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

24 PAGES

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010

SAFAR 22, 1431 AH

Sri Lankans celebrate National Day

Pro-West former Iraqi PM slams de-Baathification

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150 FILS

Atletico Madrid thrash Santander 4-0

Wataniya glowing with unique space theme PAGE 8

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John Terry stripped of England captaincy Capello acts strongly after damaging revelations

This undated handout photo provided by NASA, taken by NASAís Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf planet Pluto. The image shows an icy, mottled, dark molasses-colored world undergoing seasonal surface color and brightness changes. — AP (See Page 9)

Dubai could seek Israel PM’s arrest Mossad hand seen in Hamas death DUBAI: Dubai will issue an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if Israel is found to be implicated in the murder of a top militant Palestinian in the emirate, The National newspaper reported yesterday. Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan has said that Israel’s spy agency Mossad could have been behind the January 20 killing of Mahmud Al-Mabhuh, a founder of the military wing of the Palestinian movement Hamas, in a luxury hotel room. Netanyahu “will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill Al-Mabhuh in Dubai,” The National quoted Khalfan as saying. “We will issue an arrest warrant against him,” said the Englishlanguage newspaper published in Abu Dhabi. It quoted Khalfan as saying Mabhuh was killed

using a “Mossad method,” but did not elaborate. The police chief had said Mossad “has carried out operations” previously using similar methods as those used in the Mabhuh murder. The paper quoted police sources as saying Mabhuh arrived in Dubai on January 19 at 3:15 p.m., and was dead within five hours. His killers had been in the country less than 24 hours before the murder and left before the body was discovered at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel near the airport. Mabhuh was in charge of arms purchases for the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamist Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip. Over the years, several Hamas leaders have been killed in what Israel calls “targeted killings.” — AFP

LONDON: John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy after a meeting with coach Fabio Capello yesterday, the Football Association (FA) said. The Chelsea defender paid the price for damaging revelations about his private life and Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand now looks likely to lead England to this year’s World Cup. “After much thought, I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry,” Capello, known as a disciplinarian, said in a statement. “As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behavior. However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. “What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice. John Terry was notified first.” Chelsea central defender Terry was given the captain’s armband on a full-time basis by former England coach Steve McClaren in 2006 and former Milan and Real Madrid coach Capello opted to retain him in the role after he took over in 2008. Terry was seen by many as the perfect England captain with natural bulldog spirit combined with superb defensive qualities. In the 15 matches in which he wore the armband under Capello, England won 11 and drew two, qualifying easily for this year’s World Cup in South Africa where they will be among the favorites to win the trophy. “I fully respect Fabio Capello’s decision,” Terry said in a statement. “I will continue to give everything for England.” Ferdinand, currently serving a suspension for violent conduct, was named as Terry’s deputy with Steven Gerrard as number three. “When I chose John Terry as captain, I also selected a vice-captain and also named a third choice. There is no reason to change this decision,” Capello said. Capello made it clear that the decision to remove Terry from the role was his alone. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank The FA, particularly Lord David Triesman and Ian Watmore, for allowing me to make this decision in my own time and in the best interest of the team,” he said. England’s next game is a home friendly against African Nations Cup champions Egypt. Meanwhile, John Terry said he would continue to “give everything” for his country after being stripped of the England captaincy Continued on Page 19

Twin blasts in Karachi kill 25 12 Shiites among dead in Pakistan KARACHI: A suspected suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed 12 Shiites in Pakistan’s commercial capital yesterday, followed hours later by a blast at a hospital where the wounded were being treated which killed 13 people. The violence is bound to raise further questions about the effectiveness of security crackdowns on resilient al Qaeda-backed Taleban militants at a time when Washington is pushing Pakistan to help stabilize neighboring

Afghanistan. In scenes that have become familiar in the state’s battle with the Pakistani Taleban, the second blast sent a plume of white smoke above Jinnah Hospital as distraught Pakistanis transported dead relatives. The bomb, which wounded 100, blew clothes and sandals off bodies near ambulances. A teenage girl wept over what appeared to be a female relative whose stomach was shredded

by shrapnel. Provincial Health Minister Saghir Ahmed said 15 people were in critical condition. “It (the explosion) happened right in the middle of ambulances,” Reuters reporter Augustine Anthony said of the second blast. There were conflicting reports on the causes of the blasts, which some police officials saying it was suicide bombers on motorcycles Continued on Page 19

Major powers mull Iran diplomacy: US WASHINGTON: Senior diplomats from six major powers held a conference call yesterday to discuss their efforts to persuade Iran via negotiations and sanctions to restrain its nuclear program, the US State Department said. “They discussed both tracks, both the pressure track and the (negotiating track),” State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters, referring to the “dual track” policy of diplomacy and sanctions under which Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States aim to influence Tehran. The West suspects Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has said the program is to generate electricity so that it can export more of its valuable oil and gas. Earlier this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country was ready to send its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further purification into fuel to produce medical isotopes. Tehran had earlier annoyed Russia and the Western powers by rejecting such an offer. Crowley said officials discussed those comments but stressed that Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Continued on Page 19

MUHARRAQ: An unidentified Bahraini boy reacts as he watches a bloody Shiite Muslim religious procession, in Muharraq, Bahrain yesterday. Shiite Muslims yesterday marked the end of an annual 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, grandson of Islam’s founding Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) . — AP

LONDON: England national soccer team captain John Terry pauses at a press conference in London. (Right) Model Vanessa Peroncel listens as publicist Max Clifford reads a statement on her behalf at his offices in Mayfair, London yesterday where she said that she will not sell her story to the media. — AP

Car bombs kill 40 in Iraq, tensions mount Third major strike against pilgrims this week BAGHDAD: Twin car bombs killed at least 40 people and wounded 145 others yesterday in Iraq’s holy city of Kerbala as hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims observed a major religious rite, health officials said. The attack on the final and most important day of the Arbain festival was the third major strike this week against Shiite pilgrims amid a political furor over the banning of candidates, many of them Sunnis, from a March 7 election. “We were walking back home in groups after we finished our rites and all of a sudden a huge explosion happened. I saw the balls of fire and smoke rise from the scene ahead,”

said pilgrim Muhammad Nasir, 31, a day laborer being treated at a hospital. “People were running away. Security forces cordoned the scene off. There were pieces of flesh scattered around.” A senior health official in Kerbala, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that 40 bodies had been brought in to the main hospital. Other sources put the death toll at 31. Mehdi Al-Fatlawi, a medic at the city’s al-Hussein hospital, said: “Bodies in plastic bags, some beyond recognition, and many others wounded. The hospital wards were full of wounded.”

Police said the bombings occurred to the east of the city, which lies 80 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad. Details were sketchy as most officials were observing Arbain, which marks the end of 40 days of mourning for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, who died in a 7th century battle at Kerbala. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen, but Shiite gatherings remain a target for Sunni Islamist insurgents. Militants have also made a series of suicide assaults on Baghdad since August aimed at undermining Shiite Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Continued on Page 19

Indonesia to relocate young Obama statue JAKARTA: A statue of a young President Barack Obama that drew a public backlash after it was given a prominent position in a Jakarta park will be moved to the elementary school he attended while living in the Indonesian capital, officials said yesterday. The decision by Jakarta’s government to move the 43-inch (110-centimeter) statue of a 10-year-old Obama holding a butterfly comes as the president prepares for his March visit to Indonesia, where he lived for several years as a child. Despite his widespread popularity among Indonesians, the statue drew criticism after it was placed in a park in December, with protesters arguing Obama is not a national hero. More than 56,000 Facebook members joined the Indonesian-language Facebook group “Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Taman Menteng Park.” Yesterday, Jakarta Gov Fauzi Bowo was quoted by the Detik.com news website as saying he “agreed with the suggestions” of those who wanted the statue moved from such a public area. Nur Rochman, a city government spokesman, confirmed officials had ordered the relocation of the statue, and hoped to have it installed at the school before Obama’s arrival. “I think that is the most appropriate place for his statue,” he said. Heru Nugroho, founder of the Facebook campaign to remove the statue from the park, praised the decision. Continued on Page 19

JAKARTA: A bronze statue of a young US President Barack Obama, nicknamed ‘little Barry’, stands in a public park, a short walk from his former elementary school in Jakarta. — AFP


NATIONAL

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Delay caused by new requirements

Jaber Stadium to open in October KUWAIT: The J aber Stadium w ill officially open in October w ith a grand sports event, said a senior Public Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS) official at a press conference held at

the stadium on Thursday afternoon. Representatives of AlKhorafi group, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and AlSeif Engineering Consultants also attended the press conference to explain the reasons behind the delays to the stadium’s opening.

The head of PAYS, Humoud Fleitih, said that the project is being completed after recommendations put forward by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah required new adjustments to the project. “When the PM visited the site, he made a few recommendations that we are currently working on,” he said. Fleitih explained that these requirements were not included in the plan agreed with the contractor, who had delivered the original project as required on time. “There have been numerous rumors about this project, which weren’t so worrying for us until recently, when these rumors started to concern safety issues, which could scare people away from the stadium,” the PAYS head explained, adding, “That’s when we decided to hold this press conference.” He emphasized that the PAYS is 95 percent satisfied with the stadium, and that it is at the level of all the country’s other stadia. MPW Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Kulaib said that the original budget for the project had been relatively low, but that it had been completed with only a 7.6 percent increase in cost. “The cost of stadiums is always calculated in per seat cost, which is 990 KD in the

“My father, Nasser AlKhorafi, told us in the group to bid a minimum amount for this project, due to the great value of the name of HH the deceased Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad,” he asserted. “The Central Tenders Committee chose our bid among 11 other bids from other companies.” Al-Khorafi insisted that the company was not in any way responsible for any delays in delivering the project. “We delivered the project on time, without a single day’s delay, and without compromising the initial requirements and quality standards set by the contract,” he added. Al-Khorafi distributed copies of the certificate issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which states that the stadium “meets all the technical requirements of

By Ahmad Saeid

The Jaber Stadium

$300,000 to flood-stricken Egyptians CAIRO: Kuwait’s Awqaf Public Endowment has announced a donation of $300,000 to aid flood victims in the northern Egyptian areas of Sinai and Aswan who have suffered massive losses as a result of the recent torrential rains and floods there. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Jalahma, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Endowment Bank in Kuwait, said at the end of the meeting of the 21st Constituent Authority of the World Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief on Thursday night that

this donation was made as a contribution from the State of Kuwait in support of humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people of these areas until they pass the crisis. Al-Jalahma said that for the two days of its meeting the council’s relief committee had discussed conditions in the affected areas and the suffering of the local peoples. A large number of houses, facilities and services were destroyed in the floods, with large amounts of agricultural land ruined and hundreds of local residents dis-

placed. He indicated that there was a massive joint coordination effort between the Kuwaiti Joint Relief Committee and the Awqaf Public Endowment on the strategy for the allocation of funds and support for “the relief of our brothers in distress in Egypt,” which will include foodstuff, medical aid, agricultural land reclamation and the distribution of clothing and tents. He said that this initiative is consistent with support for the efforts of humanitarian and relief programs for people, communities and countries during crises. — KUNA

‘Improve education in Arab countries’ TUNIS: A senior Kuwaiti Ministry of Education (MoE) official yesterday emphasized the importance of improving the quality of education services in Arab nations as part of a “comprehensive educational modernization strategy.” Speaking to KUNA on the sidelines of the extraordinary session of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) which began in the Tunisian capital earlier in the day, board member and MoE Undersecretary Tamadher AlSdairawi said that the modernization strategy was the most important point on the session’s agenda. “The strategy should focus on all axes of educational modernization, such as the handling of information and communication technology and the improvement of curriculums,” she said. “The Arab countries’ educational curricula should be reviewed regularly in order to keep them in tune with the world’s scientific and mathematical achievements.” Al-Sdairawi continued, “Arab educational systems need to introduce hi-tech scientific research equipment, build the

Tamadher Al-Sdairawi capacity of students and garner their self-education ability,” further explaining, “The Arab comprehensive educational modernization strategy (20092019), being considered by the current meeting of ALECSO, is part of the calendar of ALECSO’s activities for 20112016.”

Talking about the modernization policy, she explained, “The strategy, developed by a committee of ALECSO in collaboration with the member states, was approved by the Damascus Arab Summit, held in 2008. It focuses on eight axes, the most important of which are the educational applications of

information and communication technology, scientific advancement and scientific research.” She urged the delegates to attribute due importance to striking a balance between the preservation of Arab cultural identity and opening up to the globalized world, while developing Arab nations’ educational systems. The extraordinary session of ALECSO’s executive board gathered ALECSO’s DirectorGeneral Dr. Mohammad Al-Aziz Ibn-Ashour and representatives of the organization’s member states. In his keynote address at the session’s opening ceremony, Ibn-Ashour highlighted the importance of ALECSO’s agenda for 2011-2016 and the educational modernization strategy (2009-2019). “Arab joint action in the field of education is a ceaseless effort and requires that the Arab countries shoulder their responsibilities for improving the form and content of education,” the ALECSO chief emphasized. The two-day session, which concludes today, is expected to give a strong impetus to the strategy’s implementation. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The panel of speakers (from left to right) AbdulAziz Al-Kulaib, Humood Fleitih, Marzooq Al-Khorafi, and Mazen Al-Reihawy. — Photo by Fuad Al-Shaikh case of the Jaber Stadium; many other stadiums in the world cost up to 2,764 KD per seat in Japan for example, so we can see that [the amount paid for the Jaber Stadium] is not much,” he said. Al-Kulaib added that the ministry is considering a number of solution to tackle the issue of parking spaces for stadium visitors. “We have a number of ideas about the solution,” he said, citing a number of possibilities, such as using “shuttle buses to move audience to the stadium or using the parking lots of the neighboring facilities, and building bridges so that viewers can park there, and walk to the stadium.” Al-Khorafi Group representative Marzouq Al-Khorafi denounced allegations that AlKhorafi Group illegally won the tender to build the stadium.

IAAF rule 140 for the relevant competitions.” He said that the price of the completed stadium, even after the newly required adjustments, is less than KD 60 million, which he added “is less than the bill for the restoration of AlDoha stadium.” Al-Khorafi added that the new requirements include enlarging some areas of the VIP section, adding six escalators, an electronic billboard and a sophisticated monitoring system around the stadium, and finally, using a modern hi-tech ticketing system. Mazen Al-Reihawy, a representative of Al-Seif Engineering Consultants, said that there is indeed underground water beneath the stadium, but these factors were taken in consideration while designing and constructing the facility.

in the news Self-sponsorship available KUWAIT: Eligibility for self-sponsorship in Kuwait will only be available to expatriate businessmen with KD 100,000 or more invested in Kuwaiti firms, as well as other official certification, according to a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) official. The self-sponsorship system, under Article 19 of Kuwaiti immigration law, will only be available to those meeting the above criteria, reported Al-Shahed. All applicants must also provide detailed company balance sheets for the previous two years, while the company in question must have been official licensed for at least two years.

Bar Association reinstates professors KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Bar Association’s admissions committee has announced its decision to reinstate four Kuwait University law professors. Bar chairman Omar Al-Essa named the four reinstated lawyers as Dr Fayez AlThafiri, Dr Mohammad Al-Muqate, Dr Ali Al-Nami and Dr Sami Al-Duraie, reported Al-Qabas. Al-Essa explained that the Bar had taken this decision after the lawyers presented letters from KU, allowing them to practice law and lecture at the same time.

Kuw ait sends more aid to Haiti KUWAIT: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) has dispatched another planeload of humanitarian and relief aid to Haiti in order to ease the suffering of its people following the recent devastating earthquake there. Kuwait’s latest delivery of relief aid to Haiti comes at the behest of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, said KRCS Board Chairman Barjas Al-Barjas. The first planeload sent by Kuwait carried 50 tons of humanitarian and relief aid, while the second carried a further 30 tons to help the earthquake-hit Haitians, he added.

kuwait digest

Time to show concern about possible war merican reports revealed that the USA has established advanced defense rocket systems in four Gulf countries and sent additional war ships carrying medium-range missiles into Gulf waters as a precaution against a possible Iranian attack, writes columnist Mizyed Al-Moasharji in AlQabas. The reports claim that the issue is now past the stage of statements and has reached the confrontation stage should Iran continue its nuclear project. Locally, we should take this issue seriously and speak realistically and prepare ourselves for the worst possible scenario that may occur, God forbid. We should play an active role, using all means to reach solutions to this issue, and we must make sure that we are not party to this war. We must not allow anyone to drag us into this war’s arena, especially since Iran is a peaceful Muslim state with whom we have had good relations for years. We know this war is being conducted according to a predefined agenda, in order to weaken any country that stands in the way of implementing this agenda by attempting to foment differences and make people believe that there are dangers and disputes regarding this issue. This, after all, is how the US has worked for some years, with even its unceasing wars failing to put people off killing the innocent, who are the main victims of these conflicts, which are fought for political goals that have nothing to do with them and are not their concern, and do not have support from international organizations. The question is: are the State of Kuwait and the other Gulf countries prepared for this possible confrontation? Have we yet begun to realize the seriousness of this issue? All we see in the papers and on TV and the radio is that life is good and Hala February’s coming, so let’s welcome the tourists. We enter and leave the airport without concern and with no questions or searches, without the staff even bothering to look at the faces of those passing through it, despite the fact that the airport should be considered the first point of security in Kuwait. A final question: Have we got the attention of the Iranian envoy to Kuwait over this issue?

A

KUWAIT: The Indian minister visiting the Grand Mosque.

KUWAIT: Indian Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna leaving Kuwait after his official visit to Kuwait on Thursday.

Krishna visit ‘a success’ KUWAIT: The Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Ajai Malhotra emphasized yesterday that the Indian foreign minister’s visit to Kuwait had been a great success. He told reporters after Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to the BLC Center for Visa Services in the Emad Commercial Center in Sharq that the visit had been a great success in every way, with the minister meeting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah. Minister Krishna also met with Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Sabah, with the two

senior figures discussing means of developing relations between the two countries. The visiting minister also toured Kuwait’s Grand Mosque. Ambassador Malhotra explained that the minister visited the visa services center to become acquainted with the nature of work. Emad Bu Khamseen, the Deputy Chairman of the Bu Khamseen Group, received the minister and his accompanying delegation at the visa center and gave them a tour of the facility, giving them detailed explanations of the nature of the work performed there. The center is open to the public six days a week in the mornings and afternoons.

KUWAIT: S.M. Krishna visiting the BLC center.


NATIONAL

Saturday, February 6, 2010

3 Hunt on for gunman

Kuwaiti man shot at outside Waha home KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man was taken to Jahra Hospital after being shot for no apparent reason in one foot while standing outside his home in Waha. The man said that he did not see a gunman, only realizing he had been shot In a separate case, Farwaniya police are hunting for a gunman who pulled out a handgun and pointed it in the face of a Kuwaiti man standing outside a local restaurant before fleeing. The alarmed victim told police that the gunman had flourished the gun at him for no reason, telling him, “Go and raise your children or you’ll become a corpse.”

