States should sketch out a final position in terms

of percentages, said Gershon Baskin, head of the IsraelPalestine Center for Research and Information in Jerusalem. “The problem with dealing with borders is you can’t detach borders from the size of the territories. If the Palestinians are given a guarantee that a Palestinian state will be 22 percent of the land between the river and the sea, then you can ask them to come to the table to negotiate borders first,” Baskin said, referring to the size of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 in relation to historic Palestine. That way, Baskin suggested, Palestinian concerns that Israel would take more territory during negotiations through settlement construction should be allayed, and the sides could focus on where exactly borders should run, knowing the amount of territory each state would be. It is doubtful that Washington intends to be very explicit in its assurances, however. Washington burnt its fingers when it endorsed the Palestinian call for a full settlement construction freeze only to back down and embrace the settlement “freeze” that Israel eventually came up with - one that excludes settlement construction in East Jerusalem, construction for buildings deemed essential for the public good in settlements generally, as well as 3,000 housing units already approved elsewhere in the West Bank. Indeed, perhaps the most crucial question Palestinians seek answered is to what extent Washington is willing to exert any serious pressure on Israel. George Mitchell, the US envoy to the region, recently hinted in an interview with the US PBS network that Washington did not have to extend loan guarantees to Israel as one means of pressure. But Mitchell appeared to be speaking for himself and immediately qualified his statement by saying that he still thought the best way forwards was for Washington to convince the parties of what was in their self-interest. NOTE: Omar Karmi is a foreign correspondent for The National — CGNews

Saudi-Western interests in Yemen not identical By Ulf Laessing

S

audi Arabia, Yemen’s biggest donor, shares Western worries about resurgent Al-Qaeda activity in its troubled neighbour, but pursues its own interests there, fighting rebels, paying tribes and funding Islamic institutions. The United States and its Western allies will hope to gain more support from the kingdom for stabilising Yemen at an international meeting to be held in London tomorrow. The trick will be to make sure they are on the same page. “Saudi Arabia is the most important country for Yemen,” said Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen scholar at Princeton University. “What the United States and its European allies really have to do is to make sure Saudi Arabia does not undermine what the US is trying to accomplish there,” he said. The dangers of instability in Yemen came into sharp focus after Al-Qaeda’s wing there claimed responsibility for a failed bid to blow up a Detroitbound US passenger jet on Dec 25. The suspected Nigerian attacker is reported to have used the same explosive as a Yemen-based suicide bomber who tried to kill Saudi security chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in August. While Washington and Riyadh may share a common enemy in Al-

Yemenis have lunch in a street in Sanaa yesterday. – AFP Qaeda, their approaches in Yemen are not always identical. The United States, for example, has called for a ceasefire in Yemen’s long-running conflict with Zaidi Shi’ite rebels in northern mountains bordering Saudi Arabia. The war intensified in August and has displaced an estimated 200,000 civilians. By contrast, Saudi Arabia launched its forces against the “Houthi” rebels in November in their first military action beyond the kingdom’s borders since the

1991 Gulf War with Iraq. The Saudis say the border campaign, relying heavily on air power and artillery, has already cost them 113 dead. Saudi Arabia bankrolls President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government, but neither side gives figures. Analysts say its security aid to Sanaa far outstrips that of the United States and may amount $200 million to $300 million a year or more. Riyadh’s dollars do not all pass through government channels.

Saudi Arabia also funds certain Yemeni tribes to try to improve border security and extend its own sway in a country it has long seen as within its sphere of influence. Saudi money also goes to mosques, religious schools and charities in Yemen which espouse the kingdom’s puritanical brand of Sunni Islam - and which are resented by the Houthis and many other opponents of Saleh, including southern separatists. “There are his-

torical problems,” said Yemeni analyst Ali Seif Hassan. “Saudi Arabia has often treated Yemen as its backyard.” Saudi-Yemeni relations have never been easy. Parts of southern Saudi territory belonged to Yemen until they were conquered by King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud in a 1934 war. After republican officers toppled Yemen’s Zaidi imamate in 1962, Saudi Arabia intervened in the ensuing civil war, backing “royalist” tribes against their Egyptian-backed opponents. Saudi Arabia employed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni workers once an oil boom began in the 1970s, but expelled most of them during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis when Saleh failed to support a US-led campaign to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Saudi-Yemeni ties improved after a 1994 border pact, but diplomats say the recent absence of Crown Prince Sultan, the kingdom’s veteran pointman on Yemen, has complicated relations. Sultan, who returned home in December after a year abroad for medical treatment, had nurtured personal ties with Yemeni officials and tribal leaders. In his absence, other Saudi princes, such as his son Prince Khaled, the deputy defence minister, and security chief bin Nayef, got involved in Yemen. “Sultan was the dominant Saudi player handling Yemen over many years. Now there are sev-

eral persons involved. Saudis and Yemenis have to adjust to that,” said a diplomat in Riyadh. The Yemeni president even visited Sultan during his convalescence in Morocco in September, showing the importance of the relationship, the diplomat said. Yemenis and some Western diplomats hope Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states will reopen their labour markets to shrink the pool of jobless young Yemenis - potential Al-Qaeda recruits. But Gulf states themselves are trying to lower dependence on foreign labour and create jobs for their own citizens. “I don’t think the Saudis are very keen to bring in many Yemenis, for security reasons alone,” said a diplomat in Riyadh. Lack of skills was a bigger obstacle to any new Saudi intake of Yemeni workers, said Jamal Khashoggi, editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily Al-Watan. Saudi Arabia could not solve Yemen’s problems simply by injecting cash, he said. Instead it should use its influence to promote development and economic reform, and fight corruption - goals also viewed as priorities by Western governments. “Financial aid is not going guarantee our security. I think we should go beyond that,” Khashoggi said. “We should push for a better performing Yemeni government.” — Reuters


ANALYSIS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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For Haiti, opportunity to transform By Michelle Faul

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es, the earth-shattering quake was powerful enough to bring many countries to their knees. But Haiti’s horrendous death toll and cataclysmic damage must also be blamed on a history of bad policies pursued by its own weak leadership and the foreign powers - governments and aid institutions - that have long held sway here. This latest in a history of Haitian calamities may offer an unmatched opportunity to turn the tide in a country where decades of food aid still have left desperate mothers feeding their children chalk to stop hungry stomachs from rumbling. Analysts offer revolutionary solutions. Haitian political commentator Michel Soukar suggests creating farming communities styled on the Israeli kibbutz, taking advantage of the flight of hundreds of thousands from the capital. Prof. Simon Fass of the University of Texas says a mass migration abroad, like Ireland’s great famine exodus of the 19th century, would allow millions to escape a degraded environment incapable of supporting the ever-growing

Survivors line up for water in a makeshift tent camp at a football stadium in the Santa Teresa area of Petionville, Haiti, Sunday. – AP population. All agree that key to lifting Haiti from the virtual dark ages is a strengthening of democratic institutions, enabling Haitians to help themselves. US President Barack Obama has promised to transform Haiti. That pledge, according to Mark Schneider, special adviser on Latin America for the International Crisis Group, would involve the United

States in “its largest-ever financial commitment to a single post-disaster nation - ultimately measured in the billions - and extend over the next decade”. Obama’s top adviser on the calamity, former President Bill Clinton, said: “Everybody that has seriously followed Haiti for a long time believes Haiti has the best chance in our lifetime to break the chains of its past, to

build a true and modern state.” Past US involvement in Haiti’s government has largely failed, however. Washington installed a military government that ruled from 1915 to 1934, and supported the corrupt and murderous Duvalier family dictatorship that endured from 1956 to 1986, turning a blind eye because it was a bulwark against the communism that nearby

Cuba embraced. Clinton sent troops to oust Haiti’s military dictators in 1994 and restore democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The former priest and selfappointed savior of Haiti’s poor then accused Clinton’s administration of mounting its own coup against him, when he was forced in 2004 to leave the country, which had become a major drugshipment point under his watch. While Haitians seem to welcome the post-quake influx of US military, some worry what it portends. “It’s true we need a Marshall Plan for Haiti,” Soukar said. “But to do what?” He accused Haiti’s elite - a mainly lighter-skinned minority - of having no interest in building a competent Haitian state. “These are the people who even now are in the throes of organizing to enrich themselves from the disaster,” Soukar said, “to get their hands on that $100 million” Obama has promised. Richard Morse, a HaitianAmerican hotelier, musician and commentator, said Washington and its allies in Haiti’s elite have clashing interests. “Washington wants democracy. It wants a free market. It wants stability. But those are diametrically opposed

to the interests of its allies, who control 90 percent of the money, who get rich off monopolies and who want to control the 80 percent of the population that it keeps illiterate to provide a pool of cheap labor.” Soukar said the United States must ensure its aid goes to productive groups, such as farmers, and not to the importers of foreign foods that have helped decimate agricultural production. Haiti was self-sufficient in its staple, rice, until imports of cheap American rice forced farmers to migrate to the cities. Led by the US Agency for International Development, foreign governments have created their own operations or channeled international aid through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to avoid corrupt Haitian administrations. And more than 10,000 of those NGOs have been operating in Haiti since at least the 1970s, with little result, said the University of Virginia’s Robert Fatton Jr., author of a book on Haiti’s unending transition to democracy. “Instead of pumping its resources into NGOs, the international community must shift its priorities and concentrate on helping Haitians build durable state institutions,” Fatton said.— AP

Paring back US healthcare not so easy By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

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rimming back the 2,000-page, trillion-dollar Democratic health care bills to the parts that average Americans understand and like may not be as simple as it sounds. A complete ban on insurance companies denying coverage to people with medical problems would be out of the question. Forget about guaranteed health insurance for all Americans - it costs too much. Still, Congress might be able to produce legislation that takes some rough edges off today’s coverage problems and makes progress in controlling costs. That is if Democrats and Republicans can call a truce. Republicans, who for months have been urging “commonsense” alternatives to the Democrats’ sweeping overhaul plan, may still be unwilling to help pass anything that lets President Barack Obama claim an election-year victory. They will have 41 votes in the Senate to block it once Massachusetts’ Scott Brown is seated. Yet the US healthcare system is unlikely to heal itself. The number of uninsured will rise above 50 million unless government steps in, while ballooning costs could leave Americans turning 65 with a bare-bones government healthcare program for the elderly. “The problems that exist in our healthcare system are real problems,” said Sen Jeff Bingaman, a moderate Democrat who has worked to find compromise with Republicans. “It would be unfortunate if we were to just set aside significant healthcare reforms.” Obama has suggested shifting the focus to popular proposals like banning denial of coverage to those with medical problems. That particular fix is unlikely because it would encourage people to put off getting insurance until they are sick, driving up premiums for everybody else. “In healthcare, everything fits together,” said Sen Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, “It’s very hard to say we can cut this out and do that.” Banning pre-existing medical condition denials would have to go hand-in-hand with coverage for all. Still, some limitations on health insurance companies are feasible, said Mark McClellan, who

served as a healthcare official for President George W Bush. “There is a starting point,” McClellan said. “There is a way to do something meaningful without going to requirements for coverage and trillion-dollar subsidies.” On McClellan’s short list would be a ban on denial of coverage to children with medical problems, forbidding insurers from canceling the policies of people who get sick, and limiting in some way what the companies may spend on overhead and profits instead of direct medical care. Other possible insurance fixes include eliminating lifetime dollar limits on coverage and allowing children to stay on their parents’ coverage into their late 20s. Such changes could be combined with federal funding for high-risk insurance pools to provide affordable coverage for people in poor health shut out of the private market. Obama supports risk pools, as does Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate. Notably, individual components of the Democratic megabills are far more popular than the whole, according to a poll released Friday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Seventy-three percent of Americans support small business tax credits, and 62 percent back a Medicaid expansion. Allowing dependent children to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 25 got 60 percent support. Such steps could help many who now lack coverage, but that would leave holes in the safety net. On cost-control, incremental improvements also are possible. There is broad agreement that the way government’s elderly healthcare plan currently pays hospitals and doctors rewards high-volume, low-quality care. Shifting these payments to make providers more accountable for whether the patient ultimately gets better could have a positive impact throughout the healthcare system. The Democratic bills would launch a series of experiments aimed at getting good quality care at lower cost, and those could be incorporated into a scaled-back bill. Alternatives to medical malpractice litigation also could yield savings. The Congressional Budget Office, reversing a previous analysis, says curbs on jury

awards in malpractice cases could save the government $54 billion over 10 years by reducing defensive medicine. It is too early to tell whether Democrats will embrace the smaller-is-better route, much less get it through Congress in the current political climate.

“The well has been poisoned,” said Robert Laszewski, a health industry consultant. “The Republican base is not going to let any Republican senator take Democrats off the meat hook they are on now.” Still, for Democrats, there is a hopeful precedent. After the Clinton-era

health overhaul imploded in 1994, Democratic and Republican lawmakers coalesced around the idea of a new health insurance program for the children of lowincome working parents. That program, still thriving, now covers about 6 million kids. — AP

Economy handcuffs Obama By Stephen Collinson

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arack Obama promised hope amid a “winter of American hardship” when he took office, but one year on, multiple crises endure, and his ambitious presidency is handcuffed by a ruined economy. Massive expectations greeted Obama’s epochal inauguration as America’s first black president on Jan 20, 2009, but it did not take long for optimism to fade as change proved hard to effect in such challenging times. Obama has had major successes: he seems likely to pass healthcare reform where generations of presidents failed, he embraced multilateral diplomacy and won a Nobel prize and is on course to get combat troops out of Iraq this year. But often, Obama’s most important achievements lay in what did not happen, there was no second Great Depression and the banking industry did not collapse - significant achievements but difficult to spin as political victories. Early on, memories of his unpopular predecessor George W Bush were fresh, and Obama escaped blame for economic turmoil: but now the buck stops with him. Polls show Obama’s public approval ratings tipping below 50 percent, a watershed which complicates moving the president’s agenda. Multiple surveys have public satisfaction at Obama’s economic management, amid 10 percent unemployment, at only around 40 percent - a rotten political hand ahead of mid-term congressional elections in November. The White House, with Democratic control of Congress in peril, argues times might be tough, but relief is ahead. Republicans counter though that Obama’s policies are wrong and he is a “job-killing president”. “I am absolutely confident we’re going to be able to look back at the end of this year and say that things are getting better; that we’ve reignited confidence in our economy, in America,” Obama said Thursday. His top political strategist David Axelrod admitted that the economy was clouding the administration’s promise. “You don’t have to be a political genius to know that in that environment it’s very hard to maintain very high poll numbers,” Axelrod said. “And so, we’re the governing party. We didn’t create the mess that we’re in, but we’re the responsible party now, and so that brings some heat down on us.”

No one thought Obama’s stratospheric early polls numbers would endure, but his descent has been swift. “He had nowhere to go but down,” said Tom Baldino, a professor of politics at Wilkes University, Pennsylvania. “He inherited an unbelievable amount of problems, some of which he could not solve in six months or a year.” Dante Scala, who teaches politics and the presidency at the University of New Hampshire added: “coming down to earth was inevitable given the bad economy.” Logic suggests that Obama’s political position will only recover along with jobs and prosperity. “There has to be a turn there. The mid-term elections coming up will not be good for the president (but) he can salvage some of that if the economy turns,” Baldino said. Few sweeping remedies are available to fight unemployment, the budget deficit is above a trillion dollars and there is no appetite for a repeat of Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill. So, small job creation programs aside, Obama can do little more than tell voters he understands their plight. “This is a tough time for this country... pain and anxiety and sometimes anger felt by our friends and our constituents and our fellow Americans,” Obama said Thursday. Obama faces a similar challenge to Ronald Reagan, who saw tough economic times take his approval rating to below 40 percent by mid 1982. But Reagan’s popularity rebounded along with the economy and he won reelection by a landslide in 1984. “If the economy improves and we do not get stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan, public sentiment is likely to catch up with the former and lead to his reelection in 2012,” said Thomas Mann, of the Brookings Institution. Axelrod agreed: “I think if the economy improves, as I believe it will over the course of a year, that’s going to redound to our benefit.” Obama’s fate does not hinge on the economy alone. A thicket of domestic and foreign policy challenges remain - with revived fears of Al-Qaeda airborne terror and Haiti’s earthquake disaster added to a crowded plate. His measure as commander-in-chief will be also judged on his 30,000-strong troop surge to Afghanistan where US casualties will likely rise this year. Obama must also confront a decision on tougher nuclear sanctions on Iran and will not meet his oneyear deadline to close Guantanamo Bay. — AFP

Iraq’s prime minister vs Saddam past By Brian Murphy

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o hear Iraq’s prime minister tell it: the country’s future depends on purging its past links with Saddam Hussein’s regime. And Nouri Al-Maliki is saying it every chance he gets. He has become something of a one-man tribunal passing judgment on the reach of suspected loyalists to Saddam’s now-outlawed Baath party. Al-Maliki’s pronouncements - whether in parliament after deadly bombings in Baghdad in December or in talks Saturday with visiting Vice President Joe Biden - all dwell on one theme: that Shiite-led Iraq can never be secure until it has weeded out all remnants of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated power base. But Al-Maliki’s preoccupation with hunting Baathists comes with potential pitfalls. On a pure political level, it risks alienating Sunnis at a pivotal time for his government. These Sunni votes may be needed by Al-Maliki’s bloc in March 7 parliamentary elections to fend off challenges from rival Shiites who want to unseat him. In the more cluttered realm of public image, AlMaliki looks increasingly rigid just when key ally Washington is looking for some political finesse. He appears unwilling to temper - even slightly - his drive to name and shame perceived Saddam-era throwbacks. Sunni leaders object more to the method than the message. They say the steamroll approach cannot distinguish between

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki speaks to high-level Iraqi government and military leaders during a meeting in Baghdad Sunday. – AP those who were key Saddam apparatchiks and others who expressed support for the Baath party to secure jobs, study in universities or simply get exit visas for international travel. Iraq’s Sunni Arabs enjoyed a privileged position under Saddam. The USled invasion in 2003 opened the door for the majority Shiites to take the upper hand. “Al-Maliki sees Baathists everywhere,” said David Schenker, who follows Iraqi affairs at the

Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “This kind of policy, however, fails to take into account the depths of Baathism. It was far-reaching. It didn’t just have its hard-core ideological followers, but also other Iraqis who were supporters just to get on.” To be sure, Al-Maliki’s worries have some real grounding. The US military and others believe elements of Saddam’s former regime became part of the wider Sunni-led insurgency. Al-

Maliki has gone a step farther: directly accusing Saddam loyalists for carrying out three huge bombings in Baghdad since August and denouncing neighboring Syria for allegedly harboring them. In December - days after a series of blasts killed 127 people - Al-Maliki came before angry parliament members and repeated his fist-pounding against the Baath party threat. It was widely interpreted as an attempt to divert attention from serious security lapses around government buildings the main targets of Baghdad bombing in recent months. The latest run at suspected Saddamera sympathizers has put Al-Maliki under even more heat. Al-Maliki has strongly backed a vetting process that has blacklisted at least 512 candidates from March elections because of suspected Baath Party ties. The roster includes Shiites as well as Sunnis. But some Sunni leaders see it as political tool to knock out candidates without any clear evidence and raise suspicions before voting. Such rancor runs straight to the White House. American officials worry about anything that could raise questions about the fairness of the election, which is seen as an important step in Iraq’s political reconciliation and a boost toward accelerating US troops withdrawals. Biden came to Baghdad to drive home that point. Yet Al-Maliki was not swayed during talks Saturday. He repeated the need to exclude Saddam’s followers

from any important roles in Iraq - a policy known as Debaathification that was launched in 2003 by America’s postinvasion overseers. In an Iraqi-style inquisition, Al-Maliki also is demanding formal repudiations of those accused of Baath party ties. In a speech to Interior Ministry workers on Sunday, Al-Maliki openly taunted the remnants of Saddam’s backers. “We challenge them to try a coup or change the path of the political process,” he said. “They cannot.” On Friday, Al-Maliki used the metaphor of traditional Quranic justice to describe his drive to keep any pro-Saddam sentiments from Iraq’s political and security institutions. “Their hands should be cut off,” he told a group of Shiite clan leaders. Al-Maliki’s past may highlight his unbending views. He was a member of a Shiite militant group against Saddam and fled Iraq in 1979 after learning of plans to have him killed. He spent most of his exile in Iran - including much of the 1980-88 war with Iraq - and was part of a Shiite network seeking to topple Saddam’s Baath party fortress. “The interests of the country lie in excluding those are glorifying the former regime and tie themselves with its ugly past,” said Al-Maliki on state-run Iraqiyya TV on Friday. Many other places - such as postapartheid South Africa to post-Iron Curtain Europe - have struggled with how to put to rest their pasts. — AP

focus

Britain pins hope of Afghan exit on surge By Anna Tomforde

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s the Afghan mission enters a new phase with the US troop surge, Britain hopes that improved coordination of human and material resources will advance the aims of the international coalition and slow down the relentless rise in British casualties. The combination of more boots on the ground, better weapons and equipment and accelerated training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the police will give fresh momentum to the war effort, defence analysts in London believe. It would, therefore, be the dual goal of this week’s international conference on Afghanistan in London to discuss the implementation of military strategy “and what it means to individual countries” and to increase pressure on the Afghan government to give firm commitments on the training of security forces. “The key is the professionalization of the Afghan army and the police,” Olivier Grouille, defence analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, told the German Press Agency dpa. It was essential that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who will be co-hosting the conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, understood that the commitments given by his government “must match the contributions” made by members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said Grouille. If the Afghan training scheme proceeded as planned, and Afghan forces could be sent in large numbers to “support” British troops in the volatile south of the country, public pressure on the British government for an “exit strategy” was likely to ease, he said. “I think the government has got the message across that we will not be there forever - but that we will not walk away and be defeated either,” said Grouille. NATO’s aim is to raise the strength of the Afghan army from the current around 100,000 to 171,000 and the police force from

89,000 to 134,000 by October 2011, but officials and military leaders admit that drugs, illiteracy and corruption remain a problem. “Recruitment rates are good, but retention rates are not,” said Grouille, referring to the large number of Afghan police and army personnel who abandon their jobs, especially in the more dangerous south of the country. However, with larger numbers being recruited, the level of “quality and rotation” would automatically increase, he said. Government officials in London have said that the Afghanistan conference will focus on the issues of security, improved governance and the transfer of authority in specific regions. Participants would also be interested to hear about Afghanistan’s plans to reintegrate former “nonideological” Taleban fighters before and funds to promote reconciliation would be released, a government official said. However, the London meeting and its results would be reviewed at a follow-up conference in Kabul in March or April, which would put “flesh on the bones” of the London discussions. British officials also stressed that the framework of the London conference was “political” and that no major aid pledges or decisions on troop contributions would be made. “This is not about individual countries coming forward with pledges of more troops,” said a Foreign Office official. In the wake of the US decision to increase troop levels by a further 30,000, matched by pledges from NATO partners to supply an additional 7,000 British military leaders have freely admitted that they had previously faced an impossible task in Afghanistan, and especially in the southern Helmand province. Around 250 British lives have been lost in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001. But 2009 has been the “bloodiest year” for Britain so far, with more than a 100 casualties, of whom the vast majority were killed by improvised roadside bombs. — dpa

Allies expect more of German mission By Jeff Black

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veryone is expecting that Germany do more in the war in Afghanistan. With up to 4,500 troops - mostly in the north of the country - Germany has the third-largest contingent in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). But that hasn’t stopped it being accused of punching below its weight. American criticism has centred on Germany’s perceived reluctance to engage in combat, and the slow pace of German-led training of Afghan police and security forces. And some Afghan officials have recently bemoaned what they see as German reticence when it comes to the hard fighting. The governor of Kunduz, where the German-led ISAF Regional Command North is based, said in December that if the Germans didn’t want to fight the Taliban, they ought to leave. NATO itself is clearly hoping for more boots on the ground from Berlin, in order to make up the quota of around 7,000 troops called for by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in response to US President Barack Obama’s 30,000-strong boost. The German military, or Bundeswehr, also seems to believe more men and resources will be necessary. On January 22 the Defence Ministry in Berlin leaked its intention to offer up to 1,500 more men. The problem is the German public, who for obvious reasons since the Second World War have been wary of military action abroad. Incensed over a September bombing raid ordered by a German commander which killed up to 142 people, many of them civilians, public opinion is clearly against sending more troops. According to a December opinion poll, only a third of the population support an increase in the troop-level in the Hindu Kush. Discontent with the Afghan deployment is also more generally about the disconnect between the current reality on the ground and the original, official, justifications in 2001: That the army was there to provide

security for humanitarian reconstruction, not to fight militants. In doing so, according to ministers at the time, it was acting in Germany’s own defence. But with the deterioration of security in the German zone in Afghanistan - the Taliban have taken the fight to the Bundeswehr’s door - leading observers think a total change of thinking is required if Berlin is to fulfill its obligations in the face of such public scepticism. “We cannot go on as if German soldiers in Afghanistan were just souped-up development workers,” Thomas Risse of the Otto Suhr Institute in Berlin said. Other voices are arguing for a major adjustment to how the German government treats the war in Afghanistan are growing. “A new, fundamental, political, evaluation of the intervention in Afghanistan is long overdue,” wrote Dieter Deiseroth, an outspoken judge in Federal Administrative Court in a recent journal. So what might spur German support for finishing the job in Afghanistan? One indication is that the government is currently deciding how it should legally define the conflict. Currently, Afghanistan is not technically described as a “conflict”, and soldiers in Kunduz are subject to criminal law as applied at home. This has led to discontent within the ranks of the army, and public unease that they are not being told about what is really happening. Senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative coalition have indicated the government may shortly “re- define” its mission, as being part of a “non-international armed conflict.” This would mean that the normal laws of war would then apply. More important, says Thomas Risse, is that the government goes on “an education offensive” with the public to explain what must be done in Afghanistan. “The federal government has until now been very reticent with the public, which for the most part is critical of the Afghanistan engagement,” he says. — dpa


SPORTS

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Schumacher returns back to Formula One limelight STUTTGART: Michael Schumacher sauntered back into the Formula One limelight in Mercedes overalls yesterday to kick off his bid for a record eighth title at the ripe old age of 41. Returning to centre stage three years after he retired, the former Ferrari driver looked trim and relaxed as he appeared alongside fellow-German Nico Rosberg at a presentation of the Mercedes GP team. “It’s a great emotion and a great feeling I am getting,” said Schumacher, the sport’s most successful driver, in his first public appearance for his new team since announcing his comeback last month. “Finally the 2010 Formula One season is firing up. “I have to say that I am totally

committed to this new challenge. This season feels like a re-start for me and I am so motivated.” The car presented to the media at a livery launch was the 2009 Brawn GP that took Britain’s Jenson Button to the title, repainted in the evocative ‘Silver Arrows’ colours of the team’s new owners. The Mercedes museum was a fitting backdrop for a Mercedes-powered car, albeit largely designed by Honda, that carved its place in Formula One history by winning Brawn the constructors’ crown at the first attempt. The new Mercedes MGP W01, the first “Silver Arrow” since Mercedes last competed as a works team in 1955, will make

its debut when testing starts at Spain’s Valencia circuit on Feb. 1. “I cannot wait to get into the car for the first time in Valencia,” said Schumacher, who was shown in a video before the launch stepping out of a red Mercedes SLR sportscar in a cheeky nod to his Ferrari past, in a team statement. “I am convinced that Mercedes GP will be in a very good position to fight for the championships this season and I will definitely give it a go,” added the German, who raced for Mercedes’ sportscar team before entering Formula One in 1991. “Driving for Mercedes-Benz again is like the closing of a circle for me as I started my racing driver career with the three-

pointed star on my helmet. This is another reason why I cannot wait for the competition to get underway.” Button has moved to Mercedes-powered McLaren, whose team principal Martin Whitmarsh was invited to the launch, since the end of last season alongside 2008 world champion and compatriot Lewis Hamilton. The season ahead will have a Germany v Britain sub-plot, with Mercedes fielding an entirely German line-up against McLaren’s all-English selection. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, the former Ferrari technical director who led a management buyout after Honda quit at the end of 2008, savoured the moment.

“Working with Michael again is a very special treat...I didn’t imagine it would happen again,” he told the 600-strong audience. Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg has been assured he will get equal treatment with Michael Schumacher at Mercedes this season despite the gulf between them in achievement and experience. “We don’t have a number one driver and we don’t intend to have a number one driver,” team principal Ross Brawn told reporters at a presentation of the team who won both titles last year as champions Brawn GP. Rosberg, son of 1982 world champion Keke, joins from Williams with a second

place his best result in four seasons. The 24-year-old German, who had expected to partner world champion Jenson Button until the Briton left for McLaren, admitted to some concern when he heard Schumacher would be his team mate. “There was this little bit of doubt within me, especially because Michael has a very good relationship with Ross and all that,” he said. “Recently I’ve had a lot of discussions with Ross and (Mercedes motorsport vice-president) Norbert (Haug) and I am very confident and comfortable that we will both have the same opportunities, same car, same everything. So that’s fantastic.”—Reuters

NHL results/standings Results and standings from the NHL games on Sunday: Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1; Carolina 5, Boston 1; Colorado 4, Dallas 0. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF New Jersey 34 15 1 138 Pittsburgh 32 20 1 168 Philadelphia 26 22 3 155 NY Rangers 24 21 7 135 NY Islanders 23 21 8 139

GA PTS 110 69 150 65 144 55 141 55 157 54

Buffalo Ottawa Montreal Boston Toronto

Northeast Division 30 13 7 143 28 21 4 147 25 23 5 140 23 20 8 127 17 26 10 139

122 154 144 131 182

67 60 55 54 44

Washington Florida Atlanta Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 33 12 6 195 22 21 9 144 22 21 8 156 21 20 10 132 16 28 7 132

143 153 166 157 172

72 53 52 52 39

Chicago Nashville Detroit St. Louis Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 35 13 4 170 29 19 3 143 25 18 8 131 22 21 8 135 20 25 9 142

120 142 133 146 180

74 61 58 52 49

Colorado Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Edmonton

Northw est Division 30 15 6 153 136 31 18 2 167 125 26 19 6 132 132 25 23 4 145 156 16 28 6 133 172

66 64 58 54 38

Pacific Division San Jose 35 10 8 179 128 78 Phoenix 29 18 5 139 135 63 Los Angeles 29 19 3 151 143 61 Anaheim 24 21 7 148 164 55 Dallas 22 19 11 148 168 55 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

RALEIGH: Eric Staal No.12 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Bruins. —AFP

Hurricanes blow away Bruins RALEIGH: Carolina goalkeeper Cam Ward broke the franchise victory record, and Jussi Jokinen had a goal and two assists in the Hurricanes’ 5-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in the NHL on Sunday. Ward made 27 saves for his 131st victory to move one ahead of Arturs Irbe atop the Hartford/Carolina victory list. The

Hurricanes snapped a six-game regular-season losing streak against Boston, and moved out the NHL’s cellar — a point ahead of Edmonton. Ray Whitney and Brandon Sutter each had a goal and an assist, Eric Staal and Chad LaRose also scored and Joni Pitkanen had two assists for the Hurricanes. They scored

three goals in 6:36 span and led 5-0 in the opening minute of the third period. David Krejci scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost five straight.

Penguins 2, Flyers 1 At Philadelphia, Matt Cooke scored on a power play with 1:47 left to give Pittsburgh

a victory over Philadelphia. Cooke deflected Gonchar’s slap shot between goalie Ray Emery’s legs. Sergei Gonchar also had a power-play goal for the Penguins. Brent Johnson made 27 saves, allowing only Jeff Carter’s powerplay goal early in the first period.