KUWAIT: Ambassador K.S.C. Dissanayake hoisting his country’s flag to mark Sri Lanka’s 62nd National Day. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Sri Lankans celebrate National Day KUWAIT: The Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait held an official ceremony at the chancery on Thursday morning to mark Sri Lanka’s 62nd National Day, with over 500 Sri Lankan expatriates and well-wishers participating in the event. The embassy also hosted a reception the same evening for senior Kuwaiti government figures, civil society officials, members of the diplomatic corps and media and members of Kuwait’s Sri Lankan community. A special feature of this year’s Sri Lankan National Day ceremony was the enthusiasm shown by the diaspora to celebrate their nation’s independence in a fitting manner in appreciation of the liberation of their motherland from three decades of terrorism. The event began with the hoisting of the Sri Lankan flag followed by the singing of the country’s national anthem. The traditional oil lamp was lit thereafter, followed by the observance of a two-minute silence in honor of national heroes. The multi-religious observances were conducted to invoke blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government and the people of Sri Lanka. The National Day messages from the President, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were read out in all three languages following which Ambassador K.S.C. Dissanayake delivered a speech. The ambassador voiced his appreciation of the presence of a large number of Sri Lankans from all the country’s communities at the independence ceremony, which he pointed out was simultaneously being celebrated across Sri Lanka by all the communities there in a peaceful and harmonious environment devoid of terrorism. Elaborating further he emphasized President Rajapaksa’s vision of developing Sri Lanka as the ‘Wonder of Asia’ under the ‘Mahinda Chindtana Forward Vision’ strategy, with a view to ushering in a harmonious and prosperous nation. On behalf of the Sri Lankan community in Kuwait, Ambassador Dissanayake extended his congratulations and best wishes to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his reelection for a second term in the elections held on January 26. President Rajapaksa’s victory is a triumph for the people of Sri Lanka, said the ambassador, adding that the president is committed to carrying out his

Building site death A Syrian construction worker was killed when he fell from the second floor of the building he was working on in Sulaibikhat. The scene was sealed off while investigators took evidence before the man’s body was removed for autopsy. Woman scorned A reported theft turned out to be rather more complicated than the supposed victim initially stated when it transpired that the man accused of theft had just broken off a relationship with the ‘victim,’ who he accused of attempting to take revenge on him with the accusation. The case began when a woman in her 40s told police that a male acquaintance in his 20s had stolen KD 14,000 from her. When police interviewed the man, however, he denied any theft and told the officers that he had just ended a relationship with the woman in order to marry a mutual friend of hers, despite her pleas not to do so, and the accusations were simply her way of taking revenge. Detectives are investigating the case. Gang uses guile Hawally police are following a number of leads to apprehend a four-person gang who used deception to rob an Asian resident of the area. The investigation was ordered by Senior Detective Colonel Abdulrahman AlSuhail after the victim told police that he had been woken at 3:00 AM by a woman knocking on his door, apparently in great distress, informing him that she needed help to repair her car. The man set out to assist her, but said that the moment he reached the ground floor, he was set upon by three men who pulled knives on him, with one stabbing his hand before they tied him up, stole his money and escaped, with the woman apparently being an accomplice.

when he felt a severe pain in the foot in question and looked down to find that it was bleeding heavily. It seems that the weapon used was a shotgun and police are hunting for the culprit.

Ardiya attack Two members of the Farwaniya municipality team for removing illegal structures lodged a complaint at Ardiya police station against two local brothers who attacked them while they were working. Police have summoned the accused men for questioning. Prison phones Central Prison warders found 15 mobile phones and a piece of hashish during recent cell searches in the deportation waiting unit. None of the inmates claimed ownership of the confiscated goods.

Stolen car found Police in Jahra responding to a number of complaints about an abandoned car blocking the flyover near the bridge beside the local fire station found that the vehicle had been reported stolen a few days previously. Crime scene officers removed evidence from the scene to trace the culprits responsible before the car was towed away. Gang fight Two young bedoon (stateless) men were rushed to Jahra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with serious stab wounds following a gang fight in the area. Family trouble Two underage girls who were reported missing by their uncle a few days ago were found safe and sound by Mubarak Al-Kabeer police. The girls told police that they had fled their family home due to disputes with family members and had been hiding at a friend’s home. Drugs bust Ahmadi police arrested a Kuwaiti man after finding 35 Keptagon amphetamine tablets in his possession. The man, who told the officers that the narcotics were intended for personal use, was referred to the relevant authorities. Fugitive arrested An Iranian sailor wanted on a variety of criminal charges was arrested shortly after his arrival at Shuwaikh Port on board an

Iranian vessel. Port officials delayed the disembarkation process for the boat’s crew members until police arrived so that the man, who apparently did not realize that he was listed as a fugitive, could be swiftly arrested. Nasty shock An Egyptian man who went to Kheitan police station to file charges against a compatriot after being injured by him in a fight got a nasty shock when he was arrested himself on police discovering that he was wanted in connection with a previous case. Questionable claims The immigration department’s nationality and travel documents section is currently checking the names of former bedoon (stateless) military officers who allegedly took advantage of their ‘Article 17’ passports to move to a neighboring country where they have benefited from claiming ‘displaced identity’ so as to obtain official documents and benefits there while retaining their Kuwaiti passports. Phone network busted Fourteen Asians operating an illegal phone network were arrested in Farwaniya, with 150 telephones and a large quantity of specialist equipment used to make international calls seized from the three apartments they were using. In a separate incident, two Bangladeshi expatriates were arrested in a raid on an illegal gambling den in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. All those arrested were taken into custody and are awaiting trial. Trolley accident An elderly woman lodged a complaint with Sabah Al-Salem police after her Indian chauffeur accidentally knocked her down with a supermarket trolley while they were shopping. The woman provided a medical report showing that she had damaged a tooth in the fall. Co-op groper Police in Firdous are questioning a man who works as a cashier at the local co-op after a Nepalese woman complained that he had fondled intimate parts of her body while she was shopping there.

New runway in offing at airport

KUWAIT: National Day celebrations in progress at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait. duty to the country’s people to ensure a bright future for all. Ambassador Dissanayake also expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan community in Kuwait for their commitment and dedication toward their motherland, saying that this is amply demonstrated by their generosity in kind and deed toward the war heroes and their loved ones. He also acknowledged that the Sri Lankan community have given their best to their motherland amidst difficulties that they themselves have experienced in their day-to-day lives. On the subject of Sri Lankan-Kuwaiti relations, the ambassador touched upon the generosity and goodwill of the Kuwaiti government and its people to Sri Lanka and their

magnanimity toward the needy and the displaced persons in his country. He also praised the caring and hospitable nature of the Kuwaiti people towards the Sri Lankan expatriates which he said would go a long way in further enhancement of bilateral relations between the two countries. Following Ambassador Dissanayake’s speech, a group of schoolgirls from the Sri Lanka National School and the Sri Lanka Cultural School sang a number of patriotic songs in praise of Sri Lanka and its leaders. The welcome speech at the ceremony was delivered by Ministerial Counselor Sunil Sarath Perera, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Ministerial Counselor Herath

Yapa. The event was compered by First Secretary Sunil Premaratne, with the assistance of AttachÈ Indranesan. As part of the event’s proceedings, a program dedicated to the stranded female workers at the embassy’s safe-house was held to pass on knowledge and wisdom to the women to enable them to be creative and engage in Arts, Crafts & Design work. Ministerial Counselor Perera also introduced the residents there to the concept of ‘Mathrubhumi Wandana’ to help instill a spirit of patriotism and unity in them. At the end of the ceremony refreshments were served, including traditional milk-rice and sweetmeats, etc. to the delight of all.

KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is planning to construct a new runway and seven new gates at Kuwait International Airport (KIA), along with a number of new parking places for aircraft and a massive new cargo hangar. DGCA chairman Fawaz AlFarah announced the directorate’s plans on Thursday, saying that the creation of the seven new gates, bringing the total at the airport to 17, would increase KIA’s departure capacity by 70 percent. The construction work is expected to be completed by the end of this year, he said. Al-Farah also spoke about the controversy over Kuwait Airways Corporation’s (KAC) ageing fleet of aircraft, emphasizing that the planes’ maintenance is carried out to international standards with no defects being found, reported Al-Qabas. The airline’s and other Kuwaiti carriers’ planes have undergone the routine maintenance checks at airports around the world, with no complaints of problems or operational delays due to technical troubles, he added.

Ahmadi residents endangered by gas leaks

KUWAIT: The chairman of Kuwait Science Club’s board of directors Eyad Jassem Al-Khorafi is pictured during a ceremony held to mark the completion of the diving training season, which was attended by members of the Kuwaiti diving team.

KUWAIT: Security and fire officials allege that potentially catastrophic gas leaks in the Ahmadi area are being dealt with by the concerned government bodies in secrecy so as not to cause another crisis or raise public alarm. One official told local daily Al-Qabas that large quantities of gas had leaked into the drainage system linking over 1,000 houses given to KOC employees there. One explosion had already taken place in a Kuwaiti resident and KOC staff member’s home there, the official alleged, leading to the man’s daughter suffering burns and other injuries necessitating treatment at the Babtain Center.

ALEXANDRIA: The Kuwaiti students delegation in Alexandria yesterday.

Kuwaiti students visit Alexandria landmarks ALEXANDRIA: Delegation of the Kuwaiti top students participating in “Be with the distinguished” program sponsored by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) continued yesterday their tours in Egypt for the fourth consecutive day with watching the landmarks of the coastal city of Alexandria. The tour made today by the delegation included a number of important utilities and landmarks of Alexandria as they started with a visit to the KFAED-funded Abu Qeir power plant, followed by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina before

wrapping up their strolls with a shopping binge in one of the most famous and up-to-date malls of the city. On this tour, student Khaled Al-Menaikh, one of the top students participating in the program, said that it was distinctive than other previous tours of their trip due to the distinctive characteristics of Alexandria compared with other Egyptian cities. Al-Menaikh said that Alexandria is marked by its coastal characteristics as it overlooks the Mediterranean sea with its distinctive calm marine atmospheres.

He also made clear that their delegation’s visit to the city was an ideal opportunity for relaxation and recreation, besides having new cultural glimpses added to their past information acquired from the trip. He went on to say that one of the most important advantages of this trip is that it was an opportunity for moving among Egyptian cities and governorates in what made it possible for the participants to get acqainted with the social and cultural differences and the most distinctive tourist, cultural and development landmarks. — KUNA


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INTERNATIONAL

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chinese, Iranian foreign ministers at ‘Security Davos’ MUNICH: China and Iran’s foreign ministers were among those expected yesterday at a security forum here assessing the policy headaches facing the world one year into Barack Obama’s US presidency. The Munich Security Conference, where Yang Jiechi and Manouchehr Mottaki were due to speak, is dubbed the “Davos of security policy” after the World Economic Forum held last month at the Swiss ski resort. Munich brings together some 300 top military, diplomatic and political figures

from around the world. The three-day event follows several days of signs of fast-deteriorating USChinese relations and indications from Iran that it might agree to a Western proposal to send uranium abroad for enrichment. Sending uranium outside the country might go some way to soothing worries that Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons. The US has called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make a concrete proposal to the UN atomic agency. Munich conference chief Wolfgang

Ischinger told ARD public television he was pleased Tehran was sending such high-level representation. “We had only planned to invite an official from the foreign ministry or an MP but then we were given the message that there was major interest on the part of the Iranian government to be represented here,” he said. Chinese support for Obama’s strategy of maintaining pressure on Iran is crucial, but Beijing has been angered by a US arms deal with Taiwan and by the prospect the Dalai

Lama visiting the White House later this month. China sees Taiwan as an integral part of its territory and the Tibetan spiritual leader as a dangerous separatist. Washington in turn this week hit out at Chinese economic policies including its currency controls. It is the first time that China was sending such a senior official as Yang to the Munich conference, with senior representatives from India and Pakistan also expected, organizers said. Washington was sending Senator John

Kerry, National Security Advisor James Jones and Afghanistan-Pakistan envoy Richard Holbrooke, organizers said. Others due to attend include Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said he would meet with Mottaki while in the German city. Last year, Vice President Joe Biden used Munich to promise a “new tone” in foreign relations, and this year the conference is tasked with reviewing progress-or the lack of it-since then. Topping the list are

Obama’s vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, the bogged-down Afghanistan mission, stalled efforts to reach out to Iran and the spluttering Middle East peace process. Russia is key to Obama’s ambitions with its Soviet era nuclear arsenal and its permanent UN Security Council seat, and relations with Moscow were also set to be one of the main themes in Munich. The delegates were also due to chew over last month’s Afghanistan conference in London, NATO’s prospects and future conflicts over resources such as water. — AFP

Tel Aviv more worried by Hezbollah

Israel’s new rocket shield not going to Gaza front JERUSALEM: Israel’s new rocket-interceptor system will not be deployed near the Gaza Strip as expected but kept on standby, possibly to counter attacks from the north by Lebanese Hezbollah should conflict erupt with its backer, Iran. News this week on deployment of “Iron Dome”, a short-range system to be ready by June, disappointed Israelis in southern towns who

hoped it would be set up to protect them from rockets fired by Gaza’s Islamist Hamas fighters. Less than a month ago, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the rocket shield would have its first deployment on the Gaza front. But this week officials changed tack and said they had to think of placing it elsewhere, notably facing Lebanon.

GAZA CITY: Palestinian senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath, left, and Hamas official Khalil Al-Haya speak to the press during their joint press conference in Gaza City, on Thursday. Shaath crossed into Gaza for talks with Hamas on Wednesday, the first such mission since the Hamas takeover. — AP

Hariri murder case ‘highly complex’ BEIRUT: The head of a UN probe into the murder five years ago of Lebanon’s former premier Rafiq Hariri said yesterday there were “no deadlines” in issuing indictments in the case, calling it highly complex. “All acts of terrorism are much more complicated than war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” Antonio Cassese of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon told AFP during his first visit to Beirut. “We cannot set deadlines,” he added. Cassese, who arrived in Lebanon on Monday on a week-long visit, said that unlike other crimes, political assassinations

Egypt seizes book critical of Gaddafi CAIRO: Egyptian police briefly detained a publisher and confiscated copies of a book that criticized Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi from his office, a rights group said on Thursday. Idris Ali, the Egyptian author of the book “The Leader Cuts His Hair,” was also told he was wanted for questioning, said Gamal Eid, director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Ali’s book is a memoir of several years he spent working in Libya. Police arrested the book’s publisher, Gumeili Ahmed Shehata, in Cairo and took him to a nearby station. “They accused him of insulting Gaddafi and said his book contained immoral phrases,” Eid said. Egypt banned insults against leaders of friendly states until 2006, when its law was narrowed down to forbid insults against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Eid said. Shehata was transferred to the prosecution of the emergency state security court which set him free, Eid said, adding it was uncertain whether he would face charges. Police were not immediately available for comment, and it was not clear whether the book was also confiscated from any bookshops. — AFP

were harder to crack given the layers of secrecy involved. “Terrorist acts involve secret cells. There’s no clear chain of command or hierarchy,” he said. “Most of the time those involved will not confess because they risk being killed by their accomplices.” Cassese and his deputy, Ralph Riachy, briefed senior officials including President Michel Sleiman on the tribunal’s progress during their visit. They did not meet Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the murdered premier, or Defence Minister Elias Murr “because of the personal link they have with cases that

may fall under the tribunal’s jurisdiction,” Cassese’s office said in a statement before his visit. Murr was also a minister in Rafiq Hariri’s cabinet. The Hague-based tribunal was set up by a UN Security Council resolution in 2007 to try suspects in the murder of Hariri, killed in a massive bomb blast on Beirut seafront in February 2005. The bombing was widely blamed on Syria although Damascus has denied any involvement. A UN commission of inquiry said it had found evidence to implicate Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services but there are no suspects in custody. — AFP

Egypt unveils renovation of world’s oldest monastery ZAAFARANA, Egypt: Egypt’s chief archaeologist unveiled on Thursday an extensive renovation of the oldest monastery in the world, touting the work at the 1,600 year-old-site as a symbol of peaceful coexistence between the country’s Muslims and Christians. It’s the message Egypt’s government has been emphasizing ever since a lethal drive-by shooting at a church a month ago in a southern town: No troubles here — dismissing new worries over sectarian divisions between Egypt’s mainly Muslim population and the large Christian minority. “The announcement we are making today shows to the world how we are keen to restore the monuments of our past, whether Coptic, Jewish or Muslims,” he said, referring to the dominant Christian sect in Egypt. “The incident in Upper Egypt can happen between two brothers,” said Hawass when asked if there was any connection between the Jan. 6 shooting and the timing of his announcement at the monastery. “I want everyone to forgot this incident.” Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities spent eight years and $14.5 million dollars to carry out a comprehensive restoration and conservation of the ancient monastery, situated in the rugged desert mountains near Egypt’s Red Sea coast. It was in this remote spot, at the end of the 3rd century that renowned Christian ascetic St. Anthony took up a residence in a cave, with little more than a spring and some palm trees to sustain him. Upon his death in A.D. 356, his followers built cells and created the world’s first Christian monastery, which now houses 120 monks, the burial place of four saints, and ancient church paintings dating to the Middle Ages. Monks say the restoration and discovery of the cells of the monks sheds important light on the early years of monasticism and bolsters

the country’s long monastic tradition. “For the monastery itself, this is very important, we have found a missing part of our history with this restoration, for there is nothing written about the beginning of the monastery,” said Father Maximus, who oversaw the renovation. In the government-sponsored project, workers renovated the fortress-like ancient wall surrounding the monastery, several outbuildings, and its two main churches _ the 15th century Church of the Apostles and the 4th century Church of St. Anthony. A modern sewage system was also installed for the monastery, which receives a million visitors every year. “The monastery has become a very important retreat for spiritual relaxation for visitors, especially when they visit the cave of St. Anthony,” he said. For Hawass, the high profile director of Egypt’s antiquities department, the completion of the project was an opportunity for Egypt to show its critics the depths of its tolerance. “I believe today is important because it can answer all the questions of the people all over the world and it can show how the Muslims can stay here eight years restoring and making impressive work,” he told journalists while touring the site. The drive by shooting in the southern Egyptian town of Nag Hamadi on Jan. 6, Coptic Christmas Eve, killed six Christians and a Muslim guard, shocking Egypt’s Christians and bringing widespread condemnation internationally over sectarian relations in the country. Egyptian officials insist the shooting was a purely criminal act, without sectarian motives. Authorities categorically deny there are any problems between Muslims and Christians and say there is national unity, with all groups living in harmony. — AFP

“At the moment there is quiet (in Gaza) that is based on deterrence, which has to be examined every day of course because it could change, and Hamas’s basic hostility toward Israel has not changed,” said Defence Ministry official Amos Gilad. “There are also other sectors. There is the Lebanon sector,” he told Israel Radio. “If deterrence is not working, then we have to think what measures to use.” Produced by state-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., Iron Dome uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up Katyusha-style rockets with ranges of between 5 km (3 miles) and 70 km (45 miles), as well as mortar bombs, mid-air. Its development was spurred by the 2006 conflict in Lebanon with Hezbollah and the Gaza Strip war against Hamas a year ago, in both of which Israeli towns within reach of short-range rockets were in some respects defenceless. While the north has gone quiet, sporadic fire still pesters towns inland from Gaza. The rockets are inaccurate and only rarely inflict damage or injury. But each firing triggers a loud alert, sending people rushing to shelters and keeping nerves on edge in towns such as Sderot. The left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz on Friday said Sderot was looking forward to the rocket shield but “the townspeople’s expectations that they would be the first to be protected by Iron Dome have been shattered”. In an editorial, however, the paper said: “Get real, Iron Dome is too expensive to defend Sderot”. “The cost of producing launchers and missiles against cheap rockets is extremely high”, it said, noting that Hezbollah has bigger rockets and may present a greater potential threat. Gaza is under a tight Israeli blockade and Hamas is likely to exercise caution, after the blitz by Israel a year ago that killed 1,400 Palestinians-a majority civilians-in three weeks while 13 Israelis, mostly soldiers, lost their lives. But Israeli military planners are wary of the north, where Hezbollah, a larger force with greater reach, killed 43 Israeli civilians in strikes during the month-long war in 2006. Israeli generals “were wrong ... to scorn the enemy’s rockets and missiles” in the Lebanon war, Haaretz commented. Unlike Hamas, the Lebanese Shi’ite guerrillas are not easily cut off from re-supply. They are widely believed to have replenished their arsenal with Syrian and Iranian help. Should Israel carry out its threat to attack Iran’s nuclear sites if sanctions fail to derail a suspected atom bomb project, Hezbollah might retaliate in support of its ally in Tehran. Hamas, while also sponsored by Iran, is less likely to join a proxy war and is weaker militarily, Israeli officials say. Two Iron Dome batteries are currently under construction, a defense official said. Designed to be towed by vehicle, they will be available for any Israeli front at a few hours’ notice. The decision to keep the system “on standby” could of course point to a perception that there is no immediate need to commit it to either front. — Reuters

KARBALA: Muslim Shiite pilgrims gather outside the Imam Abbas shrine in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, 110 km south of Baghdad, to mark the Shiite mourning day of Arbaeen on Thursday. Arbaeen marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of one of Shiite Islam’s most revered figures, Imam Hussein in 680 AD. — AFP

Pro-West former Iraqi PM slams de-Baathification BAGHDAD: Iraq’s proWestern former prime minister Iyad Allawi has denounced a commission that barred candidates allegedly linked to Saddam Hussein from elections before their disputed reinstatement on appeal. “The integrity and justice committee is actually a secret police,” Iyad Allawi, who last month unveiled a broad secular alliance of candidates to contest the wartorn country’s March 7 election, told AFP in an interview. “We don’t know who these members are and how they have been appointed, or how it is financed. We know the main culprits,” he said. The integrity and accountability committee (IAC) compiled a blacklist in mid-January of 511 candidates-accused of membership of Saddam’s outlawed Baath party-for the election, provoking anger from Sunnis and secularists. On Wednesday, an appeal panel of seven judges decided to lift the ban until it can review the candidates’ records, this time triggering outrage from Shiite parties. The dispute, which threatens the elections seen as a test of reconciliation in Iraq, will be debated in parliament on Sunday and also be subject of a Supreme Court appeal launched by electoral authorities. A law on integrity and justice was adopted two years ago to replace the deBaathification committee, established by the Americans immediately

after the US-led invasion of 2003. The original deBaathification process saw thousands of Saddam-era employees lose their jobs, before many of them joined the insurgency that followed the invasion. “After seven years, we are talking once again about the Baath and the IAC is fabricating records, conning people,” said Allawi, who was provisionally appointed premier by Washington in June 2004 and held the post for just under a year. “Iraqis cast doubt on today’s political process since the IAC launches false accusations,” he charged. “For example, the commission eliminated (Babil province first vice governor) Watut Iskander, even though he was a leader of the Shiite rebellion (against Saddam) in 1991 and lost 18 family members including two of his brothers. “This shows the extent of the chaos and tragedy that runs through the country,” said Allawi, a secular Shiite who is himself a former Baathist but who broke with the party long before the invasion. He said many members of the former de-Baathification committee were transferred to the integrity and accountability committee. He added that Iraqi National Alliance candidate Ahmed Chalabi, a Shiite who headed the committee from its foundation in 2003, is now the IAC chief as parliament failed to agree on the body’s composition.