Timmer fails to qualify for Vancouver Olympics HEERENVEEN: Olympic champion Marianne Timmer failed to qualify for the Vancouver Games yesterday and won’t get a chance to defend her 1,000-meter title next month. In a three-way skate-off just about two months after she smashed her left heel in a highspeed fall, the 35-year-old Dutchwoman could only manage third place in 1 minute, 19.92 seconds. Olympic 3,000 champion Ireen Wust won in 1:18.29, but it was Timmer who got a standing ovation from the crowd at Thialf Ice Stadium. “I just ran out of time and that is bitter,” said Timmer, who has competed in three Olympics and has won three gold medals. “Give me two more weeks and I know it would be a different contest.” Timmer was in strong form and already looking forward to her fourth Olympics as she went into a World Cup meet in November at Thialf. But her heel — and along with it her season — shattered as she rounded a bend in the 500meter race and saw Chinese skater Jing Yu fall in front of her. Timmer’s skate clipped Jing and she slammed feet-first into inflatable barriers lining the oval before screaming in pain. “It can happen to any skater,” Timmer said. After the accident, “you set a new course to reach your goal because it is etched into your head and your

heart.” Timmer struggled and trained to rebuild her fitness and race rhythm even when her foot was in a cast, never allowing the dream of a fourth Olympics to die. “In the last five weeks I’ve had to go from learning to walk again to delivering a top performance on the ice,” she said. But yesterday, Timmer finally had to face reality. “It’s painful — in both senses of the word,” Timmer said. In the end, Timmer wasn’t even close in the 1,000 — longtrack speedskating’s second shortest event after the 500. “There was only a 1 percent chance I could even start,” Timmer said. “And then I end a second behind Natasja (Bruinsma) and a second and a half behind Ireen.” Timmer was one of the brightest stars of the 1998 Nagano Games, where she won both the 1,000 and 1,500. She was disappointing in Salt Lake City four years later as her focus was diverted away from training by a mixture of relationship and business problems. But Timmer returned to the top in Turin, where she again won the 1,000, partly by channeling the anger and disappointment at being disqualified for a false start in the 500 earlier in the games. She believes she could have made it to Vancouver with more time to prepare. “If we’d been able to skate in two or three weeks, I’d have been in much better shape,” she said.—AP

Avalanche 4, Stars 0 At Denver, Craig Anderson made 27 saves for his firth shutout of the season, and Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart each had a goal and an assist to help Colorado win its season-high sixth straight game. Brett Clark and T.J. Galiardi added goals

for Colorado (30-15-6). The Avalanche have won six in a row for the first time since Feb. 26-March 8, 2008 to move two points ahead of idle Vancouver atop the Northwest Division. Anderson has won all six games in the streak and has allowed only two goals in the last four games. He has 12 career shutouts.—AP

British target skeleton, curling gold at Games

PARK CITY: Hannah Teter looks on as she finished second in the US Snowboarding Grand Prix. Teter was named to the USA Snowboard Halfpipe Team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. —AFP

PARIS: Britain is aiming to better their previous best Winter Olympics medal haul dating back 74 years, although a sudden cash crisis has cast a cloud over the build-up to the February 12-28 Games. Back in 1936 in the German resort of GarmischPartenkirchen, Britain won one gold (ice-hockey), one silver (figure skater Cecilia Colledge) and one bronze (men’s 4-man bobsleigh). But the British Olympic Association is confident of bettering that after seeing its winter athletes claim world gold medals in 2009 in the women’s two-man bobsleigh team and men’s curling, while the skeleton squad added two silvers. “It is encouraging to see the potential that exists within British winter sport,” BOA chief executive Andy Hunt said. “In Turin four years ago, Team GB won one medal, Shelley Rudman’s excellent silver in the skeleton. We hope to improve on that performance in Canada,” he said. The British team that will travel to Vancouver will comprise around 50 athletes across 11 disciplines (biathlon, bobsleigh, skeleton, curling, luge, figure skating, short track speed skating, alpine skiing, cross country skiing,

freestyle skiing, and snowboard). However, Vancouver hopes suffered a scare last week when it was reported that the British Ski and Snowboard Federation needed a 200,000-pound (324,120 dollars) cash injection to keep operating. Federation chairman Oliver Jones told The Times that the global economic crisis had hit his organisation hard. “Administration is only one of a number of outcomes which may come out of this,” he said. “The federation has had a particularly difficult year, made worse by the economic background.” Against the backdrop of economic gloom, Britain’s top-of-the-podium hopes will again lie with Rudman in the women’s skeleton. Rudman ousted top-ranked Mellisa Hollingworth in the World Cup race at St Moritz last week to show her form with fellow Briton Amy Williams fourth. The men’s curling team will enter the Olympic competition in Vancouver as reigning world champions after defeating host nation Canada in the final in April 2009. Men’s skip David Murdoch said he could not wait for the Games to begin. “It’s the pin-

nacle of our sport, the competition that everybody wants to be involved in,” he said. “The Games in Turin ended in such a frustrating way, when we missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins, and I’m very keen to have another opportunity to compete for an Olympic medal with Team GB. “We go as world champions, but we know the competition will be very tough, particularly from the host nation. Curling is hugely popular in Canada, so we know there will be a lot of interest in our event.” Jon Eley is also a medal hopeful in speed skating, having finished fifth in Turin four years ago. The men’s relay team are also considered strong contenders for a podium finish. Hopes in alpine skiing rest squarely on the shoulders of Chemmy Alcott, who in 2006 finished 11th in the women’s downhill, 19th in the super-G and 22 in the giant slalom. But it is difficult to see either Alcott or the men’s ski team break the dominance of traditional Alpine countries on the piste.—AFP


SPORTS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

17

Watson, Prugh tied at the Hope Classic TORONTO: Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) has the ball stripped by Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani (left) during an NBA basketball game. Toronto won 106-105. —AP

Raptors win over Lakers TORONTO: Hedo Turkoglu made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left as the Toronto Raptors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 106-105 on Sunday. Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points, Chris Bosh and Jarrett Jack each had 18 and Marco Belinelli added 15 for the Raptors, who are 6-0 at home this season against Western Conference opponents. Kobe Bryant missed a last-second jump shot and fell one assist shy of his first triple-double of the season, scoring 27 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Bryant, who shot 11 for 24, has 16 career triple-doubles. Pau Gasol scored 22 points, Andrew Bynum had 21 and Jordan Farmar 17 for the Lakers. Mavericks 128, Knicks 78 At New York, Drew Gooden stepped into the lineup with 15 points and 18 rebounds as Dallas coasted to the biggest win in franchise history while missing two starters.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry each scored 20 points, and the Mavericks, who led by as much as 53, put on a shooting clinic in beating the Knicks for the eighth straight time. Dallas shot 58 percent from the field, was 12 of 22 from beyond the arc and 16 of 17 from the foul line. David Lee had 11 points and 14 rebounds as the Knicks lost their sixth in eight games. Clippers 92, Wizards 78 At Washington, Chris Kaman scored 20 points, and Marcus Camby had 12 points and 19 rebounds as Los Angeles snapped an eight-game road skid to surpass last season’s win total. Baron Davis had 11 points and 11 assists, and Rasual Butler scored 14 points for the Clippers (20-23), who won despite a 3-of-16 performance from 3-point range. Antawn Jamison had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Brendan Haywood added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost three straight. —AP

NBA results/standings Results and standings from the NBA games on Sunday. Dallas 128, NY Knicks 78; La Clippers 92, Washington 78; Toronto 106, La Lakers 105. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L Boston 28 13 Toronto 23 22 NY Knicks 17 26 Philadelphia 15 28 New Jersey 3 40

Cleveland Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Indiana

Central Division 34 11 20 22 18 24 15 28 15 29

PCT .683 .511 .395 .349 .070

.756 .476 .429 .349 .341

Southeast Division Atlanta 28 14 Orlando 29 15 Miami 23 20 Charlotte 21 21 Washington 14 29

.667 .659 .535 .500 .326

GB 7 12 14 26

12.5 14.5 18 18.5

5.5 7 14.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Denver 29 14 .674 Portland 27 18 .600 Utah 25 18 .581 Oklahoma City 24 20 .545 Minnesota 9 36 .200

LA Lakers Phoenix LA Clippers Sacramento Golden State

Pacific Division 33 11 26 19 20 23 15 28 13 29

Southwest Division Dallas 29 15 San Antonio 25 17 Houston 24 19 Memphis 23 19 New Orleans 23 20

3 4 5.5 21

.750 .578 .465 .349 .310

7.5 12.5 17.5 19

.659 .595 .558 .548 .535

3 4.5 5 5.5

Kuwait to host first Arabian Horse National Championship show KUWAIT: “Bait Al Arab Kuwait State Stud” announced the closing of its registration on Jan 17, for the first National Arabian Horse Championship Show which will take place on February 17,18th and 19th. “Bait Al Arab” announced in an official press release that more than 200 horses have been registered to participate in the first championship organized by “Bait Al Arab” which aims to select the best of each participating category of junior and senior female horse and junior males and stallions. Mohammed Jassim Al Marzouq, chairman of the organizing committee confirmed that “Bait Al Arab’ is organizing the championship for the first time under the umbrella of the European Conference of Arab Horse Organization, ECAHO, the entity concerned with organizing Arabian horse beauty shows all around Europe and the Near and Middle East. Al Marzouk also clarified that holding such an event arises from our responsibility to sustain equestrian activities and raising the interest in breeding Arabian horses on the one hand and promoting such a hobby for the youth, creating standard competency in this industry. Al Marzouq added: “We have devoted all our expertise and capabilities to organize a championship that meets our ambitious stan-

Mohammed Jassim Al Marzouq dards taking into consideration that it is the first official championship organized in the state of Kuwait. Al Marzouq acknowledged with gratitude the sponsorship of this championship by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, and praised the needed support offered by the Hunting & Equestrian Club as well as the sponsors which will highly contribute to the success of this championship where its activities results will be announced in a later stage. Noting that “Bait Al Arab” had organized the 4th Arab Horse Auction last December, where 19 horses of different age groups where sold. These horses represented a group of the important Arabian horses which were bred and

brought up at “Bait Al Arab”. In addition, “Bait Al Arab” always strives to organize such competitions and activities that satisfy horse lovers and those interested in Kuwait and the region. Bait Al Arab also organizes photography competitions for original Arabian horses and runs seminars to inform, educate and train breeders, riders and owners and publishes “The Arabian Horse Letter” quarterly in Arabic and in English to keep Arabian horses lovers all around the world updated about all activities related to the Arabian horse in Kuwait. And on their behalf, the participants have expressed their gratitude and happiness with the preparations set by “Bait Al Arab’ to produce a successful event. Ensuring that such championships brings together the breeders and owners of Arabian horses and those interested all under one roof to compete among each other and bring out their best of skills and capabilities. In addition, they thanked “Bait Al Arab Kuwait State Stud”, for the continuous support and interest in organizing competitions and championships related to Arabian horses in Kuwait, on all different levels and categories, under the supervision of international organizations involved in this sector like ECAHO.

LA QUINTA: Bubba Watson double-bogeyed the final hole of the fourth round at the Bob Hope Classic, dropping him back into a tie with PGA Tour rookie Alex Prugh at 23-under 265 on Sunday heading into the finale in the five-round event. Watson finished with 3under 69 to match Prugh (70) at 23-under 265. Bill Haas and Tim Clark were a stroke back after 66s, Joe Ogilvie (68) followed at 21 under, and Mike Weir (67) was in a group at 20 under. Watson was in position to take a solid lead into his chase for his first PGA Tour victory yesterday in the event that was pushed back a day after rain washed out play Thursday. Instead, Watson dropped back with his disappointing finish on the Nicklaus Private course, allowing Prugh to sneak back atop the board. Watson, Prugh, Haas and Clark have never won on the PGA Tour, but all have a golden opportunity in a famed event featuring none of the tour’s top 35 players this year. Haas’ father, Jay, won the Hope Classic in 1988. Watson was in position to take a solid lead into his chase for his first PGA Tour victory Monday in the event that was pushed back a day after rain washed out play Thursday in the four-course event. Instead, he dropped back with his disappointing finish on the Nicklaus Private course, allowing Prugh to sneak back atop the board. “Tomorrow is going to be a tough day no matter if I had the lead, was tied for the lead, or one back, or five back,” Watson said. “Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. This is what we live for. The more chances I get to win, maybe I’ll get one to luckily fall in and win one.” All but a handful of amateurs and celebrities stuck around to play the fourth rounds Sunday — and second-round leader Watson surged back ahead of Prugh with six birdies in a round that was steady all the way until the 18th hole. Prugh, 25, making his third PGA Tour start, missed an easy putt to bogey his final hole on the SilverRock course, finishing another selfdescribed unremarkable round. “The way things were going the first three days, where the scores were going, I definitely didn’t think 2 under would keep me in it,” Prugh said. Ogilvie appeared the angriest at himself after he doublebogeyed the 17th at La Quinta. Ogilvie, whose only PGA Tour victory came in Milwaukee in 2007, paid the price for guessing at a yardage distance. “My caddie was about 30 yards off,” said Ogilvie, who hadn’t made a bogey since early in the second round. “I had uncertainty on the tee, and it’s a mistake to hit driver when you’re not confident standing there. You can’t have double bogeys and win the Hope.” Watson held a lead going into the final round twice before, but failed to win the 2007 Houston Open and 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The cut claimed several of the tournament’s bigger names, including Justin Leonard, Rocco Mediate, David Duval, Parnevik, Chad Campbell and highly touted 21year-old rookie Rickie Fowler, whose first two tournaments of 2010 have been nothing special. Fowler missed the cut last week in Hawaii, and he didn’t crack 70 in his four rounds in the Palm Springs desert. The Hope Classic had its second straight day of postcard-perfect Palm Springs scoring weather, with no real breeze and ideal temperatures. The beautiful conditions even brought out a family of eight bighorn sheep, which moseyed out of the craggy cliffs and onto the 16th hole on the Palmer course to chew on some grass. The sheep ambled back up into the rocks before the group containing Jesper Parnevik, long-hitting former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde and “Burn Notice” actor Jeffrey Donovan reached the hole. —AP

LA QUINTA: Bubba Watson hits his approach shot during the Bob Hope Classic at the Nicklaus Private course. —AFP

Russians seek to regain its superpower status MOSCOW: Russia, which still sees itself as a winter sports superpower, is optimistic about its prospects at the Vancouver Olympic Games despite suffering an unaccustomed slump in its fortunes last year. “We believe that up to 40 athletes have a serious chance of winning medals at the Games,” said Russia’s Olympic Committee chief Leonid Tyagachev. “We are taking into consideration those athletes who were in their disciplines’ top six at the world championships and Grand Prix events this season.” The Olympic supremo shrugged off Russia’s poor showing in the last season’s winter programme, when the country managed to win only three world championship gold medals in winter disciplines (two in biathlon and one in figure skating).

“Last year we won only three gold medals...but we should acknowledge that we can seriously improve and increase our medal haul at the Olympics,” he added. “Many of our star athletes retired after the (2006) Turin Games, while those who replaced them were still too young. “But now they have picked up enough experience and, I believe, are ready to sparkle at Vancouver.” The Russian ice hockey team, which has failed to clinch Olympic gold since Albertville in 1992 - but has won both of the last world championships - is definitely among the Games’ hot favourites. However, hosts Canada, who finished runners-up in the two previous world championship finals, are widley-expected to be in the final, hoping to gain revenge for those defeats.

Turin Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko, who capped his return to the sport with the European title last week, remains Russia’s main hope for the Olympic title in figure skating. In ice dancing, European champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, who will cause more controversy with their “Aboriginal” performance, or Yana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitsky will be chasing Olympic medals. Pairs skaters Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov are also capable of winning one of the medals in their section. Meanwhile, the Russian biathlon federation will be hoping to overcome the consequences of a doping scandal that rocked the sport when top Russian biathletes Albina Ahatova, Yekaterina Iourieva and Dmitry Yaroshenko were

suspended. Olga Zaitseva, Olga Medvedtseva, Svetlana Sleptsova and Anna Bogaliy will all look to shine in individual events and relay. Yevgeny Ustyugov is a medal hope amongst the men. The country’s biathlon chiefs are aiming for two gold, two silver and two bronze medals in Vancouver. The 38-year-old veteran luger Albert Demchenko, who won silver at Turin, is also in top form for his sixth Olympics. The crew of Alexander Zubkov in bobsleigh fours is also among Russia’s Olympic medal hopes along with Yekaterina Tudegesheva, who won the 2007 world championship in parallel slalom snowboarding. Four years ago in Turin, Russia won 22 medals, including eight gold, to finish fourth in the medals table. —AFP

Figure skating a family affair for Satos YOKOHAMA: Nobuo Sato and daughter Yuka represented Japan in figure skating at the Winter Olympics. Now they’ll get a chance to go headto-head as coaches in Vancouver. Nobuo coaches Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka while Yuka is the coach of US national champion Jeremy Abbott, and the two skaters look to be medal contenders in the men’s event. “It’s exciting to know we will both be in Vancouver,” Nobuo Sato said yesterday. “She’s done a great job as a coach. I don’t think of us as rivals and am more than happy to give her some coaching advice when she asks for it.” Yuka’s career took a major turn when Abbott left his coach of 10 years, Tom Zakrajsek, to train with Sato in May. It was a bold move to make just a year before the Olympics. Abbott earned a trip to the games by winning his second straight national title last week. After winning the national title last year, Abbott struggled with dismal performances at

the Four Continents and the world championships. That prompted him to make the switch to Sato in May, a decision many questioned coming so close to the Olympics. But Abbott had high praise for Sato when he came to Japan in November for the NHK Trophy. “Last season was a big breakthrough for me,” Abbott said. “But the end of the season wasn’t that good and I felt like I needed a change. Yuka has allowed me to skate with a lot of confidence and even when I feel bad I’m able to be comfortable on the ice.” For the Satos, figure skating is very much a family affair. Nobuo, 68, is a ten-time national champion and competed at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics. Yuka was the 1994 world champion and competed at the 1992 and 1994 games. Yuka’s mother Kumiko competed in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics. Nobuo has also coached Miki Ando, Yukari

Nakano, Fumie Suguri in addition to Yuka, who also coaches 2009 U.S. national champion Alissa Czisny. Japan will send a total of six skaters to the men’s and women’s events at Vancouver and Sato said he’s amazed at the progress Japan has made in the sport since he competed. “I never thought Japan could get this far,” Sato said. “Japan’s society has changed so much since I was skating. There has been so much economic development. When I was young, it was hard to take time off studying in school to take part in sports.” Kozuka, whose father Tsuguhiko competed in figure skating at the 1968 Olympics, will make his Olympic debut in Vancouver. Sato said he will try his best to be a calming influence on the 20-year-old. “Of course, he’s excited,” Sato said. “There is no doubt the Olympics are special, but I just try to tell him it’s like any other major event once he gets on the ice.” —AP


SPORTS

18 Sports snippets Toni, Marchisio sidelined MILAN: Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio joined AS Roma striker Luca Toni on the sidelines on Monday following Saturday’s bruising game between the two sides in Turin. Marchisio will be out for 20 days with a hamstring problem suffered in free-falling Juve’s 2-1 Serie A defeat, the already injury-hit club said in a statement. Roma’s website (www.asroma.it) said on-loan Bayern Munich forward Toni, who like Marchisio hopes to be in Italy’s World Cup squad, suffered calf damage before being substituted early in the game. Media reports said he could be out for a month.

Serena sizzles

Barrios in police custody BUENOS AIRES: Former world boxing champion Rodrigo “Hyena” Barrios of Argentina was in police custody yesterday after crashing his car into four people and killing a pregnant woman in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, local media reported. Barrios, 33, the World Boxing Organisation junior featherweight champion in 2005-06, was held on Sunday night after crashing into three parked cars and passers-by, police told television reporters. The pregnant woman died later in hospital.

C’wealth Games venue NEW DELHI: India unveiled a refurbished hockey stadium, the first venue to be completed for this year’s Commonwealth Games and promised all other facilities would be ready in time for the Oct. 3-14 event in New Delhi. India came under severe criticism after construction of several venues, including the athletes’ village, fell behind schedule, forcing the postponement or shifting of many international meets planned as test events. “A beginning has been made and you will now see the 10 remaining competition venues being completed one after another,” sports minister Manohar Singh Gill said at the inauguration of the Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium at the weekend.

Klitschko to face Chambers BERLIN: World heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko will defend his title against American Eddie Chambers in Duesseldorf’s 51,000-seater Esprit Arena on March 20, the Ukrainian said yesterday. Klitschko, 33, who holds the WBO, IBF IBO heavyweight belts last fought in June when he beat Ruslan Chagaev with a technical knockout in the ninth round. “Chambers is clearly the best heavyweight boxer in the United States and is for good reason ranked top,” said Klitschko of the 27-year-old. “The fight will take place in a gigantic stadium and I am already looking forward to it,” Klitschko said in a statement.

Libel claim against Modi LONDON: Former New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns has lodged a libel claim with the High Court in London against IPL chairman Lalit Modi. Cairns made the claim last week in response to comments by Modi that he had been fired from the Indian Premier League

Twenty20 competition because of match-fixing. The court says it cannot give any more detail on the case because Modi has not had time to respond.

Cabanas shot in Mexico MEXICO CITY: Paraguay international Salvador Cabanas is in critical condition after being shot in the head at a Mexico City bar. Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera says two suspects have been detained. He says it’s not clear whether they were robbing Cabanas or had gotten into an argument with him. Cabanas plays for Club America in Mexico and was slated to play for Paraguay in the World Cup.

Olympic doping appeal LAUSANNE: Two Belarusian hammer throwers have begun giving evidence at an appeal to win back the Olympic medals that were stripped from them for doping. Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan are attending a three-day hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport which opened yesterday. A verdict is expected within several weeks. Devyatovskiy and Tsikhan won silver and bronze medals in Beijing and then tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. The International Olympic Committee took their medals and disqualified them in December 2008. The CAS hearing has twice been rescheduled, and extended from one day to three.

New Wallaby coach SYDNEY: Robbie Deans will be Australia rugby coach until the 2011 World Cup, despite the Wallabies winning just six of 14 tests last year. Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O’Neill said Monday the ARU board had guaranteed the New Zealander’s tenure through to the next World Cup after listening to a review of 2009 by Deans and the ARU’s high performance manager David Nucifora.

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams of the US smiles as she celebrates winning match point over Samantha Stosur of Australia in their women’s singles fourth round match on day eight of the Australian Open. —AP

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams stamped her authority on the Australian Open while older sister Venus was made to look distinctly beatable as the women’s fourth round was completed yesterday. Defending champion Serena crushed Australian hope Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena, wiping the 13th seed off court in just 65 minutes. She will now play Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals following the Belarusian’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over ninth seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva. The winner of that match will face either Venus or Chinese surprise packet Li Na in the semi-finals, but what initially looked like a straightforward win for Venus over Li may not be so easy after all. Venus str uggled to get past Italian 17th seed Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, while Li stunned fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-4, 63. The 27-year-old Li joined countrywoman Zheng Jie in the last eight with her win, the first time two Chinese players have ever reached that stage of a Grand Slam. “There is nothing better,” Li said with a broad grin. “I mean this is good for us, for both players to reach the quarter-finals.” Venus had appeared heading for another early exit when she could barely get the ball in against Schiavone in the first set. But she woke up after that and took control, winning a tough match in a shade under two hours. Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, dug deep to overcome Schiavone as she works to win one of the few tournaments to elude her. She is in her 11th Australian Open campaign but is yet to take the singles crown, in stark contrast to Serena, who is a four-time champion. But Venus is not beating herself up about her comparative lack of success in Melbourne, insisting a major part of her game plan is staying positive. She said she could break the drought this year. “Yeah, I’m ready to go and I feel very good,” said Williams, who has won five Wimbledons and two US Open titles. “Obviously, I’m hitting the ball pretty good, especially against her today. She was really playing well. “I’m comfortable with my game, absolutely.” Venus and Li will both be looking over their shoulders at Serena, who cruised past Stosur then warned her rivals she can get even better. The world number one gave herself only a B plus when asked to rate her game, saying perhaps she could have returned better. “I think Sam really burned me on a couple of returns, but she’s serving incredible,” Serena said. “It’s really good to match my game against her serve, because she’s one of the best servers on the tour.” By rating her game only a B plus, Serena was being tough on herself as she never looked in any trouble against the Australian number one. She served brilliantly throughout both sets and dismantled Stosur’s serve as the match wore on, quickly silencing the large partisan crowd. Serena conceded just two points on serve in the first set and three in the second to completely demoralise Stosur. “I think today it was all about the serve,” Serena said. “Honestly I’m just hoping I can serve again like that, because that was pretty cool.” Serena returned well also, breaking Stosur once in the first set and twice in the second to wrap up a comfor table win. “When someone’s playing that aggressively and not giving you anything at all, she’s pretty hard to beat,” admitted Stosur.—AFP

Justine speaks of life as having a before and after MELBOURNE: Justine Henin’s travels through Congo and Cambodia didn’t begin as a spiritual journey but ultimately set her on the path back to tennis. Now that she has returned, Henin says she recalls images of those travels daily: The African baby who took her hand and wouldn’t let go, the Congolese girl who pleaded, “Take me back with you to Belgium,” the children who delighted at seeing their faces in her digital camera. At 27, Henin speaks of her life as having a before and an after. Her “first career” was what came before May 2008, when the seven-time Grand Slam winner jolted the tennis world by retiring while ranked No. 1. And there’s her “second career,” which is off to a stunning start. Henin advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, her second tournament out of retirement. She mesmerized the crowds with her sublime one-handed backhand — which John McEnroe has ranked among the best shots in the game — her amazing speed and endless determination. There is little doubt, that she has a renewed passion for the sport, which she started as a child prodigy but was slowly suffocating her. “I had so much inside me that I couldn’t express because there was my tennis, and it took everything. It took everything out of me. I didn’t know myself enough anymore,” Henin said in an interview yesterday on the eve of

her quar ter final against Russia’s Nadia Petrova. “I’m so happy that I stopped playing tennis two years ago,” Henin said. “For me, these two years were the richest years in my existence, because I think it marked my passage to adulthood.” Indeed, Henin has changed and matured. She was always introspective and spoke from her heart but was also guarded and tense. She once described herself as “the oldest 24-yearold on the planet.” “Now I feel like a young 27,” said Henin, who now offers eloquent self-analysis and is much quicker to smile. Seated in the player’s lounge at Melbourne Park, Henin spoke passionately in her native French about her work abroad as a UNICEF ambassador and other projects at home that included a reality TV show called, “The 12 L abors of Justine Henin,” in which she undertook a different challenge for each episode. “What interested me was the aspect of the challenge,” she said. “It was to do things, nobody thought I could do. I did comedy, I sang, I played football with star Belgian football players.” “It’s a paradox. I’m very timid and very reserved, but I chose a career that puts me in the spotlight,” she laughed. “So there must be a part of me that needs that. It’s about finding equilibrium.” —AP

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New ground for Chinese tennis MELBOURNE: Li Na hailed another major step forward for Chinese tennis af ter she upset fourth seed Caroline Wonziacki in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open here yesterday. The 27-year-old 16th seed joined countrywoman Zheng Jie in the last eight, the first time two Chinese players have ever reached that stage of a Grand Slam. Li will face sixth seed Venus Williams in the quarters and won their only previous clash at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in straight sets. Her 6-4, 6-3 victor y against Wozniacki marked Li’s best per formance at the Australian Open, eclipsing her four th round appearance in 2007. It was the third time she has reached the last eight of a Grand Slam, but she was most excited by

joining Zheng in the quarters. Li said tennis was improving in China and tipped the Chinese men to start making an impression on the tour before too long. “It is because we are working so hard,” she said “Actually, in China we also have good men players, but right now they don’t have high rankings so they always play small tournaments. “I still believe after three years we will see more of the best of China’s male tennis players.” In a match dominated by breaks of serve, Li was down a service break and 4-2 in the first set, but then rattled off the next six games to win the first set and be a break up herself in the second. The groundstrokes by the pair were as good as the serving was bad, both players trading powerful winners in an entertaining clash. On the other hand, Li said she was enjoying the benefits of being fully fit at the start of the year.“Last year I didn’t play Australian Open because I had knee surgery,” she said. “But now that is much better. “Everyone can see I was running so fast on the court.”—AFP

MELBOURNE: Li Na of China celebrates after beating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark . —AP

Federer, Djokovic rule supreme MELBOURNE: Roger Federer blazed into the Australian Open quarter-finals and a showdown with Nikolay Davydenko yesterday while Novak Djokovic set up a rematch of his 2008 final with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Swiss top seed was at another level to tenacious Australian 22nd seed and longtime rival Lleyton Hewitt, demolishing him in a dazzling 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in their 25th meeting. The win sets up Federer with a contest against Russian sixth seed Davydenko, who has won their last two encounters in Doha this year and the World Tour finals in London last November. Davydenko was dragged into a fifth set before quenching the challenge of Spaniard Fernando Verdasco to fight on in the tournament. The Russian bungled a fourth set tiebreaker and had to dig out a 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over the ninth seeded Verdasco in almost four hours. Djokovic plays Tsonga in the other quarter-final in the top half of the men’s draw. The Serbian third seed was too good for unseeded Pole Lukasz Kubot 6-1, 6-2, 7-5, while the 10th seeded Tsonga held his nerve to take out a thrilling five-

setter against Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (6/8), 9-7. Federer further underlined the gulf existing between him and Hewitt with his 15th straight victory, but he will have a different challenge to confront in Davydenko. “Davydenko’s one of the good retur n players in the game,” Federer said. He moves extremely well and makes it hard. “I’m in for a good match for sure. I favour my chances in a best-offive set match. We’ll see how it goes.” There was only a momentary spark to fire up the willing home crowd when Hewitt broke Federer’s service for the only time in the eighth game of the third set. But the Swiss great unleashed a sensational forehand cross court volley to immediately break back in the next game. It lifted Federer’s imposing record over former world number one Hewitt to 17-8 and was his 51st match win at the Australian Open with seven defeats. Davydenko hadn’t dropped a set before his round of 16 match with Verdasco but he messed up a fourth set tiebreaker and was forced into a fifth set.

The in-form Russian improved his winning streak to 13 matches and is in the right frame to take on the Federer challenge. “Mentally, I’m still strong. I don’t know if I can win here, but I’m feeling good about my tennis right now,” Davydenko said. Djokovic warned he was hitting his best form after his impressive win over Kubot. The Pole, ranked 86th in the world, had been gifted a spot in the fourth round by the withdrawal of Russian 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny from their third round clash, and found Djokovic far too good. “In general, I was very happy with the way I performed today,” Djokovic said. “I’m aware the matches will get more difficult throughout this week, so I’m ready for it.” Tsonga, who played in his first five-set match, will go in against Djokovic with the edge, having won four of their five clashes since their 2008 meeting here. “I beat him four times since that moment,” he said. “So I have learned to beat him. “I don’t have any fears. “I have to recover and I will be ready for that. Against him I have to say stay aggressive, very aggressive, and give everything.” — AFP

MELBOURNE: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns to Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt during their Men’s singles fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship. —AP


SPORTS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

19

England’s Swann sparkles on and off the field LONDON: Graeme Swann sings in the band Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations, prefers to bowl in sunglasses and seems set on redefining the adjective chirpy. Yet behind the bonhomie and the wisecracks stands a considerable cricketer who last year became the first England spinner to take more than 50 test wickets in a calendar year. The emergence of the 30-year-old Englishman over the past 12 months as a match-winner with the ball and an enterprising lower-order batsman who averages almost 33 in test cricket has been startling. Swann, by his own admission, was too callow a youth to linger long in the international arena when he played a one-day international in Bloemfontein in 2000. He returned to county cricket to learn

his trade and, again on his own admission, coasted on the spin-friendly pitches at Northamptonshire before moving to Nottinghamshire. A steep learning curve at a county where seam bowlers rule has resulted in him becoming an off-spinner with an energetic action who gives the ball a rip from the first delivery, varies his pace and flight intelligently and is always looking to take wickets. Swann’s ebullient approach paid off handsomely when he dismissed India’s Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in his first over in test cricket in Chennai and he retains an uncanny knack of taking a wicket in his first over of a new spell. He overtook Monty Panesar as England’s first-choice spinner last year and played a prominent role in his team’s wins at

Lord’s and the Oval, which won back the Ashes from Australia. Swann finished the year with two manof-the-match awards in South Africa, including a match-winning performance in the second test in Durban. It was the first time since 1964, when Fred Titmus and David Allen rolled over the Springboks also in an innings victory, that spin had won a test for England in South Africa. Swann’s performances came as a member of a four-man attack, which meant he was thrown the ball earlier than he would normally have expected on pitches which rarely give much aid to the orthodox spinner. “Obviously going into it with a four-man attack I was expected to do the job, to do the

donkey work so it’s nice to pick up a few wickets along the way,” he told reporters. “Two man-of-the-match awards in two games, I’ll take that to finish off the year quite nicely.” Not the least remarkable aspect of a remarkable 12 months has been Swann’s role in the unexpected re-emergence of the finger spinner. Doped pitches prepared to last a minimum five days, bats designed to propel the ball vast distances and the aggressive mindset of batsmen in the Twenty20 era appeared to have spelt the end for bowlers who do not employ the wrist to deliver a variety of mystery deliveries. Instead Swann, South African left-armer Paul Harris and Australian Nathan Hauritz have joined New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori as effective test bowlers.

Swann, though, is clearly now the leader of the gang and even Shane Warne could not have bettered the dismissals of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke last year when the Australian pair groped ineffectually at balls which dipped and spun prodigiously on to their stumps. While hugely enjoying the glamorous life of a test cricketer, Swann remains a realist. He knows he has been helped by the proliferation of left-handers in test cricket at the moment, to whom his stock delivery is the more dangerous leg-break. Umpires are also now more inclined to give lbws on the front foot after the advent of ball-tracking technologies which show more deliveries would have gone on to hit the stumps than previously thought. “The game goes in circles; in three or

four years’ time it (finger spin) will be completely out of vogue again so I’ll just enjoy the fairground ride while I can,” Swann said. “You know, 15 years ago no one teed off the from the start in one-day cricket. There was no such thing as Twenty20. The whole thing goes in circles. It will come back round sooner or later, a brilliant mystery spinner will arrive and I’ll be defunct.” As England have failed to produce a mystery spinner since Bernard Bosanquet invented the googly at the turn of the 20th century, Swann’s place looks safe for the time being. Now he must prepare for the ultimate test awaiting him in Australia, the graveyard of so many England spinners’ hopes, when England defend the Ashes at the end of the year. — Reuters

Tendulkar, Dravid put India in driver’s seat

Dodo’s hat-trick sinks Botafogo

Dodo scores hat-trick in Vasco’s rout of Botafogo SAO PAULO: Veteran striker Dodo scored a first-half hat trick in just his third match back from a two-year doping suspension to help Vasco rout a 10-man Botafogo 6-0 in the Rio de Janeiro state championship on Sunday. Dodo, 35, opened the scoring just three minutes into the match at Engenhao stadium with a low shot from the top of the area. He added to the lead in the 32nd with a rightfooted strike from close range and complet-

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ed the hat trick two minutes later with a shot from inside the area. Midfielder Leo Gago increased Vasco’s lead with a powerful free strike in the 56th, and striker Phillipe Coutinho closed the scoring with goals in the 60th and 82nd. Botafogo played a man down from the 14th minute after midfielder Eduardo was shown a red card for a hard foul on Vasco midfielder Souza. Dodo, who played briefly for Brazil in the late 1990s, was suspended after testing positive for the banned stimulant fenproporex while playing for rival Botafogo in a match against Vasco in the 2007 Brazilian league. The match marked the debut of Botafogo’s biggest acquisition for 2010 — Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu, who ended substituted early in the second half. Vasco has now won three straight games to open the Guanabara Cup, the first stage of the Rio de Janeiro state tournament. Another three-time winner this season in Rio is Fluminense, which defeated Volta Redonda 1-0 at Maracana stadium with a goal by defender Leandro Euzebio in the fifth minute. Fluminense, which played without star striker Fred because of a minor injury, has outscored its opponents 7-0 in its first three matches. On Saturday, former CSKA Moscow striker Vagner Love scored a pair of goals in his debut with Flamengo, helping the

Brazilian champion beat Bangu 2-1 at Engenhao stadium for its third win in a row. Love left Palmeiras earlier this year after being attacked by fans who were upset with his performance. Flamengo is the defending champion in the Rio de Janeiro championship, which is divided in two stages. The winner of the Guanabara Cup will face the Rio Cup champion for the state title. America, coached by former striker Bebeto and directed by Bebeto’s former Brazil teammate Romario, defeated Macae 3-2 in Campos for its first win of the year. In the Sao Paulo state championship, defending champion Corinthians picked up its second consecutive win by beating Oeste 2-1. Defender Paulo Andre scored in the 27th and midfielder Boquita added another in the 35th. Striker Ronaldo was rested by Corinthians, but left back Roberto Carlos played the entire match at the Fonte Luminosa in Araraquara. At Palestra Italia stadium, World Cup veteran midfielder Juninho Paulista scored a second-half goal to help Ituano draw Palmeiras 3-3. The 36-year-old Juninho is also the president of Ituano, which twice erased a two-goal deficit against the fourtime national champion. Palmeiras, which played a man down from the 61st after midfielder Gualberto was sent off, led 3-1 with 10 minutes to play. —AP

Ronaldo’s temper could hurt Real’s title hopes MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo’s temper is still getting the better of him, and it could prove costly in Real Madrid’s pursuit of the Spanish League title. The Portugal forward scored both goals in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Malaga before being sent off for an elbow smash that broke the nose of defender Patrick Mtiliga. The dismissal was Ronaldo’s second of the season and will result in a onegame ban at least unless Madrid’s expected appeal is successful. The first came against Almeria in December for intentionally kicking out at a player. “He who understands football knows my intention is always to play. That red card is an embarrassment. I don’t understand these types of things,” Ronaldo said. “That isn’t a red (card) here or in any other place in the world, and I’m not saying that because I want protection. Here in Spain there are a lot of good things, but also bad ones.” While Mtiliga came off with blood flowing from his nose and will now miss three weeks, Ronaldo left in disbelief at the decision. “You have to be fair when looking at what happened. I didn’t mean to harm him,” Ronaldo said. “I’ve seen worse incidents than that in other games.” Madrid director general Jorge Valdano said Mtiliga was tugging Ronaldo’s shirt

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, reacts during his Spanish League soccer match against Malaga. — AP and believes referees need to do better. “A referee should know who’s doing something for the ‘show’ and who’s doing something to interrupt it,” Valdano said. “When (Ronaldo) was grabbed from behind, he tried to break free because he always has the intention of playing, while others would throw themselves to the ground and simulate a foul.” Mtiliga accepted an apology from Ronaldo after the incident but said he didn’t expect

Madrid’s outcry. “I’m surprised that people say I’m the bad guy in this movie,” Mtiliga said on Monday. “I was bleeding and when I got into the changing room I noticed that my nose was in a position it shouldn’t have been.” Ronaldo could be banned for up to three games just when Madrid needs his goals with rival Barcelona in great form. The defending Spanish champions have won their last three matches by a combined 12-0

score to finish the first half of the season unbeaten with a five-point advantage over Madrid. Madrid plays at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday at El Riazor stadium, where it has lost six straight times and hasn’t won in nearly two decades. It will be without leading striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has 11 goals, and Ronaldo, who has nine. Barcelona, meanwhile, travels to Sporting Gijon where it won 6-1 last season. —AP

DHAKA: Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid smashed centuries as India took a firm grip of the second and final Test against Bangladesh by cruising to a 226-run lead yesterday. Tendulkar, who also reached triple figures in the first test, completed his 45th Test century as India ended the second day on 459 for five. His stylish knock of 143 off 182 balls included 13 fours and a six before he was caught by Imrul Kayes off Shakib Al Hasan at short midwicket. Dravid who also racked up 12 fours, retired hurt on 111 when a bouncer from paceman Shahadat Hossain stuck on him on the helmet. Tendulkar and Dravid added 222 runs for the third wicket and in the process became the most successful pair to put a century partnership in test cricket. They have been involved in 17 100-plus partnerships, one better then Australian Ricky Ponting and Mathew Hayden and West Indies’ Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes. “It’s a two-pace wicket. The bounce was also inconsistent. It was not an easy track to bat on,” Tendulkar told reporters. “They had defensive fields. They had fielders on the boundary lines. It was not that easy to get the scoreboard ticking at a rate that we would have liked. “Then there were patches (when) we scored a lot of boundaries and made sure the run rate was a decent one.” Spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was earlier reprimanded by the International Cricket Council for kicking and damaging an advertising board on the first day of the test, was promoted up the order as nightwatchman but failed to last out the day when he was dismissed for 13 to end the day”s proceedings. The hosts were left to rue two missed chances to dismiss Tendulkar with Raqibul Hasan dropping him at gully on 27 and 53 off the bowling of Rubel Hossain and Shahadat Hossain. That followed Shafiul Islam missing a good chance to run out Dravid when the former skipper was on 12. The bowler failing to touch the ball that dismantled the stumps at the non-striking end with the batsman well out of his crease. Dravid also escaped dismissal when on 28 as Junaid Siddique caught him at slip off a Rubel Hossain no-ball. Resuming on 69-0, India lost Virender Sehwag early when the opener reacted slowly to a short delivery off Shahadat and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. Sehwag had added 15 runs to his overnight total before falling for 56 off 63 balls including eight boundaries. The dismissal brought to an end of 103-run opening partnership between Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir was out in almost identical fashion off the bowling of Shafiul Islam after making 68 runs off 83 balls. This was the 11th consecutive test in which Gambhir had scored a fifty to equal the world record by West Indies” Viv Richards. India lead the two-match series 1-0 after wrapping up a 113-run win in Chittagong on Thursday. — AFP

DHAKA: India’s Sachin Tendulkar (center) and Rahul Dravid run between the wickets for runs as Bangladesh’s Shahadat Hossainon (right) watches during the second day of the second cricket Test. — AP

Scoreboard DHAKA: Scoreboard at stumps on the second day of the second and final Test between Bangladesh and India yesterday: Bangladesh 1st innings 233 (M. Mahmudullah 96 not out; I. Sharma 4-66) India 1st innings (overnight 69-0): G. Gambhir c Rahim b Shafiul V. Sehwag c Rahim b Shahadat R. Dravid retd hurt S. Tendulkar c Kayes b Shakib M. Vijay c Mahmudullah b Shakib MS Dhoni not out

68 56 111 143 30 22

Harbhajan Singh c Rahim b Shafiul 13 Extras (b1, lb5, nb9, w1) 16 Total (for five wickets; 102.5 overs) 459 Fall of wickets: 1-103 (Sehwag), 2-146 (Gambhir), 3-421 (Tendulkar), 4-436 (Vijay), 5459 (Harbhajan). Bowling: Shafiul 17.5-1-70-2 (w1), Shahadat 192-71-1 (nb2), Rubel 23-0-106-0 (nb7), Shakib 270-108-2, Ashraful 4-0-26-0, Mahmudullah 11-063-0, Siddique 1-0-9-0.

Pakistan in U-19 final WELLINGTON: All-rounder Hammad Azam inspired Pakistan to a four-wicket win over the West Indies at Christchurch yesterday to book their place in the finals of the under-19 cricket World Cup. The second finalist will be determined in the other semifinal between Sri Lanka and Australia on Wednesday. Pakistan won the toss and struck early with two wickets in

the first four overs before West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite led the fightback as the Caribbean side posted 212 for eight in their 50 overs. Brathwaite, who top scored with 85 before he was run out, anchored the recovery with Andre Creary in a 101-run stand for the third wicket. The West Indies appeared to be in command when they tied the Pakistan openers down and had

them at 49-4 after 20 overs. But man-of-the-match Azam turned the innings around with a whirlwind 92 off 93 balls including 10 boundaries as Pakistan reached their target with 16 balls to spare. Azam put on 90 in 19 overs in a fifth-wicket stand with Rameez Aziz (39) before adding 64 in nine overs with wicketkeeper Muhammad Waqas (29) for the sixth wicket. — AFP

Al-Baz, Bu Rabie’a top UAE Jet-Ski Tournament DUBAI: “Pro Rider” racer, Mohammad Jassem Al-Baz, from Kuwait continued his emergence at the Emirates Jet-Ski Tournament, after he came in first place in the second round of the ‘1600cc’ race that recently took place in Dubai, and for the second time in a row, whereas Kuwaiti racer, Mohammad Bu Rabie’a, from “Abyat and Safwat AlKuwait” team came in second place according to a press release. As for other Kuwaiti racers, Saud Al-Shareefi came in third place in the ‘standing’ race, while Yousuf Al-Abdulraziq came in third place in the ‘1600cc - adjusted’ race, whereas Abdurrahman AlBadr finished in fifth place, while Khalid Salem Bu Rabie’a could not finish his race after his jet-ski experienced technical difficulties. On his regard, reigning champion of the ‘1600cc’ race, World and Emirates champion Mohammad Bu Rabie’a acknowledged the achieve-

Bu Rabie’a and Al-Baz ment that his compatriot and teammate Mohammad Al-Baz has achieved, adding that the level of competition between them reflects the high level of qualifications that the Kuwaiti

racers have, while acknowledging at the same time the support that the Kuwait Sea Sports Club provides for them. The next round will take place on Feb 5 in Abu Dhabi.


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CAIRO: An Egyptian woman waves her national flag from inside a car as she celebrates in Cairo after Egypt beat Cameroon in their African Nations Cup quarter-final football match.—AFP

BENGUELA: A Cameroon fan cheers his team before the quarterfinal match between Cameroon and Egypt in the African Nations Cup.—AFP

CAIRO: Egyptians drive through a street in Cairo as they celebrate after Egypt beat Cameroon in their African Nations quarter-final football match.—AFP

Egypt down Cameroon, set up Algeria rematch BENGUELA: Aided by a brace from skipper Ahmed Hassan, Egypt defeated 10-man Cameroon 3-1 after extra-time in an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match here yesterday. Egypt’s prize is a mouth-watering lastfour showdown on Thursday against bitter rivals Algeria, who pipped the Egyptians to a World Cup ticket in dramatic circumstances in November. The Pharaohs thus improved to 17 matches their unbeaten run in the tournament and also extended their five-year superiority over the Indomitable Lions. Egypt assistant coach Shawki Gharib saluted Cameroon for pushing his team all the way, while defending the performance of

South African referee Jerome Damon. “Cameroon are a great team and they pushed us very hard,” said Gharib. “We, on our own part, played very well and knew what we needed to do to win this match. “However, a match is all about 90 minutes and there are no games without mistakes, but overall the referee was fair to both teams.” Cameroon skipper Samuel Eto’o disagreed, saying: “The referee supported Egypt a bit because they did not deserve to win this game. “But I won’t blame the referee because this is Africa and we still have a lot to learn,” Eto’o said, adding that coach Paul Le Guen had angrily walked out on the post-match press conference.

Cameroon, who saw defender Aurelien Chedjou red carded in the 112th minute for a professional foul on Mohamed Nagy, opened the scoring in the 26th minute courtesy of an own goal by Hassan, winning an African record 170th cap. Hassan got the slightest touch with his head on an Achille Emana corner at the near post as it sailed into the net. Hassan turned from villain to hero in the 37th minute when he caught goalkeeper Carlos Kameni napping with a dipping shot from over 35 yards, which bounced in front of the Cameroon goalkeeper before resting at the back of the net to draw the champions level. A faulty back pass two minutes into extra-time by Geremi Njitap found super

sub Mohamed ‘Gedo’ Nagy, who slotted home between Kameni’s legs to give Egypt the lead in this pulsating encounter. The defending champions increased their lead on 95 minutes when a curling freekick by Hassan was adjudged to have been palmed beyond the goalline by Kameni. Television replays showed that the ball did not cross the line. Man of the hour Hassan was unperturbed by the controversy. “I’m very happy because we won today,” he said. “We played a very good match, and I’m thrilled to score two goals and also with the record of 170 appearances.” In the 110th minute, Nagy dashed free through the Cameroon defence but Kameni

made a brave save. The game appeared to slip away for the Lions of Cameroon when Chedjou was sent off moments later. Cameroon fought to reduce the deficit in the second half of extra-time but Egypt kept their shape to stay on course for an unprecedented seventh Nations Cup title. From the kick-off, Cameroon took the game to their opponents, forcing five corners in the first 11 minutes, while Egypt’s first attack came only after six minutes when Ahmed Fathi had a shot. Cameroon continued to dictate the pace of this contest and more than deserved their lead when it came in the 25th minute. Six minutes after their equaliser, Hosny Abdrabou would have given Egypt the lead

but he failed to direct his header on target when all alone inside the 18-yard box. Cameroon’s response was immediate as Emana fired a pile driver from distance a minute later but Essam El-Hadary was alert to push the ball out of harm’s way. From the restart, Egypt would have gone in front when Chedjou mistimed a long ball into the Cameroon area, Motaaeb got a foot to the ball but somehow Kameni gathered the ball. Minutes later, Zidan with a lot of space to spare shot inches wide as the Cameroon defence came under siege. Chedjou again succumbed to pressure in the 49th minute when he was robbed of the ball by Zidan on the edge of the box, but Kameni made a fine save.—AFP

Goalkeeper penalty takes 10-man Nigeria into semis

ANGOLA: Cameroon’s Henri Bedimo Nsame (front) collides with Egypt’s captain Ahmed Hassan during the quarter-finals of their African Nations Cup soccer match.—AP

Algeria match will be ‘war’: Zidan BENGUELA: Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan says his team’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against Algeria here on Thursday will be a ‘war’, which Egypt have to win to prove they deserved to feature at the World Cup. Egypt failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in South Africa after bitter regional rivals Algeria pipped them 1-0 in a play-off in Sudan after both teams were tied on the same points and goal difference in the qualifiers.

In November, both the World Cup qualifier in Cairo and the subsequent play-off in Sudan witnessed several violent scenes that world football ruling body FIFA are now investigating. “It will be a matter of life and death in that game. For both sides it will be like a war,” said the Borussia Dortmund star after the Pharaohs defeated Cameroon 3-1 in a Nations Cup quarter-final yesterday. “For us it is a chance to show the world that we

deserve to go to the World Cup and if we beat them, we will be able to watch the World Cup with pride. “We are the ones who do not have any pressure. We are the champions and we are better than them. Everybody will see which is the better team.” Egypt are on course for a record seventh Nations Cup title in Angola after they won the continental trophy in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006 and 2008.—AFP

LUBANGO: Nigeria goalkeeper Victor Enyeama turned Africa Nations Cup match winner by converting the decisive kick in a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Zambia yesterday after a goalless quarter-final. John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor and Osaze Odemwingie also scored from the spot to give the ‘Super Eagles’ a 100 percent success rate from five kicks. Thomas Nyirenda was the unconsolable Zambian at the end after Enyeama saved his kick the seventh of the shootout - and Nigeria scraped through despite having Onyekachi Apam sent off during extra time. The ultra-negative last quarter-final of the biennial African football showcase was a massive disappointment after victories for Ghana, Algeria and Egypt in thrillers. Defending champions Egypt made the penultimate stage a few hours before Nigeria thanks to a 3-1 extra-time triumph over Cameroon with 170-cap midfielder Ahmed Hassan scoring twice for his side and once for his opponents. Back in the knockout phase of the competition for the first time since 1996, Zambia had to make two enforced changes from the side that defeated Gabon to reach the quarter-finals as shock Group D table-toppers. Defender Chintu Kampamba and midfielder Rainford Kalaba collected two yellow cards each in

LUBANGO: Danny Shittu of Nigeria (left) and Jacob Mulenga of Zambia (right) fight for the ball during their quarter final match at the African Nations Cup. —AP the mini-league stage and young French coach Herve Renard drafted in Hichani Himonde and William Njobvu. Nigeria retained the starting line-up from their final pool match against Mozambique that delivered an ultimately convincing 3-0 win and justification that they could go far in the tournament after a sluggish start. Jubilant that his pre-tourna-

Algeria send England World Cup warning LUANDA: Up until Sunday Fabio Capello’s England must have been rubbing their hands at having been drawn with Algeria in their World Cup first round group. Rabah Saadane’s Desert Foxes had failed to make much of an imprint in their three Africa Cup of Nations first round games, limping into the quarter-finals after a dismal 3-0 loss to Malawi, a 1-0 win over Mali and a contentious goalless draw with hosts Angola. But Algeria silenced their critics in no uncertain fashion with a superb 3-2 extra time win over Cup favourites Ivory Coast on Sunday night in Cabinda to send a clear message to their World Cup rivals underestimate us at your peril. The North Africans are drawn in the

same World Cup first round group as England, the United States and Slovenia, and Saadane, a former defender with French side Rennes, believes this Angola dress rehearsal is proving an invaluable experience for South Africa. Algeria are not the first team to start a competition like this slowly, gradually finding their stride as the competition progresses - witness France at the 2006 World Cup. Raymond Domenech’s men looked down and out after a goalless draw against Switzerland and a 1-1 draw with South Korea, but then produced a performance seemingly from nowhere to knock out Spain in the second round, followed by wins over Brazil and Portugal to make it the final itself. The similarity does not end

there. Domenech injected a ‘bunker mentality’ in his squad in Germany 2006, using all the criticism directed at his team to motivate his players. Saadane has done the same, using the attacks by the Algerian media to trigger a positive response from his men. Algeria wait now to find out whether it will be bitter rivals Egypt or Cameroon lining up alongside them in Thursday’s semi-final in Benguela as they move to within one game of making the final and a shot at their first title since 1990. The surprise winners fell 2-1 behind on 89 minutes to a brilliant Abdulkader Keita goal only for Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra to level in stoppage time and unmarked substitute Hamer Bouazza headed a 92nd-minute far-post

winner. Saadane, in his fifth spell as Algeria manager, was assistant coach at the 1982 World Cup, and head coach at the 1986 World Cup when Algeria failed to make it out of the first round after a draw with Northern Ireland and losses to Brazil and Spain. After Sunday’s quarterfinal victory he said: “I am really happy. We came up with what we wanted. “I wasn’t surprised by my team, but more by the decline of the Ivory Coast side. The critics said after we beat Mali (1-0) that we only scored goals from dead ball situations, well here we scored three goals from open play!” Rangers defender Bougherra added: “Many people wrote our chances off. This victory is for the people of Algeria all over the world.” Man of the match Karim

Matmour, who scored his country’s opening goal, said: “This wasn’t an easy match against a great team but we have qualified and what’s more qualified in style.” Saadane meanwhile played down fears of any repeat of the stormy and violent scenes that were triggered by their last three encounters against Egypt, should the defending champions emerge as their semi-final rivals. “In our three games against Egypt everything passed off smoothly on the pitch. You have to stop talking about that (the animosity between the two countries),” he insisted. The man who goes by the name of ‘Cheikh’ added: “I know my Algerian players are motivated by the big matches. We came here to win and we produced what we wanted.”—AFP

ment promise of a quarter-finals place had been met, Renard saw the game as a chance to embellish his reputation amid reports that he desires a more attractive African coaching post. Rival coach Shaibu Amodu is 10 years older at 51 and under constant stress from public and media criticism despite just one competitive loss since taking charge of the national team a third time a couple of years ago. The countries had come face to face four previous times in the Nations Cup with Nigeria winning two and Zambia one after a goalless first meeting in Ghana 32 years ago. And after a goalless first half in this central Angolan town it was hard to fathom who would prevail this time and book a semi-finals date with the Black Stars of Ghana in Luanda on Thursday afternoon. Chelsea midfielder Mikel ended a lot of cagey early combat with a sweetly struck drive after some slick passing, but Kennedy Mweene dived swiftly to his left and pushed the ball away with a strong one-hand save. Zambia became more adventurous as time passed and after Enyeama rose to grasp a deep, dangerous cross, striker James Chamanga just failed to connect with a threatening ball across the

six-yard box. It was not a half for the faint hearted with some borderline tackling and by the break Zambians Felix Katongo, Himonde and Joseph Musonda had been shown yellow cards by the Egyptian referee. The second half began as the first ended with more than fouls than thrills for a less-thancapacity crowd in the 20,000-seat venue and Apam joined the yellow-card offenders via a rash tackle on Chamanga. Midway through the half and finally the crowd had something to cheer as Yusuf Mohammed cleared off the line to rescue Nigeria and hesitant captain Yakubu Aiyegbeni squandered a close-range opportunity at the other end. It was painful watching the closing stages of regulation time as two teams far more concerned with not losing than winning rarely mounted threatening attacks and full-time came without a goal.—AFP

Semi-finals line-up Thursday At Luanda Ghana v Nigeria 1600 (GMT) At Benguela Algeria v Egypt 1930 (GMT)


Amadeus to study ME potential to become travel hub

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New ways of global cooperation

Uncertainty on Bernanke vote raises economic fears

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

www.kuwaittimes.net

Kuwait’s Global warns on Dubai debt risk Dubai may have long-lasting effects on region: Ghunaim RIYADH: Global Investment House has yet to gauge the full effect of the Dubai debt crisis, warning that it may have long-lasting effects on the region’s financial sector, the Kuwaiti bank’s founder said. Global took enough impairment charges and provisions to cover it against further investment loss or bad loans, said Maha Al-Ghunaim in an interview with Reuters, but warned that the effect of Dubai’s debt crisis may drag on. “I thought we had enough provisioning and then the Dubai crisis made us rethink our position. You don’t know how deep this is going to go or how far it is going to go,” Ghunaim, who is also the bank’s managing director, said. Yesterday, the once high-flying emirate of Dubai endured another blow after Standard & Poor’s withdrew its rating on a unit of Dubai

Holding, the major investment vehicle owned by the ruler of Dubai, citing a “materially weaker” cash position and a lack of information. Ghunaim made her comments before the S&P statement was issued. Once a regional powerhouse, Global is a major investment company that had overstretched itself just as the global economic crisis hit. Earlier this month, Global’s shareholders approved its $1.7 billion restructuring plan after the firm reached a deal with its roughly 50 creditors to reschedule debt. Like many other Gulf Arab companies awash with cash in the heyday of a regional economic boom and high oil prices, Global went on an expansion spree from China to Tunisia as a way to diversify its revenue stream. But Global learnt lessons from the economic fallout. The

firm revamped its business model and is flexing its muscles once again for a fresh start where it will focus on investment banking, asset management and brokerage, Ghunaim said. “Our priorities have changed. Today our priorities are very much focused to repay our debt and deleveraging the company, that’s number one,” she said. “Obviously, Global today is not in the business of putting further cash into certain companies as it was years ago. That business model has changed.” As part of its new strategy, the firm will scale back investments, sell assets to get cash and increase its assets under management, she said. The firm is also focusing more on big economies such as Saudi Arabia. “We are very much focused on Saudi Arabia ... to provide investment products that are extremely needed and can add value,” said

Ghunaim, who was once named one of the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes Magazine. “Geographically, we need to focus our attention, you can’t be everywhere, anywhere.” Dubai shocked world markets on Nov. 25 when it requested a standstill on $26 billion worth of debt owed by state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, a flagship of the emirate. Global has no direct exposure to Dubai’s debt. Ghunaim had said earlier this month that she was optimistic about the firm’s growth prospects this year and sees a “huge improvement” in its full-year 2009 earnings despite booking higher provisions in the fourth quarter. Global saw a full-year loss in 2008 of KD257.6 million ($898.5 million) mainly due to impairment charges for investments and loans, compared with a profit of KD91.4 million in 2007. — Reuters

RIYADH: Maha Al-Ghunaim, chairperson and managing director of Global Investment House, listens to questions during the 4th Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh. — AP

S&P deals blow to Dubai Holding unit, pulls rating DUBAI: Standard & Poor’s pulled its rating on a unit of Dubai Holding, dealing a fresh blow to the Gulf Arab Emirate’s financial reputation and drawing fresh scrutiny from investors. The ratings agency cut Dubai Holding Commercial Group (DHCOG) to B from BB+ and then withdraw the rating altogether, citing its “materially weaker” cash position and a lack of information. “It was certainly a very severe note, and seems to lend credence to the doubts that have been expressed about Dubai Holding for some time,” said David Butter, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Economist Intelligence Unit, in London. Dubai rocked global markets on Nov 25 when it sought a debt delay on $26 billion linked to its flagship conglomerate, Dubai World. DHCOG-the holding firm of Dubai Holding’s property, business parks and hospitality units which includes the planned Tiger Woods golf resort-is part of an investment vehicle owned by Dubai’s ruler. In a statement, DHCOG dismissed the S&P announcement which it said contained inaccuracies and factual errors, and said the ratings agency did not understand its operations or its relationship with the Dubai government. Dubai has faced heavy criticism over its lack of transparency especially in the wake of November’s debt news. Earlier this month, the government acknowledged a $10 billion lifeline from Abu Dhabi in December-which helped Dubai World stave off bankruptcy on a $4.1 billion Islamic bond by a property unit-included $5 billion that was previously announced. “I think the market already assumes all these Dubai Inc entities have more debt issues that they need to work out, but the worry is that transparency seems to be getting worse, which could be an issue going forward,” said Robert McKinnon, chief investment officer at ASAS Capital in Dubai. “Without proper transparency, we cannot know the true value of the assets Dubai entities own or the true size and scale of their debts.” “We understand from the information we have gathered that cash flow generation for Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group is likely to be materially weaker than we initially expected, which in our view significantly deteriorates DHCOG’s liquidity position,” S&P analyst Pierre Georges said in a statement. S&P said the unit could face difficulty in refinancing and it was doubtful the Dubai government would lend it support. Dubai credit default swaps stood at 455 basis points, 10 basis points tighter than Friday’s close. — Reuters

Kuwait’s money supply growth up 13.1% in Dec KUWAIT: Kuwaiti money supply growth (M3) accelerated to 13.1 percent at the end of December, from 11.4 percent in the previous month, data showed yesterday. M3, the broadest measure of money circulating in the economy, rose to KD24.89 billion ($86.81 billion) in December, compared with KD22 billion a year earlier, the central bank said in a monthly bulletin. Narrow money, or M1, rose 7.78 percent to KD4.71 billion. Quasi money-which includes savings and time deposits in dinars, as well as foreign currency deposits-rose 14.8 percent to KD20.18 billion, the data showed. Banks’ total claims on the private sector, which also include their local investments, advanced 6.09 percent in the year to December to KD27 billion. Total credit facilities concluded with residents fell 11.9 percent in the year to December to KD844.2 million-down from KD894.1 million in November. — Reuters

UAE telecom watchdog issues competition rules

LONDON: Shoppers are pictured on Oxford Street in central London yesterday. The UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the fourth quarter of 2009 are expected to be released today. — AFP

Obama unveils package for middle class WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama yesterday proposed a package of new initiatives aimed at helping middle-class families, including an expanded child-care tax credit and help with retirement savings. The initiatives come as Obama is taking a more populist turn in his rhetoric, pledging to fight for the middle class and taking a tougher line toward Wall Street. A year into his presidency, Obama and his Democratic Party are seeing an erosion of his support among middle-class Americans who swept him into office. Frustration with the 10 percent unemployment rate and wariness toward Obama’s plans to change the healthcare system helped set the stage for a shocking loss by Democrats last week in a Massachusetts Senate race. At around noon EST (1700 GMT), the president will outline the child-care credit and other measures that will also be discussed in his State of the Union speech. Obama will address Congress and the nation at

US existing home sales fall in December WASHINGTON: Sales of US existing homes fell more than expected in December, by nearly 17 percent, following a three-month surge driven by a government tax credit, an industry organization said yesterday. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales fell 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million units, from 6.54 million in November. The sharp decline was worse than average analyst forecast of 5.9 million units and was the steepest monthly drop since NAR began tracking the data series in 1999. The industry group said the decline was expected after sales surged from September through November as first-time buyers rushed to take advantage of federal tax credits originally due to expire on November 30. Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed an extension of the first-time tax credit that expands it to include other home purchases made prior to April 30. The December number was 15.0 percent 9:00 p.m. tomorrow (0200 GMT on Thursday) in a speech designed to lay out the challenges and set the tone for his administration in 2010. A White House official said the State of the Union speech themes would include “creating good jobs, addressing the deficit,

above the year-ago level of 4.74 million units. “It’s significant that home sales remain above year-ago levels, but the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We’ll likely have another surge in the spring as home buyers take advantage of the extended and expanded tax credit. By early summer the overall market should benefit from more balanced inventory, and sales are on track to rise again in 2010.” First-time home buyers represented 43 percent of the market in December, compared with 51 percent the prior month. The industry group noted that sales had risen every month since April, apart from a slight dip in August, and had often topped expectations. For all of 2009, sales of existing homes totaled 5.156 million, a gain of 4.9 percent from 2008. “It was the first annual sales gain since 2005,” NAR said. — AFP

changing Washington, and fighting for middle class families.” The measures were developed by the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, which is led by Vice President Joseph Biden. “There are immediate steps we can take to reduce

the strain on family budgets by helping middle class families manage their child and elder care responsibilities, save for retirement, and pay for college,” the White House said in a statement. The proposals would: • Require companies that do not offer retirement

plans to enroll their employees in direct-deposit retirement accounts unless the workers opt out. • Increase the “Savers Credit,” a tax credit for retirement savings, for families making up to $85,000. • Change some of the rules for 401K employersponsored savings accounts to make them more transparent. • Increase the child tax credit rate to 35 percent of qualifying expenses from the current 20 percent for families making under $85,000 a year. Families making up to $115,000 would be eligible for some increase in the tax credit. • Increase child care funding by $1.6 billion in 2011 to serve an additional 235,000 children. • Boost government spending by $102.5 million for programs aimed at helping families who provide home care for an aging relative. • Ease the burden for student loans by limiting a borrower’s payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance. — Reuters

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirate’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a new competition framework which it hopes would lower prices of telecom services in the Arab state, TRA’s director general said yesterday. The new framework will have the TRA study various sectors of services offered by mobile operators du and Etisalat and would determine whether any licensee has market power in each of those sectors. “For example, if we find there is fair competition in the Blackberry services sector we would then allow the operators to introduce packages straight to the market without being preapproved by the TRA,” Mohamed Nasser AlGhanim said.

“This new framework will help increase the level of competition in the market and in turn will drive prices down, all to benefit consumers,” he added. The TRA plans to have the framework implemented by the end of the year and is assessing and studying the different market sectors, said Ghanim. Ghanim downplayed the possibility of adding a third operator in the near future and said it was not part of the TRA’s plan. “This year we are giving a draft of the telecom policy to the cabinet and we’ll be receiving direction from the cabinet whether to have additional operators,” he told Reuters in an interview. Market penetration for mobile phones stands at a staggering 200 percent, he added. — Reuters

Dubai gold trade hit by Asian workers’ exodus DUBAI: Laid-off South Asian workers returning home have robbed the Dubai retail gold market of some of its keenest buyers, while sales in India have held up better, a leading Indian executive in the trade told Reuters. “Thousands of jobs were lost and that this directly had an impact on the volume of gold sales in Dubai,” Vasant Mehta, chairman of the Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council based in Mumbai said in an interview. “There were so many Indians and Pakistanis who were laid off during the economic crisis and many of these workers used to buy gold from Dubai to send home to their families and that’s why the drop in UAE gold sales was worse than India,” Mehta said. Jewelry sales in Dubai, dubbed the city of gold, have continuously declined since the end of 2008, as disposable incomes have fallen due to the global downturn. The repercussions of the economic crisis coupled with Dubai’s debt saga have shaken global investors and lead to a standstill at many of the emirate’s construction projects- reliant on workers from the sub-continent. The sales slide continued last year as gold hit a record high of $1,226.10 per ounce on Dec. 3, taking the precious metal further out of reach for cashstrapped consumers. Spot gold prices reached around $1093.65 an ounce yesterday, however Mehta expects prices to dip below the $1000 mark only if India and China’s central banks decide not to buy more reserves. “Four months ago India’s central bank bought 200 tons of gold which hyped up prices and now there are rumors of another 200 tons order in addition to China wanting to buy more reserves,” Mehta said. Despite a slow six months of sales following the economic crisis, India’s retail gold sale volumes grew by 2 percent in 2009 compared to a year earlier, said Mehta.— Reuters


22

BUSINESS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Social, economic and geo-political issues to be analyzed

Amadeus to study ME potential to become world’s travel hub DUBAI: Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, yesterday announced that it has commissioned a major new report into the potential for the Middle East to

become the world’s dominant travel hub. The report will cover the GCC region and include assessments of the airline, travel agency and hotel sectors.