The 64-year-old former doctor also mocked leaders and some groups that criticise foreign intervention in Iraq’s affairs. “But the current government is responsible because it signed a security agreement with the United States and, in any case, Iraq is still under Chapter Seven of the UN,” he said. In November 2008, Baghdad and Washington signed a security agreement on the withdrawal of US troops in late 2011. Under Chapter Seven of the UN charter which imposed crippling sanctions after Saddam’s forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, Iraq could still face sanctions or even military action. Some of the main Shiite forces on Iraq’s political scene, including supporters of hardline cleric Moqtada alSadr and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s list, have criticised the United States for interfering in the row. Washington has called for an end to the dispute while encouraging broad participation in the election. “We reject... interference in the work of institutions and we reject actions that bring into question the principle of sovereignty and respect for the constitution,” Allawi said. Allawi’s bloc has 63 political groups including Sunni Vice President Tareq alHashemi, Deputy Prime Minister Rafaa al-Issawi, a Sunni, and parliament speaker Saleh al-Mutlak, who has been excluded from the elections.— AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Army soldiers check weapons seized by Iraqi security forces during recent operations in Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib suburb, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

Saturday, February 6, 2010

5

New video shows Taleban flogging men in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Taleban militants flog two men and a teenage boy in a video that has emerged from Pakistan’s tribal belt along the Afghan border, showing the hold of insurgents in at least one area there despite army offensives and intensified US missile strikes in the region. The video was shot on a mobile phone on Feb 3 and passed to a local journalist who occasionally provides video to Associated

Press Television News. The man who provided the clip said it was taken in the Mamozai area of the Orakzai tribal region, though there was no way of verifying that because travel there is dangerous for outsiders. The tribal elder requested anonymity out of fear for his life. The Taleban are known to beat people in areas they control if they are suspected of criminal acts, spying or violating the

militants’ ultra-strict interpretation of Islamic law. People accused of serious crimes are often reportedly killed. Using a piece of rope or leather, a militant repeatedly strikes a man who wears trousers but no shirt, and who looks to be covered in dirt or soot. The man at times has to be restrained. He falls to the ground repeatedly, but is hauled back up during the beating.

The tribal elder who provided the footage said the man was being punished for allegedly “working against the Taleban” by speaking out against the militants. The second victim appears to be a teenage boy, who the tribal elder said was being blamed for not growing a beard. The third victim was said to be punished for not praying. A crowd of men and boys watched

the beatings, mostly in silence. As the audience rise to leave, a man announces that an “old man with the white beard” is to be detained for five days and “if he improves” during his detention the militants would take another look at his case. His crime was not announced. The tribal elder identified the militant doing the beating as Mullah Toofan, believed to be a local Taliban commander.

The Pakistani army has carried out occasional air raids in Orakzai over the last few months, but it has not been the target of a major ground offensive like one under way in South Waziristan tribal region. The government has little or no presence in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Before the Taleban rose to prominence in the region over the past decade, tribal elders dispensed justice. — AFP

Attempt to improve ties with US

North Korea to release ‘repentant’ missionary

ISLAMABAD: Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami make a human chain to show their solidarity to Indian Kashmiri brethren in Islamabad yesterday. Nationwide rallies were organized in Pakistan to observe Kashmir Day. — AP

Thousands rally for Kashmir in Pakistan MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan: Thousands of people rallied across Pakistan yesterday to denounce Indian rule in Kashmir, the mainly Muslim state divided between the nuclear-armed rivals. A Pakistani public holiday, Kashmir Solidarity Day, supports the region’s right to self-determination in line with UN resolutions that call for a plebiscite in Kashmir on whether it should be ruled by India or Pakistan. This year’s event came a day after it emerged India had proposed foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, a breakthrough in relations that were frozen after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, blamed on Pakistani militants. Banners and hoardings calling for Kashmir’s freedom from Indian rule were put up by main roads and intersections across Pakistan. In the capital Islamabad, several thou-

sand activists from hardline party Jamaat-eIslami demonstrated and formed a human chain, an AFP photographer saw. In Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, thousands of people took to the streets chanting “Allah Akbar” (God is greatest), “We want jihad against India” and “Kashmir will become Pakistan”, an AFP reporter witnessed. Pakistan observed a one-minute silence at 10 am as a mark of respect to the more than 47,000 people killed since an insurgency broke out in mainly Muslim Indian Kashmir in 1989. In the Pakistani-administered zone, hundreds of people from the hardline Sunni Muslim party Jamaat-e-Islami rallied in the regional capital Muzaffarabad, while hundreds of other people formed a human chain in the town of Kohala. “I warn India to stop human violations in Indian Kashmir and pull out its forces from

there. The UN and America should also stop India from its cruelties,” Raja Mohammad Naseem, a provincial minister, told participants. Demonstrators rallied in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi and the other major cities of Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. “I wish to reassure my Kashmiri brethren that Pakistan remains firmly committed to finding a just and peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute,” said President Asif Ali Zardari in a published statement. Kashmir was split in two in the aftermath of independence on the subcontinent when British rule ended in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim the entire territory, which is divided by a heavily militarised Line of Control. India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the Islamist insurgency in Kashmir. Pakistan denies the claim but has often spoken in support of the fighters. —- AFP

Offensive against Sri Lanka deserters COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police and troops began a crackdown yesterday against thousands of military deserters after a large number failed to heed a surrender call, military officials said. Some 1,400 soldiers who were absent without leave turned up at military camps Thursday to take advantage of an amnesty declared to coincide with Sri Lanka’s national holiday marking the island’s 1948 independence. But thousands more were still listed as deserters, a military official said. “From today (Friday), the army and the police will step up search operations to arrest deserters,” the official, who declined to be named, said. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara confirmed that 1,422 troops who were listed as deserters surrendered Thursday but added others were yet to respond. In a bid to clean up its rolls, Sri Lanka’s military formally discharged last October nearly 25,000 army, navy and airforce personnel who deserted at the height of fighting with Tamil rebels. But since then more troops have left the security forces without permission. The clean-up of the military rolls came after government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists in May 2009 following decades of bloody ethnic conflict. Even though fighting has ended, the military still wants to recruit new troops to fill vacancies in the 200,000-strong army and deploy them in areas of the north and east captured from the Tamil rebels. — AFP

SEOUL: North Korea announced yesterday it would release a US missionary who entered the communist country on Christmas Day to urge leader Kim Jong-Il to resign for human rights abuses. Analysts saw Pyongyang’s decision as an attempt to improve ties as it

pushes for dialogue with Washington. Robert Park had expressed “sincere repentance” for his actions which were prompted by “false propaganda” from the West, the North’s official news agency said. It did not say when he would be freed.

Park, 28, was detained on Dec 25 for illegal entry after crossing a frozen border river from China. He carried a letter calling on Kim to free political prisoners, shut prison camps, improve rights and step down. “The relevant organ of the DPRK (North Korea) decided to leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrongdoings into consideration,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. The North has said it is also holding an American arrested for illegal entry from China on January 25. That person’s motives and identity are unknown and Friday’s report did not mention him. The sanctions-hit North has said it wants better relations with the United States after decades of hostility. As a condition for returning to stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations, it wants Washington to agree to hold formal peace talks. “The North is making a friendly gesture towards Washington as Pyongyang is actively seeking to open dialogue with the United States,” Kim Yeon-Chul, director of the Hankyoreh Peace Research Institute, told AFP. “It also comes after President Barack Obama said that North Korea would remain off the US list of terrorist states.” Pyongyang believes the release “can create a positive atmosphere” in relations with Washington, said Chang YongSeok, of Seoul’s Institute for Peace Affairs. A senior Chinese Communist Party official will visit Pyongyang next week in what could be an attempt to restart the nuclear talks, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency

He allegedly said he was allowed to pray daily and to attend a service at a Pyongyang church. “I would not have committed such crime if I had known that the DPRK respects the rights of all the people and guarantees their freedom and they enjoy a happy and stable life,” KCNA quoted Park as saying. US and United Nations officials, along with international rights groups, have strongly criticised the North’s rights record. “Genuine religious freedom did not exist” in North Korea, according to the US State Department’s rights report. Jo Sung-Rae, a South

PYONGYANG: An undated photograph provided by the Park family shows missing missionary Robert Park, second from right, with his father, Pyong Park, right, mother, Helen Park, and brother Paul Park. North Korea announced yesterday that it will free Robert Park, an American missionary detained for illegally crossing its border on Christmas Day. — AP quoted sources in Beijing as saying. It said Wang Jiarui, head of the party’s international department, is expected to meet leader Kim. KCNA carried what it said was an interview with Park and issued an undated photograph of him. “I trespassed on the border due to my wrong understanding of the DPRK caused by the false propaganda made by the West to tarnish its image,” the Tucson, Arizona, resident was quoted as saying. Park was quoted as saying that he had been treated “in a kind and gentlemanly manner” and that “religious freedom is fully ensured” in the North.

Korean activist involved in Park’s case, said he did not trust the KCNA interview. “He is speaking under duress,” Jo told reporters. “He might also be a victim of brainwashing and threats in the communist state.” Last August former president Bill Clinton met Kim in Pyongyang to secure the release of two US journalists detained for entering the North illegally. Pyongyang, hit by tougher sanctions for its 2009 nuclear test and missile launches, began making peace overtures to Seoul and Washington after that visit. —- AFP

India, Pakistan officials to meet on Monday

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, talks with Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at a Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi, yesterday. — AP

Indian premier supports UN climate change panel NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister defended a beleaguered United Nations-affiliated climate change body yesterday, saying India has full confidence in the panel despite numerous errors in its report on global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has come under intense criticism after a number of glaring mistakes were found in a 2007 report, the most blatant of which was its conclusion that Himalayan glaciers would disappear as early as 2035. The date turned out to be off by hundreds of years. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the errors did not change the facts regarding the harmful impact of greenhouse gases on the planet.

“This debate does not challenge the core projections of the IPCC about the impact of greenhouse gas accumulations on temperature, rainfall and sea-level rise,” Singh told an international summit on sustainable development. The errors in the IPCC report led to sharp criticism of the panel and its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, by scientists and skeptics worldwide who believe global warming theories are alarmist. But Singh asserted that India backed both the panel and its chairman. “India has full confidence in the IPCC process and its leadership and will support it in every way that we can,” Singh said. He urged developed coun-

tries to extend greater financial and technical assistance to poor countries to help them cope with the consequences of rising carbon dioxide emissions. Industrialized countries should recognize their role in the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and respond with bolder initiatives to cutback on future emissions, Singh said. UN scientists have said any temperature rise above 3.6degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) could lead to a catastrophic sea level rise threatening islands and coastal cities, the killing off of many species of animals and plants, and the alteration of agricultural economies of many countries. —- AP

NEW DELHI: Indian and Pakistani officials are likely to meet on Monday to decide the agenda of bilateral talks proposed by India over a year after the terror attacks on Mumbai. New Delhi blamed the November 2008 assaults, which killed 166 people, on Pakistan-based militants and broke off peace talks until Islamabad acted against the planners of the strike. But India has come under international pressure in recent months to re-engage Pakistan and help the West stabilize Afghanistan, where the two countries are involved in a proxy battle for influence. New Delhi’s offer of talks comes after global powers endorsed an Afghan plan to seek reconciliation with the Taliban in which Pakistan will likely play a key role. Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao

‘Panda Express’ arrives in China BEIJING: A “Panda Express” jet arrived in China yesterday carrying two furry former residents of US zoos, which experts hope will do their bit to boost dwindling numbers of the notoriously under-sexed species. Tai Shan and Mei Lanbeloved by zoo-goers in Washington and Atlanta, where they were born in captivitytouched down in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, to join China’s panda breeding programme. Chinese television carried live footage of their arrival, with a scrum of photographers battling to get a clear shot of the animals, munching on bamboo in their specially fitted travel cages. — AFP

will meet Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India to agree on “where to talk, when to talk and what to talk”, a foreign ministry official said. India has offered “open-ended talks on all outstanding issues affecting peace and security”, emphasizing counter-terrorism. Pakistan has called for resumption of the broader peace process called the “Composite Dialogue” on a range of issues, including disputed Kashmir. “This is abject surrender to Pakistan,” said Prakash Javdekar of India’s main opposition Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. “The unanimous position in India was there will be no talks with Pakistan unless there was credible action against the Mumbai attackers.” New Delhi’s talks offer comes in part

due to US pressure to reassure Pakistan so that it can focus on fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda on its western border with Afghanistan. Many in India also see the strategy of “coercive diplomacy” against Pakistan failing to get any more concessions on acting against the Mumbai attack planners, even as global sympathy for the attacks wanes with time. But any progress is likely to be slow. “Expect incremental progress but no breakthrough,” Lalit Mansingh, India’s former foreign secretary, said. Muslim-majority Kashmir has been the cause of two of three wars India and Pakistan have fought since independence in 1947 and lies at the heart of the nucleararmed neighbors’ rivalry. — Reuters


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INTERNATIONAL

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Northern California jolted by strong earthquake LOS ANGELES: Northern California was shaken Thursday by a strong earthquake, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage from the towns nearest its epicenter. The quake was measured at 6.0 on the Moment Magnitude scale and was only seven miles (11 km) deep, according to experts from the US Geological Survey.

It was centered off the western Pacific coast some 35 miles from the town of Petrolia, in Humboldt County, but was strong enough to be felt some 275 miles away in San Francisco, residents said. “We don’t have any reports of injuries or damages yet,” said Jordan Scott, a spokesman for the California emergency management agency. “We are still gathering

information as it is a pretty recent occurrence.” There were also no reports of injuries in Ferndale, a town some 36 miles from the epicenter that suffered some damage on January 9 when a 6.5-magnitude quake hit. “So far nothing has been reported here. I went around, and looked down main street at some of our buildings that were affected in the last one, and I haven’t seen

any additional damage yet,” said city manager Jay Parrish. “I was surprised it was a 6.0, I thought it was more like 3.5. It didn’t seem that strong to me. Almost everybody felt it though.” It was the same story in Eureka, a nearby town of some 26,000 people that was also affected on Jan 9. “We have no reports of damage yet. We didn’t feel it as strong as the

last one,” police spokesman Murl Harphan said. “I was sitting at my desk here and it gave us a pretty good jolt.” The quake occurred in an area known to seismologists as the Mendocino Triple Junction where three tectonic plates meet and cause frequent seismic events. Geologists say an earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction is 99 per-

cent certain of hitting California within the next 30 years. Studies have said that a 7.8 magnitude quake could kill 1,800 people, injure 50,000 more and damage 300,000 buildings. A 6.7 earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994 left at least 60 people dead and did an estimated 10 billion dollars damage, while a 6.9 quake in San Francisco in 1989 claimed the lives of 67 people. — AFP

No more miracle rescues

Shock gives way to anger in Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE: They ran up and down the street, the crowd slowly building to several hundred as more joined in, yelling for jobs, for schools to open and, most of all, for food. One shirtless man carrying a concrete block was frantic as he approached them, and the protesters, who said they had been

BOSTON: US President Barack Obama’s paternal aunt, Zeituni Onyango, is escorted from the John F. Kennedy Federal Building after a hearing on her plea to remain in the United States on Thursday. — AFP

Obama’s aunt fights deportation BOSTON: President Barack Obama’s aunt could find out by the end of May if she will be deported from the United States as an illegal immigrant in a case that risks embarrassing the White House. Zeituni Onyango, 57, testified Thursday for two-and-a-half hours at a federal immigration hearing in Boston, Massachusetts, asking for political asylum from Kenya. At the end of the closed-door hearing, Judge Leonard Shapiro gave attorneys 30 days to present final arguments and set a May 25 follow-up hearing, Onyango’s attorney, Margaret Wong, said. “The parties are to submit closing arguments and briefs within 30 days,” Wong said. “May 25 a follow-up hearing is scheduled, but there may be a decision before that date.” This was Onyango’s second attempt to secure asylum after ignoring a 2004 deportation order in what has become a potential political headache for her powerful nephew. Two other witnesses, both doctors, were testifying in support of Onyango, whose case was based on medical grounds and fears of “tribal violence” in Kenya, according to Wong. If she is ordered to be deported Onyango plans to appeal, Wong said. The US government also has the right of appeal.

The case puts Obama in a delicate position at a time when he is reeling from his Democratic party’s failure to pass health care reform legislation and a surge in momentum for the opposition Republicans. Asked if Obama had submitted written support for Onyango’s asylum, Wong said: “No.” Although there is no suggestion of favoritism or intervention by the White House, the issue could provide an unwelcome distraction as the year-old Obama presidency struggles to impose itself, as well as fueling right-wing conspiracy theories about Obama’s exotic family background. Despite having lived illegally for years in Massachusetts, Onyango was only unearthed by the US media in 2008, days before Obama’s November election. The White House said the president was unaware of her illegal status and only found out about it in early November 2008. “We said then and we would continue to say that everybody in this country should and must follow the law,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, adding that neither Obama nor the family had helped with Onyango’s legal representation. “We have not been involved at all in that hearing and will let the law play out as it should,” Gibbs said.