It will include interviews with senior business figures as well as industry bodies and government officials. It has been commissioned by Amadeus from the consultancy companies Insights Management Consultancy and h2c Consulting and will be launched in Q2. The report will make a major review of the current and future economic prospects for the region to position as a global hub. It will consider the infrastructure and technology requirements as well as the business social, cultural and environmental impacts. The role of government, regulators and industry bodies will also be examined. The importance of the GCC region for worldwide travel will be analyzed, particularly in comparison with other emerging hubs such as those in Asia. The potential for growth will also be reviewed against the impact of the

recent economic down turn. “Asking the question about whether the Middle East can fulfill its potential as the world’s most important global hub is vital”, comments Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Middle East & North of Africa (MENA), at Amadeus. “We have commissioned this report to help bring the issues and actions into focus. Across the region there are so many important players involved and many complexities to address we thought it was important to help draw all the threads together to enable a clear view to be obtained. It is also particularly timely to make this review now in light of the impact of the economic downturn. It will help us take a fresh look. We will be speaking to a wide range of business and government people, but also influencer groups like industry associations. Do please get in touch if

Antoine Medawar

you would like to make a contribution.” ‘Amadeus’ spread in the MENA region includes 12 local Amadeus Commercial Organizations (ACOs) servicing 15 countries. In the region, Amadeus is used by some 7,400 travel agency locations and is installed on 22,740 travel agency terminals. Through a recent deal with the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), Amadeus entered into a 10-year exclusive distribution agreements with 13 leading airlines from the AACO. The 13 airlines - Air Algerie, Afriqiyah Airways, EgyptAir, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Libyan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sudan Airways, Syrian Arab Airlines, Tunisair Yemen Airways and Royal Air Maroc, account for 68 per cent of reservations made by travel agencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Saudi’s Dar Al-Arkan to spend $720m in 2010 DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Dar al-Arkan Real Estate will use the proceeds of an Islamic bond issue to help finance 2.7 billion riyals of ($720 million) capital expenditure during 2010, a prospectus for investors showed yesterday. “Management expects Dar to make a total of 2.7 billion riyals of capital expenditures during 2010 principally related to development of the Al-Qasr and Shams Ar-Riyadh masterplanned communities,” the prospectus said. Dar moved its international roadshow to the United Arab Emirates yesterday as it looks to drum up investor interest across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United States. “Dar Al Arkan intends to fund its capital expenditures with a combination of cash from operations, current debt facilities and the proceeds from the offering of the certificates pursuant to this Offering Memorandum,” the document obtained by Reuters said. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Unicorn Investment Bank are arranging the sale. Dar operates in speculative, cyclical, and capital-intensive land development and homebuilding activities, and in the still-opaque and immature Saudi housing market, ratings agency said on Jan 20. It assigned a BB- long-term rating to Dar Al Arkan and for the benchmark sukuk. “I think (it will be between) half a billion and a billion (dollars),” Alain Marckus head of sukuk, credit trading treasury at Noor Islamic Bank said on the sidelines of the roadshow in Dubai yesterday. “The appetite is there and people will be interested in Saudi paper... the market is losing its appetite for sukuk generally in Dubai so that might help them a little,” he said. A second banker attending the meeting also said the issue could be worth about $1 billion. As of Dec 2009 Arkan’s land bank consisted of 8.9 billion riyals of undeveloped land and 4.5 billion riyals of developed land, the prospectus said. — Reuters

KU students visit VIVA KUWAIT: Kuwait’s leading mobile telecommunications provider VIVA extended a warm welcome to the students of the Kuwait University’s Faculty of Administrative Science in the Department of Quantitative Methods and Information Systems. Under the supervision of the University’s associate professor Dr Kamal Rouwaibeh, who initiated and organized the visit, students were given the opportunity to visit

VIVA’s Head Quarters located in Salmiya. Upon arrival students were received by VIVA’s Public Relations and Communication Department, then taken on a tour of the company’s IT servers and offices. Explanations were then given on how VIVA’s exclusive products and services are their prime strategy used to overcome competitors. Following the tour, the Team from the Department of Information Technology

explained the establishment of their division including its specializations and the number of staff to students’ ratio. The team also spoke of the role technology and information systems play in supporting the VIVA’s strategy. They highlighted some of the tasks the Information sector is responsible for in promoting VIVA’s strategy and how they provide information systems used to support the various procedures VIVA depends on.

NEW DELHI: Dr Shashi Tharoor presents the award to Seetharaman during the ceremony at the Le-Meridian Hotel in New Delhi.

R Seetharaman honored with lifetime achievement award Award presented by Indian minister Tharoor R Seetharaman, the CEO of Doha Bank was honored on 9th January 2010 with a Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the Banking Sector and for contributing to Indo Arab Trade Investment Banking, as a philanthropist and a dignified citizen of India. The award was given during the Pravasi Samman Divas 2010, organized by the NRI Institute. Dr Shashi Tharoor the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs presented the award during the ceremony at the LeMeridian Hotel in New Delhi. Seetharaman is also one of the most sought after Economist in the GCC region committed to knowledge sharing. On a regular basis, he is called on by CNBC, BBC World, Reuters, Forbes, Dow Jones, Bloomberg etc., and a host of regional media channels for sharing his opinion and for seeking his expert comments on recent developments and issues in economics, banking, environment etc. Seetharaman is highly committed to social causes such as

CH2M enters Saudi Arabia through Olayan venture RIYADH: Engineering giant CH2M Hill has teamed up with Saudi Olayan Group to bid for a growing number of building projects in the country, whose government is spending $400 billion in five years to meet the needs of its rising population. Colorado-based CH2M Hill hopes that its partnership with one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest conglomerates, owned by the billionaire Olayan family, will help it to win some of the projects, such as water

desalination and power plants, said Lee McIntire, the US firm’s chief executive. Major international firms often need to team up with influential Saudi-owned firms to make a foray into the kingdom, the Arab world’s biggest economy and OPEC’s most influential member state. “We need to be local. It is very much in our strategic interest. The timing is good,” McIntire told reporters on the sidelines of a business conference in Riyadh. “Projects are getting bigger and

bigger...in Saudi Arabia.” Because it has a rapidly growing population, authorities in the desert kingdom have been stepping up spending and involving private sector partners in building integrated water desalination and power generation plants. The country’s state-controlled power utility Saudi Electricity Co plans to spend 300 billion riyals ($80 billion) to add a total of 20,000 megawatts through 2018. Olayan Group’s

Chairman Khaled Olayan, who also chairs HSBC’s Saudi affiliate SABB bank said the joint-venture called CH2MOlayan would start off with a paid-up capital of 10 million riyals which ($2.7 million) could be increased later. “It will bring expertise, transfer knowledge...and execute large projects on time and at competitive costs,” Olayan said. CH2MOlayan is already eyeing a paint plant Dutch Akzo Nobel plans for Saudi Arabia, McIntire said. — Reuters

environmental protection. He has organized a series of environmental seminars across the globe on “Global warming and Climatic challenges” creating awareness about the subject and the steps every corporate and individuals in society needs to take to conserve the ecological balances. These efforts have been very well appreciated by society, corporate houses and government dignitaries. Seetharaman is phenomenal Banker, A Chartered Accountant by qualification, Seetharaman has more than twenty five years of experience in banking, information technology and consultancy. He is accredited with transforming Doha Bank into the best performing bank in the region and sustaining the position over the last 7 years. During his stewardship, the bank has become an extremely vibrant entity with a sustainable performance. A banker par excellence and a highly sought after economist, Seetharaman was conferred “The Phenomenal Banker Achievers Excellence Award” in April 2009, selected as the ‘Banker of the

year’ in 2007 and also conferred the ‘Best CEO in Middle-East Banking Industry” title in 2008, alongside many prestigious awards for his contribution to the world of banking. He was also conferred with “Gullands Excellence Award 2008 for Excellence in Banking” by the UK Chapter of NRI Institute World-wide and “Brand Leadership Award” during the 17th Asia Brand Congress both in September 2008; “Best CEO in Middle East Banking Industry 2008” conferred by Dominique de Villepin, Former Prime Minister of France, during the 5th Leading CEO Summit in recognition of his valuable contributions to the Banking industry in the Middle East, in March 2008; “Certificate of Appreciation” from the USACommercial Services attached to USA Government - Commerce Ministry in November 2007 for his tireless efforts and outstanding creativity in promoting USQatari trade and financial ties; and “Arab Asian Banker Excellence Award - 2006” at the Annual Arab Asian Forum in Singapore in September 2006.

Jazeera Airways completes $105m ECA financing with NATIXIS Airline to possess 3 Airbus A320 aircraft KUWAIT: Kuwait based regional carrier Jazeera Airways yesterday announced that it has taken delivery of its 11th aircraft and completed total ECA financing for $105 million with NATIXIS for three Airbus A320 aircraft. Jazeera Airways CFO Barathan Pasupathi said, “We have once again proven that we can secure funding in a relatively difficult credit climate. The Investment community and financial institutions continue to show confidence in our business model and Jazeera’s ability to deliver sustainable results. We are indeed pleased to secure backing from the European Export Credit Agencies and to see NATIXIS participate in this funding arrangement.” Natixis Transport Finance SVP Jean-

Francois Lascombe said “Natixis has supported the Jazeera project with PDP financing one year after its creation, and we have continuously done financing through commercial loans for Jazeera Airways, which is a project that we believe in. We thank Jazeera for having selected us for funding the Export credit for these three aircraft and it is a tribute to the long standing relationship between our two firms. “Jazeera Airways is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and operates a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s from Kuwait and to destinations across the Middle East, Iran, and North Africa. The airline has firm orders for another 29 additional aircraft, to be delivered over the coming years with the last fleet installment scheduled for delivery in 2016.

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 .4590000 .4020000 .2720000 .2780000 .2550000 .0045000 .0020000 .0776790 .7568070 .4020000 .0750000 .7419170 .0045000 .0500000

.2920000 .4680000 .4100000 .2820000 .2790000 .2640000 .0075000 .0035000 .0784600 .7644130 .4180000 .0790000 .7493730 .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 .2861500 .4610100 .4043730 .2747730 .2704480 .0543150 .0395420 .2575940 .0368130 .2036880 .0031810 .0062610 .0025100 .0034060 .0041920 .0779470 .7594070 .4046970 .0763460 .7436230 .0062200

.2882500 .4642670 .4072290 .2767190 .2723640 .0547000 .0398220 .2594130 .0370740 .2051310 .0032030 .0063050 .0025280 .0034300 .0042220 .0784440 .7642510 .4075640 .0768330 .7483660 .0062640

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2882500 .4642670 .2767190 .0768330

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 287.000 Euro 414.600 Sterling Pound 473.000

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

285.600 198.310 281.700 265.100 285.000

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.189 6.284 3.394 2.509 3.942 207.400 36.980 4.152 6.252 8.744 0.301 0.292

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 55.250 52.963 1.379 219.920 405.500 193.920 6.325 37.080 GCC COUNTRIES 76.574 78.890 745.940 762.600 78.202

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

SELL CASH 263.800 764.270 4.550 275.700 693.400 15.800 55.600 167.800 55.390 411.000

10 Tola

GOLD 1,185.520

37.610 6.220

406.230 0.193 87.370 3.910 207.800

SELL DRAFT 262.300 764.270 4.162 274.200

206.200 52.832 409.500

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

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

278.500 8.900 78.420 267.400

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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 465.500 287.400

287.300 273.340 465.470 408.400 275.470 704.180 761.850 78.200 78.845 76.640 405.415 52.940 6.230

3.405 2.510 4.170 6.205 3.200 8.715 5.540

Currency 746.360 3.410 6.220 79.060 76.730 206.250 40.390 2.508 465.500

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

37.760 6.570 0.035 0.290 0.251 3.280 407.820 0.194 87.370 38.900 4.240 209.300 2.183 50.700 746.540 3.490 6.440 79.490 76.730 206.250 40.390 2.761 467.500 40.800 280.100 6.400 9.080 222.810 78.420 287.800 1.400

Sterling Pound US Dollar

GOLD 222.000 115.000 59.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

287.250 3.410 6.245 2.520 4.165 6.250 78.245 76.720 763.700 52.880 468.400 0.0000306 1.550 408.100 5.750 411.900 278.700

Al Mulla Exchange 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 287.100 409.250 465.200 274.900 3.195 6.218 52.880 2.510 4.159 6.225 3.400 764.100 78.200 76.550


BUSINESS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

23

Update on automaker’s business plan to be issued

GM Chairman Whitacre Jr to become permanent CEO New ways of global cooperation By Klaus Schwab

T

he economic and financial crisis of the past year underscored the extent to which, after experiencing the ‘globalization of opportunities’, we are now facing the ‘globalization of problems.’ This shift reflects the transformation of a world which has become much more interconnected, interdependent and complex, characterized by many new state and non-state players. Today, although the impact of the crisis appears to be diminishing, an atmosphere of complacency has descended, even as the recovery process remains fragile. The momentum calling for comprehensive reforms has slowed and the compulsion for international cooperation has weakened, as demonstrated recently in Copenhagen. As we continue to absorb lessons from the crisis, it is clear that this year will be an exceedingly challenging one. The fiscal and monetary prescriptions to ease the pain of global economic shocks are now fuelling anxieties about the creation of new economic bubbles. Moreover, the demographic, behavioral and technological changes linked to the collapse in global demand, combined with the persistent overcapacity in many industries, are challenging basic assumptions about the nascent recovery. In addition, global risks such as climate change, nuclear proliferation and pandemics have reached unprecedented heights of urgency. If we focus solely on crisis management, we will continue to fuel the downward spiral. Denial of unpleasant or politically inconvenient truths, combined with the herd instinct, is what has caused us to rely on systems which were unrealistic and unsustainable in the first place. Clearly, moments of crises create moments of opportunity to introduce better ideas and to inject positive change in the global system, drawing on the engagement of all stakeholders of global society. It is clear that 2010 represents a tipping point in global history, and that the management of our future requires us above all to do it in the framework of rethinking our values, redesigning our systems and rebuilding our institutions. One of the fundamental preconditions in rethinking our values framework should not only be anchored on social responsibility and environmental sustainability, but also on increased equity. Rethinking our values pro-

vides the foundation for the necessary redesign of our systems, adapting them to the needs of society in the 21st century. This redesign must take place on all levels, but particularly on the global level, comprising the necessary framework, for example, for global financial and trade flows. These redesign efforts require a common vision, collaborative innovation and publicprivate partnerships for their long-term success. Rethinking our values and redesigning our systems naturally leads to the rebuilding of our institutions - to make them more proactive and strategic; more inclusive, fostering greater multi-stakeholder engagement; more reflective of the new geo-political and geo-economic structures; and more inclusive of inter-generational accountability and responsibility. The bricks we are using to build the postcrisis world can be found in new concepts which are based on greater citizen involvement and stronger government partnerships with other non-state actors. We have to incorporate much more expertise and knowledge into our global decision-making processes; we have to use social networking as an empowerment tool and more effectively harness our digital capital; we have to listen more intensively to the next generation. While there are many existing institutions that are well-placed to look at discrete aspects of the challenges facing the world, none have the mandate to examine the global situation in an integrated and holistic manner, nor do they have the range of stakeholders and constituencies that would enable them to perform such a task adequately. It is clear that what the world needs most today is integration and cooperation. We will never meet the challenges if we do it alone. We must reach beyond our own silos, building links with other people and organizations. The basis of any progress made in the complex and fast moving world of the 21st century is the capability to understand the motivations of all the different stakeholders of society and to gain true insights into the nature of the issues. This can only be achieved through dialogue amongst those who have responsibility for shaping the global agenda. Such a discourse is the precondition for sound and enlightened decision-making. To provide the platform for such a comprehensive and authentic dialogue is the unique contribution which Davos - at the beginning of each year - can make to the world. — Klaus Schwab is founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

DETROIT: General Motors’s chairman and interim chief executive, Ed Whitacre Jr, will become the permanent CEO of the automaker, a person briefed on the matter said yesterday. The announcement was made at 11:30 am Eastern (1630 GMT) news conference yesterday at GM’s downtown Detroit headquarters, the person said. The person, who asked not to be identified because the announcement had not been made, said Whitacre will say that he is taking the job for good, as well as give an update on GM’s business plan. Whitacre, 68, is a former CEO of telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. He has been serving as interim CEO since the board ousted former CEO Fritz Henderson on Dec. 1. GM had hired a firm to conduct a global search for a suc-

cessor. Whitacre often says in a folksy Texas drawl that he knows little about cars. But he has already shaken up the company by hiring a new chief financial officer and transferring the old one to China, firing the Chevrolet and Buick-GMC brand managers, combining sales and marketing and consolidating control of GM’s core North American market under one executive. He also seems impatient to spur the plodding culture of GM, where decision by committee, an isolated upper management and fear of risk produced mediocre cars for years. He wants to increase GM’s sales and market share while shifting the company’s focus from trucks to cars. And he aims to repay $8.1 billion in US and Canadian government loans by the end of June. —AP

DETROIT: General Motors Corp Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr addresses the media during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Detroit. —AP

Midas Furniture opens first KSA showroom in Riyadh RIYADH: Following the tremendous success experienced in Kuwait and Jordan, Midas Furniture hosted the grand opening of a new 10,000 m2 showroom in Riyadh, KSA. The auspicious event was co-hosted by Midas Chairman, Khaldoun Alkhammach and Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Hassan Bibi, along with an impressive list of distinguished guests. Russell Brown, Director of Retail Operations, commented, “The stunning new showroom is a result of a team effort aligned with our strategic vision for the Midas brand, which takes us closer to fulfilling our goals.” Further adding to this vision, “Striving for excellence is paramount in everything we do, where we collaborate with all our partners around the world to constantly provide our customers with innovative styles at the highest quality at reasonable prices. Our showrooms reflect our understanding and interpretation of our customers’ discern-

ing tastes and high expectations. The showroom’s contemporary design and warmth provides customers with a shopping experience to feel as if they were in their own homes. Customers will experience an enriched shopping environment with space, clarity of dÈcor and lighting that sets the right mood and atmosphere.” He continued, “Our diverse and exquisite range culminates in our understanding and appreciation of our customer’s individuality and we constantly strive to meet the expectations of those in pursuit of elegance. The showroom offers in excess of 10,000 m2 of display space split over two floors with basement parking reserved exclusively for Midas customers. The ground floor carries our contemporary range of home furniture and accessories with classical furniture located on the first floor. Office furniture and the Special Projects Department are located on the second floor. Additional departments on display include kitchen-

ware, chandeliers and lighting, carpets, flowers, children’s rooms and a Midas Cafe.” Brown explained, “Midas employs a highly talented and truly international team of interior designers from across the globe to showcase their innovative and harmonious creations to ensure customers enjoy a seamless and uncomplicated selection process. An example of the coordinated themes our team has created are “Rock Star”, “Africa”, “Fusion”, “Metropolis” and “Ibiza” amongst other eye catching styles. He continued, “What makes Midas different is the bond that is formed between us and our customers, based on mutual respect for core values and understanding the increasing demands and high standards pertaining to elegance, sheer beauty and exceptional value.” Relating to the selection of KSA as Midas’ new point of expansion, Brown explained, “The Saudi market is of strategic importance to us and this step was a natural progression in

our expansion path after experiencing phenomenal success in other markets. Research has indicated that the KSA market is growing as a result of ever increasing high standards of living, a surge in population and a booming real estate sector. With this in mind, an additional Midas showroom in Alkhobar is under construction with a target opening date in October of this year. We are also currently in serious negotiations to secure a strategic location for our Jeddah branch. Midas Furniture, proud of its first showroom opening in Saudi Arabia, was first launched in Kuwait in 1994 and was encouraged to expand into Jordan, UAE and Qatar after achieving market leader position within a relatively short period of time. Midas Furniture, which is “Superbrand Certified”, attributes its success to a clear strategic vision and a powerful relationship with its customers, which is built on trust and a serious commitment to service excellence.

Oil declines towards $74, close to one-month low

Oman Air pledges support for maritime project Oman relives its sailing glory days MUSCAT: Oman Air lends support to the prestigious maritime project - Jewel of Muscat, reaffirming its commitment to the Sultanate’s initiative in upholding a glorious past tradition. As a major sponsor of the project, Oman Air is providing air travel and freight. Jewel of Muscat, an 18-metre long reconstructed ninth century sewn-plank ship modelled on the wreckage of the old Chinese Tang dynasty treasure ship which sank in the Indian Ocean while carrying precious items, will set sail from the port of Muscat next month, heading for Singapore, with Omani sailors aboard. Jewel of Muscat will travel along the same trade routes across the Indian Ocean as those described by Arab geographers and navigators. Once in Singapore, she will be officially handed over as a gift from the Government of Oman to the Singapore Government and housed in a museum along with the treasure from the original wreck. A spokesperson from Oman

Air’s Corporate Communications and Media official stated that Oman Air is proud to be supporting this venture. Through its commitment to respecting Oman’s heritage while building Oman’s ties across the Indian Ocean, the Jewel of Muscat project captures the spirit driving Oman Air’s ambitious plans for the future. The idea of this was inspired from the Tang Treasure that was discovered in 1998 in Indonesian waters. It took about 12 months to construct this vessel, which represents an important Omani cultural and heritage initiative, it was informed. “It was necessary for Oman Air to support this project to keep history alive, furthermore bring both the nations closer. A large part of Oman’s history is interwoven with the sea,” the official said. Jewel of Muscat, a type of ship that traded between China and Oman more than 1,000 years ago will undeniably reignite international interest in Oman’s long maritime heritage and emulate the enchanted feats of one of the country’s most

renowned mariners, the legendary Sinbad. “Oman, which has a long and proud history that extends back to the earliest of civilizations, left its mark on history as a nation of traders and explorers,” the spokesperson concluded saying. It is worthwhile to mention that Sohar, a replica of a ninth-century Arab dhow that was built in Oman too, sailed from Muscat and arrived in the China in early July 1981, at the end of a 9,600 kilometers voyage. The point of the voyage was to prove that Sindbad’s legendary voyages are rooted in historical fact - and they certainly proved that the voyage itself is possible. In a hand-built craft stitched together with coconut string, and navigating with medieval navigational instruments, the dhow sailed between Muscat and Canton. Named after the legendary Omani sailor Sindbad who explored the seas in ancient times, Oman Air’s Frequent Flyer Program symbolizes the rich and rewarding seafaring history of Oman.

LONDON: Oil prices slipped slightly towards $74 a barrel yesterday, nearing a one-month low, after a US proposal to toughen bank trading rules and on continuing signs of weak demand. Prices have fallen by almost $10 a barrel over the last two weeks since hitting a 15-month peak of $83.95 on Jan 11. US crude for March delivery rose 25 cents to $74.29 a barrel by 1403 GMT. The contract fell $1.54 to settle at $74.54 a barrel on Friday, the lowest settlement since Dec 22, after trading as low as $74.01. London ICE Brent fell 8 cents to $72.75. “It is very narrow trading today. You could call it consolidation after last week’s fall,” VTB Capital analyst Andrey Krynchenkov said. “It is quiet ahead of the US Federal Reserve announcement on interest rates on Wednesday,” he added. Wall Street stocks had their

worst three-day slide in 10 months at the end of last week on fears President Barack Obama’s plan to limit risk-taking by banks would undermine profits, but US stock index futures pointed to a possible rebound yesterday. “Besides raising concerns that the new ruling could threaten the profitability of the financial sector, Obama’s plan also raised worries concerning liquidity in commodity markets,” JBC Energy analyst David Wech said. Oil prices have broken below the 100-day moving average around $75.25, a key indicator of market sentiment which measures the average price of oil over the last three months. Demand for oil remains relatively weak in the wake of the financial crisis. US crude oil is expected to rise to an average of $77.50 a barrel in 2010, a Reuters poll of 29 market analysts showed yesterday. —Reuters

Bank Muscat plunges to Q4 loss on impairments DUBAI: Writedowns on a stake in a Pakistan bank and higher loan impairments plunged Bank Muscat into a fourth-quarter net loss of 6.7 million Omani rials ($17.4 million) yesterday. The loss at Oman’s largest bank by market value compared with a profit of 3.62 million a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations, and fell short of expectations. Shares in the bank, which analysts forecast would have a net profit of 2.69 million rials, ended up 0.5 percent, roughly in line with the Muscat index. Bank Muscat said in November it would have to write down the value of its investment in Pakistan’s Silkbank. The Omani bank held a 35 percent stake in Silkbank but decided not to take part in its rights issue, leading to a writedown of 20.3 million rials and cutting its stake to 8.5 percent. The bank reported a full-year net profit of 73.7 million, down 21 percent from 93.7 million rials in 2008. Its results were also hit by impairment charge on loan losses of 98.2 million rials for the entire year, a more than fourfold increase compared with the previous year. —Reuters

COLORADO: The Halliburton sign adorns the side of a machine being used by the company at a site for natural-gas producer Williams in Rulison, Colorado. Halliburton said yesterday its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 48 percent to end a volatile year and the oilfield service company said it expects 2010 to be a transitional year for the industry. —AP

Halliburton’s Q4 profit drops 48% HOUSTON: Halliburton yesterday reported its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 48 percent to end a volatile year and the oilfield services company said that it expects 2010 to be a transitional year for the industry. Oil services companies, which assist producers with drilling, reservoir management and other services, struggled in 2009 as consumers burned less fuel. Crude collapsed to less than half of its current price as millions of American workers received pink slips and left their cars at home. As a result, major oil producers pressured companies like Halliburton Co, and rivals like

Schlumberger Ltd., to cut their fees. Energy prices have roared back and the number of operating rigs in the US is on the rise, which could give Halliburton more leverage on prices in coming months. “Many operators have announced potential increases in upstream spending for 2010 targeted for new frontier developments and ultradeepwater where we are well positioned,” said CEO Dave Lesar. Still, Lesar said, substantial spending may not be seen until the latter half of 2010. The Houston company yesterday

reported net income of $243 million, or 27 cents per share, for the fourth quarter. That compares with income of $468 million, or 52 cents per share, for the final three months of 2008. Revenue fell 25 percent, to $3.69 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $3.63 billion. For the full year, Halliburton Co. posted net income of $1.15 billion, or $1.27 per share, compared with $2.22 billion, or $2.45 per share for 2008. Shares fell 50 cents to $30.65 in premarket trading. —AP


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BUSINESS GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

KSE stocks pare losses KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) along with GCC stock markets ended yesterday’s trading session in the green. Furthermore, major indicators also ended on a positive note backed by gains witnessed in a majority of the market’s sectors. The KSE was affected by regional markets Sunday which fell on Barack Obama’s bank plan and yesterday there was a recovery of these losses. Global General Index (GGI) added 1.08 points (+0.59 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 184.33 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index increased by 59.50 points (+0.85 percent) yesterday and closed at 7,084 points. Market capitalization was up KD176.01mn today to reach KD30.09bn. Market breadth During the session, 127 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards gainers as 60 equities advanced versus 27 that retreated. A total of 118 stocks remained unchanged during the trading session. Trading activities ended on a positive note today as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 51.02 percent to reach 651.05mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded gained by 22.06 percent to stand at KD68.22mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader for the day, accounting for 35.71 percent of total shares traded. The same sector was also the value leader, accounting for 32.49 percent of total market value. International Financial Advisors saw 60.30mn shares changing hands at a total traded value of KD6.50mn, making it the volume and value leader yesterday. In terms of top gainers, Aref Investment Group was the top gainer in the market, adding 8.62 percent and closed at KD0.126. On the other hand, Al-Abraj Holding Company was the biggest decliner for the day, dropping by 5.77 percent and closed at KD0.025. Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they all ended on a positive

note, except for Global Insurance Index which was unchanged and Global Non-Kuwaiti Index which was the only decliner. The index ended the day down 0.28 percent backed by Ahli United Bank being the only decliner in the sector. The scrip ended the day down 1.30 percent and closed at KD0.152. It’s worth to mention that Sharjah Cement & Industrial Development Company was the only gainer in the sector (+1.64 percent) and remaining companies were unchanged. In terms of gainers, Global Industrial Index took the top spot, up 1.18 percent. Kuwait Cement Company was a contributing factor to the index’s gain by posting a 3.51 percent increase to close at KD0.590. Also noteworthy is Equipment Holding Company, which was the

second biggest gainer in the market. The scrip ended yesterday’s trading session with a 7.35 percent increase in value and closed at KD0.073. Global Investment Index was the second biggest advancers with a 1.10 percent gain. International Financial Advisors aided the index by posting a 3.77 percent increased and closed at KD0.110. Furthermore, Global Investment House also ended in the green yesterday by posting a 6.25 percent gain to close at KD0.085. Global’s special indices also ended on a positive note yesterday with Global Islamic Index being the top gainer. The index ended the day up 1.09 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Finance House ended the day up 1.89 percent. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $73.02 a bar-

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

rel on Friday 22/1/2010, compared with $74.54 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwait Finance House said in a filing it had obtained a license from the Saudi Capital Market Authority, to operate in the Kingdom through its unit, Saudi Kuwait Finance House. The Kuwaiti lender will undertake securities underwriting, management and arrangement, as well as provide depository and financial advisory services in Saudi Arabia. Kuwaiti Akhawat Real Estate Company was established with a capital totaling KD1mn, Kuwaiti newspaper “Kuwait Al-Yawm” said yesterday. The newspaper said in its latest edition that the company is a closed joint stock company with 10mn in stocks valuing 100fils each.

Dubai leads regional rebound, Asia backs DUBAI: Middle East markets rebounded yesterday after a steady opening in Asia soothed nerves, with most Gulf indexes clawing back after a sell-off in the previous day inspired by Obama’s bank plan. Dubai was the standout performer, climbing 2.8 percent in its biggest gain for three weeks, while the six other Gulf Arab benchmarks added less than a percent. Egypt’s bourse was closed for a holiday. “The severity of yesterday’s correction was a mystery and so the market is bouncing back from that,” said Ali Khan, managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital. “The declines out of Asia today are not as severe as we would have expected given the fall on US markets on Friday and that’s brought a comfort factor to our region.” On Thursday, US President Barack Obama announced plans to curb U.S. banks’ proprietary trading, sending stock markets across the globe lower and adding to rising jitters over the health of the world economy. “Obama’s plan is likely to impact the major US banks and the whole global financial sector, while the Gulf could follow suit and introduce similar rules,” said Shailendra Singh, investment manager at Al-Shurooq Securities in Muscat. “In the long-term, Obama’s move will be positive for investors-banks would focus on their core business and there would be more stability in the market.” In the short-term, most analysts remain cautious, forecasting more range-bound trading on regional bourses, while Dubai Holding’s spat with Standard & Poors will do little to boost confidence in UAE stocks. “It’s hard to see what positive catalysts might be out there,” said Robert McKinnon, ASAS Capital chief investment officer. “So I think markets will move sideways to down over the next three months at least. I don’t see positive catalysts coming from earnings or from global markets.” DP World, part of debt-laden Dubai World, rose 3.9 percent after the ports operator issued a trading update and said it would list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the second-quarter of this year. “We have been calling a buy on DP World-volumes in the

second half of 2009 were up versus the first half and it seems like the company has turned a corner,” said Arqaam’s Khan. “DP World is a good proxy to recovering world trade and that theme is manifesting itself in rising container volumes, which are now back to almost pre-crisis levels. The London listing will substantially increase the company’s profile.” In Saudi, chemical company Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 0.6 percent, lifting the region’s index. “Oil has made quite a significant move downwards without much support - if it gets closer to $70, there will be an effect on the (Saudi) market because everything always comes back to petrochemicals,” said a Riyadh-based analyst who asked not to be identified. “A lot of international investors play SABIC as a proxy for a global economic recovery and if that isn’t happening, then people will sell the stock.” Oil is down 0.1 percent at $74.46 a barrel at 1326 GMT and has fallen more than 10 percent in the past two weeks as worries over the global economy weigh. HIGHLIGHTS DUBAI The index rose 2.8 percent to 1,614 points. Emaar Properties climbed 5.7 percent. ABU DHABI The benchmark climbed 0.3 percent to 2,608 points, rebounding from a six-week intraday low. SAUDI ARABIA The measure rose 0.2 percent to 6,316 points. OMAN The index climbed 0.6 percent to 6,406 points. KUWAIT The index rose 0.9 percent to 7,084 points, its highest close since Dec. 27 and biggest gain for three weeks. QATAR The measure climbed 0.7 percent to 6,710 points. BAHRAIN The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,474 points. —Reuters


BUSINESS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

25

Resurgent NAFED-India blazes the trail NEW DELHI: India’s agri-business major, National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), has come out with a Republic Day bonanza to cheer up the expatriate Indians and the common man in India. NAFED’s Santa Claus-kitty includes essential commodities and kitchen basics to the consumers at affordable price and NAFED-brand Indian products to the expatriates in GCC countries. Launching the concept of ‘Easy Market’, which ensures quality kitchen basics to the people at 30% less than the market price, NAFED’s initiatives give a boost and relief to the consumers at a time when the prices tend to show an unprecedented upward trend. The Easy Market Scheme envisages distribution of 100 million easy kits consisting of 16 essential items including rice, wheat flour, edible oil, pulses, sugar and an assortment of other commodities selected by an expert team of nutrition specialists and consumer representatives. ‘Easy kits’ have been distributed on a trial basis in New Delhi and Kochi. The consumer feedback has been overwhelming. “The Easy Market is NAFED’s simple solution to the complex problem of spiraling prices and we expect to extend it to all parts of India in a phased manner”, said Dr C V Ananda Bose, Additional Agriculture Secretary to the Government of India and Chief Executive of NAFED.

In an emergency meeting of the Cabinet Committee on prices chaired by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, it has been decided to entrust NAFED with the task of distributing rice, wheat flour, edible oil and pulses throughout the country with considerable subsidy from the Government of India.The Prime Minister has convened a meeting of all the Chief Ministers on 27th January, 2010 closely after the Republic Day celebrations. India expects momentous decisions from this conclave which will mitigate the sufferings of the common man in the wake of unprecedented price rise. One of the thrust areas of NAFED is to export to the GCC countries NAFED brand Indian agro based products and processed food on a regular basis. Similarly, products from GCC countries will be imported to India by NAFED. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), an apex organization of marketing cooperatives in India, was set up on 2nd October, 1958 with the prime objective of providing marketing support to the farmers to help them fetch reasonable price for their products. Apart from discharging its obligations with regard to implementation of Government sponsored schemes, NAFED also undertakes business activities in the domestic and international market.

Recently, NAFED has undertaken certain activities such as organic farming on a larger scale under the National Horticulture Mission in the States of UP, Punjab, Bihar and Kerala. NAFED has mobilized farmers for the adoption of organic farming and certification thereafter. The produce obtained from these organically converted fields would be better in nutritive value and also would fetch higher market price than other produce being produced with excessive use of chemical fertilizer and insecticides. NAFED has also increased its activities to a great extent in the field of production and supply of seeds. NAFED has been designated as one of the agencies under the Government’s flagship project for increasing the production and productivity of oilseeds and pulses. NAFED is also venturing into the production and distribution of bio-fertilizers, bio-compost and other organic fertilizers, as there is great demand of these fertilizers from various state government agencies and farmers. NAFED has entered into a backto-back arrangement for providing qualityplanting material of fruit plants and bulbs for flowering plants to the various State Government agencies through its associates. NAFED has also started working on increasing the profitability in the traditional and core business activities by collecting

Dr C V Ananda Bose better market intelligence through various commodity exchanges and better operational management to reduce the administrative and carry over cost. NAFED has initiated steps for proper management of its cold storages and warehouses to reduce the idle time of these units. NAFED has also constructed new cold storages and warehouses, as there is a wide gap between demand and availability of this infrastructure and it could be a profitable activity. In its new Road Map, NAFED envisages

expansion of its business activities including export-import of food grains, sugar, tea, and processed food items. NAFED also seeks to expand its business operations for procurement of paddy wheat, pulses, mustard seed, edible oil and other agricultural commodities. Following core areas will be the focus of business expansion activities of NAFED: (i) Outright Domestic Trading Business of suitable agricultural commodities such as - Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Mustard Seed, Soyabean, Onion, Potato, Cotton, Spices etc. (ii) Import and Export business of selected agricultural commodities with careful application of market intelligence. (iii) Futures trading in selected agricultural commodities with advantageous hedging such as, Rubber, Spices, Soyabean, Guar, Potato, Pulses etc. (iv) Trading on National Electronic Spot Exchange platform under the contracts confirming to NAFED’s FAQ standards for which five branches of NAFED have already availed membership from NSEL. (v) Participation in the business activities of private retail supply chain, supplies to Food Processing Industries/ Aurvedic Pharmaceuticals etc. to maximize business volumes. (vi) Expansion of programme of certified seed production and supply of certified/hybrid seeds and planting materials to the Governmental/ non-Governmental

Agencies. (vii) Expansion of PSS activities on behalf of FCI/State Governments with respect to other commodities for which NAFED is not a designated central agency of the Government. (viii) Implementation of Government sponsored schemes and programs under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and Rashtirya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in various States such as, Organic Adoption and Certification Programs taken up in Punjab, UP and Bihar. (ix) Expansion of business relating to supply of fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, agricultural implements and machinery, pesticides and other agri-inputs to the Governmental/non-Governmental Agencies. The resurgence of NAFED as the prime mover of price stabilization measures in India has catapulted the organization on to the centre stage of agri-marketing and consumer protection in India. NAFED is slated for a quantum jump in the background of its positioning by Government of India as the National Nodal Agency for price stabilization. Looking forward to “fresh woods and pastures anew”, NAFED is pitched for takeoff overseas with proposals from different countries to organize agrimarketing and launch food security measures there.

Failure could up the risk of ‘double dip’ recession

Uncertainty on Bernanke vote raises economic fears WASHINGTON: A defeat of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s quest for another four-year term could raise the risk of a “double dip” recession if political jousting over a successor were to drag on for months, economists

The new Lancia Delta 200 HP is shown at the 79th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. Chrysler now has a turnaround plan that promises improved quality and a stream of new models. — AP

Revamped brands are key to Chrysler turnaround AUBURN HILLS, Michigan: Chrysler sold more than 118,000 Sebring sedans in 2001. Eight years later, the automaker barely sold 27,000 as its bankruptcy filing sent customers fleeing to the car’s newer, better competitors. Chrysler now has a turnaround plan that promises improved quality and a stream of new models. But it won’t work unless Chrysler can get cars like the Sebring back on people’s shopping lists. To do that, Chrysler is going back to the basics: Reinventing its car brands - Chrysler as a luxury line, Dodge as a quirky value brand — and reintroducing them with head-turning ads. It’s a tall order, but Chrysler insists it can be done. “We’ve had troubles. Yeah. We saw death. But the whole world needs to realize we’re serious about this plan,” Dodge brand chief Ralph Gilles told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “We’re no dummies. We know what a good car is and what a good car isn’t.” Chrysler’s truck brands, Jeep and Ram, have strong identities in buyers’ minds. But its car brands are mushy, said Allen Adamson of the San Francisco-based branding firm Landor Associates. One of Chrysler’s first actions under Fiat SpA, which took control of the automaker last year, was to split Ram truck from Dodge so Dodge could stand alone. “What they need to do is quickly define what they want to stand for and then build on it,” Adamson said. Dodge will try to make a big splash with an ad during the Super Bowl next month. Chrysler Group LLC, which has yet to pay back $15.5 billion it borrowed from the federal government, is taking some heat for paying an estimated $5 million to air the ad. But the company says it’s the best forum to explain Dodge’s transformation. Most consumers identify Dodge with its old ram’s horn logo, but Gilles wants it to be known for cars and minivans like the Grand Caravan, which is now the brand’s best-selling vehicle. Gilles, the 40-year-old son of Haitian immigrants, is the designer of two of Chrysler’s most distinctive and popular vehicles: The Chrysler 300, reminiscent of a 1940s sedan, and the muscular 2009 Dodge Ram pickup. He said Dodge offers innovations — like in-floor storage bins and built-in drink coolers — at a value price. The Grand Caravan starts at $23,995, compared to $26,805 for a Honda Odyssey. But he also wants Dodge to be known for the sporty, aggressive feeling epitomized by the Dodge Challenger sports car, which looks more at home on the dirt roads of Hazzard County than the parking lot of the local mall. “People buy Challengers because they’re emotionally drawn to them, because they make them feel good,” Gilles said. “That’s really what I’m looking for. I think it’s possible to have the ‘gotta have it’ thing in every car.” Gilles said car companies generally cast a wide net for buyers, but that leads to vanilla styling. He’s targeting “the expressive types, who are a little bit quirky.” “I want to purposefully aim off the bull’s eye, find a concentrated group of customers whose needs aren’t being met right now.” The Chrysler brand, too, is aiming off the bull’s eye, but it’s trying to lure well-educated, sophisticated buyers. One of its first new ads,

which aired on news channels, called for the release of Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Another in production inserts a Chrysler 300 into a scene from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Both are stylish and provocative. They’re the brainchild of Olivier Francois, a 48year-old Frenchman in dark Levi’s who heads the Chrysler brand and its European twin, Fiat’s Lancia brand. He also controls marketing for the entire Chrysler Group. Francois, who sold music in Taiwan and Citroens in Denmark before leading a turnaround of Lancia, sees the US market share of Chrysler brand rising to 5 percent from its current 2 percent. So if 95 percent of buyers don’t understand his ads, he’s content. “I prefer 5 percent loving it — loving my cars, loving my colors, loving my Detroit auto show stand, loving my advertising — then 50, 60, 70 percent saying, ‘Eh. It’s OK,”’ he said. “It will take years, but it will give a different feeling about the brand.” His influence was evident at this month’s Detroit auto show, where scantily clad models vamped next to the Fiat 500 minicar and Lancia Delta sedan. European shows often use models, but they’re rare at US ones. Francois wants to bring Chrysler to the level of Lancia, which has similarly elegant styling but sells for a 15 percent to 20 percent premium over Fiat. By contrast, the starting price of a Chrysler Town and Country minivan is less than 10 percent more than a Dodge Grand Caravan. He also wants to increase Chrysler’s international sales. Sedans like the 300 can fill holes in Lancia’s lineup, while the Fiat 500 will join Chrysler’s US offerings in 2011. — AP

Still, the chance of Bernanke’s defeat has unsettled Wall Street, contributing to last week’s 4 percent loss by the Dow Jones industrial average, its worst performance in 10 months. If Bernanke were rejected, uncertainty over a successor would further roil global markets, at least in the short run. Anxiety, along with sagging investments, could cause consumers and businesses to cut spending. Joblessness, already at 10 percent, could worsen. And the recovery might fail. Economists who fear a double-dip recession-in which the recovery would collapse into another recession-regard it as a worst-case scenario. But they don’t rule it out, either. Lynn Reaser, chief economist for the National Association for Business Economics, is among them. She sees the likelihood of a double-dip as less than 50 percent. “It will become more acute if there are delays in confirming a successor,” she says, noting that the economic recovery remains fragile, with spending still weak, credit tight and job creation scarce. “All the political angst over the confirmation couldn’t have come at a worse time for the economy,” Reaser says. A Bernanke loss would heighten uncertainty about Fed policies on interest rates and stimulus measures. In part, that’s because Bernanke devised the unconventional supports for the economy and likely knows how best to

safely wind them down, notes Edward Yardeni, chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research. But even more worrisome for the markets and the economy would be if Bernanke’s Senate foes are seen as having meddled with the Fed’s independence for political reasons. The dollar would likely fall. Higher interest rates and inflation fears would follow, stoked by uncertainty and shaken confidence. And all that would probably unsettle consumers and business, making them less likely to spend, hire or invest. Bernanke’s confirmation, which had seemed assured, was suddenly thrown into doubt last week as resistance grew among some Senate Democrats. And some senators who had supported Bernanke said they were now undecided. The Fed chief’s term expires Jan. 31. If Bernanke isn’t confirmed by then, Vice Chairman Donald Kohn is expected to step in as chairman and run the central bank temporarily. Bernanke is widely credited with helping to prevent the Great Recession from turning into a second Great Depression. But his support of Wall Street bailouts during the height of the financial crisis has angered Americans struggling with 10 percent unemployment and soaring home foreclosures. Backlash from Democrats over Bernanke’s role in the bailouts intensified after

warn. But Bernanke’s prospects appeared to brighten Sunday, with three more senators, including Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, predicting he’ll be confirmed. A vote is expected later this week.

WASHINGTON: US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. — AFP Democrats suffered a stunning upset in the Massachusetts Senate race. Democrats are eager to appear allied with ordinary Americans disgusted with Wall Street’s excesses. Higher interest rates that could follow a Bernanke defeat would make it costlier for the government to pay down its record-high debt. Right now, low rates are allowing the Treasury Department to manage its debts. If investors think the White House and Congress will choose

a successor who would keep the Fed pumping money into the economy and hold interest rates at record lows for too long, it would erode trust in the Fed’s oversight of the economy. Continued low rates would please many ordinary Americans. But it would risk creating new speculative bubbles and stoking inflation. Some economists say that in long run, they most fear that global investors would see a rejection of Bernanke as setting

a precedent for Congress to intrude on “monetary policy.” That refers to the Fed’s decisions on whether and when to adjust rates to influence economic activity, inflation and employment. The Fed’s independence in monetary policy is vital to public confidence in the central bank. If it’s undermined, the Fed could lose its credibility on Wall Street, which would fan inflation pressures and send up interest rates, choking the economic rebound. — AFP

Greek farmers rally in BA cabin crew begins strike vote Athens for subsidies ATHENS: Greek farmers who have blocked highways and border crossings for nine days marched through Athens yesterday, piling pressure on the socialist government struggling with a financial crisis. Hundreds of angry farmers demanding more subsidies and higher prices for produce marched through the streets of the capital, holding black flags and chanting: “They are drinking our blood, farmers fight back!” Thousands of wheat, corn and cotton growers have caused major transport disruption across Greece by blocking roads with their trucks and tractors. Others have blocked the Promahonas border crossing with Bulgaria and the railway, ignoring appeals by Greek businesses and complaints from Sofia. The farmers’ protest is seen as the first test for the ruling socialists, who need to impose tough austerity measures but face unions’ opposition. If the government stands its ground in negotiations, the signal to other unions will be clear. After a meeting with farmers on Sunday, Agriculture Minister Katerina Batzeli said the government would not satisfy their financial demands. “The government is determined to get the country out of the crisis,” Batzeli said. “It can’t afford the money they are asking for.” The government has promised the EU to narrow its double-digit budget shortfall to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2012 through welfare spending cuts, tax reforms and savings on public sector wages. The EU and markets have piled pres-

ATHENS: Protesting farmers march in central Athens yesterday. Greek farmers, who have blocked highways and frontier posts for a week to demand higher product prices yesterday took their protest to Athens as the government began fresh talks to break the deadlock. — AFP sure on the government to quickly implement the plan to reduce its deficit and debt which is seen rising to 124.9 percent of GDP this year, according to EU estimates, making Greece the bloc’s most indebted country. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has urged farmers to end protests that add further strain to Greece’s image, as the country struggles with its worst financial crisis in decades. — Reuters

LONDON: British Airways PLC cabin crew began voting yesterday on whether to strike in a long running dispute over pay and working conditions — while the airline starts training other workers to take over their duties. The Unite union called the vote after BA won a court order stopping workers from carrying out a planned walkout over the Christmas and New Year travel period. The new ballot of some 12,000 cabin crew closes on Feb 22, which means that a strike could be called for as early as March 1, although Unite has pledged not to walk out over the busy Easter holiday period. Workers are unhappy about changes to staffing and pay, including a pay freeze in 2010, a switch to part-time work for 3,000 staff and a reduction in cabin crew sizes from 15 to 14 on long-haul flights from Heathrow airport. In an increasingly acrimonious dispute, BA argues the plans are necessary to ride out its dire financial situation — the carrier has been one of the airlines hardest hit by the global recession because of its

heavy running costs and reliance on increasingly unpopular premium fares. The airline yesterday began training pilots, baggage handlers and engineers in cabin crew duties, leading Unite to warn that inexperienced replacement crews would put BA’s passengers at risk in emergency situations. The union said that a 21day fast track training program is no substitute for the minimum three-month course given to permanent cabin crew. “Not only does this show contempt for the crew, what message does it send to passengers who have paid to be cared for by a premier airline?” said Len McCluskey, Unite’s assistant general secretary. The airline said that any training program for replacement staff would meet strict safety standards. Unite and the GMB union, which represents around 7,000 check-in staff and baggage handlers, have issued a joint statement warning all BA employees that if they take up the company’s offer to become strikebreakers they will be putting their permanent jobs at risk. — AP


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BUSINESS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Argentina central bank chief barred from premises BUENOS AIRES: Police stopped the head of Argentina’s central bank from entering the bank on Sunday, hours after he vowed to stay in his job despite a court ruling that the government said meant he had to step down. Martin Redrado, who is locked in dispute with the president over her plan to use central bank reserves to pay debt, said he went to the bank with his lawyers to see if he would be allowed to enter the premis-

es but that police officers stopped them. “(This shows) a flagrant violation of the court’s order,” Redrado said in a statement, adding that he had presented a legal complaint against Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernandez for “impeding him from carrying out his duties.” President Cristina Fernandez fired Redrado earlier this month because he opposed her bid to use $6.6 billion in foreign currency reserves to service debt obligations this year, but a court

ordered his reinstatement a day later. Fernandez’s push to tap the reserves to help meet some $13 billion in debt repayments this year has raised political tension in Latin America’s No. 3 economy, rattling financial markets and raising concerns a planned $20 billion bond swap could be delayed. Another court ruled on Friday that Congress should decide whether Fernandez was right to fire Redrado, but

government ministers interpreted the ruling as also saying he had to quit. The cabinet chief, Anibal Fernandez, said Redrado would not be allowed to continue working at the bank and the bank’s board of directors named Vice President Miguel Pesce as Redrado’s replacement. Fernandez had already named Pesce as Redrado’s replacement before the federal court ordered his reinstatement. Constitutional experts and lawmakers

from both the ruling party and opposition also said the latest ruling meant Redrado should step aside, but in a letter to a leading newspaper on Sunday, Redrado pledged to stay on in his job. “I maintain my decision to continue carrying out my duties as an official unless Congress says otherwise in order to comply with the law and my convictions,” he wrote in the letter published in daily La Nacion.

A special congressional commission is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss Redrado’s fate, but Fernandez has stressed that any recommendations it makes are nonbinding. Friday’s court rulings dealt another setback to the cash-strapped government’s plan to tap part of the central bank’s $48 billion in foreign reserves, upholding an earlier court freeze on the transfer of funds to the Treasury. — Reuters

GDP seen up 7.5-8% in 2010 • Oil revenue fell to $2bn

Yemen eyes up to 8% growth in 2010: CB SANAA: Yemen’s new gas industry and foreign aid will fuel economic growth of up to 8 percent this year, despite insecurity that has helped drive the riyal to its lowest level for years, a senior Central Bank official said. The impover-

ished Arab country is fighting a civil war in the north, separatist unrest in the south and Al Qaeda militants. Its population of 23 million is growing at 3.45 percent a year, even as oil reserves dwindle and water resources dry up.

AMSTERDAM: Photographers direct Philips Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee (left), and CFO Pierre-Jean Sivignon of France (right), during a photocall ahead of a press conference in Amsterdam yesterday. — AP

Philips reports switch to profit, focus on costs THE HAGUE: Dutch electronics giant Philips reported a huge improvement in underlying performance and switch into net profit in the fourth quarter, but said on Thursday times were still hard and it would focus on costs and innovation. The group, which has already announced 9,000 job cuts, reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 260 million euros ($368 million). This was a big turnaround from a loss of 1.17 billion euros in the same period of last year and was better than expected by analysts questioned by Dow Jones Newswires, who had forecast net profit of 255 million euros. The group attributed the turnaround to cost cutting and improved underlying performance notably in emerging markets, but warned that “visibility beyond the short term remains low and so we will continue our focus on cost.” The board said in a statement: “At the same time, we will ensure that our businesses are well placed to capture growth when it comes, not least by maintaining

investments in innovation, marketing and emerging markets.” Philips reported a 25-fold increase in earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of 662 million euros. This was driven by higher earnings, notably in emerging markets, across all operating sectors-healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting, as well as a 191-million-euro decline in restructuring and acquisitionrelated charges. “Thanks to the increased resilience of our company, we ended the year with a strong fourth quarter,” Philips chief executive officer Gerard Kleisterlee said in a statement, adding he was “confident” of further progress in 2010. The company would propose a dividend of 70 euro cents per share, he said, up to 650 million euros, “as a sign of our confidence in our future”. Hard-hit by the global economic crisis, Philips announced last January that it would cut 6,000 jobs worldwide, on top of another 3,000 cuts announced in the

fourth quarter of 2008, in a bid to shave a combined 600 million euros off spending by 2010. Yesterday it said total sales for the three months to December stood at $7.26 billion, a drop of five percent from a year earlier largely due to foreign exchange factors. In spite of higher earnings, fourth-quarter cash inflow was 826 million euros lower than 12 months earlier, partly due to a 485-million-euro asbestos-related settlement. Cash flow is a measure of the speed at which a company accumulates cash before, and beyond, making payments of all kinds. A surplus provides room for manoeuvre in managing current finances and may assist investment. Net profit for the year totaled 424 million euros, against a net loss of 92 million euros in 2008, with 2009 sales 11 percent lower at 23 billion euros. Restructuring costs for 2010 would be in the range of 150 million to 250 million euros, Philips said, adding it expected the upward trend in emerging markets to continue. — AFP

EU backs British bank aid BRUSSELS: The European Commission said yesterday it had backed state aid offered by Britain to banks Bradford & Bingley and Dunfermline, ending its last two probes into assistance offered as part of London bank restructuring. “The decision in the case of Bradford & Bingley, together with the decision taken on Dunfermline, is closing the chapter of UK bank restructuring prompted by state aid in the context of the financial crisis,” a European Commission statement said. Bradford & Bingley was split-up, with impaired assets nationalized in 2008

under a liquidation plan. “The commission has authorized the measures because they are appropriate and necessary for an orderly winding down of the bank while taking into account the necessity to preserve the confidence of creditors in the financial system and remedy a serious disturbance of the UK economy,” the commission said. Spanish banking giant Santander bought part of the assets of Bradford & Bingley for 612 million pounds in September 2009. In the case of Dunfermline, a smaller building society mainly operating in Scotland, the part considered ‘good’ was

sold in an auction to a competitor (Nationwide) with a state financial contribution of some 1.5 billion pounds (1.7 billion euros or $2.4 billion) and the remainder put into administration. The commission “found that the orderly break-up of Dunfermline resulted in the return to viability of the good part ... and that the liquidation of a substantial part of Dunfermline limited the distortion of competition caused by the aid,” a separate statement added. Building societies, or mutuals, are owned by their members and are not listed on the stock exchange. They also specialize in home

loans. In Britain the crisis first erupted in 2007 with the stricken Northern Rock, which was taken into public ownership. The British government spent billions of pounds bailing out some of the country’s biggest institutions including Royal Bank of Scotland, 84 percent owned by the state, and Lloyds Banking Group, in which London has a 43 percent holding. Last month, Britain slapped a 50-percent tax rate on bank employee bonuses above 25,000 pounds to recoup some of the cash spent rescuing the financial sector. — AFP

But fears of economic collapse are misplaced and the Central Bank is ready to sell more dollars to defend the riyal, Ibrahim Al-Nahari, sub-governor for foreign banking operations, said. “I expect 2010 will be a very good year compared to 2009, he told Reuters. “We are hoping to see growth between 7.5 and 8 percent. This is basically attributed to the growth in gas.” Exports from a $4.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project began only in October, several months behind schedule, keeping real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.1 to 4.2 percent in 2009 against a targeted 5 percent, Nahari said. Oil income, which accounts for up to 75 percent of budget revenue, plunged to $2 billion in 2009 from $4.4 billion in the previous year when world prices peaked, he said. Tourism earnings and remittances from Yemenis working abroad also suffered in the global financial crisis. But Nahari said revenue would rise this year with oil prices up and LNG exports gradually increasing, while more of the $5 billion in foreign aid pledged in 2006 would be disbursed. Yemen’s budget is strained by fuel subsidies, especially imported diesel, which cost it more than $2 billion in 2009, Nahari said. The bill for diesel subsidies, a fraught political issue, will be similar in 2010, the finance ministry says. Officials give no figures for military spending, estimated by the US Central Intelligence Agency at 6.6 percent of GDP in 2006, but costs must have risen since the government launched a major offensive against Shi’ite rebels in the north in August. Nahari said Yemen held foreign reserves of $7 billion, equivalent to 10 months of imports, and the Central Bank would sell more dollars if needed to calm jitters about the riyal. “The volatility is not due to economic factors but due to psychology,” he said, blaming “rumors” about economic weakness. “We will not allow drastic changes in the exchange rate,” he said. “If we see any pressure on the exchange rate due to non-economic reasons, then we sell dollars.” Nahari said exchange rate fluctuations had averaged less than 2 percent in the past five years. Last week, when moneychangers said the riyal had weakened to 215 to the dollar from 208 the previous week, the Central Bank offered $200 million, but the market took only $150 million. The next day it sold $90 million out of $100 million offered. The bank has sold more than $400 million to back the riyal since December, Nahari said. It injected $1.9 billion in 2009. The government expects inflation to accelerate this year, but hopes to limit the rise to 8 or 9 percent, compared with an average of less than 5 percent last year, he said. Nahari said total public debt stood at 30 to 32 percent of 2008 GDP, of which some 22 percent was foreign. Local banks, which mainly finance trade, had been only affected minimally by global turmoil because they had little exposure to international markets, he added. The Central Bank has been encouraging them to merge or increase their capital to become more competitive as Yemen wanted to attract more foreign banks, he said. A few foreign banks, mostly from the Gulf, operate in Yemen. — Reuters

SHANGHAI: A man walks past a sign of Bank of China in Shanghai yesterday. Shares in Bank of China were slightly higher on January 25 after the lender said it planned to issue up to 40 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) in convertible bonds. — AFP

German rebound boosts euro-zone industrial orders BRUSSELS: New industrial orders shot up by 2.7 percent in November across the 16 countries that share the euro, thanks to a German rebound, massively revised figures showed yesterday. The European Union originally issued a figure of 1.6 percent on Friday, but published new numbers on Monday after “corrected German data” was received, underlining a huge turnaround from October’s 2.1 percent fall-also upwardly revised. “The even healthier than previously reported pick up... bodes well for production in the near term at least and gives a welcome boost to euro-zone growth prospects for the first quarter of 2010,” said IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer. “As such, it may modestly dilute concerns that the euro-zone’s recovery from deep recession could be already struggling for momentum.” The amended Eurostat data also showed that factory

orders in the euro-zone were down just 0.5 percent-as against the 1.5 percent originally announced-compared to one year earlier. In the 27-nation EU as a whole, industrial orders followed a similar course, rising by 2.6 percent in November from October (the increase was originally pegged at 1.8 percent) but falling by 1.2 percent (instead of 2.0 percent) over 12 months. Among the 21 member states for which data was available, orders rose in 15 during November-two more than initially thought-with Greece notably posting a 7.3 percent increase. On an annual basis, 14 countries saw reduced orders, with Ireland recording the largest drop at 26.5 percent. Archer underlined that the euro’s retreat from a late-November, 15-month high of $1.5145-it is currently trading at around $1.41-is offering further respite.

Ericsson cuts 1,500 more jobs, profit plunges STOCKHOLM: Ericsson announced yesterday an extra 1,500 job cuts under restructuring which bit deeply into fourth-quarter net profit at the firm, the world leader in phone network equipment. Total announce job cuts are now about 6,500, generating huge restructuring charges with the intention of bringing equally huge cost savings. The Swedish telecom giant said that sales had dropped owing to cuts in investment by mobile phone operators in a number of markets, including in developing nations in central Europe, the Middle

East and Africa. In a sign of the impact of the economic crisis on the telecom industry, Ericsson’s net profit plunged by 92 percent to 314 million kronor (30.7 million euros, $43.4 million) between October and December. That was in contrast to a net profit of 3.89 billion kronor in the same period of 2008, the company said in a statement. The profit margin was much lower than expected as analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a net profit of 3.23 billion kronor. Restructuring costs nearly doubled to 4.3 billion kro-

STOCKHOLM: Ericsson’s new CEO, Hans Vestberg presents the accounts for the previous year during a press conference at Ericssons headquarters in Stockholm yesterday. — AP

nor in the fourth quarter, compared to 2.3 billion kronor in the same period in 2008, and for the full year the charges totalled 11.3 billion kronor, the company said. The company estimates that its restructuring program will cost up to 14 billion kronor and bring annual savings of between 15 billion and 16 billion kronor. “When the initial (restructuring) program was announced in January 2009, it was anticipated that the actions would result in a reduction of the number of employees by some 5,000, of which about 1,000 in Sweden, Ericsson said. “The 5,000 has been exceeded and is estimated to reach approximately 6,500,” the company said in the statement. Ericsson has also suffered from the difficulties at its two joint ventures, Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson, which together chalked up charges of 1.46 billion kronor. Sales fell by 13 percent to 58.3 billion kronor in the fourth quarter in the wake of the global economic crisis and growing competition from telecom equipment industry with the rise of China’s Huawei. — AFP


TECHNOLOGY

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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China rights groups hit by cyberattacks: Activists BEIJING: The websites of at least five organisations dealing with Chinese human rights and dissident issues have suffered hacking attacks in recent days, one of the groups said yesterday. The alleged attacks come amid a Sino-US row over Internet freedom sparked by US search engine Google’s threat this month to leave China, partly

over what it said were cyberattacks aimed at the email accounts of Chinese rights activists. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a network of domestic and overseas China rights activists, released a statement saying attacks on its website began Saturday afternoon and continued for about 14 hours. It said

others reporting cyberattacks included the human rights-related news and information sites Canyu, Rights and Livelihood Watch, and New Century News, as well as the Independent Chinese Pen, a writer’s group. The “attack paralysed CHRD’s website by consuming its server’s resources”, its emailed statement

said, “making it impossible for... users to visit the website”. CHRD, which disseminates news about China’s dissident community and rights abuses in the country, quoted its Internet service provider saying the hacking attempt was “the most intense” the ISP had ever experienced. The statement said the attack’s

source could not be determined but that China’s government was suspected due to the force of the attack. AFP was not immediately able to reach the group by phone. Google has threatened to abandon its Chinese search engine and perhaps end all operations in the country over the cyberattacks on its systems, which it said were sus-

pected of having originated in China and seemed well-coordinated. It has also said it is no longer willing to bow to Chinese government censors. China yesterday denied any state involvement in cyberattacks on Google. Such accusations were a “groundless” attempt to “denigrate China”, an unnamed spokesman for the

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told state news agency Xinhua. US officials have said previously that China has built up a sophisticated cyber warfare program and that a spate of attacks on US systems and elsewhere in recent years can be traced back to Chinese sources. —AFP

US Internet giant has threatened to abandon its Chinese search engine

China denies state role in Google cyberattacks SYDNEY: Google Australia previews its new Street View Trike at Taronga Zoo in Sydney yesterday. The zoo will be the first location mapped using the new Google vehicle enabling Internet users to view the imagery collected. —AP

Anti-garbage campaigners plan mass Internet-led clean up TALLINN: Fed up with seeing the environment strewn with garbage, activists from around the globe aim to muster a million volunteers this year for a mass clean-up piloted via the Internet, organizers said yesterday. The “Let’s Do It” operation is the brainchild of campaigners in Estonia, a small Baltic state which is a hub for nature-lovers and one of the world’s most Internet-wired nations. After a successful operation at home in 2008, when volunteers removed thousands of illegal rubbish dumps, the Estonians have shared their lessons with foreign campaigners at a conference that ended yesterday. “Since the campaign day in Estonia in May 2008 we have been contacted by people from dozens of states, from

Japan to Brazil, setting up voluntary teams to organize similar campaigns in their homelands,” Toomas Trapido, a lawmaker and a mastermind of the movement, told AFP. Rainer Nolvak, an IT entrepreneur, board member of the Estonian Nature Fund, and fellow-mastermind told AFP that activists from Portugal to India plan events aiming to draw a total of a million people. Like the Estonians, campaigners elsewhere will use special software and mobile phones to map and photograph illegal garbage dumps. Having located the sites, they will call for clean-up volunteers. Estonia’s landmark one-day operation in 2008 mustered 50,000 people in the nation of 1.3 million. They collected

10,000 tons of rubbish. “We had no idea that so many people would turn out and that the campaign would spread around the globe,” Trapido said. The Estonians set up a website, www.letsdoitworld.org, with tips for others. A voluntary clean-up took place Saturday in part of the Indian capital Delhi, a pilot for a larger operation planned across the city in September. In Europe, a cleanup is due in Portugal in March. “We hope to gather up to 150,000 volunteers to follow Estonia’s example,” Portuguese IT professor and campaigner Francisco Moura told AFP in Tallinn. Nara Petrovic, head of a campaign in Slovenia, said she aimed to gather 200,000 people there in April. —AFP

Bill Gates says Internet needs to thrive in China WASHINGTON: Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates yesterday said the Internet needs to thrive in China as an engine of free speech and described official online censorship by Beijing as “very limited.” Asked in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America about Google Inc’s dispute with China, Gates said the Internet is subject to different kinds of censorship around the world but has proved a consistent success at promoting openness and the exchange of ideas. “You’ve got to decide: Do you want to obey the laws of the countries you’re in, or not? If not, you may not end up doing business there,” Gates, the world’s richest man, said without mentioning Google by name. “The Chinese efforts to censor the Internet have been very limited. It’s easy to go around it, and so I think keeping the Internet thriv-

ing there is very important,” he said. The interview coincided with efforts by China to defend its curbs on the Internet nearly two weeks after search engine giant Google said it wanted to stop censoring its Chinese Google.cn website. The company said it was alarmed by online hacking attacks from within China. Google’s complaints have received backing from the White House. But China has countered with accusations that Washington was using the Internet to support subversion in Iran. Gates, 54, who co-founded computer software giant Microsoft, remains the company’s chairman but tends to focus his attention on the philanthropic activities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he runs with his wife Melinda and father William Gates Sr. —Reuters