The publicity could also affect how Onyango is treated, both here and back in her homeland, lawyers say. “She’s the aunt of the president of the United States-the most famous man in the world,” Mike Rogers, spokesman for the Ohio law firm defending Onyango, told the Boston Herald. The newspaper reported that Onyango has requested the case be heard before a closed session, though that is not unusual in immigration hearings. “The immigration judge will hear the merits of the case from both parties,” said Lauren Alder Reid of the US Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, which speaks for the court. Onyango has said she cut off ties to the president after her legal troubles became public. It remains unclear who is paying for her legal representation, since Onyango has been living in public housing and has no known funds of her own. She is the half-sister of Obama’s late father, who was Kenyan and married a white American, who gave birth to the future president in Hawaii. Onyango moved to the United States in 2000 and applied for political asylum two years later, but was turned down. She was ordered deported in 2004. — AFP

It has been over three weeks since the disaster left at least 212,000 dead and more than one million homeless in what was already the poorest country in the Americas, and shock is giving way to anger. There have been no more miracle rescues of survivors buried under rubble and the non-stop coverage on the world’s 24-hour news networks has dissipated. What is left is simply the solemn reality: Haitians sleeping in the streets in front of their crumbled homes, a huge swath of the country essentially cracked in half, and what many criticize as a woefully inadequate government and aid effort. Bleze Line, 31 and the father of a three-year-old boy, pointed to the spot in the grass where he and others from the Pivoine area of Port-au-Prince buried three friends who died in the quake. Just behind him, his neighbors hammered together shelters of aluminum and wood salvaged from their collapsed homes, located just uphill and lying in ruins. Earlier, a chunk of debris fell on a man’s back as he worked, and others carried him on a stretcher made of an old wooden door, seeking help. Line said he thought the man would be okay. But there are bigger problems. There is not nearly enough food for what is left of the neighborhood, where he said “the majority” of residents were killed. “There are only 40 cards to get food,” he said, referring to ration cards distributed as part of the aid effort, which allow for a half-sack, or about 25 pounds (11 kilograms), of rice. “There are 107 families

Gun battles kill 11 in Chechnya

Nigeria state governors back vice president

GROZNY, Russia: At least six insurgents and five Russian troops have been killed in gun battles in Chechnya, authorities in the Russian province said yesterday. At least five federal servicemen were killed in fighting that began on Thursday and persisted yesterday in forested Caucasus Mountain foothills southwest of the capital, Grozny, a law enforcement official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The office of Moscowbacked Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said six insurgents were killed on Thursday in fighting nearby. Russian news agencies cited investigators in Chechnya as saying fighting initially broke out in one location and then erupted again in a neighbouring district after government forces tracked down rebels following the first gun battle. Violence has escalated over the past year in Chechnya, undermining a recovery in the mostly Muslim region following two devastating 1990s wars pitting government forces against separatist rebels. Kadyrov has expressed confidence the insurgents will soon be destroyed and has even announced plans to build a ski resort once they are eliminated from strongholds in the southern mountains. He launched a campaign to root them out last month. — Reuters

ABUJA: Nigeria’s powerful state governors said yesterday that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan should become acting president and they would urge parliament to pass a resolution to that effect next week. The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states are highly influential figures, some of them controlling budgets larger than those of neighboring countries, and are key players in party conventions at which presidential candidates are chosen. “We now agree to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to pass a resolution recognising the vice president as the acting president,” Bukola Saraki, chairman of the Governors’ Forum, told reporters after a meeting with Jonathan. “This action we believe is a way to move the nation forward before the president arrives. This we intend to do next week so that the resolution from the National Assembly will also come out next week,” he said. President Umaru Yar’Adua has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia for more than two months and his failure to formally hand over to Jonathan has brought the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis. — Reuters

KIEV: A street worker carries a pre-election poster with a portrait of Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko which was removed from a street in Kiev, yesterday. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has threatened a rerun of the 2004 Orange Revolution, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested a rigged election. —AP

Ukraine poll rivals make last campaign push KIEV: The two candidates in Ukraine’s tense presidential race made a final appeal for votes yesterday, the last day of legally permitted campaigning, after accusing each other of plotting to steal the election. The candidates, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich, were set to hold dueling rallies in Kiev on Friday evening just a few hundred metres (yards) apart. Yanukovich, seen as the frontrunner after beating Tymoshenko by a 10 percent mar-

gin in the first-round election in January, was due to appear in a concert alongside Ukrainian pop stars and then go on a television talk show. Tymoshenko, a charismatic politician famed for her long traditional hair braid, was to hold a “prayer for Ukraine” near a Kiev cathedral. No campaigning is permitted on Saturday. Voters will go to the polls Sunday to choose the next leader of Ukraine, a strategic country of 46 million people that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Tensions mounted this week as

Tymoshenko accused Yanukovich of plotting to rig the vote and warned that she would mobilise her supporters for mass street protests in the event of vote fraud. “I ask you not to allow Yanukovich to rape our democracy, our election and our country!” Tymoshenko said in televised remarks on Thursday. Tymoshenko claimed she would stage a repeat of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests, which thwarted Yanukovich’s last presidential bid and brought a proWestern government to power in Kiev. — AFP

living in a camp since losing their homes in last month’s massive earthquake, seemed to welcome his call. “I’m ready to fight for you!” he yelled. Wednesday’s demonstration was not huge, but it was a clear sign of the frustration building in post-quake Haiti.

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Dominique Lajoie, right, Director or Operations of the Hotel Montana, and bellboy Lionel Jean-Francois search for documents in the rubble of the hotel in Port-au-Prince. Before the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, the hotel attracted an international mix of tourists, aid workers and diplomats with its sweeping views from the hills above Port-au-Prince. — AP here. There are families with 10 people.” Countries and groups in charge of aid have recently sought to better organize distribution by handing the food to women who are first given cards entitling them to the handouts. The UN said on Wednesday that 338,000 people had received two-week rations of rice over the previous three days. But the flood of complaints continues unabated from desperate Haitians, and food is not the only necessity in short supply. Tens of thousands of promised tents have also not been delivered, and Haitian government officials cannot explain

why. Patrick Delatour, the tourism minister now in charge of reconstruction, said this week that the international community had promised 200,000 tents but Haiti’s government had only seen 4,000. Aid groups were handling their distribution and “not one tent has been given to the Haitian government,” he added. Asked what happened to the other tents, Delatour said “they never existed.” Yet the United Nations announced this week that more than 10,000 familysized tents had been distributed with some 16,000 in stock. Haitians have been finding their own solutions, building new shelters with the rubble of their old homes-a practice the

government discourages so demolition and proper rebuilding can occur — and sleeping wherever they can. Some have even taken up residence in front of the court where 10 Americans were charged on Thursday with kidnapping and conspiracy over their alleged attempt to take 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic. A few had tents, while others said they were simply sleeping on the ground. As the hearing for the Americans got underway, two women cut tomatoes and peppers to cook over a charcoal fire. “The Haitian government doesn’t exist for us,” said 39-year-old Beatrice St. Julien. — AFP

Americans face long jail time over Haiti kidnap charges PORT-AU-PRINCE: Ten US missionaries faced a long wait behind bars yesterday after being charged with child abduction and conspiracy for trying to smuggle 33 children out of quake-hit Haiti. In a case that has overshadowed the huge international relief effort, the Americans were formally charged Thursday with “kidnapping minors and criminal association,” according to their lawyer Edwin Coq. The five men and five women-who had arrived at court in confident mood with their luggage packed-bowed their heads in prayer in the back of a jeep as they were returned to police detention. Detained a week ago, they now face a long pre-trial detention, as Haitian law gives the prosecution three months to draw up its case. If convicted, they could face nine years in prison for child kidnapping and further jail time for conspiracy. They have denied ill intent, saying they were only trying to help children abandoned after the January 12 quake that killed an estimated 212,000 people and left at least a million homeless. Justice Minister Paul Denis told AFP he saw “no reason” why the group from the Idahobased Baptist charity New Life Children’s Refuge should be sent to the United States for trial. “It is Haitian law that has been violated,” he said. “It is up to Haitian authorities to hear and judge the case.” As they were escorted into the jeep, some tried to cover their faces with a black jacket. Haitian journalists whipped it off and one threw a stone. The case has sparked outrage in impoverished Haiti where child-trafficking was already rife before the 7.0-magnitude quake struck. The US missionaries were held as they attempted to cross into the Dominican Republic with a busload of 33 children aged from two months to 12 years. It has emerged many of the children have living parents or relatives, some of whom may

have personally handed them over for a better life. The UN Children’s Fund says 40 percent of Haitian children were already in great poverty, with 300,000 in orphanages, even before the quake struck. It warned of a “significant danger” that displaced children could be sold into slave-like conditions, trafficked or illegally adopted. UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow said it was “completely unacceptable and immoral” for foreigners to approach desperate families to offer a better life for their children abroad. “The best is to support the aid groups and the orphanages that are there, and help the families that are struggling to keep their own children whom they love,” the US actress told a press conference. The quake left much of the capital Port-auPrince and surrounding area in rubble, and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN the toll of 212,000 was likely to rise “a little bit” as recovery crews pulled out more bodies. The figure is already the highest on record of any natural disaster in the Americas. On the streets, anger is growing at the slow pace of aid distribution with food and tents in short supply, many people still living in makeshift shelters and violence stalking rudimentary camps. “The Haitian government doesn’t exist for us,” said 39-year-old Beatrice St Julien. The United States, which is spearheading the relief efforts, has deployed 20,000 troops, helicopters and transport planes, but coordination problems and the sheer scale of the crisis have hampered operations. Bellerive said more than 300,000 people had been injured and the number of homeless may be far higher than the one million previously estimated. In Bleze Line’s neighborhood, where he said the majority of residents were killed, survivors complain food aid is not enough. — AFP


7

BUSINESS

Saturday, February 6, 2010

ADIA raises exposure to infrastructure assets

Abu Dhabi wealth fund buys into Gatwick Airport LONDON/AMSTERDAM: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, said yesterday it had bought a stake in Britain’s Gatwick Airport as it increased its exposure to infrastructure assets. Sovereign

LYNNFIELD: A worker finishes up a fuel delivery at gas pumps in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. Energy prices dropped Thursday as dismal job news, a sinking stock market and a lower-than-expected draw on natural gas supplies dimmed hopes for stronger energy demand. — AP

Oil steadies around $73, risk aversion rises LONDON: Oil steadied around $73 per barrel yesterday, consolidating after its biggest one-day fall since July, and as the dollar hit a seven-month high against a basket of currencies. Traders said the stronger dollar, which tends to move inversely to many commodities because they are priced in the US currency, worries about the health of the euro-zone and weaker equities were a powerfully negative combination for oil. But the market gained some support from oil-focused hedge fund BlueGold, which denied what it said were false rumors about its continuing operations and said it was not behind a sharp rise in volatility in recent days. Rumors over the health of an unidentified hedge fund were cited as a negative factor on Thursday as the oil market fell. US crude oil for March delivery was up 30 cents at $73.44 per barrel by 1154 GMT. On Thursday, it touched a 2010 intraday low of $72.42 and closed down 5 percent. London ICE Brent for March was up 6 cents

at $72.19. “The market has steadied after yesterday’s move,” said Tony Machacek, broker at Bache Commodities in London. “But there is general concern about the economic outlook and the dollar.” Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said oil and commodities markets faced a “toxic mix” of factors including falling stock markets and rising risk aversion. “Bearish sentiment prevails across all commodities. The pessimism is very strong. Anything at all risky is being sold.” The dollar index, a measure of the greenback’s performance against six major currencies, leapt as concern deepened about worsening fiscal problems in south European countries. A stronger US dollar makes commodities, like oil, more expensive for those holding alternative currencies. Sentiment was fragile ahead of key US non-farm payrolls numbers due at 1330 GMT, which could show unemployment continuing to rise in the world’s largest economy, especially after an unexpected increase in jobless claims. — Reuters

TOKYO: A man walks in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo yesterday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average lost 293.33 points, to end morning session at 10,062.65. — AP

US waives ‘Buy American’ provisions for Canada WASHINGTON: The United States has agreed to waive “Buy American” provisions for Canadian companies under a massive economic stimulus package, a joint statement said Friday, ending a year-long dispute between the neighbors. Under a tentative agreement reached between the two countries, Canada will also provide US suppliers with access to a range of construction contracts across the country’s provinces and territories, as well in as a number of municipalities. The controversial US provisions were part of the nearly $800-billion US stimulus package adopted last year mandating that all steel and manufactured goods purchased with the funds be made in the United States or in countries with US agreements

on government procurement. Local-level projects were also mostly confined to US-made goods, drawing protests from Canada. “The trade and investment relationship between the United States and Canada is very important to both of our countries,” said a joint statement by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Canada’s Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan. “At its core are thousands of jobs and business relationships that have developed over many decades,” they said. Ottawa has been pushing President Barack Obama’s administration to make an exception for Canadian goods in return for a guarantee that city and provincial bids would be open to US firms. — AFP

An ADIA spokesman said the wealth fund was now a minority shareholder in Gatwick, buying a stake from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), but declined to comment on the precise stake and the amount that ADIA paid. Two sources close to the deal said ADIA would pay around 125 million pounds ($196.4 million) for a 15 percent stake in Gatwick, confirming an earlier report in The Times newspaper. A spokesman for Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which acquired Gatwick last year for 1.5 billion pounds, declined to comment. ADIA’s investment in London’s second-biggest airport comes two days after South Korea’s National

wealth funds are emerging as major investors in infrastructure, alongside pension funds and insurance companies, although opportunities for them can be limited as many governments consider infrastructure to be a strategic sector.

Pension Service said it planned to buy a 12 percent stake in Gatwick for around 100 million pounds. GIP is a $5.64 billion infrastructure fund set up by Credit Suisse and General Electric. It bought Gatwick last year from BAA, majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, for 1.51 billion pounds. ADIA, believed to have assets of around $500 billion to $700 billion, has a strategy of buying minority stakes in infrastructure assets as a long-term investor. It has found a favorable investment environment in infrastructure in Britain’s regulatory framework, which is open to foreign investors. Last month it was reported that ADIA had formed a consortium together with a Macquarie infrastruc-

ture fund and Canada Pension Plan to bid in the sale of French utility EDF’s British distribution arm. ADIA has switched its weightings across asset classes to reduce the impact of economic downturns over the past 18 months, with its allocation to global equities averaging 40-60 percent, with 60 percent of that indexed. Regionally, the wealth fund has its largest allocation in the United States, with 35 to 50 percent, followed by Europe at up to 35 percent and Asia at up to 20 percent. GIP said on Tuesday that it planned to remain a majority shareholder in Gatwick but sell minority stakes to outside investors. — Reuters

After US deal, Taiwan to buy copters from Europe TAIPEI: Taiwan said yesterday it would buy up to 20 military helicopters from a European manufacturer less than a week after Washington infuriated China by proposing a $6.4 billion arms deal for the island which Beijing claims as its own. The Taiwan deal with Eurocopter, a subsidiary of German-based EADS, has the potential to strain China-European relations, which, like Sino-US ties, have been hurt by trade disputes and the value of the Chinese currency. But China’s initial reaction was muted. “We understand these are rescue helicopters. We will continue to monitor the situation, especially the use of the planes,” the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement. European arms sales to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers a breakaway province have dried up in the past 17 years due to their political sensitivity, although EU-Taiwan trade ties are generally strong. A French deal in 1993 to sell Taiwan advanced Mirage fighter jets angered China, prompting Beijing to close the French consulate in southern Guangdong province and cut French firms out of lucrative contracts. China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary. Taiwan’s defense ministry spokesman, Martin Yu, said the island would buy EC-225 search-and-rescue helicopters. He provided no further details. China has blasted the United States over a planned $6.4 billion arms package for Taiwan, saying it would place sanctions on US firms that sell weapons to the island. “What is equally odd about the contract award is China has remained silent on the issue after it threatened to sanction US companies selling arms to Taiwan and occurs at the same time European leaders have been pushing for a lifting of arms exports to China,” Defense News reported, adding the $111 million deal would be signed in the next few days. Europe has an arms embargo in place against China following a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. In 2005, the European Union dropped plans to lift the embargo, bowing to US pressure. — Reuters

SHANGHAI: A Chinese worker has lunch at a construction site where styrofoam bowls litter the ground in Shanghai yesterday. The Chinese government’s economic stimulus measures allowed the world’s third-largest economy to expand by 8.7 percent in 2009, but many economists say the country needs to launch structural reforms. — AFP

Aid to Dubai World only on commercial terms: Dubai Dubai Financial Support Fund has given $6.2bn DUBAI: Dubai said yesterday that aid given to Dubai World was on commercial terms, after a report that collateral for further aid was delaying a deal to address the conglomerate’s unmanageable debt burden. The Dubai Financial Support Fund (DFSF) has given the company, which is trying to reach a standstill agreement with creditors on delaying $22 billion in debt, about $6.2 billion over the past 12 months and stands ready to provide “considerably more”, a spokeswoman said. “This money was made available to the DFSF on commercially reasonable terms, and the DFSF has endeavoured to advance these funds to the company on a commercial basis,” the spokeswoman, who spoke on customary anonymity said. The government declined comment on a UAE newspaper report on Friday that a DFSF plan to take Dubai World security against future aid was delaying agreement on a standstill, because such a plan would make the DFSF a preferred creditor in the event of an insolvency. Citing unnamed sources, The National newspaper said the plan was a “central sticking point in negotiations”. Dubai World rocked global markets on Nov. 25 with plans to request

a delay on repaying $26 billion in debt linked to its main property units Nakheel and Limitless World. It staved off default on a $4.1 billion Islamic bond linked to Nakheel after a last-minute bailout from Abu Dhabi. The company has been negotiating with an unofficial seven-member bank coordinating committee but has yet to present a formal proposal on plans to repay the debt. Dubai launched a $20 billion sovereign bond program in February 2009, with the first $10 billion tranche taken by the central bank. It raised a further $10 billion in November and December from two Abu Dhabi-linked banks and the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The DFSF, set up to disperse proceeds from the program to state-linked firms in need of help, is accountable to a fiveman Supreme Fiscal Committee which has overall responsibility for overseeing Dubai’s fiscal policies. Dubai World has access to a remaining $4.9 billion of the funds provided by Abu Dhabi — $5 billion in a Dec. 14 bailout, and $5 billion lent by the Abu-Dhabi-linked banks. The financial support, aside from paying Nakheel’s bond, will cover working capital and interest expenses. — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES TRANSFER CHEQUES 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

.2820000 .4560000 .3960000 .2680000 .2660000 .2510000 .0045000 .0020000 .0779230 .7591820 .4020000 .0750000 .7442460 .0045000 .0500000

.2930000 .4670000 .4050000 .2780000 .2770000 .2610000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787060 .7668120 .4180000 .0790000 .7517260 .0072000 .0580000

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 .2870500 .4578800 .3984380 .2706710 .2683670 .0535150 .0389200 .2535370 .0369520 .2035310 .0031810 .0062400 .0025180 .0033970 .0042050 .0781920 .7617920 .4059670 .0765860 .7459580 .0062400

.2891500 .4611140 .4012520 .2725880 .2702680 .0538940 .0391960 .2553280 .0372130 .2049720 .0032040 .0062840 .0025360 .0034210 .0042350 .0786900 .7666500 .4088430 .0770740 .7507150 .0062840

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

.2891500 .4611140 .2725880 .0770740

288.050 404.130 463.200 273.400 194.400 273.940 256.100 286.000

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

3.201 6.255 3.387 2.510 3.913 205.020 37.111 4.166 6.244 8.709 0.301 0.292 ARAB COUNTRIES

Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar

194.630 6.303 36.100 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

55.700 52.810 1.384 213.400 407.000

76.854 79.180 748.700 765.400 78.490 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

218.000 113.000 55.000

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

287.900 276.920 465.430 407.030 272.080 705.655 763.450 78.370 79.015 76.805 406.265 52.665 6.255 3.395 2.505 4.175 6.225 3.185 8.670 5.550 3.955

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 288.150 3.400 6.240 2.520 4.175 6.230 78.495 76.960 766.200 52.695 466.400 0.0000306 1.550 409.400 5.750 406.800 278.300

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 287.700 404.800 463.200 274.300 3.192 6.245 52.675 2.510 4.160 6.225 3.390 765.400 78.300 76.750


8

BUSINESS

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Crisis eases as Greek farmers scale back protest ATHENS: Prime Minister George Papandreou got a measure of relief yesterday in his fight to curb Greece’s runaway deficit, as protesting farmers scaled back highway blockades in opposition to the government’s austerity measures. The prospect of strikes and protests have raised fears Papandreou won’t be able to push through an austerity plan aimed at dousing the country’s financial crisis, which has undermined the euro because markets fear Greece may default on its debts. The worries have spread to other countries such as Portugal, where there is also resistance to cutbacks aimed at dousing a spreading European government debt crisis. Stock markets across Europe have sagged as a result. Papandreou reportedly told Greek journalists traveling with him on a visit to India, where he is attending a sustainable development conference, that the euro had come under a sustained speculative attack that was targeting Greece, Spain and Portugal. He said speculators would have focused on another weak link in the 16-nation euro-zone if it weren’t for Greece, Greek media traveling with him reported. “The problem is European and

ATHENS: A man makes transaction at a bank’s automatic teller machine next to a closed shop with “For Rent” signs in the center of Athens. A European Central Bank meeting Thursday was dominated by concerns over debt-ridden Greece and other countries with high public deficits that have pushed the euro-zone into its worst-ever crisis. —AFP international and we must take coordinated action with solidarity on this

issue,” Greek media quoted Papandreou as saying yesterday.

Farmers began their campaign in mid-January to demand higher and

faster subsidy payments, but began removing blockades in the early afternoon despite the government’s adamant refusal to increase any payments to support crop prices. Tax and customs officials were on the second day of a 48-hour strike that began Thursday, while civil servants will walk off the job next Wednesday. Protesting farmers at the Greek-Bulgarian border have refused to comply with their colleagues decision and are vowing to maintain their tractor blockade under their demands are met, disrupting the transport of goods to and from Bulgaria. Greece is under intense pressure from markets and other European Union governments to get a grip on its deficit, which stands at 12.7 percent of economic output for 2009 — more than four times the 3 percent limit for countries using the shared euro currency. Papandreou’s Socialist government has pledged to reduce it to 2 percent in 2013, and has announced an austerity program that includes salary freezes for civil servants and higher taxes. The program has won the backing of the European Union, although the EU will be keeping a close eye on Greece’s figures to ensure it sticks

to the plan. A Greek default would be a serious blow to the shared euro currency, but Greece and the EU have insisted that will not happen and that Athens can fix its problem with a program of sharp cutbacks and efforts to make its economy more competitive. Greece insists it will not need a bailout from other EU countries, and that it does not need to turn to the International Monetary Fund. “There is no thought at all of Greece turning to the IMF,” Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in New York late Thursday after a meeting at the United Nations. “Greece is a member of the eurozone. Greece has presented a very credible and serious program and proposals for necessary measures to stabilize the Greek economy.” The IMF’s chief, Dominique StraussKahn, told the French radio station RTL on Thursday that the multinational lending agency was ready to help Greece is asked to, but that he did not think the country was heading for bankruptcy. “I have a mission on the ground to provide technical advice requested by the Greek government. And if we’re asked to intervene, we will,” he said, but added “I understand that the

Europeans don’t want this for the moment.” Greece insists it can pull itself out of the crisis. Replying to a question in Parliament Friday, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said the country would not ask for a centrally issued European bond. “Greece, today, cannot raise the banner of the eurobond, for a very simple practical reason. If we did this, it would send a message that we cannot see the situation through by ourselves. We can see this through ourselves,” he said. “Greece is doing whatever is necessary to reduce the deficit and bring the national debt under control. Greece has a very serious growth and stability program which was given the green light by the European commission several days ago.” Greece’s stock market tumbled further Friday, amid a global run on stock markets following concerns over US jobless figures that saw the Dow Jones industrial average fall 2.6 percent. In afternoon trading, the Athens Stock Exchange was down 4.05 percent, while the spreads on Greek government bonds over the equivalent German bond — a key indicator of market confidence — rose slightly to 367.3 basis points, indicating slightly less confidence in Greek finances. — AP

Spectacular surprises at ‘Infoconnect’

Wataniya glowing with unique space theme KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom’s annual participation at Infoconnect 2010 Exhibition has always been highly rewarding for Wataniya’s customers. Ongoing for the next three days, Wataniya’s futuristic booth at the Infoconnect exhibition has attracted numerous numbers of interested visitors

learning about the latest technologies and services Wataniya is offering in the telecom market. Also present at Wataniya’s booth is the famous MC, Mishal Al Shaya, who has been actively interacting with the audience and creating fun experience at the event.

KUWAIT: Wataniya’s Management team with the Minister of Communication Dr. Mohammad Muhsin Al-Busairi.

Europe economy fears batter markets LONDON: Global stock markets tumbled, the euro slumped to an nine-month low and oil prices took heavy falls as fears about European debt levels and US jobs cast a new pall across the world economy yesterday. Asian markets had a grim day of trading, with a near three percent dive in Tokyo, and Europe picked up the trend: London’s main FTSE index lost 1.62 percent, Frankfurt 1.29 percent, Paris 2.10 percent and Madrid 2.35 percent. The falls accelerated heavy losses on Thursday amid mounting fears about the impact of the tattered finances in Greece, Spain and Portugal on the 16-nation euro-zone. The euro tumbled to its lowest point since May, with investors bolting for the safe-haven dollar. The euro fell as low as 1.3648 dollars, a level last seen on 6 May, 2009. “It’s been a dismal 24 hours,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. “Stock markets, commodities and currencies have fallen around the world, while bond default risk has soared (and) investors have fled risky assets into the relative safety of the dollar.” The Nikkei index in Tokyo plummeted 2.89 percent, while the Seoul stock market suffered a 3.05 percent drop. “What we’re seeing is a wave of panic selling,” said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index tumbled at one stage below the key 20,000 level for the first time in five months. Spain’s stock market fell by 5.65 percent on Thursday amid mounting concern over its debt level. The socialist government announced plans last week to slash the public deficit to the EU limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product by 2013 after it mushroomed to 11.4 percent last year. But public debt is projected to rise from 55.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to 74.3 percent in 2012, above Europe’s 60-percent limit. Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero acknowledged the pressures hitting Europe’s economy. “This is not an easy moment, there are fundamental economic challenges of great magnitude for Spain and other

countries” in Europe, he told reporters during a visit to Washington on Thursday. The central bank in Madrid released figures showing Spain still mired in recession, with the economy shrinking 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 3.6 percent for the year as a whole. Britain’s Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, whose country is not part of the eurozone, also acknowledged that London was struggling with its debt burden. “We know that we have a challenging job to repair our public finances and to reduce our deficits,” he said on a visit to Germany. — Reuters

MADRID: A broker is seen at the Stock Exchange in Madrid yesterday. Stock markets in Portugal, Spain and Greece have led a sharp global retreat for the second day running as investors fretted over their governmentsí ability to get a grip on their borrowings. — AP

Hunt for London Metal Exchange head underway LONDON: London Metal Exchange Chairman Donald Brydon is leaving and the hunt is on for a successor capable of guiding the exchange through a turbulent global economy and changing political landscape. Managing changes in regulation, which may not be as friendly as in the past, will also be part of the brief. “Challenges are many, there are questions about economic and financial stability ... new regulation to stop speculators should be a given,” a senior metals industry source said. “The LME isn’t in the direct line of regulatory fire, but the law of unintended consequences stands.” The source was referring to plans by US President Barack Obama to restructure banks, which could be adopted in some form by other major economies. The global economy is standing at a point where many think a double-dip recession could be on the cards. Weak growth in turn is often a trigger for social unrest in many parts of the world. Strong economic and demand growth in China will help support volumes on the exchange. But China, which accounts for more than 30 percent of global copper demand, cannot completely offset falls in other major economies such as the United States, Japan and Germany. — Reuters

Running a daily quiz consisting of questions about Wataniya and its products has given attendees the opportunity to participate, learn more about Wataniya as well as winning gifts. Some of the prizes that have been given out are Notebooks, Nokia cell phones and prepaid Wataniya cards to those who answered questions correctly. “We are very delightful to see our customers interested in learning more about the latest technologies as well as witnessing their enthusiasm in our daily interactive entertainment” stated Aziz Al Balool, Wataniya PR Manager stated. With lots of prizes coming up in the next three days, we urge everyone to visit Wataniya’s booth and become a winner. Existing Wataniya’s subscribers along with non Wataniya customers were able to purchase some of the very attractive Wataniya has created for them such as a 1 year Hala Plan subscription and receiving a Mobile Bundle for a special price that include a Gold+ number and 2 months of double minutes. Another offer which is appealing along with Blackberry users is a one year subscription on any Blackberry service and receiving a special price on the latest Blackberry device, the Onyx. Plenty of other offers for pre paid, post paid and Wnet subscribers are also available. To take part in Wataniya’s Infoconnect exhibition please visit us at the Mishref International Fair Ground, Hall No 6 from 10 AM- 1 PM, and from 5 PM- 10 PM. Today is the last day.

LOS ANGELES: Unemployed talk with a prospective employer at a job fair organized by the Opportunities Industrialization Centers in Los Angeles. — AFP

US payrolls fall in Jan, jobless rate new low Revisions show deeper losses than previously thought WASHINGTON: US payrolls unexpectedly fell in January, but the unemployment rate surprisingly dropped to a five-month low, according to a government report yesterday that hinted at labor market improvement. The Labor Department said the economy shed 20,000 jobs after losing 150,000 jobs in December. November was revised to a gain of 64,000, up from 4,000. Annual benchmark revisions to payrolls data showed the economy has purged 8.4 million jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls gaining 5,000 and the unemployment rate to edge up to 10.1 percent in January from 10 percent. Median estimates from the top 20 forecasters expected payrolls to be unchanged last month. “It shows net-net that we are seeing a slow improvement in the labor market. There are some encouraging signs in the report ... but it wasn’t quite good enough to push us into positive territory just yet,” said Boris Schlossberg, director of FX Research at GFT Forex in New York. US stock index futures extended losses, while Treasury debt prices added to gains. US dollar trimmed gains against the yen. While a sharp increase in the number of people giving up looking for work helped to depress the jobless rate, some details of the employment report were encouraging. The number of ‘discouraged job seekers’ rose to 1.1 million in January from 734,000 a year ago. With Americans increasingly anxious about high unemployment, President Barack Obama has declared that job creation will be his top pri-

ority in 2010. Obama’s fellow Democrats fear voters could punish them in November congressional elections if the administration fails to make headway in tackling the high jobless rate. “The economy is moving slowly and it takes time for companies to turn around from where they were to where they are going,” said Torsten Slok, senior economist at Deutsche Bank in New York. Analysts speculated the decline in the unemployment rate could see the Federal Reserve raising interest rates sooner than expected. Financial markets have grown nervous about the prospect of unemployment in the United States remaining high for a long time. The economy resumed growth in the second half of 2009 and labor market healing is crucial for a self-sustaining economic recovery to take root. While job losses in prior months were steeper than previously thought, details of the January report supported views the blood bath has stopped. Last month, the services sector added 40,000 jobs after shedding 96,000 positions in December. The figure included a rise in federal government employment, partly as a result of the hiring for the 2010 Census. In another positive trend, temporary help employment rose 52,000 last month, while manufacturing payrolls increased 11,000, the first gain since January 2007. Manufacturing employment dropped 23,000 in December. But the construction sector, continued to struggle, losing 75,000 jobs, likely because of unusually cold weather. Construction payrolls fell 32,000 in December. — Reuters

Toyota chief apologizes for global recalls TOKYO: Toyota’s president apologized yesterday for the massive global recalls over sticking gas pedals as the automaker scrambles to repair a damaged reputation and sliding sales. But Akio Toyoda, appointed to the top job at Toyota Motor Corp. last June, said the company is still deciding what steps to take to fix brake problems in the popular Prius gas-electric hybrid. Speaking at a hastily announced news conference that lasted an hour, a sternlooking Toyoda promised to beef up quality control. “We are facing a crisis,” he said, publicly confronting the automaker’s safety problems for the first time since the global recalls were announced Jan. 21. He said the company is setting up a special committee he would head himself. It would review internal checks, go over consumer complaints and listen to outside experts to come up with a solution to the widening quality problems. “I offer my apologies for the worries,” he said. “Many customers are wondering whether their cars are OK.” Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder, said the company

was moving quickly on the global recalls covering 4.5 million vehicles for sticking gas pedals, about half of them in the US. Dealers are scrambling to make repairs on the gas pedals, which need a new steel part to solve the sticking problem. Toyota would fully cooperate with the investigation by US federal authorities into Prius problems, Toyoda said. There have been nearly 200 complaints in Japan and the US of drivers experiencing a short delay before the brakes kick in — a problem that can be fixed with a software programming change. The automaker has fixed the programming glitch in Prius models that went on sale since last month, but has done nothing yet on 270,000 Prius cars sold last year in Japan and the US. The remodeled thirdgeneration Prius went on sale in May last year. A less-than-perfect Prius, the vehicle of choice for Hollywood movie stars like Leonardo Dicaprio, threatens to be an even more serious blow for Toyota’s image than the gas pedal recalls. The hybrid is a symbol of Toyota’s technological prowess

and ambitions to lead the auto industry in green, low-pollution cars. Toyota is also investigating possible brake problems with its luxury Lexus hybrid and the Sai compact sedan, both of which use the same brake system as the Prius. Toyota has not received any complaints about the Lexus HS250h and the probe is to ensure safety, it has said. The Sai is not sold outside Japan. Toyoda, 53, has been criticized for not coming out sooner to answer questions about the flood of quality problems that have hit Toyota. Masaaki Sato, an auto industry expert who has written books on Toyota and its Japanese rival Honda, said Friday’s public appearance was the company’s last chance to keep the situation from worsening. “He should have come out a week ago,” Sato said of Toyoda during an appearance on a popular late night news program following the press conference. “After all the foot dragging, he was pushed into a corner.” Sato also criticized Toyoda for having to be prodded into action in the US by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called the Toyota president for talks. — AP


TECHNOLOGY

Saturday, February 6, 2010

9

Move could stifle competition: Official

Google’s digital book deal still troubles US SAN FRANCISCO: The US Justice Department still thinks a proposal to give Google the digital rights to millions of hard-to-find books threatens to stifle competition and undermine copyright laws, despite revisions aimed at easing those con-

New Ford Escape SUVs roll off the line at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo. Ford Motor Co said that its Escape sports utility model has qualified for Japanese government incentives for green vehicles, following criticism that the program was shutting out American automakers. — AP

Ford to fix brake problem on Milan, Fusion hybrids DETROIT: Ford Motor Co plans to fix 17,600 Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion gaselectric hybrids because of a software problem that can give drivers the impression that the brakes have failed. The automaker says the problem occurs in transition between two braking systems and at no time are drivers without brakes. The decision to fix the 2010 model cars came after a test driver for Consumer Reports magazine experienced the problem as he was driving a Fusion Hybrid. Ford spokesman Said Deep says braking power seems to drop away as the car makes a transition from regenerative brakes to the conventional system. The Ford hybrids have regenerative brakes, which capture energy from braking to help recharge the battery, in addition to a conventional system that stops the car using hydraulic pressure. Deep says Ford will notify the car owners to bring their cars in for a soft-

ware fix. He said there is no safety problem with the cars. The automaker called the repairs a “customer satisfaction program” and said it was not a full-fledged recall. Deep said Ford reported the problems to a U.S. safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The move comes on the same day that NHTSA began an evaluation of braking problems on the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid. With the Prius, antilock brakes can fail momentarily while the car transitions between its gasoline and electric motors. Ford told dealers about a fix on Thursday. They already had the software to repair it in case it came up, Deep said. He said Ford did not notify all the owners before Consumer Reports found the problem because the number of problems was small. “We’re taking this action proactively to kind of address some of the customer prob-

lems we’ve seen,” he said. The software fix changes the pedal feel so it doesn’t drop, he said. The cars were built before Oct. 17, 2009. For models built after that date, Ford fixed the software at the factory to change the feel of the pedal, Deep said. Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports’ deputy editor for online autos, said one of the magazine’s most experienced test drivers braked while approaching a curve in a Fusion hybrid last month, and the brake pedal dropped about an inch (2.5 centimeters). “They didn’t react the way he expected,” Bartlett said. “He perceived it to be a brake failure of some kind.” The driver coasted to a stop and shut off the engine, and when he restarted it, the brakes worked normally, Bartlett said. Consumer Reports notified Ford, which responded quickly to evaluate the problem, Bartlett said. — AP

US House passes bill to bolster cyber security WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill aimed at protecting the Internet and vulnerable computer networks by funding cyber security research and training. “Securing cyberspace is vitally important to both our safety and our national economy,” Representative David Wu, a Democrat from Oregon, said following passage of the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act. “We cannot stand by and let the most powerful tool for connecting Americans with each other and the world remain the Wild West of technology,” he added. The cyber security legislation, which was approved by a vote of 422 to five, allocates funding to improve cybersecurity in the federal government and the public and private sectors. It calls for the training of a skilled workforce, cybersecurity research and development and public education efforts. The US Senate is also considering cybersecurity legislation which contains more sweeping measures. Passage of the House bill comes less than a month after Google revealed it was the target of a wave of cyberattacks originating in China and threatened to pull out of the country. It also comes less than a week after the websites of 49 members of the House were attacked and defaced by hackers. US Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress on Tuesday that the attacks on Google were a “wake-up call” about the vulnerabilities of com-

puter networks to attacks that could cripple the US economy. Blair said vital telecommunications and information systems faced threats from “those who would steal, corrupt, harm or destroy the public and private assets vital to our national interests.” Representative Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, sponsor of the House bill, said as “reliance on information technology has increased, so has our vulnerability to cyberattacks. “Cybercrime is a major problem for the government, for businesses, and indeed for every American,” Lipinski, a Democrat, said in a statement. “This bill will increase the security of vital and personal information by strengthening research partnerships among the federal government, the private sector and colleges and universities,” he said. The legislation notably calls for the National Science Foundation to award nearly 400 million dollars in computer and network security research grants. The bill is the first major cybersecurity legislation passed since Barack Obama took office a little over a year ago. In December, Obama named Howard Schmidt, a former Bush administration adviser and Microsoft executive, as his cybser security coordinator. No single US agency is currently charged with ensuring government cybersecurity efforts and US lawmakers had been calling for the creation of a powerful cybersecurity adviser reporting directly to the president. — AFP

US telescope sees Pluto changing color WASHINGTON: Spurned Pluto is changing its looks, donning more rouge in its complexion and altering its iceball surface here and there. Color astronomers surprised. Newly released US Hubble Space Telescope photos show the distant one-time planet - demoted to “dwarf planet” status in 2006 is changing color and its ice sheets are shifting. The photos, released by NASA Thursday, paint a Pluto that is significantly redder than it had been for the past several decades. To the layman, it has a yellow-orange hue, but astronomers say it has about 20 percent more red than it used to have. The pictures show icy frozen nitrogen on Pluto’s surface growing and shrinking, brightening in the north and darkening in the south. Astronomers say Pluto’s surface is changing more than the surfaces of other bodies in the solar system. That is unexpected because a season lasts 120 years in some regions of Pluto. “It’s a little bit of a surprise to see these changes happening so big

and so fast,” said astronomer Marc Buie of the Southwest Research Institute. “This is unprecedented.” From 1954 to 2000, Pluto did not change in color when it was photographed from Earth. But after that, it did. The red levels increased by 20 percent, maybe up to 30 percent, and stabilized from about 2000 to 2002, Buie said. It’s not as red as Mars, however, Buie said. Buie said he can explain the redness, but not why it changed so dramatically and so recently. The planet has a lot of methane, which contains carbon and hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen gets stripped off by solar winds and other factors, leaving carbon-rich areas on the surface, which tend to be red and dark. The Hubble photos were taken in 2002 and the analysis took a few years. But why Pluto changed so quickly was such a mystery that Buie held off for years on announcing what he had found, worried that he might be wrong. However, since Pluto’s moon Charon had not changed color in

the same telescope images, he decided the Pluto findings were not an instrument mistake. His analysis also found that nitrogen ice was shifting in size and density in surprising ways. It’s horribly cold on Pluto with, paradoxically, the bright spots being the coldest at about -382 degrees Fahrenheit (-230 Celsius) Astronomers are still arguing about the temperatures of the warm dark spots, which Buie believes may be 30 degrees (17 Celsius) Celsius) warmer than the darker areas. Part of the difficulty in figuring out what is going on with Pluto is that it takes the dwarf planet 248 years to circle the sun, so astronomers don’t know what conditions are like when it’s is farthest from the sun. The last time Pluto was at its farthest point was in 1870, which was decades before Pluto was discovered. Unlike Earth, Pluto’s four seasons are not equal lengths of time. Buie’s explanation makes sense, said retired NASA astronomer Stephen Maran, coauthor of a book on Pluto. — AP