Mozilla leader worries about Internet limits MUNICH: The leader of the Mozilla Project, whose Firefox Web browser now has 350 million users, said Sunday that she is concerned that legal restrictions could limit Internet expansion. Mitchell Baker said she worried about “the increase in laws that make it difficult to run an open network,” especially rules about content. “You suddenly become liable for anything that gets downloaded, whether it’s legal or not,” she said. “If you said to a municipality, if you build a road, you have to guarantee nothing illegal happens on it - that’s what’s happening on the Internet now. So that’s the kind of regulatory disruption that’s going to have some long-term consequences.” Baker spoke at an opening panel of a three-day conference on digital innovation and creative ideas. The DLD conference , which stands for Digital-Life-Design , is chaired by Hubert Burda of Germany, owner of Hubert Burda Media, and digital investor Yossi Vardi, who co-pioneered

instant messaging and chaired the panel, titled “Disruptive.” Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype which now has over 500 million users, said successful companies can’t become complacent and must continue to make improvements and not be afraid “of disrupting themselves.” Vardi asked J.P. Rangaswami, chief scientist of the BT Group in Britain, what he thought of what Skype was doing to telecommunications companies like his. “Watch this space,” Rangaswami replied cryptically. Vardi then asked Rangaswami whether he sees the industry following Skype’s efforts to set minimal charges for phone calls around the world. “I think those parts of the industry that don’t follow what Niklas is doing will either find themselves out of a job or working for him,” he replied. American entrepreneur Jimmy Wales, whose nonprofit charity founded Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that has 350 million users, said it was a “very,

very bad business” to try to compete against because the reference work is offered for free. He ruled out advertising on the site for now , but left open the possibility it could happen sometime in the future to raise money for the charity. Moderator Vardi expressed amazement that the Internet companies had small work forces despite their vast number of users. Skype has just over 600 employees, Mozilla about 250, and Wikipedia just 30. What advice would the three give to companies trying to get 100 million users? “Stay out of software first of all,” said Mozilla’s Baker. “Go to Web sites and services.” Wales said, “Have a very pure, simple vision that everyone can understand immediately.” Zennstrom said the idea should also “make consumers’ lives easier.” And, he stressed, “don’t do a copycat of someone else.” BT’s Rangaswami said he believes the Web in the past 20 years has made people more willing to collaborate, to work together. —AP

BEIJING: China yesterday denied any state involvement in cyberattacks and demanded official answers. The US Internet giant has threatened to on Google and accused the United States of “double standards” as a row abandon its Chinese search engine, and perhaps end all operations in the with Washington over Internet freedom intensified. Beijing fired off its lat- country over the cyberattacks. It has also said it is no longer willing to bow est salvo after the White House said President Barack Obama was “trou- to Chinese government censors. But China said the hacking charges were bled” by Google’s statements it had been attacked by China-based hackers, without foundation. The “accusation that the Chinese government participated in (any) cyberattack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless and aims to denigrate China,” an unnamed spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told state news agency Xinhua. “We are firmly opposed to that,” the spokesman said. “China’s policy on Internet safety is transparent and consistent,” he added, saying the country with the world’s largest online community was itself the “biggest victim” of hacking. The Global Times-an Englishlanguage newspaper run by the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece-went further, saying the United States itself was a major source of hack attacks. “The US is the first country to launch cyber warfare,” it said in an editorial. It said Washington had a “cyber army of 80,000 people equipped with over 2,000 computer viruses,” citing a US defense expert, Joel Harker. “‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ BEIJING: Workers repair a partially broken marble tablet which bears Google’s logo in front of Google China’s The golden rule should apply even online,” the paper said-a headquarters building in Beijing, China, yesterday. —AP point made by Xinhua in an editorial calling the US “hypocritical” for criticizing others on hacking. The Global Times also hit out at what it called “Washington’s continuous resort to double standards” and said Western criticism of China’s Internet policies came “either out of ignorance of the facts, or a Cold War mentality.” RIYADH: Dell Chairman and ly creating new growth oppor- panies like Dell enrich our pro- research it can help enable is In another interview on Xinhua, CEO Michael Dell today tunities in response to chang- gram by sharing best practices important to a nation’s base of a spokesman for China’s State and encouraging sustainable knowledge capital and its longemphasized the critical role of ing market conditions.” Council, or cabinet, said Dell commended Saudi social and economic activity term prosperity,” he said. information technology (IT) Beijing’s efforts to remove Dell shared his perspective and entrepreneurial thought- Arabia’s business growth, both in the region and around harmful content from the leadership in helping organiza- technology adoption and com- the world. SAGIA’s new on entrepreneurialism throughInternet were legitimate and tions to remain competitive mitment to education initia- 60x24x7 program to support out his remarks, including should be free from “unjustifiand achieve long-term success tives and said it is setting an investors seeking opportuni- strategies for nurturing and able interference”. for fast-growth ties in the Kingdom is one of sustaining a culture of thought during his keynote speech to example The Google row, which leadership. “As leaders, we delegates attending the Global nations around the world. “The many examples.” erupted almost two weeks ago, Dell also described how need to be willing and open to Competitiveness Forum in Kingdom has moved from 67th has threatened to damage Sinoto 13th place on the World today’s computing advance- empowering a culture of entreRiyadh, Saudi Arabia. US ties, which are already “IT has become a strategic Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ments are driving competitive preneurship,” he said. “This dogged by a series of trade and enabler of sustainable competi- index, and is the most compet- advantage across industries, means listening very carefully currency issues, US arms sales tiveness for businesses, com- itive country in the Middle including science and educa- to our employees to ensure we to Taiwan and climate change. munities and nations,” said East,” said His Excellency tion. “IT has become one of the are capturing all the innovative, White House deputy Dell. “Technology can play a Amr Al Dabbagh, governor of most important competitive dif- creative thinking that enables spokesman Bill Burton said Arabian General ferentiators in top learning us to better serve our cuskey role in helping an organiza- Saudi Friday that Obama “continues Authority institutions, and the intellectu- tomers while driving our own tion develop and sustain its Investment to be troubled by the cybersestrengths while simultaneous- (SAGIA). “Leaders from com- al discovery and breakthrough next wave of growth.” —AFP curity breach that Google attributes to China”, adding “all we are looking for from China are some answers”. Some US groups are also calling on Washington to challenge China’s so-called “Great Firewall” of web censorship at the World Trade Organisation. Last week, Beijing lashed out at Washington after a speech by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Internet freedom, saying the address was “harmful” to relations. “We urge the United States to respect facts and stop using the so-called Internet freedom issue to criticise China unreasonably,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu. In her speech, Clinton lamented what she said were Beijing’s increasing efforts to control what its 384 million web users can see. Google has not yet stopped censoring search results on google.cn, but Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said last week it would happen soon. Google vice-president for the Asia-Pacific, Daniel Alegre, said in an interview with Japan’s public broadcaster NHK that the company viewed China as a “very important, very strategic market”. “So we hope TOKYO: A man uses his mobile phone before a cellular shop of Japan’s telecommunication giant KDDI in to be able to remain committed and grow within the market,” Tokyo yesterday. KDDI’s net profit for the third quarter of its fiscal year dropped due to cost for the restriction he said. —AFP of fixed line business, the company said. —AFP

Dell emphasizes role of information technology


HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gates worries climate money robs health aid SEATTLE: Gates, the world’s richest man and a leading philanthropist, said on Sunday spending by rich countries aimed at combating climate change in developing nations could mean a dangerous cut in aid for health issues. Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder whose $34 billion foundation is fighting malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in developing countries, expressed concern about the amount

of spending pledged at December’s Copenhagen global climate meeting. Participants at the meeting agreed to a target of channeling $100 billion per year to developing countries to combat climate change by 2020. Gates said that amount represents more than three quarters of foreign aid currently given by the richest countries per year. “I am concerned that some of this money will come from reduc-

ing other categories of foreign aid, especially health,” Gates wrote in a letter, released late on Sunday, describing the work of his foundation. “If just 1 percent of the $100 billion goal came from vaccine funding, then 700,000 more children could die from preventable diseases,” Gates added. Taking the focus away from health aid could be bad for the environment in the long run,

said Gates, “because improvements in health, including voluntary family planning, lead people to have smaller families, which in turn reduces the strain on the environment.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he runs with his wife Melinda and father William Gates Sr., had an endowment worth $34 billion as of September. Gates, 54, remains Microsoft chairman but

focuses his attention on his foundation. Since starting in 1994, the foundation has handed out more than $21 billion in grants. Gates said he was worried generally about levels of government aid from rich countries to poor countries slipping with tough economic conditions globally. “Because of budget deficits, there is significant risk that aid budgets will either be cut or not increase much,” Gates said in

his letter. He singled out Italy for criticism. “Italy was at the low end of European givers even before the Berlusconi government came in and cut the aid by over half, making them uniquely stingy among European donors,” Gates said. According to Forbes magazine, Gates was the richest man in the world in 2009 with an estimated fortune of $40 billion.—Reuters

Haiti avoids disease outbreak, threat looms Infections also a growing concern 12 days after quake

PORT-AU-PRINCE: A 2-year-old Haitian girl, front, is given water by her sister as she eats cookies supplied during a food distribution event to the citizens in the Cite Soleil neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday. —AP

Mekong tiger population plunges to ‘crisis point’ BANGKOK: Governments must act decisively to prevent the extinction of tigers in Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong region, where numbers have plunged more than 70 percent in 12 years, the WWF said Tuesday. The wild tiger population across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam has dropped from an estimated 1,200 in 1998 — the last Year of Tiger-to around 350 today, according to the conservation group. The report was released ahead of a landmark three-day conference on tiger conservation, which will be attended in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin from Wednesday by ministers from 13 Asian tiger range countries. It said the regional decline was reflected in the global wild tiger population, which is at an all-time low of 3,200, down from an estimated 20,000 in the 1980s and 100,000 a century ago. “Today, wild tiger populations are at a crisis point,” the WWF said, ahead of the

start of the Year of the Tiger on February 14, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It cited growing demand for tiger body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine as a major factor endangering the region’s Indochinese tiger population. Infrastructure developments were also blamed by the report for fragmenting tigers’ habitats, such as roads cutting through forests. “Decisive action must be taken to ensure this iconic sub-species does not reach the point of no return,” said Nick Cox, coordinator of the WWF Greater Mekong tiger program. “There is a potential for tiger populations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to become locally extinct by the next Year of the Tiger, in 2022, if we don’t step up actions to protect them.” Although Indochinese tigers were once found in abundance across the Greater Mekong region, the WWF says there are now no more than 30 tigers per

country in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The remaining populations are mainly found in mountainous border areas between Thailand and Myanmar. But the WWF is calling on the ministers in Hua Hin to take action to double the numbers of wild tigers by 2022. “This region has huge potential to increase tiger numbers, but only if there are bold and coordinated efforts across the region and of an unprecedented scale that can protect existing tigers, tiger prey and their habitat,” said Cox. Worldwide political efforts to secure the tiger’s future will culminate in a Tiger Summit in September in Vladivostok, Russia, hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. “There is an unprecedented opportunity to galvanise political will and action to turn the tide on wild tiger numbers,” said Mike Baltzer, head of WWF’s global tiger initiative. “But to do this, we must stop the trade in tiger parts, rampant poaching, and secure the tiger’s habitats.”—AFP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Outbreaks of infectious diseases feared after Haiti’s devastating earthquake have not yet materialized, but illness and infections are still a threat to survivors, health officials said on Sunday. The Jan 12 quake killed up to 200,000 and left as many as 3 million hurt or homeless and pleading for medical aid, food and water in nightmarish conditions in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. Doctors worry that crowded, unsanitary conditions in hundreds of improvised refugee camps could spread illnesses such as typhoid and measles. They also fear for the thousands of people who have endured operations and now need to avoid infection as they recover. “We are talking about thousands of amputations and maybe half of the people who have been amputated have several limbs amputated,” said Dr Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Health Organization, told a news conference at Haiti’s airport. Many others suffered head and eye damage. “It’s not only limbs,” she said. With fewer trauma surgeries as the search and rescue effort winds down, doctors will concentrate on caring for those recovering from injury. “The profile is changing and there are going to be different needs for post-operative care and follow-up,” Roses said. That task is complicated because the country’s remaining hospitals — 11 were destroyed and many others damaged-are at capacity, and because many of those who were treated no longer have homes where they can recover. “People don’t want to go out of the hospitals. And also their relatives don’t want to go out of the hospitals,” she said. Despite the thousands of emergency surgeries already performed, patients are still coming to clinics with fractured bones and skin wounds that have not been treated in the 12 days since the quake and which require specialized care that is not always available, Roses said. Health officials are also extremely wary of the start of the six-month hurricane season in June. Haiti has been hit extremely hard by storms in recent years, with hundreds of people killed in 2008. Experts had felt relieved when the 2009 hurricane season spared the impoverished nation as it recovery from 2008, Roses said. “We thought that we were extremely fortunate that we didn’t have any hurricanes,” Roses said. “Then, of course, we had the earthquake.”—Reuters

JAKARTA: Two months old Sumatran tigers named Puji (R), a male, and Wati (L), a female, born in captivity at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo lie on a rug in the sun after a bath at the zoo on January 22, 2010. —AFP

BERLIN: Knut, the 3-year-old polar bear, lies in the snow in his enclosure at Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten zoo yesterday. —AFP

in the news After 2008 scare, China finds more toxic milk BEIJING: Authorities in southwestern China have ordered three batches of milk products off shelves because they contain a chemical that killed at least six children in 2008, causing global concern over the made-in-China brand. The health department in Guizhou province stopped the sales of dairy products made by three Chinese companies, the state-run China Daily newspaper said.

Gene discovery may help guide breast cancer care CHICAGO: An abnormality in two genes can make a common class of chemotherapy drugs

used to fight breast cancer less effective, US researchers said on Sunday in a finding that could help doctors better tailor treatments. They said changes in two genes on a small region of chromosome 8q made tumors resist the effects of drugs called anthracyclines, but not other types of chemotherapy drugs.

Fake forms of Glaxo diet drug can be dangerous: FDA WASHINGTON: Fake versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s over-the-counter diet pill were contaminated with dangerously high levels of a prescription weight loss ingredient, US officials warned on Saturday. Lab tests showed counterfeit versions of Glaxo’s pill Alli contained high levels of sibutramine, Food and

WHO slams swine flu critics as ‘irresponsible’ GENEVA: The World Health Organization yesterday slammed as “irresponsible” critics who claim swine flu is a fake pandemic created for the benefit of drug companies. The U.N. health agency said the outbreak of a new strain of H1N1 influenza in North America last year had all the scientific characteristics of a pandemic, adding the WHO was never improperly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry that has benefited from huge government orders for vaccines and antiviral drugs. “The world is going through a real pandemic. The description of it as a fake is wrong and irresponsible,” the WHO said in a strongly worded statement yesterday. A WHO spokesman declined to spell out who the World Health Organization was responding to in its statement, saying only that “this applies to anyone who believes it is not a real pandemic.” The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog based in Strasbourg, France, recently recommended that the EU investigate WHO’s swine flu pandemic declaration to see if the health agency acted under undue influence. WHO officials are due to meet Tuesday with the Council of Europe, which is not an official European Union body and has no power to act against WHO.

According to a WHO tally dated Jan. 17, more than 209 countries and territories have reported laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu, including at least 14,142 deaths. This is far fewer than would be expected to die each year from seasonal flu, but the figure is likely to exclude many unreported cases, according to WHO. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said the relatively low number of confirmed deaths from swine flu didn’t mean the virus wasn’t a pandemic. “A pandemic has nothing to do with severity or number of deaths,” he told The Associated Press. “A pandemic literally is a global spread of a disease.” He said WHO was “always very measured and sober in what we said and we always described the virus as causing overwhelmingly mild disease. “We cannot control how people react to this information,” he added. In its statement, WHO said it had put in place numerous safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest among its advisers, including requiring them to provide a signed declaration detailing any professional or financial interest that could affect their impartiality. “WHO takes allegations of conflict of interest seriously and is confident of its decision-making independence regarding the pandemic influenza,” it said.—AP

Therapy to roll back tension headaches COLOGNE: “A dull pain presses my entire head.” Or, “It’s as if a much-too-tight steel band were wrapped around my head.” This is how many people describe tension headaches. “Up to 70 per cent of Germans have these symptoms two or three times a month,” noted Hans-Christoph Diener, spokesman for the German Neurology Society (DGN). Although episodic pains of this kind are unpleasant, they can usually be easily coped with. Tension headaches, known medically as tensiontype headaches, are a real problem if they become chronic, however. “As defined by specialists, this is when the pains occur 15 or more days a month for a least three consecutive months,” explained Volker Limmroth, head physician at Cologne-Merheim Hospital’s neurological clinic. Limmroth said the best way to determine whether the headaches were chronic was by noting each occurrence in a headache diary. Between two and three per cent of the German population suffer from chronic tension headaches, he pointed out. Diener, who founded the West German Headache Centre at Essen University Hospital, said that people with frequent tension headaches should by all means see a neurologist or pain therapist. “There seems to be a time factor,” he said. “If you catch a person on the way to chronification, it’s possible to ‘roll back’ the tension headaches with the

help of multimodal therapy.” But if the sufferer has been having headaches for three to five years already, he added, then lessening the severity of the pain is the most that can be done. Multimodal therapy rests on four pillars. The first is long-term medicinal treatment. Painkilling drugs are unsuitable, though, because when taken over a long period they can not only have various side effects but also aggravate the headaches or cause them to become chronic. “Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are usually prescribed instead,” Diener said. They affect the metabolism of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain and make patients less sensitive to pain. The second pillar is behaviour therapy. “Two methods are particularly effective against tension headaches: progressive muscle relaxation as developed by (American physician Edmund) Jacobson and autogenic training,” remarked Susanne Grohs-von Reichenbach, a relaxation therapist in Munich. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing certain muscle groups, which lessens the subjective intensity of the headaches. Autogenic training, on the other hand, is a concentrative self-relaxation technique. A basic training session of the latter is said to be specifically effective against headaches. —dpa


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ravi Yuvasena pays tribute to Paritala

avi Yuvasena, Kuwait paid a grand tribute to Paritala Ravindra on his fifth death anniversary in Kuwait on Sunday. Paritala Ravindra followed in his father’s footsteps and entered electoral politics by joining the Telugu Desam Party. He was elected four times as an

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MLA from Penukonda constituency in Anantapur district. He was slain by his political rivals in 2005. He was one of the most controversial yet popular leaders in the history of Andhra Pradesh politics. On the occasion, Paritala Ravi Yuvasena, organized a meeting in

SMCA receives visiting Bishop

Maliyah on Sunday. Speaking on the occasion organizers recalled the services of Parital Ravi. Ravi Yuvasena President Ratakonda Laxmipati Naidu, Office Bearers Vegi Venkatesh Naidu O Divakar Naidu, N Narasimhulu, Prasad T Sriram, Nagendra called NTR a great leader, who brought victory to the self-

respect of the Telugus all over the world. Kuwait Telugu Desam Party leaders Daruru Balaram M Subbarayudu Naidu, G Ramakrushnam Naidu, Pidikiti Srinivasa Chodary, Malepati Suresh Babu, Udaya Prakash, K Venkat, D Srinu, P Parttha Saradhi Naidu, K

Chandra, Gulf wide Nandamuri Fans Association Office Bearers Darla Srinivasaachari, Venkatesh Naidu, Medamalli Srinu, Polineni Santha Ram Naidu, T Vankata Ratnam Naidu, P Babu Naidu, S Mubarak, B subba Reddy, Kaperla Chandra Sekhar Naidu participated in this event.

Private school donates $ 4,000 to Haiti nglish School Fahaheel (ESF) handed Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) $4,000 donation for the victims of Haiti’s recent earthquake. Speaking to KUNA on Monday, KRCS Chairman Barjas Al-Barjas praised the humanitarian initiative of the students. He said private schools in Kuwait always provided donations whenever a disaster happened. Meanwhile, students from the school told KUNA that they hoped the donation will reduce the suffering of the victims. They called the people of Kuwait to take part in efforts of providing aid to the people of Haiti. In very few minutes, the quake left thousands killed and injured, they said, expressing condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured quick recovery. —KUNA

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yro Malabar Cultural Association (SMCA) Kuwait honored the visiting auxiliary Bishop of Kottayam Archdioces Mar Joseph Pandarasseril in a special function organized at Utsav Auditorium, Abbasiya. The meeting was chaired by the president of SMCA Sebastian Purayidathil. Felicitations were delivered

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by Rev Fr Jospeh Palatty, Rev Fr George Kottappuram and Knanaya Cultural Congress president Mathachen. Four area committees of SMCA were represented by Shajimon Mankuzhikary (Abbasiya), Sancilal Chakyath (Fahaheel), Johney Tharappel (Salmiya) and Thomas Vithayathil (City Farwaniya). Bishop Joseph

in his reply speech expressed his happiness of being with the SMCA family members. His Lordship also conveyed greetings from the Migrants Commission of Syro Malabar Synod to all office bearers and members of SMCA. Anil Thayil, General Secretary of SMCA welcomed all and Thomas Kuruvila, the treasurer delivered the vote of thanks.

Adopt a pet

Sue Anderson Consultants visit Kuwait

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

ue Anderson Consultants, (SAC) Education Consultants and UK boarding school experts have completed their visit to Kuwait with success after meeting with more than 20 families over two days at the Radisson Blu Hotel on January 20 and 21. Sara Sparling, Education Consultant commented on the turnout, “We had families of different nationalities varying from Kuwaiti nationals, British, Indian, German, Egyptian, Syrian and others. The families came with their children of all ages seeking our guidance and valued experience to help them find a suitable school that matches their requirements and their child’s abilities. Many of the students were looking to start their sixth form studies in the UK as early as September 2010, only 6 months away. Before we

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share the list of possible schools with the family, we make sure that we confirm availability of places with the schools to take the child at a certain age. All, if not most, of the extracurricular activities are included in their curriculum.” Sue Anderson Consultants take the information and requirements from concerned families and filter them through a database of 350 UK Boarding Schools to find a list of schools that might suit the child’s and the parent’s needs. They then arrange for prospectuses to be mailed to the parents, interviews arranged as well as visits to schools in the UK when necessary. Their service is Free, impartial and aims for the best outcome for the family. Farah, a student who would like to enroll in a UK Boarding

School as early as September 2010 has already been considered by 2 of the schools based on the information we shared with four schools of her choice. Farah will be going to continue her A Levels before continuing her university education in the UK” Added Sara. The Consultants visit to Kuwait is part of the annual UK Boarding School Tour of the Middle East, where they aim to meet families interested in UK schools to offer impartial help and guidance on the best boarding school for each child. The tour will include Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and concludes in a 3 day education UK Boarding School Exhibition in Dubai on the 2th, 26th and 27th of February 2010 which will gather more than 28 schools and enable families to meet the heads and get first hand information.

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illy is a 1 year-old female terrier mix. Lilly is a gorgeous dog that is just as happy as can be. She has a slight deformity to her front right leg that she was born with but she has no idea. She has a wonderful spirit and will do best in a home with children over 8 and gets along well with other dogs.

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

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


Embassy information

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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Annual winter camp held

EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will celebrate the 62nd Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s National Day at the Embassy premises at 8:30 am on 04.02.2010. The ceremony will include the hoisting of the national flag, reading of National Day messages, remembrance of national heroes, religious ceremonies followed by a reception. All Sri Lankan nationals and wellwishers are cordially invited for the event. Sri Lanka Embassy - Block-l0, Jabriya, Kuwait. (Tel. 25339140, 25339150)

Birthday Greetings elated birthday wishes to Amrutha Annadatha, from grandparents, parents Manjula and Murali Manohar, sisters Ashritha and Sushmitha, uncles, aunties and cousins. She celebrated her birthday on January 24, 2010.

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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 www.kenyaembkuwait.com & www.magicalkenya.com. Official timings are 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sundays through Thursdays. EMBASSY OF GREECE The Embassy of Greece has the pleasure to announce that with a view to promote business interaction and commercial relations between Greece and Kuwait and to present further support for the Kuwaiti importers, it requests all Kuwaiti Companies dealing with or representing Greek Companies in Kuwait to contact this Embassy as soon as possible and to provide by fax or e-mail the following information: (Name of the company, tel no, fax no, e-mail, type of business, name of the Greek companies/clients). The Embassy’s contacts are as follows: e-mail: gremb.kuw@mfa.gr; 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 today. 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.

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appy birthday Fahan Abdullah Mutari. May God bless you.

With best wishes from brothers Mohammed Abdullah Mutari, Hamadi Abdullah Mutari, and uncle Mohammed Mahmoud.

rominent Bangladeshi business man Jafar Ahmed Chowdhury (President of Chittagong Samity, Kuwait) organized an annual winter camp at Juliah desert on 21st and 22nd January 2010. This camp was attended by local community leaders with their families like AG Mamun, Mafiz, Mahfuz, Shafiq, Haroun, Shamsu, Ilyas, Jahangir, Faruk, TI Haroun,

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Thouhid, Aziz Minto, Jasim, Alam, Muzammel, Shajahan, Salim and many other distinguished people. The event started with the welcome speech by Jafar and Nasima Jafar wishing everybody a happy new year 2010 and was followed by nonstop traditional and patriotic songs with classical dance and music by the local Bangladeshi artists of Baishaki Shiphi Group. Folk songs and gazals

were presented by Abul Kalam Azad and Zakir and all the participants enjoyed the whole night by dancing and singing with the singers and musicians. The second part of the event was outdoor and indoor games which began on Friday morning after breakfast. Games like volleyball, badminton, cards, breeze, and running race etc were arranged. The camp ended on a note of fun and excitement.

H

appy birthday to Razak M Payyoli.

With loving greetings from Mona Garnet and Nathasha Garnet.

Tulukoota holds blood donation campaign ulukoota Kuwait is organizing its first-ever blood donation campaign on Friday 19th February 2010. Donors registering with Tulukoota Kuwait will be able to donate blood at Central Blood Bank Jabriya on Friday 19th February 2010 from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Tulukoota Kuwait blood donation campaign aims to promote the spirit of “Share your love & care with the society”. If you feel passionately towards contributing to this noble cause, joins hands with us by donating blood. Blood donation won’t cost you anything but can bring back the smiles on the face of a needy patient. Blood donation is the noblest cause as there is no substitute for human blood, although researchers have been trying for decades to develop an artificial substitute. From major surgeries to treatment of critical diseases all require blood transfusion. Only blood form one person can save another person. For detailed information please visit our website www.tulukootakuwait.org. For registrations call: Ramesh Kidiyoor - 97204716; Chandrahasa Shetty 55941955; Mohammed Iqbal 99483350; Jayasheel Menezes - 66230358; Mark Pinto 97937362.

T

FAIPS hosts mega carnival he corridors of Fahaheel AlWatanieh Indian Private School were abuzz with activity and enthusiasm, as its students and teachers prepared to host the Third Mega Carnival on Saturday, 16th January 2010. The day dawned bright and clear and

T

the FAIPS grounds were filled with gaiety, exciting games stalls, thrilling rides, face painting, baby show, fancy dress show, music and dance. Nearly 5,000 visitors thronged the premises enjoying the delectable eats, gyrating to the DJ music and playing bingo.

The highlight of the evening was the fashion show, where the parents ‘walked the ramp’. The occasion was graced by Nasser F AlKhaled, Vice President, Global Capital Management Limited, Anita Bukharey, Senior Operating Co-ordinator, Al-Rayan Holding

Co and Hemant Agarwal, Chief Finance Officer, Al-Rayan Holding Co. Anju Dheman, Principal, staff and students received deep appreciation and accolades from all corners for the ambience and organization of the Carnival. The Souvenir which was made possi-

ble with the cooperation and good wishes of well-wishers was released, marking the efforts of the publication team. The grand finale of the evening was the much awaited Raffle Draw, where the patrons swept away over hundred prizes.

The Radisson Blu Hotel hosts party for kids

he Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait hosted the annual staff kids party this month. The children enjoyed the fun day with lots of games, face painting, colorful hair spraying, tattooing and clowns entertaining them throughout. The party was a huge success as it brought smiles on the faces of the children. Many gifts and prizes were distributed to the children by the management team of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait.

T


INFORMATION

32

Tuesday, January 26, 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: www.moi.gov.kw

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

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

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

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

EMERGENCY 112

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

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

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

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

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

22633135

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

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com 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


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available with a Keralite Christian family in Abbassiya with separate bathroom in a C-A/C flat from 26th January. Call: 99412951. (C 20241) Room with attached bath available in new C-A/C, two bedroom, two toilet, flat in Abbassiya, to share with Sri Lankan couple. Contact: 66552905. (C 20245) Two rooms available C-A/C in Salmiya near Indian Public School, starting from 1st Februry for single, couple or working ladies. Contact: 97972920. (C 20240) Accommodation available in Farwaniya behind Crowne Plaza in a flat, G. floor, prefer Goan or Manglorean, rent KD 50. Contact: 97277454. (C 20242) Sharing accommodation available in Hawally behind Dar Al Shifa hospital with two bedroom + 2T, central A/C and shaded car parking. Contact: 99485424. (C 20243) Sharing accommodation available for Indian, working ladies in a two bedroom, CA/C flat in Maidan Hawally,

opposite 4th Ring Road, near Al Safat American Medical Center with a Keralite lady with all facilities. Call: 99325130, 25649970. (C 20246) 26-1-2010 Sharing accommodation, bachelor or family, central A/C building, bathroom attached, near Garden store. Contact: 65662085, 66274078. (C 20236) 25-1-2010 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) SITUATION VACANT

A lady cook is needed to work for a single Arab American man in an apartment located in Salmiya. She must know how to cook Arabic and Chinese food. The job also requires light cleaning. Working hour is 2 pm to 8:30 pm. Salary is KD 100. Tel: 66417504. (C 20244) 26-1-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 2009, white color, run only 15,000 km, excellent condition, price KD 3,850, Contact: 66050484, interested person only. (C 20239) 26-1-2010 Lancer 2007, full option, Glx, km 68,000, super condition, KD 2100. Tel: 60048674. (C 20235) 25-1-2010 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)

CHANGE OF NAME Old name: Vinodkumar Raghavan Ezhuthassan,

Passport Number F 9952256, new name: Vinodkumaar Raghavan Ezhuthassan. (C 20216) 25-1-2010

SITUATION WANTED Indian male, (MBA Finance) with 2.5 years Accountant experience in India, currently seeking for job, proficient in Tally 9,SAP fico, MS Office. Holding valid transferable visa no. 18. Contact: 65547019, 25620738. (C 20214) Sri Lankan maid, 15 years experience in Kuwait, 3 years experience in US, cooking, cleaning, ironing, good with children, fine with pets, excellent English, prefers American or British family. Contact: 97918699. (C 20237) 25-1-2010

No: 14621

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Tuesday 26/01/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Kuwait 544 Cairo Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa D.H.L. 370 Bahrain Turk1sh A/L 1172 Istanbul Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 0138 Doha Air France 6782 Paris Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Kuwait 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Jazeera 0529 Assiut British 0157 London Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Falcon 201 Bahrain Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 676 Dubai Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Iran Air 605 Isfahan Jazeera 0447 Doha Jazeera 0165 Dubai Kuwait 204 Lahore Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Kuwait 382 Delhi Egypt Air 610 Cairo Lufthansa Cargo 8292 Frankfurt Kuwait 672 Dubai Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 744 Dammam Jazeera 0457 Damascus Qatari 0134 Doha Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 546 Alexandria Royal Jordanian 800 Amman Jazeera 0173 Dubai

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

Mihin Lanka Emirates Gulf Air Etihad Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Thai Jazeera Wataniya Airways Sri Lankan United A/L Wataniya Airways D.H.L. Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Global Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Singapore A/L Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Oman Air Egypt Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Indian Gulf Air Middle East Qatari Emirates K.L.M. Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera India Express Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan

403 857 215 0303 510 0493 0239 0125 519 0367 2101 227 982 2003 473 1025 542 674 186 093 786 614 774 104 552 458 618 512 572 0647 618 0459 2103 0343 993 217 402 0136 859 0443 1129 502 0449 0429 091 0117 0185 389 636 2201 1029 205

Colombo/Dubai Dubai Bahrain Abu Dhabi Riyadh Jeddah Amman Sharjah Bangkok Deirezzor Beirut Colombo/Dubai Washington DC Dulles Cairo Baghdad Dubai Cairo Dubai Paris/Rome Kandahar/Muscat Jeddah Bahrain Riyadh London Damascus Singapore/Abu Dhabi Doha Tehran Mumbai Muscat Alexandria Damascus Beirut Sanaa/Bahrain Chennai/Mumbai Bahrain Beirut Doha Dubai Amsterdam Bahrain Beirut Doha Bahrain Baghdad Abu Dhabi Dubai Kozhikode/Mangalore Frankfurt Amman Dubai Lahore/Peshawar

16:40 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:15 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:45 17:50 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:50 18:55 19:00 19:00 19:10 19:20 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:45 20:00 20:05 20:05 20:20 20:35 20:40 20:55 20:55 21:00 21:05 21:20 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:40 23:15 23:30 23:40 23.45 23:55