A diverse mix of Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents, state governments and even foreign governments have already urged US District Judge Denny Chin to reject the agreement. The Justice Department’s perspective presumably will carry more weight with Chin, given its position as the chief US law enforcement agency. In its 26-page brief, the Justice Department praised the revised settlement for making “substantial progress.” But the government advised Chin that the agreement still oversteps the legal boundaries of a classaction settlement, describing its manipulation of US copyright law as a “bridge too far.” The Justice Department also raised concerns that Google’s partnership with the participating US publishers could turn into a literary cartel that would wield too much power over book prices. Despite its misgivings, the Justice Department urged the parties to take another stab at making changes that would eliminate its legal concerns. In a statement, Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker gave no indication whether the company and other settling parties are willing to amend the agreement again. “The Department of Justice’s filing recognizes the progress made with the revised settlement, and it once again reinforces the value the agreement can provide in unlocking access to millions of books in the US,” Stricker said. Chin has scheduled a Feb 18 hearing to consider approving the class-action settlement. Consumer Watchdog, one of the groups fighting the settlement, applauded the Justice Department for taking a stand against a deal “that unfairly benefits the narrow agenda of one company.” But a former policy director for the Federal Trade Commission lashed out at the Justice Department and predicted Chin would approve the settlement. “The DOJ’s view is clouded by taking a microscopic and static view of an incredibly dynamic marketplace,” said David Balto, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank. The government’s antitrust concerns extend beyond the settlement’s potential for driving up book prices. Thursday’s filings also pointed out that the deal could make Google’s search engine even more dominant by giving it a digital database of books built up largely by ignoring copyright laws. “Content that can be discovered by only one search engine offers that search engine some protection from competition,” the Justice Department wrote. “This outcome has not been achieved by a technological advance in search or by operation of normal market forces; rather, it is the direct product of scanning millions of books without the copyright holders’ consent.” Google already processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the United States, an advantage that led the company to rake in $79 billion in revenue during the past five years — mostly from short ads posted alongside search results and other Web content. That success has emboldened Google to make digital copies of more than 12 million books during the past five years, it has shown only snippets from most of them while trying to revolve a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by groups representing US authors and publishers. The suit alleged Google’s book-scanning project trampled their intellectual rights. A $125 million truce reached in October 2008 has remained in a holding pattern while Google tried to notify the affected parties and overcome staunch resistance to the deal. Some of the most strident opponents have been Google rivals, including Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Yahoo Inc. — AP

cerns. The opinion filed Thursday in New York federal court is a significant setback in Google’s effort to win approval of a 15-month-old legal settlement that would put the Internet search leader in charge of a vast electronic library and store.

A Chinese Google user presents flowers in front of a Google sign outside Google China’s headquarters in Beijing, China. Google’s accusation that its e-mail accounts were hacked from China landed like a bombshell because it cast light on a problem few companies will discuss: the pervasive threat from China-based cyberattacks. — AP

Toyota recalls raise questions about computerized vehicles CHICAGO: A series of mass recalls at Toyota Motor has raised questions about potential problems with the computer systems running cars today and led US safety officials to launch a new probe into possible electronic interference. The Japanese automaker insists that there are no problems with the electronics in its vehicles and that there are relatively simple mechanical reasons why millions of vehicles were recalled to address problems with sudden, unintended acceleration. Toyota executives said Monday they were convinced that sticky pedals and stuck floor mats were at the root of the problem, and had subjected the computer systems in their car to rigorous and extensive testing. But they have not yet determined why their popular Prius hybrid has experienced problems with its braking system. Ford on Thursday announced that it would be upgrading the software in the brake systems of two of its hybrid models because of problems experienced when the vehicles switched from “regenerative” to “conventional” braking. And experts say that the Prius problems are likely also a software problem. “In my view, it’s poor execution in the coordination between the regenerative brake and the friction brake,” said Huei Peng, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Michigan who studies automotive systems. Hybrids rely upon the “regenerative” braking system to generate power for their electric battery. But since that system can-

not function on its own, it has to work in tandem with a conventional braking system. “For this system to work it’s a real coordination issue,” Peng explained. “It’s possible that in this case somehow the (software) tuning wasn’t done perfectly right.” But while all computerized systems lend themselves to software errors or bugs, Peng said vehicles are much safer with them than without. “I think there may be even more accidents if we go back to mechanical brakes,” he said. “On ice and snow, I don’t think humans handle better than the electronic systems. Can you imagine giving up anti-lock brakes?” The average vehicle has anywhere from 30 to 70 central processing units or embedded controllers, Peng said. They handle everything from windshield wipers and lights to computing how much pressure should be placed on the brakes to stop a vehicle safely given current weight and road conditions. “Definitely they do have bugs in these control units in cars,” he said. Most of them are not serious, and dealers will diagnose and fix them for free without even bothering to tell their customers. Another concern is the possibility that electromagnetic interference - like the buzz heard in speakers if a cell phone gets too close - could be interfering with the computerized controls in cars. Some critics have speculated that this interference with electronic throttle control systems could cause unintended accelera-

tion, and that Toyota needs to take another look at its software. “It really appears that there is a problem with the electronics,” Joan Claybrook, who used to head the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told the Washington Post. “There have been incidents of acceleration when the floor mats were already taken out,” she said of the complaints registered against Toyota vehicles. The NHSTA - which has already studied the issue extensively - on Wednesday said it was going to take a “fresh look” at both electronic throttle control and the possible effects of electromagnetic interference. “This is not a defect investigation, because the agency has no reason at this point to believe there are safety defects in these systems or in their ability to function when exposed to EMI,” the safety agency said. “Instead, this is a background examination of the underlying technological issue.” While it’s important to examine the issue, the concerns about electronic interference are overblown, said David Champion, director of automobile testing for Consumer Reports magazine. “Most cars that are sold today have electric throttles that we don’t see any problems with,” he said in a telephone interview. “And even the Toyota ones with unintended acceleration, NHTSA has done a lot of testing these electronic throttles with the equivalent of 20 cell phones in the cars, huge magnets and various other things to try to cause problems and could not ever reproduce a stuck throttle position.” — AFP

SEOUL: A security guard stands in front of Samsung Electronics Co.’s headquarters in Seoul Thursday. The world’s top producers of computer memory chips are embroiled in an apparent case of industrial espionage after South Korean prosecutors indicted 18 people over alleged technology theft. — AP


10

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Saturday, February 6, 2010

‘Thought reading’ brings hope for vegetative state patients BRUSSELS: Doctors have managed to read the thoughts of a car crash victim diagnosed to be in a vegetative condition, using brain scanning techniques that could mark a breakthrough for thousands of patients. A 22-year-old man who had been considered to be in a vegetative state since an automobile accident five years ago managed to answer “yes” and “no” to a team of doctors using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to scan his brain. Patients in a vegetative state are

awake, not in a coma, but have no awareness due to severe brain damage. The research team from Britain and Belgium, whose findings were first published in the online version of the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, believe the technique could help doctors avoid making false diagnoses. By helping doctors accurately ascertain whether a patient is mentally responsive, the technique “will change patient care, improve our diagnostics and avoid useless treatment,” Belgian neuropsychologist Audrey

Vanhaudenhuyse said. The car crash victim had not responded to any external stimuli, leading others to conclude he was in a vegetative state. When the British-Belgian team examined him, they found small signs of consciousness. “But we couldn’t communicate with him,” Vanhaudenhuyse said. The team had already examined a number of healthy people using fMRI, viewing which parts of their brains reacted when asked to respond to simple “yes” or “no” questions by imagining playing tennis or walking around a

room. They then placed the patient into an MRI. “We asked him the same things, to imagine he was playing tennis to respond to questions. And he succeeded,” said Vanhaudenhuyse. “That confirms he is not in a vegetative state.” The researchers’ success has not revolutionized the life of the young man, although he has now returned home and receives better adapted care, including therapy that might help improve his capacity to communicate. But they are aware of the implications of better diagnostic techniques-both to

stop administering useless treatment and giving false hopes to family members. “We should now sit down around the table with the medical community, all the disciplines together, and legal experts, and settle the ethical implications of this research,” said Professor Steven Laureys, who led the study in Belgium. Vanhaudenhuyse noted that “we are not there to give definitive answers on when a patient should be euthanized or not... Our work allows avoiding errors, and taking well-founded decisions.” She was also con-

cerned the technique would give false hopes to families. “What we don’t want to say is that all patients diagnosed as being in vegetative states can communicate,” she said. Of 54 patients with problems of consciousness they tested, only five displayed brain activity when asked questions, and only the 22-year-old car crash victim was able to “communicate.” But “we’ve known for a long time that with unconscious patients that the absence of proof is not proof of absence,” said Vanhaudenhuyse. — AFP

UN defends climate panel after Himalayan blunder Errors don’t mean global warming is a hoax-UNEP OSLO: The United Nations defended yesterday its panel of climate scientists from criticisms that an error about the thaw of Himalayan glaciers undermined its wider findings that global warming is man-made. The panel “remains without doubt the best and most solid foundation” for assessing climate change, said Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Program

(UNEP) which sponsors the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Steiner said criticisms of the IPCC and its chairman Rajendra Pachauri had reached “almost witch-hunting proportions in some quarters” as some dismissed “climate change as a hoax on a par with the Y2K computer bug”. “The time has really come for a reality check,” Steiner wrote in an opinion article after the IPCC last month regretted exaggerating the pace of thaw of Himalayan glaciers in a report that wrongly said they could all melt by 2035. Steiner said it was right to expose errors and re-check sources and also right that the panel had acknowledged a need for tougher controls. The IPCC was set up in 1988 by UNEP and the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization. “But let us also put aside a myth that the science of climate change is holed below the water line and is sinking fast on a sea of falsehoods,” he wrote in the article, distributed by international non-profit group Project Syndicate. Steiner said a “typographical error” was at the root of the glacier error. One original source had spoken of the world’s glaciers melting by 2350, not 2035. “The IPCC is as fallible as the human beings KATHMANDU: The Himalayan range of mountains is seen at sunrise from Nagarkot, about 5 kilome- that comprise it,” he wrote. ters northeast of Katmandu. (Inset) Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) NOBEL PRIZE But the error-and exposure and UN-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman R K Pachauri (left) hugs Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the inauguration of the Delhi Sustainable of poor checks and reliance on “grey literature” outside peerDevelopment Summit in New Delhi yesterday. — AP reviewed journals-has damaged the IPCC, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President and climate campaigner Al Gore. The IPCC concluded in 2007 that it is more than 90 percent certain that mankind is the main cause of global warming by burning fossil fuels. climate change could cause more droughts, floods, disease, SYDNEY: Australian and the pregnant women,” where you recruit women to some limited impact on cognispecies extinctions and rising researcher Helen a pregnancy study,” she tive speed in late pregnancy, researchers said yesterday lead sea levels. IPCC findings are Christensen said the results said. they had debunked the myth Christensen said. far from merely academic-fol“When they’re doing the showed that carrying a baby The women were given that a women’s ability to lowing up to shift towards think was impaired by preg- memory and cognitive speed cognitive test they don’t had “pretty much no permacleaner energy such as wind or nancy and mothering a new- tests three times over eight know that it’s out to prove nent effects” on a woman’s solar power would cost the born-a condition commonly years as part of the “Path that they’ve lost their mar- mental function. “I think that world trillions of dollars. or otherwise.” people have the tendency to referred to as “baby brain”. Through Life” study, which bles Pachauri has said he will not An Australian National is tracking the mental health According to the study, blame the fact that they’re quit. A UN summit in University team conducting of a random sample of 7,500 which was published in the pregnant on normal lapses of Copenhagen in December Journal of memory which happen all the a 20-year population study Australians over 20 years. British agreed a plan to limit warming on health and ageing ana- Christensen said the find- Psychiatry, pregnant women time to us anyway,” she said. to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 lyzed the mental function of ings were unique because were frequently warned Christensen said the findings F) with the prospect of $100 a group of women before and the women were not told about the possibility of showed “‘placenta brain’ is billion a year to help developduring pregnancy and in the they were being tested for a short-term memory prob- not inevitable, and that pering nations. It fell far short of early stages of motherhood. pregnancy study when they lems, a condition guide- ceptions of impairment may many nations’ hopes for a bind“We didn’t find any differ- signed up and it was the first books described as “baby reflect emotional or other ing treaty. Steiner said the ence between the women time researchers could brain” or “placenta brain”. unknown factors.” “Our IPCC had been guided by “caubefore and after pregnancy, make a comparison with “These views are supported results challenge the view tion rather than sensation” or before and after mother- pre-conception scores. “You by scientific research evi- that mothers are anything over the years. He noted that and systematic other than the intellectual hood, and there were no dif- don’t have necessarily the dence the panel had been criticized peers of their contempoferences between the non- biases that you might have if reviews,” it said. since 2007 for being too conWhile the study had found raries,” she said. — AFP mothers and the mothers, you are just doing a study servative in projecting the likely rate of sea level rise this century. —Reuters

Australia researchers put paid to ‘baby brain’ myth

This undated handout image provided by the National Geographic Society shows an Anchiornis huxleyi, in flying colors. — AP

Diminutive dinosaur sported multicolored plumage: Study WASHINGTON: A group of paleontologists has used a new scientific method to reconstitute the vibrant colors that adorned the plumage of a tiny dinosaur over 150 million years ago, a study said on Thursday. The researchers analyzed colorimparting structures called melanosomes in the fossil of a tiny feathered dinosaur and discovered the creature sported a gray body, a reddish-brown Mohawk crest and facial speckles, and white feathers with black-spangled tips on its wings and legs. “This was no crow or sparrow, but a creature with a very notable plumage,” said Richard Prum, a professor of ornithology, ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University and a co-author of the study, which appeared in the February 4 online edition of Science. “This would be a very striking animal if it was alive today,” he added. The team of paleontologists analyzed the fossil of an Anchiornis huxleyi dinosaur,

which lived in China in the late Jurassic period and, at just 12 centimeters tall, is the smallest dinosaur known to researchers. The study examined 29 feather samples from the dinosaur and measured and located within them the granular-like structures called melanosomes that contain melanin-a light-absorbing pigment in animals, including birds. The team then compared the melanosomes in the dinosaur to those that impart certain colors in living birds, using existing data, which allowed them to discern with 90 percent certainty the colors of the petite creature. The study found that the color pattern on the diminutive dinosaur’s legs strongly resemble those found on the modern day Spangled Hamburg chicken, and believe the pattern served to help with communication and attracting mates, Prum said. The work done by the scientists from Yale, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Akron, Peking University and the

Beijing Museum of Natural History, added weight to the theory that dinosaurs first evolved feathers for purposes other than flight. “This means a color-patterning function-for example camouflage or display-must have had a key role in the early evolution of feathers in dinosaurs, and was just as important as evolving flight or improved aerodynamic function,” said Julia Clarke, an associate paleontology professor at University of Texas at Austin. In January, a study published in Britain’s Nature journal used a similar technique to identify the bristles of a small carnivorous dinosaur, the Sinosauropteryx, that also lived in Liaoning Province some 125 million years ago. To date, only two Anchiornis huxley fossils have been uncovered in China’s Liaoning Province. Both were found last year. During the 1990s, paleontologists working in the region uncovered numerous fossils of carnivorous bipeds believed to be the ancestors of modern birds. — AFP

Only in US: Legal duel over heart attack burger joints ‘Heart Attack Grill’ sues ‘Heart Stoppers Grill’ WASHINGTON: The owner of the “Heart Attack Grill” in Arizona is suing “Heart Stoppers Grill” in Florida, accusing the outlet of plagiarizing his death by burger brainchild, lawyers said Thursday. Jon Basso, the owner of the original Arizona joint, is fiercely defending the intellectual property rights of his medicallythemed restaurant, which boasts death-defying meal options such as the quadruple bypass burger. Last week, Basso filed a plagiarism lawsuit against “Heart Stoppers Grill” for allegedly copying “at least 30” elements from his restaurant’s decor or high-calorie menu. Examples in the suit provided to AFP by Robert Kain, the lawyer for the plaintive, were X-rays of human organs hung on the walls and a deal offering free meals to clients weighing in above 160 kilograms (350 pounds). At the “Heart Attack

Grill”, patrons known as “patients” take “prescriptions” from “nurses” and a tag is put on their wrist showing what food they have ordered so they can be examined by a “doctor” with a stethoscope. Kain said the Florida-based newcomer is no more than the “poor cousin” of the “Heart Attack Grill,” which was founded in the Arizona town of Chandler in 2005. The “Heart Stoppers Grill” denies it has ripped off Basso’s ideas. “It is not even related, it is a totally different concept,” said its lawyer Eric Lee. “The owner was a rescue worker, he has a medical background, and so what he tried to do is a medicallythemed restaurant. “As far as I know their menu is quiet limited, they serve burgers, fries and alcohol and that’s it. Whereas we, as a family restaurant, serve a whole bunch of things, like chicken wings.” — AFP

in the brefs WHO: Don’t perform female circumcision GENEVA: The World Health Organization says doctors, nurses and midwives in African countries should stop performing female genital mutilation. WHO specialist Elise Johansen says health workers are still assisting in cutting young girls’ genitals to limit their sexual activity as women. She said yesterday they are responsible for nearly 75 percent of the cases in Egypt, about 42 percent in Sudan and 34 percent in Kenya. The process, also called female circumcision, is common in parts of Africa and involves the surgical removal of the clitoris or other genital parts. It can eliminate pleasure for women during sex and cause lasting pain and complications in childbirth.

JAKARTA: A woman cradles a baby as she sings on the street to earn her livelihood at the CocaCola Prapatan in Jakarta. Indonesia is home to 5.4 million children in need - some are orphans, others victims of domestic violence - with about 300,000 registered with the government as street children. — AFP

London drug users warned of anthrax-tainted heroin LONDON: British authorities yesterday warned drug users that heroin in London was highly likely to be contaminated with anthrax, after a first confirmed case here and following nine deaths in Scotland. “While public health investigations are ongoing, it must be assumed that all heroin in London carries the risk of anthrax con-

tamination,” said doctor Brian McCloskey, who is director of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in London. “Heroin users are advised to cease taking heroin by any route, if at all possible, and to seek help from their local drug treatment services.” McCloskey added that the risk to the general population was “negligible.” Anthrax has been found in 19 heroin users in Scotland since December and nine of these people died, six of them in the Glasgow area, officials said. The first case in London was confirmed yesterday, and the user was in hospital receiving treatment. “Similarities to the cases in Scotland suggest that the heroin, or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin, is the likely source of infection,” a spokesman for the HPA said. Last month, the French health ministry issued a warning about contaminated heroin, noting the Scottish cases and one other case in Germany, and saying the drug could also be circulating in other European countries. Insects hitchhike rides on fast winds to migrate WASHINGTON: Migrating insects seek out the fastest winds to help them cover

vast distances much quicker than birds, reaching warm winter climes in just a few days, a British study revealed Thursday. Scientists have long been fascinated by how insects can fly far distances south to avoid the British winter and then travel back again in the spring. “Migratory butterflies and moths have evolved an amazing capacity to use favorable tailwinds,” said Jason Chapman, from the Rothamsted Research Institute, one of the main authors of the study published in Science. “By flying at the heights where the wind currents are fastest, migratory moths can travel between their summer and winter grounds in just a few nights.” Using two sets of specially-designed radar equipment, the researchers observed migrating butterflies and moths flying several hundreds of meters above the ground. The study found that migrant insects have “a compass sense that enables them to select winds which will take them in their chosen direction, and to travel at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour.” They travel thousands of kilometers (miles) south to reach the shores of the Mediterranean where they spend the winter, before flying back again using favored tailwinds.