Departure Flights on Tuesday 26-01-2010 Airlines Flt Route Time Tunis Air 328 Dubai/Tunis 00:01 Jazeera 0528 Assiut 00:05 Pakistan 240 Sialkot 00:35 United A/L 981 Washington DC Dulles 00:40 Indian 576 Goa/Chennai 00:50 Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt 01:20 Kuwait 203 Lahore 02:20 Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa 02:30 Kuwait 283 Dhaka 02:55 D.H.L. 371 Bahrain 03:15 Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul 03:15 Kuwait 381 Delhi 03:30 Emirates 854 Dubai 03:50 Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi 04:10 Qatari 0139 Doha 05:00 Air France 6782 Dubai/Hong Kong 06:10 Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai 07:00 Jazeera 0524 Alexandria 07:00 Jazeera 0164 Dubai 07:00 Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo 07:30 Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi 07:35 Jazeera 0446 Doha 07:40 Gulf Air 212 Bahrain 07:45 Wataniya Airways 3120 Bahrain 07:50 Jazeera 0422 Bahrain 07:55 Global 094 Muscat/Kandahar 08:00 Wataniya Airways 2300 Damascus 08:10 Kuwait 545 Alexandria 08:30 British 0156 London 08:55 Kuwait 671 Dubai 09:00 Kuwait 561 Amman 09:15 Jazeera 0456 Damascus 09:25 Arabia 0122 Sharjah 09:35 Kuwait 101 London/New York 09:35 Emirates 856 Dubai 09:40 Qatari 0133 Doha 10:00 Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi 10:20 Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo 11:30 Gulf Air 214 Bahrain 13:40 Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris 11:45 Jazeera 0342 Bahrain/Sanaa 11:50 Iran Air 604 Isfahan 11:50 Kuwait 743 Dammam 11:55 Jazeera 0172 Dubai 12:00 Kuwait 541 Cairo 12:00 Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut 12:05 Jazeera 0492 Jeddah 12:15 Jazeera 0366 Deirezzor 12:20 Jazeera 0238 Amman 12:25 Kuwait 785 Jeddah 13:40 Egypt Air 611 Cairo 13:55

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Kuwait Wataniya Airways Syrian Arab A/L Kuwait Lufthansa Cargo Wataniya Airways Jazeera Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Kuwait Mihin Lanka Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera Thai Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Oman Air Egypt Air Singapore A/L Gulf Air D.H.L. Kuwait Kuwait Meddle East Falcon Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Emirates K.L.M. Jazeera Fazeera Kuwait

551 1024 342 673 8292 2102 0458 511 501 501 773 613 801 0135 617 404 216 0304 858 0126 0262 511 0184 2200 0116 092 0448 042$ 520 228 1128 1028 361 343 351 571 0648 619 457 218 171 801 675 403 102 0188 0137 301 860 0443 0526 0502 411

Damascus Dubai Damascus Dubai Sharjah Beirut Damascus Tehran Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Doha Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Riyadh Dubai Amman Abu Dhabi Baghdad Doha Bahrain Bangkok Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Dubai Colombo Chennai Cochin Mumbai Muscat Alexandria Abu Dhabi/Singapore Bahrain Bahrain Cairo Dubai Beirut Bahrain Dubai Doha Mumbai Dubai Bahrain/Amsterdam Alexandria Luxor Bangkok/Manila

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


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 881

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) All sorts of business

activity come into play today. Work is concentrated and steady. Broadening your intellectual and spiritual horizons takes on a high priority. You are intent on seeing the big picture and getting to the point. It is a joy to know that things are looking up in the finance and work areas of your life. Today you will have some insight indicating that things are really going to improve—do not worry about delays; they will pass. If you do not have a special love, you may meet that person soon. If you do have a special loved one, you will find many improvements within the relationship now. Even though the weather may not be very good right now you may decide to barbecue on an outdoor grill this evening. You will enjoy the evening. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You feel that you are in touch

and in harmony with others; the lines of communication are open today. There is a lot of gusto behind what you say and think. You will receive a boost plus some extra support from those around you and this is a most encouraging day. Intensify your efforts with recycling now and encourage others. Later today, nature plays a part in helping you to discover the beauty in your life. An insight about your support system, your mother, or other females may be important. You could discover a student or a young person that opens up to you. If you are shopping this evening, be careful that you do not overspend too much just now. This is not a good time to shop. You could enjoy using your conscious effort to hug someone.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 4. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 8. A federally chartered savings bank. 11. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 12. The last imperial dynasty of China (from 1644 to 1912) which was overthrown by revolutionaries. 13. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 14. 1 species. 17. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 18. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 22. The cry made by sheep. 23. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 25. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 27. Being one hundred more than three hundred. 28. A tax on employees and employers that is used to fund the Social Security system. 30. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 32. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group. 33. The Mongol people living the the central and eastern parts of Outer Mongolia. 37. A small cake leavened with yeast. 41. A branch of the Tai languages. 42. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 46. A master's degree in business. 47. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 48. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 49. Tag the base runner to get him out. 50. A machine-readable version of a standard dictionary. 51. A feeling of intense anger. 52. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 2. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 3. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 4. Jordan's port. 5. Support resembling the rib of an animal. 6. Half the width of an em. 7. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 8. A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue separating or binding together muscles and organs etc. 9. Being of delicate or slender build. 10. English monk and scholar (672-735). 15. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 16. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 19. Having the wind against the forward side of the sails. 20. An enclosed space. 21. (Scotland) A small loaf or roll of soft bread. 24. Being one more than one. 26. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 29. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 31. An associate degree in applied science. 34. A genus of Lamnidae. 35. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 36. Jordan's port. 38. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 39. A lyric poet. 40. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 43. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 44. 10 grams. 45. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Power struggles may take place today—careful! Pay attention to the motives on both sides. What do you think is at risk here? Take safety precautions and go easy on caffeine—cold or hot drinks. During days of stress when you are not able to express yourself, the weight of a problem can be carried on your back. Perhaps you can see how important it is to work through your feelings, say no when necessary and work at a balance every day. Some projects could be more costly in time and money than you would want to be involved with just now—think before you obligate your time. Take time this evening to refurbish or balance your energies—this could mean a movie, dinner out or a poetry contest around the fireplace with family members.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) People that do not know you may not recognize your strengths, especially since your sensitivity is what usually shows. You may appreciate a job that allows you freedom to grow at your own pace. Some wonderful vocations in which you could grow best would be the arts, astronomy, astrology, social work, design, radio and television, law and among other things, literary work. If you are not working in any of these professions, you might consider hobby or volunteer work in these areas. When you have the freedom to express yourself you can become very helpful to yourself as well as humanity. You may find yourself probing and penetrating some strong internal changes. Remember, however, that successful changes come in little steps. Smile Leo (July 23-August 22) Your creative instincts are in full gear today. You perform best when you compete with yourself and you will be able to show off your skills through some idea or problem solving technique. A sense of emotional coolness or detachment at the personal level, combined with an emphasis on philosophy is the nature of the cycle you are now entering. It is ideas that count today, more than personal concerns—this may mean that you are a writer and need particular ideas for an article. You may be thinking about making a loved one jealous—don’t bother, it will reflect badly on you. You will enjoy and value your own life situation today. A visitor in your home this evening will want to stay longer than necessary and will compliment you on your tastes—patience.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You could be put in charge of some project that requires your special skills today. You may not have a choice here, but you need to know that you will be able to handle whatever is put in front of you. In fact, you may be able to acquire some help if you ask before you begin a special project. Your mind will be occupied with many thoughts and you could find that your communication skills suffer this afternoon. You may find it very easy to overdo or to become distracted. There is a sense of testing the limits. This can result in a frustrating and stressful day. Relax . . . there is no need to push. The evening is full of good times. You have a strong urge for social activities with friends and may find yourself enjoying dinner away from home. Libra (September 23-October 22) This is an easy, calm day that should find everything running smoothly. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may be an important factor of this day. You will learn from the past experiences of another how to create some positive changes in your own life. Working with the unfolding events in the work place today should be easy for you. This is a day to solve or complete any unfinished business. You and a close friend or loved one may choose this evening to talk about your investments or plan on how you will be saving for a vacation. You and your lover may want to visit a book store, friends or just enjoy some quiet time together. It is time you do things together and you will be making plans to do more things together in the future.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Respect, status and

achievement are central goals for you. Creating a structure to empower and maintain your ideals and principles become a high priority, an article of faith. You are in charge today but it may be difficult to know the exact rules. Your energies are up and you are ready for taking charge. Do not pace the floor— the people you lead will want to know you have confidence. Large items or real estate may sell this afternoon—not necessarily on anyone’s time schedule, but a real boost to the day! Ambition is a powerful motivation and properly channeled—you will see results in achievements and recognition. Unconventional, romantic and social connections are likely tonight. A proposal or a commitment is in the works—if you want it. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your intuition may be all you have to lead you in positive directions—listen. You could find that you are appreciated for your ability to act and get things accomplished. Emphasize a balance of activities throughout this year. You will feel more at-ease as you make a concentrated effort to bring about a balance in all your affairs. Mental patterns and communication skills play a major role in your life now. Real insight into your own inner workings or psychology could surface in a manageable form. Health matters come into play as you may want to work on building your strength or stamina. Exercise a little bit every day—preferably, in some movement that takes you somewhere like, bicycling, walking, etc. Enjoy a little humming or whistling while you exercise.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You

yester

Yesterday’s Solution

to

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

may find that you really look forward to this workday. A renewed appreciation for your work may be apparent to your superiors—in fact, to everybody. You also may be checking the stock market, studying the gold market or looking for the best investment. You will find a profitable way in which to invest if you can get at least three opinions about your choices. Make a conscious effort to bring a balance between family, friends and business. We all become involved in exciting projects or ideas, but finding ways to bring about a balance in your life will give you that feeling of havingit-all-together. You are most persuasive with others and articulate in your speech and communication. This situation is a natural for selfexpression Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may find yourself very appreciative of your career and practical skills and you are ready for the workday to begin. A keen interest in what makes things tick and who, or what pulls the strings is the hallmark of the mental cycle that now begins in your life. Sex, death and other of life’s ultimate mysteries and taboos arouse your curiosity. Figuring out ways to make your nest egg grow can be a preoccupation. You may feel like opening up to some new creative venture this afternoon. Research reveals that 80% of human communication is non-verbal and you may become interested in learning or taking a course in body language. This may even be fun to take with a friend or family member. There are warm conversations around the dinner table tonight. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Good feelings and a sense of support and harmony make this a satisfying time. You will find this particular Monday will move faster than the average workday. There is plenty of work to keep you busy. You could be most persuasive with others and influential in speech and communication. It is ideas that count for you now, more than narrowly personal concerns. The new, the unusual and the unorthodox—are things that instinctively appeal to you and you may find new ways to perform research or a new approach to other subjects of interest. This afternoon you may relieve your loved one of certain responsibilities. You may even consider trading responsibilities with a family member for a week—walk in the other man’s shoes; so-to-speak.


TV PROGRAMS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

35

Orbit listings / Show listings AMERICA PLUS 00:00 Without a Trace 01:00 Janice Dickinson 02:00 Grey’s Anatomy 03:00 Cold Case 04:00 One Tree Hill 05:00 In Plain Sight 06:00 GMA Recorded 08:00 GMA Health 08:30 What’s the Buzz 09:00 In Plain Sight 10:00 Grey’s Anatomy 11:00 Ally McBeal 12:00 One Tree Hill 13:00 Cold Case 14:00 Ally McBeal 15:00 GMA Live 17:00 GMA Health 17:30 What’s the Buzz 18:00 One Tree Hill 19:00 Lost 20:00 The O.C. 21:00 Without a Trace 22:00 Grey’s Anatomy 23:00 Supernatural ANIMAL PLANET 00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 Killer Jellyfish 02:40 Untamed & Uncut 03:35 I’m Alive 04:30 Animal Cops Houston 06:20 Lemur Street 06:45 Monkey Business 07:10 Aussie Animal Rescue 07:35 Vet on the Loose 08:00 Wildlife SOS 08:25 Pet Rescue 08:50 Animal Precinct 09:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:40 Aussie Animal Rescue 11:05 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 The Jeff Corwin Experience 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:40 Killer Jellyfish 15:35 Lemur Street 16:00 Monkey Business 16:30 Pet Rescue 16:55 Vet on the Loose 17:25 Wildlife SOS 17:50 Aussie Animal Rescue 18:20 Animal Cops Houston 19:15 K9 Cops 20:10 Killer Whales: Up Close and Personal 21:10 Animal Cops Houston 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 K9 Cops 23:55 Animal Cops Houston

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

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

BBC ENTERTAINMENT 00:45 Holby City 01:45 Building Wonders 02:35 Mission Africa 03:35 Holby City 05:35 Building Wonders 06:35 Bargain Hunt 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tweenies 08:00 Fimbles 08:20 Teletubbies 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Tommy Zoom 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Tweenies 09:40 Fimbles 10:00 Teletubbies 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Tommy Zoom 10:40 Bargain Hunt 11:25 Building Wonders 12:15 Mission Africa 13:15 The Weakest Link 14:00 Eastenders 14:30 Doctors 15:00 Bargain Hunt 15:45 Cash In The Attic 16:15 Blackadder II 16:45 2 Point 4 Children 17:15 The Weakest Link 18:00 Doctors 18:30 Eastenders 19:00 Holby City 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 The Whistleblowers 23:35 Blackjack 04: Sweet Science BBC LIFESTYLE 00:05 Ching’s Kitchen 00:30 Masterchef Goes Large 01:20 Cash In The Attic Usa 01:45 Hidden Potential 02:10 Living In The Sun 03:05 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 03:35 Ching’s Kitchen 04:25 Masterchef Goes Large 05:25 Cash In The Attic Usa 05:50 Hidden Potential 06:15 Living In The Sun 07:10 Coleen’s Real Women 08:00 Antiques Roadshow 08:50 Cash In The Attic Usa 09:15 Cash In The Attic Usa 09:35 Hidden Potential 10:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 11:30 Living In The Sun 12:20 Antiques Roadshow 13:10 Coleen’s Real Women 13:55 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 15:35 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:30 Cash In The Attic Usa 16:55 Hidden Potential 17:20 Antiques Roadshow 18:10 Coleen’s Real Women 18:55 Living In The Sun 19:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:40 Masterchef Goes Large 21:05 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 21:35 Ching’s Kitchen 22:00 Design Rules 22:50 10 Years Younger 23:40 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express BBC WORLD 00:00 Bbc World News - U 00:30 Hardtalk - U 01:00 World News Today: Business Edition - U 01:45 Sport Today - U 02:00 Bbc World News - U 02:30 Hardtalk - U 03:00 Bbc World News America - U 04:00 Bbc World News - U 04:30 Asia Business Report - U 04:45 Sport Today - U 05:00 Bbc World News - U 05:30 Asia Business Report - U 05:45 Asia Today - U 06:00 World News Today - U 07:00 Bbc World News - U 07:30 Hardtalk - U

11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 PG 19:00 21:00 23:00

Dog Days of Summer - PG15 Iron Road Pt.*2* - PG All Roads Lead Home - PG What If God Were the Sun? My Cousin Vinny - PG Harrison Montgomery - PG Ba’al - PG15

CNN INTERNATIONAL 00:00 Connect The World 01:00 Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 The Situation Room 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:30 World Sport 05:00 World Report 06:00 Anderson Cooper 360 07:00 World Report 07:30 Inside Africa 08:00 World Report 08:30 Backstory 09:00 World Report 10:30 World Sport 11:00 World Report 11:30 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 Inside Africa 13:00 Larry King 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 16:00 Amanpour. 16:30 World’s Untold Stories 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 The Brief 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:30 World’s Untold Stories 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 23:00 Amanpour. 23:30 World One DISCOVERY CHANNEL 00:00 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Miami Ink 02:00 Street Customs 2008

22:10 Mythbusters 23:00 Eco-Tech 23:50 Discovery Project Earth DISNEY CHANNEL 00:00 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 00:20 Handy Manny 00:45 Special Agent Oso 01:10 Lazytown 02:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:45 Handy Manny 03:10 Special Agent Oso 03:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:00 Fairly Odd Parents 04:25 Hannah Montana 04:45 I Got A Rocket 05:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:35 Phineas & Ferb 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 06:35 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:20 Lazytown 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 Hannah Montana 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 American Dragon 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 Famous Five 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:55 Replacements 15:15 I Got A Rocket 15:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Sonny With A Chance 19:25 Suite Life On Deck 19:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:15 Sonny With A Chance 20:40 Hannah Montana 21:05 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 21:50 The Replacements 22:00 American Dragon 22:25 Kim Possible 22:50 Famous Five 23:15 Fairly Odd Parents 23:35 Phineas & Ferb E! ENTERTAINMENT 00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 E!es 01:30 25 Most Stylish 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Ths 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Perfect Catch 10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 13:40 40 (more) Crimes Of Fashion 15:25 Behind The Scenes 16:15 Style Star 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Style Star 21:20 Leave It To Lamas 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties

The Hunting Party on Show Movies 1 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 08:00 My Spy Family 08:25 Chowder 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Chop Socky Chooks 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 10:55 Skunk Fu! 11:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:30 Squirrel Boy 11:55 Robotboy 12:20 Camp Lazlo 12:45 The Powerpuff Girls 13:10 Class of 3000 13:35 Ed, Edd n Eddy 14:00 Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:35 George of the Jungle 17:00 Skunk Fu! 17:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 17:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Casper’s Scare School 19:30 Squirrel Boy 20:00 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 20:25 Chop Socky Chooks 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 Ed, Edd n Eddy 21:30 Skunk Fu! 21:45 The Secret Saturdays 22:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:35 The Life & Times of Juniper Lee 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas XLR CINEMA CITY 01:00 Dark Mind - PG15 03:00 Chain of Fools - PG15 05:00 Restraint - 18 07:00 Dark Mind - PG15 09:00 The Pleasure of Being Robbed - PG

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

American Chopper Chop Shop Mythbusters Factory Made Ultimate Survival Extreme Engineering Chop Shop Street Customs 2008 How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds How Do They Do It? Factory Made Fifth Gear American Chopper Miami Ink Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds Street Customs 2008 How Do They Do It? Factory Made Mega Engineering Man Made Marvels China LA Hard Hats

DISCOVERY SCIENCE 00:40 The Greatest Ever 01:30 Robocar 02:20 Mighty Ships 03:10 Mega Builders 04:00 Beyond Tomorrow 04:50 Race to Mars 05:45 Cool Stuff & How it Works 06:10 Green Wheels 06:40 One Step Beyond 07:10 Robocar 08:00 Junkyard Mega-Wars 09:00 Race to Mars 10:00 Mighty Ships 10:55 Cool Stuff & How it Works 11:20 Stunt Junkies 11:50 Robocar 12:45 Green Wheels 13:10 One Step Beyond 13:40 Race to Mars 14:35 Mighty Ships 15:30 Download: The True Story of the Internet 16:25 Cool Stuff & How it Works 16:55 Junkyard Mega-Wars 17:50 Brainiac 18:45 Mega World 19:40 Eco-Tech 20:30 Discovery Project Earth 21:20 How It’s Made

EXTREME SPORTS 00:00 Strikeforce 01:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2008 02:00 Ticket To Ride 03:00 Strikeforce 04:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 05:00 Ride Guide Snow 2008 06:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 07:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2008 08:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 09:00 I-Ex Season 2 10:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2008 11:00 Ticket To Ride 12:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 13:00 I-Ex Season 2 14:00 Ride Guide Snow 2008 15:00 Ticket To Ride 16:00 F.I.A European Drag Racing 17:00 I-Ex Season 2 18:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2008 19:00 Transsyberia Rally 2008 20:00 Ride Guide Snow 2008 21:00 I-Ex Season 2 22:00 Ticket To Ride 23:00 Transsyberia Rally 2008 FOX SPORTS 00:00 Everton TV Classic Highlights 03:00 Hyundai A League Highlights 04:00 Golf Central International 04:30 The Golf Channel - TBA 07:00 Everton TV Classic Highlights 10:00 Hyundai A League Newcastle Jets at Sydney FC 12:00 Mexican Soccer: Teams TBA (tentative) 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 Ryder Cup Wales: Creating a Lasting Legacy 15:00 Hyundai A League Newcastle Jets at Sydney FC 17:00 Torneo de Verano Mar Del Plata, Argentina 19:00 Hyundai A League Highlights 19:30 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships Free Dance Spokane, WA 22:00 NFL: NFC Championship FRANCE 24 00:00 News And Magazines - U 00:30 The France 24 Interview - U 01:00 News And Magazines - U 21:30 The France 24 Debate - U 22:00 News And Magazines - U MGM 01:10 Castaway

03:05 04:40 06:45 08:15 09:45 11:10 12:55 14:30 15:50 17:15 18:50 20:25 22:00 23:30

10:30 Premier League 12:30 Barclays Premier League Arabic Review 14:00 Premier League 16:00 Premier League Classics 16:30 Premier League Classics 17:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 Premier League World 18:00 Premier League 20:00 Portugol 20:30 Brazilian League Highlights 21:00 Premier League Classics 21:30 Premier League Classics 22:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:30 Goals Goals Goals 23:00 Live Premier League

A Man Of Passion The Moderns Virgin High Far North Women Vs. Men The Playboys A Green Journey The Trip The King And Four Queens Babes In Toyland Crusoe Arena Masquerade (1988) (1988) Clifford

NAT GEO ADVENTURE 00:00 Treks In A Wild World 00:30 Lonely Planet 01:30 Motorcycle Karma 02:30 Surfer’s Journal 04:00 Bondi Rescue 05:30 Racing Around The Clock 06:00 Treks In A Wild World 06:30 Lonely Planet 07:30 Motorcycle Karma 08:30 Surfer’s Journal 10:00 Bondi Rescue 10:30 Destination Extreme 11:00 Madventures 11:30 Departures 12:30 Meet The Natives - Usa 13:30 Culture Shocks 14:30 Destination Extreme 15:00 Madventures 15:30 Surfer’s Journal 16:00 Bondi Rescue 16:30 Destination Extreme 17:00 Madventures 17:30 Departures 18:30 Meet The Natives - Usa 19:30 Culture Shocks 20:30 Destination Extreme 21:00 Madventures 21:30 Surfer’s Journal 22:00 Bondi Rescue 22:30 Destination Extreme 23:00 Madventures 23:30 Departures NAT GEO WILD 00:00 Killer Leopards 01:00 Search For Ultimate Bear 02:00 Guardians Of Nature 03:00 Mystery Of The Wolf 04:00 In The Land Of The Dragons 04:30 Snake Wranglers 05:00 Snake Wranglers 05:30 Brady’s Wild Hour 06:00 Killer Leopards 07:00 Search For Ultimate Bear 08:00 Guardians Of Nature 09:00 Mystery Of The Wolf 10:00 In The Land Of The Dragons 10:30 Snake Wranglers 11:00 Superfish 12:00 Secret Shark Pits 13:00 Planet Carnivore 14:00 Hunter Hunted 15:00 Amazon Claws 16:00 Hidden Worlds 16:30 Snake Wranglers 17:00 Superfish 18:00 Secret Shark Pits 19:00 Planet Carnivore 20:00 Hunter Hunted 21:00 Amazon Claws 22:00 Hidden Worlds 22:30 Snake Wranglers 23:00 Superfish ORBIT NEWS 1 00:00 ABC Now Bell/ Good Money LIVE 00:30 ABC NOW Top Line / Inside the Newsroom 01:00 ABC NOW Ahead of the Curve (as live) Mon/Wed/Fri 01:30 ABC Nightline Twitter 02:00 McLaughlin Group 02:30 ABC World News Live 03:00 NBC Nightly News Live 03:30 ABC World News (Mon) 04:00 NBC Today Show 07:00 NBC Nightly News (Mon) 07:30 ABC Nightline Live 08:00 ABC World News (Mon) 08:30 NBC Nightly News (Mon) 09:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer 10:00 ABC Nightline 10:30 NBC Nightly News (Mon) 11:00 ABC World News Now Live 12:30 NBC Early Today Live 13:00 ABC America This Morning Live 14:30 NBC Early Today 15:00 NBC Today Show Live 19:00 ABC Now Money Matters / Bell 19:30 ABC NOW / Good Money 20:00 MSNBC Live Dr. NANCY 21:00 MSNBC Live Andrea Mitchell Reports 22:00 PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer 23:00 MSNBC Countdown w/K. Olbermann ORBIT NEWS 2 00:00 MSNBC Live 01:00 MSNBC Live Hardball 02:00 MSNBC News Live The Ed Show 03:00 MSNBC (As Live) Hardball 04:00 MSNBC Live Countdown w/K. Olbermann 05:00 MSNBC Live The Rachel Maddow Show 06:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 07:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Rachel Maddow Show 08:00 MSNBC (As Live) Hardball 09:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 10:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Rachel Maddow Show 11:00 MSNBC (As Live) The Ed Show 12:00 MSNBC (as live) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 13:00 MSNBC First Look (Live) 13:30 MSNBC Way Too Early w/W. Geist (Live) 14:00 MSNBC (taped) Hardball 15:00 MSNBC (taped) The Ed Show 16:00 MSNBC (taped) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 17:00 MSNBC Live Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan 18:00 MSNBC Live Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan 19:00 MSNBC Live 20:00 MSNBC (taped) Hardball 21:00 MSNBC (taped) Countdown w/K. Olbermann 22:00 MSNBC (taped) The Rachel Maddow Show

SHOW SPORTS 2 01:30 Goals on Monday 03:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 03:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 04:30 Gillette World Sport 05:00 World Hockey 05:30 Premier League World 06:00 Premier League Classics 06:30 Live Cricket One Day International 15:00 European Challenge Cup 17:00 Weber Cup Bowling 18:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 19:00 Scottish Premier League 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Brazil League Highlights 22:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 23:00 Live Premier League

Flags of Our Fathers on Super Movies 23:00 MSNBC Live PLAYHOUSE DISNEY 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:25 Handy Manny 08:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:15 Imagination Movers 09:40 Chuggington 10:10 Handy Manny 10:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:50 Special Agent Oso 11:15 Imagination Movers 11:40 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:05 Chuggington 12:20 Chuggington 12:55 Handy Manny 13:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:30 Little Einsteins 13:50 Handy Manny 14:10 Imagination Movers 14:30 Little Einsteins 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 Jo Jo’s Circus 16:10 Higglytown Heroes 17:00 Happy Monster Band 17:05 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 17:30 Happy Monster Band 17:35 Handy Manny 18:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 18:25 Special Agent Oso 18:50 Chuggington 19:00 Imagination Movers 19:25 Handy Manny 19:50 Chuggington 20:00 Special Agent Oso 20:15 Little Einsteins 20:40 Handy Manny 20:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 21:00 End Of Programming SHOW COMEDY 00:00 Friends 00:30 Seinfeld 01:00 The Daily Show - Global Edition 01:30 The Colbert Report - Global Edition 02:00 Sit Down, Shut Up 02:30 The Book Group 03:00 Home Improvement 03:30 The Colbert Report 04:00 The Daily Show - Global Edition 04:30 The Colbert Report - Global Edition 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 Malcolm In The Middle 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 Malcolm In The Middle 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 Sit Down, Shut Up 22:30 The Book Group 23:00 Nut Case 23:30 Til Death SHOW MOVIES 1 01:00 In Bruges - 18 03:00 Sunshine Cleaning - PG 15 05:00 The Hunting Party - PG 15 07:00 I’m Reed Fish - PG 09:00 The Jane Austen Book Club PG 15 11:00 Balls Of Fury - PG 15 13:00 Christmas In Wonderland - PG 15:00 The Jane Austen Book Club PG 15 17:00 Balls Of Fury - PG 15 18:30 Across The Universe - PG 15 21:00 The International - 18 23:00 Transporter 3 - 18

SHOW MOVIES 2 00:00 Love In The Time Of Cholera 18 02:15 All God’s Children Can Dance 18 04:00 Man On Wire - PG 15 06:00 Stan Lee: Mosaic - PG 07:45 Les Miserables(1998) - PG 15 10:00 Born In East L.a. - PG 15 12:00 Didi Quer Ser Criana - PG 13:45 Sicko - PG 15 16:00 Born In East L.a. - PG 15 18:00 Didi Quer Ser Criana - PG 19:45 The Firm - PG 15 22:15 De-lovely - PG 15 SHOW MOVIES ACTION 01:00 Franck Spadone - PG 15 03:00 They Wait - PG 15 05:00 Double Team - PG 15 07:00 Resident Evil: Degeneration PG 15 09:00 Walking Tall 3: Lone Justice PG 15 11:00 Stargate: The Ark Of Truth PG 13:00 High Heels And Low Lifes - PG 15 15:00 Walking Tall 3: Lone Justice PG 15 17:00 Stargate: The Ark Of Truth PG 19:00 Mercury Man - PG 15 21:00 The Prodigy - FAM 23:00 Doomsday - 18 SHOW MOVIES COMEDY 00:00 How To Be A Player - 18 02:00 Down To Earth - PG 15 04:00 Mr. Baseball - PG 06:00 Stick It - PG 08:00 Down To Earth - PG 15 10:00 Are You Ready For Love - PG 12:00 Drillbit Taylor - PG 15 14:00 The Allnighter - PG 15 16:00 Are You Ready For Love - PG 18:00 Drillbit Taylor - PG 15 20:00 Fanboys - PG 15 22:00 Hot Fuzz - 18 SHOW MOVIES KIDS 01:00 Hey Arnold! The Movie - PG 02:45 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium - FAM 04:30 Robin Hood: The Invincible Knight - FAM 06:15 The Mighty Ducks - FAM 08:00 The Witches - PG 10:00 Robin Hood: The King’s Return - FAM 11:45 That Darn Cat - PG 13:30 Daddy Day Camp - FAM 15:15 Ghostbusters Ii - PG 17:15 Asterix Aux Jeux Olympiques FAM 19:15 Daddy Day Camp - FAM 21:00 Robin Hood: The King’s Return - FAM 22:45 That Darn Cat - PG SHOW SERIES 00:00 House 01:00 Parkinson 02:00 Eat Yourself Sexy 03:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 04:00 Law And Order 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 House 07:00 C.s.i. New York 08:00 Lipstick Jungle 09:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 10:00 Law And Order 11:00 C.s.i. New York 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Parkinson 14:00 Eat Yourself Sexy 15:00 Lipstick Jungle 16:00 House 17:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Law And Order 20:00 Turn Back Your Body Clock 21:00 Eat Yourself Sexy 22:00 C.s.i. New York 23:00 Lipstick Jungle

SHOW SPORTS 3 00:00 World Hockey 00:30 Scottish Premier League 02:30 Gillette World Sport 03:00 Premier League Classics 03:30 Premier League Classics 04:00 Weber Cup Bowling 05:00 Weber Cup Bowling 06:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 07:00 European Challenge Cup 09:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 10:00 Gillette World Sport 10:30 Premier League World 11:00 Weber Cup Bowling 12:00 PGA European Tour 16:30 Gillette World Sport 17:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 18:00 Portuguese Liga 20:00 European Challenge Cup 22:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 23:00 Live Premier League SHOW SPORTS 4 00:00 NFL 02:30 FIM World Cup 03:00 Bushido 04:00 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 07:00 WWE ECW 08:00 FIM World Cup 08:30 UAE National Race Day 09:00 Rat Race 09:30 NCAA Basketball 11:00 Bushido 12:00 WWE ECW 13:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 15:00 Rat Race 15:30 UFC All Access 16:00 NCAA Basketball 18:00 LG Action Sport 19:00 UFC All Access 19:30 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 22:45 Live Premier League SUPER COMEDY 00:30 The Best Of Jay Leno Show 01:30 Drew Carey Show 02:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 03:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 03:30 The Best Of Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 04:30 The Best Of Jimmy Kimmel Live 05:30 The Best Of Jay Leno Show 06:30 The Simpsons 07:00 Frasier 07:30 Drew Carey Show 08:00 The Best Of Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 09:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 10:00 The Best Of Jimmy Kimmel Live 11:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 11:30 Frasier 12:00 The Simpsons 12:30 Drew Carey Show 13:00 The Best Of Jay Leno Show 14:00 The Best Of Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 15:00 The Best Of 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 The Jay Leno Show 21:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 22:00 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 23:00 Entourage 23:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live SUPER MOVIES 01:00 The Cycle - 18 03:00 Little Fish - 18 05:00 The Cycle - 18 07:00 West of Brooklyn - PG15 09:00 Rush Hour *3* - PG15 11:00 Flags of Our Fathers - PG15 13:00 The Invasion - PG15 15:00 The 11th Hour - PG 17:00 Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? - PG15 19:00 Max Payne - PG15 21:00 A Previous Engagement PG15 23:00 Sweeney Todd - 18

SHOW SPORTS 1 00:30 Premier League World 01:00 Premier League Classics 01:30 Premier League 03:30 Barclays Premier League Arabic Preview 05:00 Premier League 07:00 Barclays Premier League Arabic Preview 08:30 Premier League

TCM 01:00 The Screening Room 01:30 Brother John (1971) 03:10 Martin’s Day (1984) 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Lost Angels (1989) 07:30 The Screening Room 08:00 Little Women 10:00 Young Cassidy 11:50 Captain Nemo and Underwater City

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Star listings (UAE timings) Star Movies 16:00 Kyle XY 16:50 V.I.P. 17:00 Reaper 17:50 One Day At A Time 18:00 Painkiller Jane 18:50 Starsky & Hutch 19:00 Ghost Hunters International 19:50 V.I.P. 20:00 Reaper 20:50 One Day At A Time 21:00 Painkiller Jane 21:50 Starsky & Hutch 22:00 [V] Tunes 23:00 How I Met Your Mother 23:30 NGC Program 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven

03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:50 06:00 06:50 07:00 07:50 08:00 08:50 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:00

The Simpsons The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim Ghost Hunters International V.I.P. Bones One Day At A Time Kyle Xy Starsky & Hutch Reaper V.I.P. How I Met Your Mother The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven One Day At A Time Bones Starsky & Hutch [V] Tunes

13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00

Ghost Hunters International The Simpsons The King Of Queens According To Jim

Granada TV 20:30 Airline (Series 5) 21:00 Revenge TV 22:00 Emmerdale 22:30 Coronation Street 23:00 Revenge TV 00:00 The Paul O’Grady Show 01:00 Fight School * 02:00 Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour 03:30 Strange But True? (Series 4) 04:00 Holiday Homes From Hell 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street

06:00 07:00 08:00 Hour 09:30 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 * 14:00 Hour 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 *

The Paul O’Grady Show Fight School * Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Strange But True? (Series 4) Drivers From Hell Emmerdale Coronation Street The Paul O’Grady Show 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Strange But True? (Series 4) Emmerdale Coronation Street The Paul O’Grady Show 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3)

19:00 Mystery Tuesday: Eleventh Hour Channel [V] 22:00 [V] Plug 22:30 The Playlist 23:00 Loop 00:00 Backtracks 01:00 Double Shot 02:00 [V] Plug 02:30 The Playlist 03:00 Loop 04:00 The List 05:00 [V] Tunes 06:00 Double Shot 07:00 Backtracks 08:00 Loop 09:00 [V] Plug 09:30 Double Shot

10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00

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

Fox News 20:00 Happening Now 22:00 The Live Desk 00:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 01:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto

02:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 03:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 04:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 05:00 The O’Reilly Factor 06:00 Hannity 07:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 08:00 The O’Reilly Factor 09:00 Hannity 10:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 11:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 12:00 Fox Report 13:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 14:00 The O’Reilly Factor 15:00 FOX & Friends First Live 16:00 FOX & Friends Live 18:00 America’s Newsroom


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Tuesday, January 26, 2009

Mel Gibson says ‘all guys are dogs’ he 54-year-old actor is very protective of his daughters - married Hannah, 29, and baby Lucia with his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva because he knows what men are like and what they are interested in. He told People magazine: “Oh, you get scared. We all know what dogs all guys are because we are guys.” Although Mel is distrustful of any man’s intentions for his girls, the actor acknowledges that women are far smarter than guys give them credit for. Mel - who plays a father who seeks revenge for his daughter’s murder in film ‘Edge of Darkness’ - added: “We

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shouldn’t despair, the truth is all women are smarter than men.” The Hollywood star is a very protective father and partner and last week revealed he keeps a gun “stowed away” in his house to protect against intruders. The ‘Edge of Darkness’ actor - who lives with Oksana and Lucia - said: “I did have bodyguards for a little while but it’s a drag. If your number’s up, it’s up. If I’m lying in bed and somebody comes into my room, I’ll either wake up or I won’t. And I’ll either hit ‘em with my big stick that I’ve got or my gun that I have stowed away... or they’ll hit me.”