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

to marry fiance this summer he ‘American Beauty’ actress - who got engaged to music promoter Simone Sestito in July 2008 -are now finalizing details for their Italian ceremony, though no specific wedding date has yet been given. A source said: “They can’t wait to get married and Mena is so excited because she’s just had her dress fitting with Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet. The wedding will be a stunning affair.”

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Last year, Mena revealed she was desperate to find a wedding dress which will cover her tattoos as she wants to respect her fiancÈ’s religious family. She said: “I think it would be considerate to Simone’s family to have my tattoos covered, since there are two Catholic nuns on his mother’s side of the family.” The 30-year-old star also said finding love with Simone gave her hope after ending her six-year mar-

riage to cinematographer Robert Brinkmann in 2006. She explained: “I think you just know when you have found ‘The One’. It’s a feeling. Relationships are challenging, but I love him and he’s very good to me. I think you know when you know. “After a divorce, I think it’s most important for people to get in touch with themselves and really get to know who they are and what they want and establish goals.”

Leo DiCaprio too busy for kids eonardo DiCaprio is too busy with his career to have children. The ‘Revolutionary Road’ actor - whose on/off relationship with model Bar Refaeli ended last year - insists he hasn’t yet fulfilled his potential as an actor but admits his priorities may change eventually. The 35-year-old star said: “I’m not that old, my biological clock isn’t ticking yet. I’d like to leave it to fate if and when I’m going to be a father. A part of me has too many professional plans to even seriously consider it. When I see the children in my family though, the idea of having children doesn’t seem too far-fetched.” While Leonardo’s main focus is his career, he admitted he experiences feelings of loneliness when he is away work-

he ‘Russian Roulette’ singer who was spotted recently on a number of dates with Los Angeles Dodger baseball player Matt Kemp, 25 - has dismissed claims she’s in a relationship but is hoping to find true love by the time she’s 30. The 21-year-old pop beauty who attended the Grammy Awards alone said: “I’m not dating anyone - I’m single. I’m hoping to find love before I’m 30, which is almost a decade away. Even when I was in a relationship, I always have gone alone.” Although she didn’t officially attend the prestigious ceremony with Matt, Rihanna was later spotted sneaking the baseball player into an after-party via a back entrance. It was rumored she had flown Matt to Abu Dhabi for her New Year’s Eve performance at the Emirates Palace, and the pair were also seen holidaying together in Mexico. It was after attending a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009 that Rihanna was left battered and bruised by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown when he assaulted her in his car.

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Eva Longoria-Parker doesn’t diet

he ‘Desperate Housewives’ star watches what she eats but does not stop herself from chomping on her favorite gut-busting Mexican dishes. She said: “I am a big eater, but I do watch what I eat. I love to cook and just love Mexican food. It’s my weakness and any red meat, I just love it. “So I’d say Mexican food is my secret indulgence. I also love New York pizza and I just love Indian cuisine - the spicier the better.”

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he ‘Edge of Darkness’ actor whose movies have grossed more than $2 billion in the US alone has become so used to picking up Golden Globes and Oscars he has no room left to display them so he has started storing them in a cupboard. Mel - who can count an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Director for ‘Braveheart’, in which he also starred - said: “Oh, sometimes I polish them and introduce them to each other. And then I switch off the light, light some candles, serve canapes and if I’m lucky they reproduce. “They’re a little bit like coat hangers. They always seem to reproduce in my wardrobe. Mysterious, isn’t it?” The 54-year-old Hollywood star returns to the big screen in new movie ‘The Edge of Darkness’ after an eightyear hiatus, but is glad he took the break because he “felt exhausted”. Mel - who has a three-month-old daughter, Lucia, with partner Oksana Grigorieva - said: “It’s a good thing I took a break. Sometimes there’s nothing better for an artist. I felt empty and exhausted. Life makes you suffer but also happy. And if I’m happy or relaxed for five minutes a day - that’s quite a lot already. I try to live in the moment. I’m not afraid of the future and don’t let remorse get me down.”

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The 34-year-old actress, who is married to her basketball player Tony Parker, owns Mexican eatery Beso in Hollywood and has another restaurant in Las Vegas. Eva also revealed she doesn’t do a lot of exercise to retain her sexy trim physique. She added: “It’s mostly weight training or kick boxing. I have this amazing high for adrenaline. It agrees with me. Your body is a vehicle and you have to take care of that vehicle.”

Mel Gibson stashes awards in his wardrobe

he reality TV star - who resides in Los Angeles - is currently on holiday in Florida and is having such a good time, she is considering buying a home there. She tweeted: “I officially need to buy a spot in Miami! Its sooo beautiful here! (sic)” Although Kim is enjoying her holiday, she experienced a nightmare journey getting there from Los Angeles. Tweeting while on the aircraft, she posted: “Our plane had mechanical problems so we still haven’t taken off. Just switched planes, this is annoying. “I fell asleep on the plane before we took off then woke up to everyone getting off, I thought we were in Miami but nope still LA.” Staff eventually sorted out the planes so Kim and the rest of the passengers could safely take off, but the 29-year-old beauty was bemused by airline staff’s procedures in looking for potential aircraft problems. She wrote on her twitter page: “I just don’t get why they don’t check the plane while they are cleaning it before everyone boards. Why wait until everyone is on? “But I’m definitely glad we are all safe taking the extra safety measures! Thank goodness.”

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Kim Kardashian wants to m ove to Miami

Rihanna gives herself 10 years to find love

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ing on movie sets. He explained: “In this business nothing is as dangerous and as feared as loneliness. You shoot films in the most remote areas of the world; you’re separated from your family and your friends. And at some point you’re in your hotel room looking at yourself in the mirror and you realize how lonely you are and how far you are from leading a normal life. That is quite a punch in the gut.” In order to combat his unhappiness, the ‘Shutter Island’ actor does his best to keep all his attention on movies. When asked how he copes with loneliness, he told Germany’s OK! magazine: “Apart from my phone bill soaring? I generally concentrate on work and push any feelings of yearning away.”

— BangShowbiz


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

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Christie’s ready to auction Crichton’s art collection W

orks from the art collection of bestselling US author Michael Crichton will be sold by Christie’s in New York in May, the auctioneer said yesterday. The collection includes “key” works by Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein, and one painting by each artist will go on display at Christie’s in London from Feb 6-12. Although the auctioneer did not give an estimate of the value of the collection to be sold, the four exhibited works alone are expected to fetch around 20 million pounds ($32 million). One of the highlights is “Flag” by Johns, dated 1960-66, which Christie’s described as a “painstakingly beautiful rendition of the American flag” which has never been

on the public market. It added that flag paintings by Johns could be described as the first icons of pop art, ending the dominance of abstract expressionism practiced by the likes of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Crichton acquired the work over 30 years ago directly from the artist’s collection and it was last seen in public 18 years ago as part of a major pop art survey organized originally by the Royal Academy of Arts in London. The auctioneer will be hoping that the combination of a Johns work, the fact that his flag paintings so rarely come to market and the association with the author of “Jurassic Park” and creator of the “ER” television series will fuel the bidding at a time when auction records are tumbling again.

The auction record for a Johns is $17.4 million set in May 2007 for his 1959 work “Figure 4,” but another piece, “False Start,” changed hands for a reported $80 million in a private sale, making it the most expensive known painting by a living artist. “He loved art and treasured his relationships with artists,” said a spokesperson for the Crichton family estate. “It is a very difficult decision to sell works that have had such a personal place in his world. We are confident that the auctions and exhibitions at Christie’s will commemorate Michael’s eye and deep passion for art.” Crichton died unexpectedly of cancer aged 66 in November, 2008. He was a medical doctor turned novelist and filmmaker whose books sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. — Reuters

New pics of Marilyn Monroe up for sale

File photo shows Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr backstage before the start of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. — AFP

hotographs of Marilyn Monroe appearing relaxed and lounging around a New York apartment nine months before she died were unveiled yesterday after being held in a private archive for more than 45 years. Photographer Len Steckler shot the black-and-white images of Monroe when she unexpectedly arrived at his apartment in December, 1961, to visit his friend, Pulitzer-prize winning poet Carl Sandburg. Steckler is offering them for a sale as a limited edition series called “Marilyn Monroe: The Visit.” The pictures to be sold-four single images and two triptychs, or pictures in three parts-show Monroe wearing pointed, thick-rimmed sunglasses and a short sleeve dress while talking and laughing with Sandburg. Also offered will be 250 prints of each piece. “It was serendipitous with these two icons in their moment and me there with my camera,” Steckler told Reuters, saying he was “like a fly on the wall” while he shot Monroe, then 35, and Sandburg, 83, while they chatted and held hands. Steckler, a former commercial fashion and beauty photographer who is now “about 80” and lives in Los Angeles, said on the afternoon Monroe visited, Sandburg had mentioned in a casual manner that they would soon have “a visitor.” “Hours later I went to open the door and there I was face to face with Marilyn Monroe, and she looked more ravishing than on the screen,” he said. “She said ‘I am sorry I am late. I was at the hairdressers, matching my hair to Carl’s.’” Monroe’s hair does indeed appear

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Australian model joins drive to save embarrassed banker A

top Australian model has backed a growing campaign to save the job of a banker caught viewing risque shots of her on live TV, in footage that has caused an Internet sensation. Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr said she would happily sign a petition urging Macquarie Bank not to fire David Kiely, who is under internal investigation after the incident this week. Kiely was shown clicking on semi-naked pictures of Kerr, apparently unaware that a colleague behind him was being interviewed for Australia’s Seven Network about interest rates. Video of the gaffe generated hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and inspired several Facebook pages supporting the banker, as well as a popular “Save Dave” campaign by London-based business website hereisthecity.com. “I am told there is a petition to save his job

An auction house worker poses for photographers in front of a 1961 painting by Pablo Picasso, in central London, yesterday. — AP

and of course I would sign it,” Kerr told reporters in Sydney on Thursday. Macquarie, which marched Kiely out of its trading room on Tuesday afternoon, is understood to be considering his position within the bank, The Australian newspaper said. Support for Kiely has been growing on the Internet, with the membership of the “Macquarie-Don’t Fire David Kiely” Facebook group swelling to 755 people by Friday afternoon. The site says Kiely provided the human face of banking when he “did what any other person in his shoes would have done-took some time out from his busy day to look at some harmless photos someone emailed him”. “What a legend. I love this guy,” wrote one member. Another wrote: “Even my Mum reckons you shouldn’t lose your job and she’s really harsh about lotsa stuff!!” — AFP

like Sandburg’s in the pictures, almost white, said Steckler, and he added that after he took the photos, they all drank Jack Daniels whiskey. “As we know, Marilyn loved older men, she loved the intellectuals-and Carl was very parental with her,” said Steckler. “It was a lovely thing to see.” The actress died in August, 1962, and Sandburg, who won

Pulitzer prizes for his poetry and for a biography of Abraham Lincoln, died seven years later. Steckler said he decided to sell the photos after his son discovered the negatives in a recent appraisal of his work, and Steckler thought “the current generation” needed to see them. “I had forgotten about them,” he said. “And I

thought this would be a good thing to show and for them to talk about.” The pieces range in price from $1,999 to $3,999 and have never been published for public use. They are on sale at www.thevisitseries.com and by phone with collectibles dealer Eagle National Mint, who is offering a certificate of authenticity for each print. — Reuters

File photo shows Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr backstage before the start of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. — AFP

Models display creations by Emirati designer Mona Al-Mansouri during a four day fashion show for Lebanese and Arab designers, in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday Feb 4, 2010. — AP


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Ambassadors of various nations, top dignitaries, embassy officials, members of the diplomatic corps, government leaders, media, and special invitees were a part of the grand Sri Lankan National Day celebrations held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on February 4 evening. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Sri Lankans celebrate National Day with reception n the occasion of celebrating the 62nd National Day of Sri Lanka, an official ceremony was held at the chancery premises on February 4 in the morning and over 500 Sri Lankan nationals participated. As part of the celebrations, the embassy hosted a reception in the evening for the Kuwaiti government leaders, officials, civil society, members of the diplomatic corps, media and members of the Sri Lankan community in Kuwait. A reception was held at the Raddison Blu Hotel on the same evening at which over 300 members of the diplomatic corps, government leaders, senior officials, media, NGOs, and civil society participated apart from a cross-section of the Sri Lankan community. The chief guest of the occasion was Dr Mohammed Mohsen Al-Busairi, Minister of Communication and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs. The diplomatic reception commenced with the playing of the Kuwait and Sri Lankan national anthems and it was followed by cake-cutting. The ambassador delivered a short speech in which he highlighted the significance of the 62nd National Day for Sri Lankans all over the world, as it marks an important milestone for Sri Lankans who cherished freedom and democracy over subjugation and terrorism. He was also appreciative of the role played by the international community in supporting Sri Lanka to deal with terrorism on the one hand, while extending economic assistance for development on the other. Kuwait’s continued socio-economic assistance to Sri Lanka was acknowledged with deep gratitude. The evening ended on a positive note and the embassy staff gave away Sri Lankan souvenirs including tourism brochures to the guests at the end.

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Pneumonia and drugs killed Brittany Murphy ctress Brittany Murphy died from pneumonia, and probably would have survived if she had gone to a doctor in time, a coroner’s official said Thursday. The Dec 20 death was accidental, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. While it likely could have been prevented if the “Clueless” star had seen a doctor, he said, she did have an appointment scheduled with a physician a few days after she died. Prescription drugs and anemia also played a role in the death, the coroner’s office said. Winter declined to specify what types of drugs were involved and said further details would be released in several weeks when the report was completed. He also said there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Murphy died at age 32 after collapsing in her Hollywood Hills home. Her husband, Simon Monjack, and her mother, Sharon Murphy, have said the actress didn’t abuse prescription medications or have an eating disorder. The two told investigators the actress had been experiencing flulike symptoms in the days before she died. Attempts to reach them for further comment were not immediately successful. Monjack told The Associated Press last month that his wife did take several prescriptions, including an anti-seizure drug, but did not abuse the medications. He said she had been taking over-the-counter Robitussin for her recent sickness. Dr Michael Baden, a former chief medical examiner in New York City, said the quantities and type of drugs Murphy was taking were key to understanding how she died. “One doesn’t die of pneumonia, usually, that quickly,” Baden said. He said the use of some prescription medications can lead to pneumonia. “It sounds more like it’s a drugrelated than a natural pulmonary pneumonia,” said Baden, who did not work on the Murphy case but has served as an expert witness in numerous high-profile deaths. — AP

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Men At Work blame it on ‘greed’ in plagiarism case

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en At Work singer Colin Hay yesterday hit out at a court case which found his iconic “Down Under” anthem plagiarized a well-known Girl Guides ditty, describing it as “opportunistic greed”. Hay said the case, which left the band and record companies Sony BMG and EMI facing a hefty compensation and royalties pay-out, was “all about money, make no mistake”. “I believe what has won today is opportunistic greed, and what has suffered is creative musical endeavor,” Hay wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. The Federal Court on Thursday found a catchy flute riff in “Down Under” bore an unmistakable resemblance to “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” which was penned for a Girl Guides jamboree in 1935. Music company Larrikin, which instigated the proceedings, bought the rights to “Kookaburra” in 1990.

Hay denied borrowing from “Kookaburra” when he wrote “Down Under” in 1978, but said band member Greg Ham “unconsciously referenced” the folk tune when he joined Men At Work a year later. “It was and continues to be played countless times all over the world, and it is no surprise that in more than 20 years, no one noticed the reference to ‘Kookaburra’,” Hay wrote. “There are reasons for this. It was inadvertent, naive, unconscious, and by the time Men At Work recorded the song, it had become unrecognizable.” Larrikin’s lawyer Adam Simpson said the company would be pushing for the labels, Hay and fellow songwriter Ron Strykert to hand over between 40 and 60 percent of their earnings from the song. A costs hearing begins on February 25. — AFP

Members of “Men at Work” pose with their Grammy for best new artist at the awards show in Los Angeles in this 1983 file photo. — AP

Hindi drama ‘Rann’ takes on media manipulation thematically ambitious drama about television news and its manipulation by corporate and political interests, and by the ever-more-desperate race for ratings, “Rann” (“Battle”) has none of the Bollywood musical trappings that stateside audiences have come to expect as the default. More in the tradition, if not the execution, of Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole,” the film waves an ominous flag indicating that whatever the deceptions, outrages and compromises that afflict American news media, it’s that way that world over, including on the billion-plus subcontinent. Directed by the respected Ram Gopal Varma, whose 2005 hit “Sarkar” was India’s “The Godfather,” and starring the venerable Amitabh Bachchan, “Rann” aims at a more discerning crowd than do the wonderful romantic fluff that makes up the bulk of Bollywood imports. It will likely do respectable business in the ethnic/art-house circuit. The issues are certainly trenchant to American moviegoers. Bachchan’s principled broadcaster, 24-hour news-network founder Vijay Harshwardhan Malik, is beset on all sides by pressures to sensationalize his channel’s content. His disgruntled son and heir apparent, Jai (the single-name Sudeep) says it’s not compromising to make news delivery more “entertaining,” and with advertisers jumping ship to a flashy rival startup, Malik gives in. Were this the first of many small compromises leading to a sea change at his station, the film might have been better at examining how standards get lowered in stages, almost imperceptibly. Instead, Varma and screenwriter Rohit G Banawlikar on his first produced film, cram in plots about a prime ministerial candidate (Paresh Rawal) involved in

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Academy picks ‘Locker,’ ‘Blind Side’ producers he Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided which producers from “The Hurt Locker” and “The Blind Side” can walk up to the stage if either film wins the best picture Oscar on March 7. When nominees were announced Tuesday, the Academy hadn’t decided which producers for the two films would qualify. Under Academy rules, there are normally no more than three producers per film, though the producers branch executive committee can designate additional producers in a “rare and extraordinary circumstance.” That has happened in the case of “Locker,” where the officially sanctioned nominees are now listed as director Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. Chartier, the Voltage Pictures partner who put up financing for the film, had been the name in question, though the Producers Guild of America, which also polices producing credits, included him when all four producers won the group’s top film prize, the Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the Year Award, last month. For “Blind,” the Academy stuck with three producers: Gil Netter, Andrew A Kosove and Broderick Johnson. “Blind” represented a somewhat different situation, though, since there were only three credited producers on the film- Alcon Prods.’ Johnson and Kosove as well as Netter-and now all three have been acknowledged. — Reuters

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both character assassination and real assassination; Hindi prejudice against Muslims, in the form of family pressure on Jai to drop his Muslim girlfriend (Neetu Chandra); and corporate espionage, with Malik’s CEO (Suchitra Krishnamurthy), for reasons unexplained, betraying what is essentially the Walter Cronkite of India. Tied into a couple of these threads is an idealistic reporter (Ritesh Deshmukh) who, when he ventures too close to uncovering the awful truth, pretty much just does his job and

files his story. Thrills and suspense are not this movie’s strong points. But a sense of disappointment for the Fourth Estate is very much so, and every crease in Bachchan’s face conveys a longing for how things should be, and a resigned acknowledgment of how things are. Few actors could give his climactic, on-air speech without it coming across as naive or sanctimonious, but the ever-exceptional Bachchan delivers it with a gravitas that makes you pay attention. The score could

have been a bit less melodramatic-it punctuates emotional moments with clarion BABUMs that a soap opera would be too embarrassed to use-but the fast-moving film carries a heartfelt genuineness in its requiem for broadcast journalism. It may simply be sloppy plotting that leaves some of its ideas dangling and unresolved, but it could just as well be a recognition that victories may be temporary, prejudices can go on indefinitely, and in the big picture, we might simply just be getting the media we deserve. — Reuters