Wentz wants to move to France

Beth Ditto always wanted to be a ʻhippieʼ he Gossip singer was so moved by Ozzy Osbourne’s album ‘Crazy Train’ in the 1980, she wanted to join the Peace Corps and live a simple life helping others. She said: “My mum was a big rock fan and, growing up, in the south as I did there’s not too much to choose from. I remember being excited by Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ and Patsy Cline. When I was a kid I really wanted to

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Winehouse to remarry ex-husband

my Winehouse will remarry Blake Fielder-Civil and have children, according to a psychic. Recovering drug addict Blake’s mother Georgette Civil contacted celebrity medium Denise Harrison, who did a special reading to see what the future holds for her son and his singer ex-wife.

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The psychic claimed things will be positive for the couple and they will elope to tie the knot for a second time when Blake leaves rehab in Sheffield, Northern England, next month. Denise also stated they will go on a “spiritual journey” together, but both will stay off drugs. Georgette, 46, said: “I wanted to know whether their future was going to be positive. “Denise told me that they are going to remarry very soon. It’s going to be abroad. She said they would always be together because of the huge bond between them. “In the long-term they are going to be free of drugs, go on a spiritual journey, and they will live happily and have children. “Spirits are guarding Amy and Blake and want them to have a happy future together.” Meanwhile, Amy is currently staying in a hotel after blowing the electrics in her London home by playing loud music. Amy, 26, and Blake, 31, originally wed in May 2007 in Miami but divorced in August 2009, after Blake filed for divorce on grounds of adultery.

Cyrus joins the track’s all-star cast iley Cyrus has also joined the track’s all-star cast. Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole and British boy band JLS were the first to record their vocals in London over the weekend. The song is particularly poignant to JLS member Oritse Williams, who has lost family members in Haiti. He said: “This tragedy is very close to my heart. We hope to raise as much money as possible.” ‘Bleeding Love’ songstress Leona Lewis paid a visit to a Los Angeles studio , while Take That and rocker Rod Stewart recorded in the US. Alexandra Burke and Susan Boyle are set to add their vocals this afternoon, while James Morrison, Mika and James Blunt will make arrangements for their recordings over the next few days. The individual vocals are being compiled by producer Steve Robson, using advanced technology which means artists do not need to record together.

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Splitsville for Branjelina? riends of the pair - who have been dating for five years and raise six children together - insist “everything is fine” between them and branded recent reports of a break-up “totally false”. A source told the New York Daily News newspaper: “I was told it’s not true. They are very secretive. But I was told it’s not true.” Although another source called the split rumors “BS”, the couple are yet to officially comment on the status of their relationship. The News of the World newspaper claimed Brad, 46, and 34-year-old Angelina had visited divorce lawyers to help them separate and planned to split up in the near future. The legal document they allegedly signed will see their $330 million fortune halved in two, while the pair will have joint custody of their children. The couple - who have three adopted children, Maddox, eight,

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Pax, six, and Zahara, five, as well as three biological kids, Shiloh, three, and 18-month-old twins Knox and Vivienne - are alleged to have visited a top Los Angeles law firm in December last year, and have since hired a lawyer specializing in celebrity divorces. Although the reports have been refuted, it has since been claimed Brad’s brother Doug Pitt begged the ‘Fight Club’ star to end the relationship because their family was being torn apart. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Brad’s family are being more vocal with their doubts over the relationship. The only thing they still have in common is their kids. That’s keeping them together at the moment.” Brad and Angelina - who has been married twice before - got together after meeting on the set of ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ in 2004, while Brad was still married to Jennifer Aniston.

Stewart to play a stripper

become a hippie and join the Peace Corps, and that was down to hearing the Mamas and the Papas, but the real soundtrack from that era in my life was Ozzy.” Since Gossip started in 2006, Beth has become known for her powerful-yet-unusual voice and has seen musical success around the world. However, the 28-year-old star struggled to find her singing style when she was young. She explained to the Observer Music Monthly magazine: “I grew up singing in the church choir, and had discovered that I was too loud to sing prettily and too soft to sing loud music. Then I heard Tori Amos and she validated my experience as a singer along with women like Missy Elliot.”

he Fall Out Boy rocker - who has a 14-month-old son Bronx Mowgli with wife Ashlee Simpson-Wentz has fallen in love with the European country since flying out for music industry conference Midem. He revealed on twitter: “In south france feeling the jet lag. I could live here. France is amazing. The food. The people.(sic)” The ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ hitmaker also spoke about his love of Bronx, revealing him to be the most important thing in his life. When asked how fatherhood had affected him, he replied: “he is the only person that can take me away from my blackberry. the only thing i want to get right in my entire life. (sic)” Last year, Pete revealed he wanted to move out of Los Angeles to protect his family’s privacy. He said: “Once you have a kid it’s a little bit different. You’re more protective. You want them to have a normal life, or as normal as possible. “We’re going to figure out moving somewhere that’s a little less public.

risten Stewart plays a stripper in her new film. The ‘Twilight’ star portrays a 16year-old runaway who gets into erotic dancing and occasional prostitution to earn money in the movie - which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival

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in Park City, Utah, on Saturday- and Kristen admits it is a big departure for her. She said: “My character’s not sultry, not sexy. She sort of throws herself into all her moves. I tore myself up doing it.” The 19-year-old actress is seen dancing in platform heels, fish-

nets, a micro-mini skirt and a bra in one scene and the actress was nervous about shooting the sequence with costar James Gandolfini. She added: “The first time I put on all the fishnets I was nervous. I really tried to own it though.” Kristen trained with a profes-

Keith Richards has given up alcohol he Rolling Stones guitarist - who is known for his hell raising lifestyle - hasn’t downed a drink in four months, despite previously claiming he would never become teetotal. A source close to the 66-year-old musician said: “There’s no guarantees that he’ll stay off it - but he’s doing really well so far. “He has always quite enjoyed the fact that he seemed to be able to

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carry on drinking as much as he liked with no real negative impact on his health.” It is believed Keith decided to quit booze after seeing his band mate Ronnie Wood start drinking heavily again and eventually split from his wife of 23 years Jo to run off with 21-year-old cocktail waitress Katia Ivanova, who Ronnie is also now separated from. The source added to The Sun newspa-

per: “He has watched Ronnie fall well and truly off the wagon last year and he doesn’t like what he sees. “Plus he has started to feel for the first time like it might do him some good to give up the booze for a while.” Four years ago Keith suffered a brain hemorrhage after he fell out of a tree while partying on the Pacific island of Fiji, but made a full recovery. —Bang Showbiz

sional stripper for two weeks to prepare for the movie and initially wanted to learn the sexy moves covered up. Speaking to Us Weekly magazine, she said: “I wanted to do it in my clothes. But my trainer was like, ‘No, you don’t stick to the poll when you do that.’ “


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

37

Music & Movies

Stone says US in denial over JFK assassination ollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone said yesterday the United States remains in denial over the possibility that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald could have assassinated John F Kennedy, calling it a “national fairy tale.” Speaking to 300 high school students in the Thai capital, Bangkok, Stone said exploring alternative theories over the JFK assassination remains too sensitive for

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US film director Oliver Stone holds a souvenir during a presentation at a hotel in Bangkok.—AFP

those in the media or academia who “would be endangering their careers and their position.” “To this day, many key Americans in power are in total denial about this story,” Stone said. “They don’t even want to know about the possibility that he was killed by someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald. It is a national fairy tale.” Stone was in Bangkok to talk about filmmaking and peace as part of a series of talks facilitated by the Viennabased International Peace Foundation. His 1991 film “JFK,” which he acknowledged was his most controversial, ridicules the Warren Commission conclusion that Oswald acted alone and suggests a massive conspiracy. Stone’s film centered on a theory by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that a CIA-led mutiny killed the president and the plotters walked away unscathed. Garrison’s theories went to court in 1967, but Clay Shaw, the alleged “evil genius” behind the assassination, was acquitted. Stone said yesterday he thought it was “a good thing” to revisit the JFK assassination. But he came under fire from the historians and film reviewers who contended Stone had fudged facts, invented characters and elevated speculation to truth to support his burning belief that the killing was a high-level conspiracy. “It’s an amazing story and I did it,” Stone said. “I thought I would be respected for it, and I was lambasted in the establishment press. I was called a myth-maker, a propagandist. I didn’t see it coming. I thought the Kennedy murder was safe.” Stone is famous for several other movies, including the Vietnam War films “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Platoon,” and “World Trade Center,” about two policemen buried in the rubble of the twin towers after the Sept 11 attacks. “Platoon” won four Oscars, including best picture and best director. —AP

American film director Oliver Stone, center, poses for a picture with students at the end of his talks with students at an international school as part of a one-day visit to promote world peace in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. —AP

Kristen Stewart gets dirty in fishnets, g-string magine a film copyrightclearance lawyer’s absolute worst nightmare. It could look something like “Logorama,” an Oscar-shortlisted animated short that screened at the Sundance Film Festival. French filmmakers Francois Alaux, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Houplain spent four years creating a violent, profane, action-packed caper set in a world comprised entirely of well-known corporate logos and iconic mascots. How familiar are the stars? An evil Ronald McDonald goes on a shooting spree on a street overflowing with 7-Elevens and U-Hauls and Wal-Marts and Pizza Huts. The Michelin Men are bumbling, foul-mouthed cops on his trail. Bob’s Big Boy picks his nose and flings it on an unsuspecting victim. The entertaining 17-minute ride effectively satirizes the global corporate culture and our scary familiarity with the tools of pervasive marketing. But why has no lawyer for any of the hundreds of copyrights and trademarks featured in the film tried to shut it down? After the screening, two of the filmmakers were asked if any brands had attempted to stop it. “Not yet,” they answered, a bit nervously. “We hope there’s no CEO of McDonald’s here tonight.” It’s an interesting legal question. The film is clearly satire, and a casual viewer can tell the brands are used to send up corporate oversaturation. But considering the millions of dollars invested in a character like Ronald McDonald, seeing him dropping f-bombs on a murderous rampage made us wonder whether the satire crossed over into disparagement. The movie’s audience has been so small, it’s probably not on the agenda in corporate boardrooms, but that could change if it wins the best animated short at the Academy Awards in March. Who knows, maybe the in-house lawyers will play along with the joke. The filmmakers said they heard from one brand executive who was just happy that his company’s logo was featured prominently in the center of town. It’s unlikely that executive was a lawyer. —Reuters

wilight” fans are in for a shock. Beautiful, virginal Bella Swan has morphed into a smoking, cussing 16-yearold New Orleans stripper/sex worker marked with bruises and scars named Mallory. Or Alison, actually. Kristen Stewart, who has drawn legions of devoted followers as “Twilight’s” conflicted protagonist, flips that portrayal on its head with “Welcome to the Rileys,” the very R-rated indie drama that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday. Stewart is raw, feral, feisty and utterly believable in ways that should remind everyone that she has chops well beyond teenaged vampire soap operas. On Sunday, she starred in the premiere of “The Runaways,” which is slotted for a March release through Apparition, the indie banner behind “The Young Victoria.” That should seal the deal for any doubters. Unfortunately, Stewart’s younger fans are unlikely to see “Rileys,” since it features a pot-smoking Stewart tossing off sexually explicit lines often delivered in various stages of undress-or in her dancing get-up at the Dixie Divas club, including red Xs taped across her breasts, fishnets, a g-string and five-inch heels. All of this is couched in a melancholy story about a middle-aged Indianapolis couple played by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo numbed by the death of their daughter who eventually become entangled with Stewart’s Alison in New Orleans in a misguided effort to “save” her. Stewart was on-hand after the screening, hooded, arms crossed, and struggled to articulate just how she lived with the character and learned to understand what her life was like. As is often the case with Stewart’s public appearances, her intense efforts to verbalize her thoughts came off as endearing. Regardless, the excited pre-show chatter and fawning audience members proved that Stewart’s star is unlikely to be tarnished anytime soon. —Reuters

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The Sundance movie no lawyer should see

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From left, Kristen Stewart, Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning and Cherie Currie pose together at the premiere of the film ‘The Runaways’ at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Sunday. —AP

Hoffman sets sail with directing debut ʻBoatingʼ Hoffman already has achieved or his feature directing indie “brand” status, so this debut, Philip Seymour shouldn’t be too difficult. Hoffman doesn’t wander Hoffman plays Jack, a limo far off the reservation. “Jack driver who rarely ventures outGoes Boating” is based on Bob side the shell of his job. His cirGlaudini’s play that Hoffman’s cle of friends consists of exactly theater troupe, LAByrinth, protwo-fellow driver Clyde (Ortiz) duced off-Broadway with and his wife, Lucy (RubinHoffman and fellow ar tistic Vega). He, in fact, becomes director John Ortiz starring their project. They mean to alongside third actor in both bring him out of that shell by productions, Daphne Rubinsetting him up with Lucy’s coVega. Within such a comfort worker at a Brooklyn funeral zone, Hoffman emerges as a parlor, Connie (Amy Ryan). confident film director with Actually, both Jack and Connie visual flair and, no surprise, a are projects since Connie remarkable ability to maximize seems ter rified of men and his fellow actors’ work. relationships despite her long“Boating” is an offbeat relationship piece focusing on mar- Philip Seymour Hoffman, right, making ing to become involved. A natuginal characters among the his feature film directorial debut with ral timidity only increases her working class, people who look ‘Jack Goes Boating,’ poses with cast suspicions about men. To get anywhere with with considerable fear or regret member Salvatore Inzerillo. —AP Connie, Jack is going to need at their lives. There aren’t lessons. When he learns that mentally challenged or stupid. In fact, they are quite bright. They just a Sundance kind of movie, so its distrib- Connie would love to go boating-it’s never got or perhaps misplaced the utor, Overture Films, will have to mar- the dead of winter, so he has many handbook telling them how to charge ket it as such. Its quirks and insights months to prepare-he takes swimming ahead in life. In a sense, this is an are heartfelt but must play to the right lessons from Clyde. When Connie updated version of Paddy Chayefsky’s audience, where Hoffman’s delicate expresses a desire for someone to cook award-winning 1950s teleplay and later craftsmanship as an actor and director her dinner, Jack takes culinary lessons screenplay, “Marty.” This is very much will be appreciated. For tunately, from a chef. —Reuters

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British band Hot Chip returns with ʻOne Life Standʼ P

olite and nattily dressed, Alexis Clarke and Owen Taylor are the rare musicians who show up early for an interview. But then again, most of the members of UK act Hot Chip defy expectations. They’ve been called everything from synth pop to indie pop to alternative dance, but the truth lies somewhere in the intersection of all three. “We don’t tend to settle down in one style,” Clarke says. “Our only goal when we record is to move forward; we don’t want to change the sound too much, but we want to develop.” The development is clear on the band’s new release, “One Life Stand,” which

comes out Feb 1 in the United Kingdom on Parlophone/EMI and Feb 2 in the United States on Astralwerks. While the new album is less dancey and more contemplative than Hot Chip’s previous releases, representatives behind the release on both sides of the Atlantic are confident the band’s fan base will stick around. Astralwerks general manager/executive VP of marketing Glenn Mendlinger says that the band’s greatest strength is its large touring base, which is rare for many UK acts in the States. “A lot of bands come from overseas and do what I call a ‘UK tour in the US’-they play eight mar-

kets and then disappear,” he says. “Hot Chip were willing to spend the time over here, and it really helped them.” The band has lined up a US tour that includes slots at key festivals during the spring and summer. But time spent stateside doesn’t mean Hot Chip will neglect its countrymen. The act will tour the UK in February, concluding with two nights, Feb 26 and 27, at the 5,000-capacity London O2 Academy Brixton. It will also reach its European audience with 10 dates in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy in March. —Reuters

Iraq drama ʻThe Hurt Lockerʼ wins Oscars indicator

raq war drama “The Hurt Locker” scooped top prize at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards on Sunday, a key awards season event that offers clues of possible Oscars contenders. The low-budget independent movie about a maverick US army bomb disposal expert won the Darryl F. Zanuck producer of the year award after being overlooked at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Six of the past nine winners of the accolade have gone on to win the best picture prize at the Academy Awards, which will take place in Hollywood this year on March 7. Nominations for

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the Oscars are announced on February 2. Victory for “The Hurt Locker” thrust the film firmly back into contention in the race for the Oscars’s best picture prize after science fiction blockbuster “Avatar” had emerged as an early favorite following last week’s Golden Globes. “Avatar” was among the other beaten nominees for the PGA Awards top honor, which also included “District 9,” “An Education,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Invictus,” “Precious,” “Star Trek,” “Up” and “Up in the Air.” The PGA Awards best animated film went to Pixar’s “Up” while the best documentary honor went to “The Cove.” —AFP

James Mitchell dead at 89 S actor James Mitchell, who became widely known for his role as Palmer Cortlandt on the long-running ABC show “All My Children,” has died at the age 89, The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. The newspaper said Mitchell had died Friday at CedarsSinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease complicated by pneumonia. Mitchell joined “All My Children” in 1979, playing a self-made millionaire who loves his family. His final appearance was earlier this month for the show’s 40th anniversary episode, the report said. He was nominated for seven Daytime Emmy Awards for his role in the soap opera.

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Mitchell was born on February 29, 1920, in Sacramento, California, The Times said. In the course of his career, he had leading roles in such Broadway musicals as “Bloomer Girl,” “Billion Dollar Baby,” “Brigadoon” and “Paint Your Wagon.” —AFP


SPECTRUM

38 Fashion

Paul Smith concludes Paris’ menswear shows in rock-style aul Smith delivered more of the dandifiedyet-rock ‘n’ roll suits that have come to define his very British brand, and Parisbased designer Josephus Thimister made his “grand retour” after a years-long absence with the season’s first couture show-which included starkly beautiful cocktail dresses and evening gowns with a sprinkling of military-inspired men’s looks. Other shows Sunday included the Paris debut of the United Arab Emirate’s Khalid Al Qasimi, whose Qasimi label was on-trend with its chunky sweaters while forging its own path with Mao-collared dress shirts embellished with drop pearls. France’s Romain Kremer added a welcome dose of science fiction weirdness, with neon orange sunglasses that swept upward into a forehead panel and parkas covered in tiny rubber tentacles that shook as the models walked, like the grasping of coral’s phalanges. Emanuel Ungaro, the storied but struggling French label, presented a collection of sportscoats fitted with fine metal wires that allow them to hold their shape and luxury sweatpants in cashmere with clever origami closures instead of drawstrings. High-end sweatpants and longjohns emerged as the fashion-forward man’s legwear of choice for next fall. Labels from Louis Vuitton to Jean Paul Gaultier and Belgian critical darling Dries Van Noten paired slouchy leggings with razor-cut blazers to create the sartorial variation on the mullet: Business on the top, couch potato from waist down. Comfy pieces were big winners, in general. Snugly grandpa cardigans were layered under and at times over suits-which were sometimes sheered of their fussy buttons in the name of comfort. Footwear, however, was another story. Chunky midcalf boots, from combat- to motorcycle-boots, dominated Paris’ runways-often with slim cut trousers tucked into them. Most designers worked in a somber palette of black and charcoal, with some oatmeal thrown in for good measure, but fans of citrus shades and rich jewel tones will find plenty to choose from at Galliano, Kenzo and Paul Smith. Though the City of Light’s menswear shows ended on Sunday, much the international fashion glitteratti will stay on for the haute couture displays, which run through Wednesday. For their couture collection, those labels with the means dig deep into their pockets to allow the creative juices free rein and showcase their savoir faire through extravagant, handmade dresses that cost as much as a (very expensive) car. On Monday, luxury giants Dior and Armani field their springsummer 2010 couture collections.

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PAUL SMITH This man just won’t let the music die. The eccentric Brit, who got his start hawking Tshirts to the likes of The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd back when they were newcomers, delivered an anarchic collection steeped in vintage rock ‘n’ roll attitude. The looks were all over the place. Models-including some musicians culled from French and British bands for the occasion-sported mismatched suits in Harris tweeds, layers of chunky sweaters, and shawl-collared jackets and bowler hats or knit caps. They clunked down the catwalk in combat boots or padded softly in velvet dressing slippers and were draped in scarves, with punk touches like safety pin earrings. There were also period-looking pieces, including swishing greatcoats that channeled Sherlock Holmes and Oliver Twist-like knickers paired with slim velvet jackets. “When you’re a clothes designer, you’ll often try to work on a theme to help your assistant designers and even-

tually help your sales people. But if a theme doesn’t come naturally, it’s very dangerous to do it,” Smith told The AP. “This time, I just thought of my history-when I started at 18 years old selling T-shirts to rock bands-and do things I thought a lot of rock stars of all ages would wear.” It was easy to imagine David Bowie in the series of slim, monochrome suits in plum, teal or electric blue, or Patty Smithwhom the designer says often buys pieces from his menswear collection-in the lozenge lapeled jackets and slouchy black trousers. JOSEPHUS THIMISTER For his return after an extended hiatus, Thimister-a former Balanciaga designer who is of Russian, Belgian and French origin-looked to the bloodbath that was World War I for this collection of simple-lined ball gowns in sil-

Models present creations by Dutch designer Josephus Thimister for Dior during the Autumn/Winter’s 2010-2011 ready-to-wear (French PAP) women’s collection show on January 24, 2010 in Paris. —AFP ver and gold, red beaded cocktail dresses and full skirts in military drab worn with soldiers’ coats, satin sashes or mesh tank tops splattered in faux scarlet bloodstains. The show interspersed menswear looksreinterpretations of the uniforms of Russian Cossack troops, modeled by male models-with the couture pieces. Often the men’s and women’s looks mirrored one another, as with the his-andhers versions of the red satin pant suit that opened the show. Bursts of applause rang out from the audience-a sign of appreciation at Paris’ rarified made-to-measure showsafter many of the looks. Standouts included a cocktail dress in olive silk with a cape-let that transformed into a dramatic train and ball gowns made from woven gold ribbons. Another gown, which appeared to be made from the kind of foil blankets rescuers hand out after a disaster, made loud crunching and crackling sounds and the model tottered down the runway. The show ended with all the models, men and women alike, donning pilots’ jumpers for the final lap. —AP See Page 39

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


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SPECTRUM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fashion

Tricksters of the cleavage:

Bra-makers push up and up ras top the list of fashion items that magically change the way women look. Ask Poupie Cadolle, whose company invented the bra and who has unparalleled expertise in pushing, squeezing and flattering breasts. Or ask Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau or Sharon Stone, dressed by Cadolle for films or magazine covers to bring out the best of their torsos. “I’m fashion’s top cheat,” says the bright-eyed blonde of 63, the fifth generation of women at the helm of a family firm known for made-to-measure bras at a cool 640 euros (902 dollars) a piece. In pride of place by the company entrance is Cadolle’s 1889-patented braancestor of the artful cleavage unveiled at the same venue and at the same time as Paris’ Eiffel Tower. Initially called a “WellBeing”, then a “Chest Corset”, it was advertised as “providing support for the

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abdomen while leaving the stomach free”. “It didn’t sell very well,” Cadolle said in an interview. “Bras only really took off years later.” Like other top French lingerie labels Simone Perele and Chantelle, Cadolle started off as a specialist corsetmaker. At a time when many fashion brands have been gobbled by conglomerates, these three leading bra-makers remain in family hands. “What we do is based on know-how,” Adeline Desjonquieres, who manages the Chantelle brand, told AFP. “Corsetry is close to couture, we have generations of know-how behind us.” “We magnify the body, we perfect the silhouette, we help to cheat,” she said of push-up and padded bras and the other tricks of corsetry. Leaders of these French corsetry dynasties are true believers in the bra-in its virtues and its quality and cut as well as its beauty. “People forget that the whole

point of a bra is to provide support,” said Cadolle. “It is there to stop the sagging that comes if breasts bounce about due to poor straps or loose cups and material.” Concern over sagging bosoms is such that British label Freya has extended its cup sizes from the routine A to D right up to a K to give women more depth. It also now has a special fitting expert who travels to lingerie boutiques across Europe to help saleswomen help clients choose the right bra. “More and more young women need bigger sizes yet four out five women don’t even know their bra size,” said Freya’s Marie-Laure Vasquez. “The right size means better posture and less strain on the back.” Freya, which is also bent on producing attractive models in large sizes, has been named the top 2010 lingerie designer by Paris’ Salon International de la Lingerie, taking place this month.

Underwear, said organisers of the Salon, is poised to sell three percentage points better than outer wear in 2010 despite the crisis. And women aged 45 to 54 have outstripped 20-year-olds as lingerie’s top buyers. “They buy better labels and look for better-made bras,” said Cecile Vivier, manager of the Salon. “There is demand for know-how and people are ready to pay the price.” Bras are complicated things, however, made of a total 14 different components-from hooks to lace to elastic-and 11 to 18 pieces of fabric. “Bras are very complicated and each woman is different,” said Cadolle of her Rolls-Royce-like models made of 16 pieces of fabric. After panty-hose in the 70s almost destroyed the girdle and garter business”the bottom half of corsetry”-the feminist onslaught against the bra all but razed the entire trade to the ground, she said.

“Women were supposed to go out and conquer the world without nice undies,” added Cadolle. “The bra was vilified, it became well-behaved and very very dull. It was no longer supposed to be pretty, or lacey, particularly in North America.” More than half of France’s lingerie makers went bust at the time, but Cadolle, then run by her ageing mother, continued to turn out sophisticated undies with plenty of lace for a faithful if shrinking clientele. To sell her custom-made models, Poupie Cadolle nowadays travels to Dubai and New York several times a year, measuring up customers, returning for fittings, and finally sending the finished item through the post. “They might be expensive but no two women are the same and, if washed properly, a good bra can provide the proper support for a couple of years.” “Today young Russian women are replac-

Models present creations by French designer Christophe Josse during the springsummer 2010 haute couture collection show yesterday in Paris.—AFP

Models display creations by British designer Paul Smith as part of the Men ready-to-wear Autumn-Winter 2010-2011 fashion shows in Paris, on January 24, 2010. —AFP

ing our American clientele of the 1920s,” the era when well-heeled American women sailed the Atlantic to pour into Paris for the jazz, the clubs, the jewellery and the clothes. In those days, Cadolle had a staff of 600 who might spend 200-300 hours stitching together a night-dress for the wives of Indian Maharajas or members of the dwindling Ottoman court. It also owned a long stretch of the up-market street in the heart of Paris where it now runs a lone boutique. Though times are hard, France’s bra dynasties remain optimistic for the future. “France still has a reputation for refinery and elegance, and we are surviving,” says Cadolle, who hopes for a return of the pointy bra, the kind of breast flaunted by Brigitte Bardot in the 50s and 60s. Says Desjonquieres: “By flattering a woman’s body we help her express her femininity.” —AFP


www.kuwaittimes.net

Did Johnny Depp die? ans are angr y and grieved over the rumors of Johnny Depp’s death. The r umors about the death of Johnny Depp were originated through a web hosting website which uploaded a fake report by CNN. Many other website also published the news of Johnny Depp’s death and gave references to

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the CNN report uploaded on the site which was the origin of this hoax. Yes, it was a hoax! Whoever read the news and the fake CNN page didn’t notice the date mentioned on that page - it was dated March 2004. If you read the CNN news article carefully, you will notice that it mentions the death of some Johnny

Depp who had remained an actor in past, as the article uses the phrase ‘former actor’ in the news article. So, it implies that a person named Johnny Depp, who had remained an actor in some theater, died in a car crash in a small country town of France. Furthermore, the CNN news article dated 2004 is

quite confusing as the article suddenly changes the story line. First it talks about the death of some Johnny Depp and then suddenly moves to a story about some cavers from British Navy. So, to all those Johnny Depp fans who are grieving over his death, we want you to relax as it was just an hoax.

The news article of CNN, which is being referred to by those who have created this hoax, is about the death of some other Johnny Depp and the news story is dated 2004. So, with this explanation about Johnny Depp’s death hoax, we hope that his fans will now be at peace!www.shnock.com

New York woman falls, rips Picasso painting significant Pablo Picasso painting was damaged after a woman attending art class lost her balance, fell into “The Actor” and tore it, The Metropolitan Museum of Art said. The unusually large canvas, measuring 77.25 by 45.38 inches (196 by 115 centimeters), sustained a vertical tear of about six inches (15 centimeters) in the lower right-hand corner in the accident on Friday. The museum, located on the eastern edge of New York’s Central Park, did not elaborate on why the woman fell. But The Met said the damage did not impact the “focal point of the composition” and that it should be repaired in the coming weeks ahead of a major Picasso retrospective featuring some 250 works at the museum opening on April 27. Repair work should be “unobtrusive,” it added. Painted in the winter of 1904-1905, the work hails from Picasso’s critical Rose Period, when the artist shifted from the downbeat tones of his Blue Period to warmer, more romantic hues. The period also hints at Picasso’s later embrace of abstraction with his signature cubist style. Donated to The Met by automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy in 1952, “The Actor” features an acrobat striking a dramatic pose against an abstract backdrop. It was painted on a used canvas that already contained a painting.—AFP

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Picasso’s ‘The Actor’ was painted in the winter of 1904-’05 - and damaged by a clumsy art lover 105 years later.

Indonesia mulls tearing down Obama statue ndonesian authorities said yesterday they are considering a petition to tear down a statue of US President Barack Obama as a boy, only a month after the bronze was unveiled in Jakarta. The statue of “Little Barry”-as Obama was known when he lived in the capital in the late 1960s-stands in central Jakarta’s Menteng Park, a short walk from the US president’s former elementary school. Critics say the site should have been used to honor an Indonesian and 55,000 people have joined a page on social networking website Facebook calling for the statue to be removed. “We’ve been discussing for the past two weeks what to do with the statue... whether to take it down, move it elsewhere or retain it. We’re finding the best solution,” Jakarta parks agency official Dwi Bintarto said. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, lived for four years as a child in Jakarta from 1967 after his divorced mother married an Indonesian. The bronze was designed by Indonesian artists and depicts the boy Obama dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with a butterfly perched on his hand. “The statue is of Obama as a child, not as the US president. His relatives

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and friends who erected it said it’s meant to motivate children to study hard and dream big,” Bintarto said. Members of the “Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Menteng Park” group on Facebook say Obama has done nothing for Indonesia. “Barack Obama has yet to make a significant contribution to the Indonesian nation. We could say Obama only ate and shat in Menteng. He spent his subsequent days living as an American,” the web page says. “For the dignity of a sovereign nation, Barack Obama’s monument in Menteng Park must be removed immediately.” The childhood connection and his knowledge of a few words of Indonesian made Obama popular in the mainly Muslim country of 234 million people. Obama said in November he would visit Indonesia this year along with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.—AFP

A bronze statue of a young US President Barack Obama stands in a public park, a short walk from his former elementary school in Jakarta yesterday.—AFP


26 Jan 2010