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Embassy information EMBASSY OF GREECE The Embassy of Greece has the pleasure to announce that with a view to promote business interaction and commercial relations between Greece and Kuwait and to present further support for the Kuwaiti importers, it requests all Kuwaiti Companies dealing with or representing Greek Companies in Kuwait to contact this Embassy as soon as possible and to provide by fax or e-mail the following information: (Name of the company, tel no, fax no, e-mail, type of business, name of the Greek companies/clients). The Embassy’s contacts are as follows: e-mail: gremb.kuw@mfa.gr; fax: 24817103, and tel no: 24817100, 24817101, 24817102. 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 UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait informs about the second voting of the Presidential elections in Ukraine, which is scheduled to be held on February 7, 2010. The voting will take place on the territory of the Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait (address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str.6, house 5) from 08:00 am till 20:00 pm. In this connection, please refer to the Embassy to check your personal data in the electoral register or call: 25318507 ext.106

ICSK holds mega carnival he Indian Community School, the oldest premier Indian School in Kuwait, hosted the seventh Mega Carnival 2010 on 29th January. The success of the daylong event could be judged by the mammoth community crowd that thronged the venue, Senior School Salmiya. Chief Guest, Suaad Nauri Al-Musharee, Department Manager at the Directors office, Ministry of Private Education, Government of Kuwait was given a ceremonial reception by the School Band, the guests walking through a corridor formed by little children wearing lovely costumes adorned with colorful but unique hats. The inauguration ceremony was also graced by Ashok Kalra, Hon Chairman of the School Board of Trustees, Archie Menezes Hon Vice Chairman, Rajan Daniel Hon Secretary, other members of the Board and Principals of ICSK School branches. Prizes were distributed to the winners of various competitions organized by the Parent Advisory Council. Also, felicitated were the outgoing leaders of the School

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Band. The Carnival souvenir with attractive advertisements sponsored by the elite corporate sectors in Kuwait is to be released soon. The chill in the air was not to dampen the enthusiasm of the visitors, as they thronged the stalls and treated themselves to a day of fun, joy, mirth and festivity. As at every fete the games stalls held magnetic attraction for all. There was plenty for the ladies, from mehndi designs to jewelry, clothes and bags. Those curious to know what the future held for them gathered at the palmist corner. How could anyone remain away from the aroma whiffing through the numerous food stalls displaying Indian and Continental cuisine? However, the ‘star’ attraction was the Central platform, the venue for a host of activities, Magic show drawing loud applause each time the magician came up with his skillful tricks, the exciting spot prizes for unique combinations, the foot tapping music from the latest chart busters, some in the form of dedications

The Sultan Center observes World Cancer Day

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hen seriously ill children are battling for life and clinging to hope, they need more than just medicine. The Sultan Center took the initiative to draw a smile on their faces. As part of its “We Care” program, a thoughtful team of its employees visited the children of Hussain Makki Jumaa Hospital for Cancer on Thursday, February 4. The Sultan Center team spent quality time with the kids and offered them gifts to support and encourage them to stay strong. This visit is one of many visits that The Sultan Center conducted to orphanages, elderly homes and hospitals, hoping to ease the pain of the orphans, elderly and patients. The children as well as their parents, doctors and supervisors at the hospital deeply appreciated the visit, which is the best blessing to TSC team. The Sultan Center most humbly wishes everybody good health.

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

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20

were for all to enjoy .Several rounds of Bingo added a special thrill to the proceedings. A community gathering with a truly community service in the form of a demonstration by the Fire Department personnel led by Col Hani Al-Khashan displayed their latest firefighting equipment and precautionary advisory against fire was deeply appreciated by all present. The ‘Grand Finale’ of the event was the Mega Raffle Draw with attractive prizes that were artistically displayed on the platform. The fun filled day offered a variety of activities that people of all ages enjoyed beyond their own expectations. The aim of the annual event to create the School Welfare Fund was accomplished with success, for which, the school management expressed its gratitude to all the sponsors, parents, teachers, school staff, students and last but not the least the ‘well wishers’. The crowd left the venue reluctantly wishing that more such events would come by often.

FOKE organizes get-together riends of Kannur (FOKE) Farwaniya unit is conducting a family get-together on Friday February 12th, 2010 at Echo restaurant, Farwaniya. Get-together program will begin at 11:00 am and will conclude by 4:00 pm. Lots of fun activities for children and adults alike are arranged as part of the get-together. All FOKE members residing in Farwaniya, Hawalli, Salmiya, Riggai area are invited to join for this program. All people from Kannur district living in these areas are requested to contact: 99793558, 66508953 for registration and further information.

Greetings

Tulukoota holds blood donation campaign ulukoota Kuwait is organizing its firstever 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.

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Jacob Mathew wins award acob Mathew Channapetta, a Kuwait Malayalee resident, was among the winners of the Garshom Special Award 2009 announced last week. These awards have been instituted by Garshom Infomedia Limited to honor those Malayalees who have contributed their might to uplift Malayalees in their place of residence and have achieved success in life through their ingenuity and hard work. A jury with the support of Ivan Nigli, former Karnataka MLA, selected the awardees from among those nominated by the readers of Garshom magazine. The awards will be presented by Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Law and Justice, during a function to be held at NIMHANS convention Centre, Hosur Road, Bangalore on February 20, 2010.

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Happy b’day Vibheesh Thikkodi From a well-wisher

Announcements Today Animal Friends Yard Sale: Huge Yard Sale — antiques, collectibles, book worms treasure trove, gently used infant clothing and toys, gently used adult clothes and shoes, Indonesian teak furniture, home wares, gourmet kitchen gadgets, dishes, pots and pans and so much more. Come on over and rummage through the goods and you might find a treasure. All funds will go to support Animal Friends. When: Saturday 6 February, 2010, 10:00am to 3 pm Where: Call 6700 1622 or e-mail info@animalfriendskuwait.org for address. MARCH 26 CRYcket 2010: the 13th annual crycket tournament is scheduled to be held on Friday, 26th March 2010 at the KOC Hockey Grounds, Ahmadi. This tournament is organized by FOCC (Friends of Cry Club). Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) is associated with CRY (Child Rights and You), India and its main objectives are to create awareness of the underprivileged Indian children, help restore their basic rights, strive to provide support in personal development of the Indian children in Kuwait and bring out the qualities of social commitment in them. FOCC has been organizing CRY awareness programmes for children through its two annual events - CRYcket (Cricket match for children below 14 years organized annually since 1997) and CRY chess tournament (for children

of all ages organized annually since 2005) - and ‘Brain Bang’ programme which is an ongoing bi-weekly Accelerated Learning activity. CRYcket will be played by 24 teams of children and about 500 spectators are expected for this special one-day event. The deadline to receive the registration forms is 18th March 2010, however registration may be close earlier if the available slots of 12 teams in each category are filled. A colourful souvenir will be released to mark the 13th year of FOCC’s activities in Kuwait. For details how to become a sponsor and/or to advertise in the Souvenir or to volunteer as a FOCC member, pls visit www.focckwt.org or email focckwt@yahoo.com April 16 Friends of Kannur holds drama competition: Friends of Kannur Expatriates Association (FOKE) is arranging a drama competition for their forthcoming fifth anniversary celebration. Competition will be held on April 16th at Daiya Auditorium. Applications are invited from all art lovers in Kuwait to participate in this drama competition. Drama should be in Malayalam language and should be less than 40 minutes duration. All those who wish to participate in this competition are requested to submit their application along with a copy of their script before February 15th 2010. For further details you may contact 65071434, 99860832.

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.

PAWS 2010 dogs show AWS are happy to announce their first event of 2010 will be the 5th Annual Paws for the Cause Dog Show in the beautiful British Embassy Gardens on 5th March 2010. Registration is now open for entry into the Dog Show. The gate will open at 11am and the show will close at 4pm. This year will be bigger and better than ever with 9 categories in all including the new category best Rescue dog. Whether your dog is the most obedient, can do the best trick or just simply looks adorable or is getting on a bit then there will be a category for you. There is even the most mysterious heritage category for those with a questionable pedigree! It’s a lot of fun and very light-hearted so why not see if your Mutt has a little bit of star quality. Alternatively you may just want to come and show off your pampered pooch and watch the show. The choice is yours. As well as the Dog Competitions there will be a Military Dog Display and stalls offering refreshments including a BBQ and tea and cakes so you can enjoy a tasty lunch in the gardens. Other stalls include pet products, a bookstall, Bric a Brac, bouncy castle, face painting and many

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more. Dog Classes are already filling so hurry and get your application in. And remember You do not need a dog to come along and enjoy a fun-filled family day. This promises to be a great day out for the whole family so if you wish to attend then visit our website at www.paws-kuwait.org to download the application form Completed registration forms can then be left at The Cutting Edge Salon, Salmiya 25718001 or Soho Salon Fintas, 23902077. Please ensure your form, with correct admission fee, is placed in a sealed envelope at either salon. Registration closes March 2nd. There will unfortunately be no admittance to you or your pets to the British Embassy on the day without pre-registration. No ‘walkins’ by un-registered guests can be permitted. PAWS-Protecting Animal Welfare Society, Kuwait is affiliated to KEPS, Kuwait Environmental Protection Society, WSPA, World Society for the Protection of Animals, The RSPCA International and MENAW, Middle East Network for Animal Welfare Email at pawsq8@yahoo.com, Tel: 99440089


SPECTRUM

16 CROSSWORD 892

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a great day, when you feel everything is A-OK! Your enthusiasm is high and your imagination is working overtime, ready to apply to any current project. Your confidence is strong and you look at the bright side of everything and everybody. Working with others this morning, you are at your mental best with sharp ideas and clear thoughts. You could not be mad even if someone should mistreat you, although it is very unlikely that anyone would. If you have to deal with the public today, you will have them eating right out of your hand. The practical use of your time will most certainly pay off--bringing good times to all. Friends and colleagues are most positive this evening. A new book is captivating this evening. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may face criticism from co-workers or your boss, particularly about a project or idea of yours. You are respectful and should expect good results from your efforts to put this idea or project together in the future. Before you present your ideas again, gather a support group that will stand by you when you make the presentation for a second time. Don't try to argue a point at this time. You have an inner strength in problem-solving abilities. You may see some new changes on the horizon, but they can be very good at this time. When change happens, be thankful there is positive energy creating the change. Some schedule could be in for a renovation now. Your sense of inner direction is good. At home this evening--enjoy your loved ones.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 4. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 8. The compass point that is one point south of due east. 11. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 12. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 13. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 14. A decree that prohibits something. 15. A mountainous landlocked communist state in southeastern Asia. 16. Type genus of the family Myacidae. 17. The superior of a group of nuns. 20. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 21. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 22. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 24. A doctor's degree in education. 28. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 33. (Greek mythology) One of the three Graces. 36. (Babylonian) Goddess of healing and consort of Ninurta. 41. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 44. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 45. A member of a Mayan people of southwestern Guatemala. 46. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 47. A notable achievement. 48. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 49. An informal term for a father. 50. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. A small cake leavened with yeast. 2. Divulge information or secrets. 3. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 4. A master's degree in library science. 5. By bad luck. 6. Gone by. 7. The network in the reticular formation that serves an alerting or arousal function. 8. Any of various trees of the genus Ulmus. 9. Common Indian weaverbird. 10. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 18. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 19. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 23. A flexible container with a single opening. 25. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 26. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 27. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosionresistant. 29. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 30. A state in New England. 31. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 32. A landlocked republic in eastern Africa. 34. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 35. Wild or domesticated South American cud-chewing animal related to camels but smaller and lacking a hump. 37. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 38. A Gaelic-speaking Celt in Ireland or Scotland or the Isle of Man. 39. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 40. A quantity of no importance. 42. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 43. The cry made by sheep.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This may not be an easy time, for events and circumstances may conspire to block your sense of freedom. Someone challenges your ideas. It may not be easy to find suitable solutions to problems just now. On the positive side, this period may forecast the successful culmination of an ambitious project. You can really get your thoughts and ideas across to others. Care should be taken when undertaking anything new just now. Volunteering your services to a friend can be most rewarding this afternoon. Also, love is in full bloom. This evening, close personal ties to other people are a focal point for your feelings--marriage and other partnerships could be a key arena for this. There is no crime in asking for time to think about an answer.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Today you may feel like a character in a murder mystery or spy novel, except that you are not sure whether you are the hero or the bad guy. To stop this . . . get out some paper and a writing tool and start creating the novel you never thought you would write . . . perhaps an outline. During the day, you can look forward to taking notes and finding the right characters for your story. This may never develop into a story, or it might turn into the best story ever--the point is you learn to see situations from a distance and find ways to make a negative into a positive. You will find a problem and learn how to adjust with this exercise. Try to keep your feet planted as firmly in truth and open negotiations as you can. You may attract a new friend tonight. Leo (July 23-August 22) Business dealings may be particularly fruitful now if you give one hundred percent. This is a good day for thinking and ideas. You may feel like talking a bit more than usual, exploring new ideas or getting happily lost in a conversation. There will be an urge to communicate. In addition, perhaps a short trip or a special phone call is in order. Good luck surrounds you now. There are many possibilities for making extra money, meeting new people and for promoting a healing among friends. Relations with members of the opposite sex are strengthened just now. Learning more about others gives you an opportunity to learn and grow. You may want to take on some new ideas for yourself after hearing about another person's viewpoint or insights.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are apt to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to improve finances, principally through physical or manual activity. You have plenty of passion to tackle any project that you want to work on today. A complicated project may have you stumped but with patience and fortitude, you will work out the cobwebs. Mental stimulation from others is like magic to you. Today promises much good in emotional relationships, particularly if you nurture them. Be careful not to overspend your budget as you shop for clothes this afternoon. This evening, you and a friend will probably enjoy a variety of conversations . . . you each enjoy talking about your passions. Perhaps you could encourage each other to expand your knowledge through travel.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your sensitivity is heightened when you listen to someone else's problems today. You could be most persuasive with others and expressive in your words. Your self-assertiveness is positive. Working on some unfinished project could prove beneficial. This is a period of optimism and emotional stability, making it a good time to evaluate and modify existing relationships; or perhaps to start a new one. Professional advancement is possible and your frame of mind can be focused toward writing an excellent request for a promotion. You may find yourself settling an argument or bringing about some understanding into an otherwise confused situation. The situation is a natural for self-expression.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a super day for leading groups or making presentations. Mind, body and finances play a big part of your activities today. You may take the opportunity to visit your bank in order to review and update your financial situation. Home improvements can be made now and would be beneficial to the whole family. Professional matters go well and you look forward to relaxing in a quiet place this afternoon. Facing facts, creating a healthier body and finding the right secure financial investments are all important issues now. You should enjoy the company of your significant other this evening. You both can be quite nurturing without being pushy. A steady, dependable relationship is one of the most important parts of your life. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are at your best concerning practical and work-related affairs. Events may line up in your favor and push you over the top to new heights and new opportunities. Your personality and mode of living is flexible and for now, that is good. It could seem that the daily grind or even a current hobby is rather boring. You are itchy for something new and different and your mind is open to almost anything. Consider joining a spa-you will increasingly build your strength and lift your spirits. A new love interest could suddenly appear today. It could be quite exciting, though not particularly stable. You are not afraid to invest your emotions. A lover or child who is bright and articulate will play a bigger role in your life now. Laughter and fun times are ahead.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a great time to be with others and to work together. Gathering and exchanging information becomes a more important part of your life just now. Networking with others that have your same interests is a fun opportunity. You grab as many ideas as you can to get a focus, move forward and put your name out in the world for others to hear. Just how closely do you relate to your own emotions? Today could be a test. If you really are in tune, you will deal with others in logical ways as well as with deep empathy. Your path of self-development and expression becomes more and more unusual--setting you apart from the crowd and from all that is traditional. Ideas and technologies that change the way people live-- are a major new focus.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) A collision of

Yesterday’s Solution

powerful and unpredictable energy spills into your life today. The decisions and actions of today will have long lasting effects. Fears and self-doubts about your abilities may creep into the picture--unfortunately, nobody around you is offering any encouragement. Take this as a self-challenge. Your management and directional abilities will automatically take over as they are in high focus and will see you through this period. This is a good time to write and communicate with real originality. Inventions and breakthroughs are possible. Lovers, children, and other people or things dear to your heart are emphasized in your life now. You show a great deal of interest in all family matters, particularly concerning the general living environment.

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

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321 0021610 002127

Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn New Delhi Mumbai Madras Hyderabad

001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228 009111 009122 009144 009140

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) There is plenty of creative inspiration to grab onto today. You will be required to apply your inventive and creative mind to the rush of tasks. The end result of your work may be used in competition with other companies so make your presentation catchy. If you give your best effort now, considerable success will follow. You are encouraged to succeed any project you attempt. Others value you for your ability to be creative when it is the most difficult situation. You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time. This makes a job in advertising, writing, legal, medical or any job that deals with a dependence on the public to purchase your ideas. Companionship with others is most rewarding now. Romance is exciting.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

17 possible). Contact: 66507741. (C 20284)

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat near Indian Community school & Caesars Travel Co, Salmiya Amman street for family or working ladies. Contact: 97122268. (C 20288) Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite couple in a central A/C 2 bedroom flat with Keralite family in Teenage building Abbassiya from March 1st onwards. Contact: 66037905, 66091212. (C 20287) Sharing accommodation available with a Keralite family in a 2 bedroom C-AC flat near Integrated Indian school Abbassiya. We prefer Keralite couples only. Contact: 99255235. (C 20290) 6-2-2010 Spacious room with attached bath available for an executive bachelor/ spinster in Hawally close to Tunis street. Centrally located. Contact: 97563283/ 66705749. (C 20276) 3-2-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Jeep Prado, model 2008, white color, V6 cylinder engine, alloy rim, CD, fog lamp, wooden interior, excellent condition, cash price KD 7,650 (installment

Toyota Camry XLI, 4 cylinders, model 2006, white color, done 47,000 km, excellent condition, price KD 3,150. Contact: 97213518. (C 20281) 2007 Pajero, black, sunroof, full options, done 29,000 km, excellent condition, KD 5,500. Contact: 97454416. (C 20285) Mazda Zoom 3, 2008 model, silver color, 58,000 kms, single owner, dealer maintained, excellent condition, KD 2,850. Call: 97915262. (C 20280) Big office wooden drawer, office leather visitors chair, HP printer, aluminium ladders, leather bag, leather table mat etc. Contact: 66977639. (C 20282) Internet card - Fast Telco for sale, original price KD 55, required price KD 10. Contact: 66451465. (C 20270) 4-2-2010 2005 model Mitsubishi Pajero, color white, interior color beige, 300cc, 100,008 km, very good condition. Price KD 2,850. Tel: 99526902. (C 20278) 3-2-2010 KIA Opris 2005 model, sunroof, censor alloy ring CD player inside beige, outside color blue, full option, 74,000 mileage. KD 2,800. Tel: 66013800. (C 20272 2-1-2010

Pentium 4, Intel, 40GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, sound card, speakers, 17� CRT monitor, ready for internet, KD 35. PIII, Intel, 20 GB HDD, 128 MB RAM with 15� monitor, KD 15. Contact: 66244192. (C 20269) Internet card - Fast Telco for sale, original price KD 55, required price KD 10. Contact: 66451465. (C 20270) 1-2-2010

SITUATION WANTED Indian female (MBA in HR), 10 years experience in HR/Administration, specializing in recruitments, PMS, MIS reports & Admin functions. Well versed in computer applications. Contact: 66634322. (C 20283) 6-2-2010 An experienced Engineering Manager with a vast experience in the Middle East in the fields of Fire Protection, Safety, Project management, sales and maintenance seeks suitable placement. Contact email: apslgbl@gmail.com (C 20266)

lish) seeking for job, having 2 years experience, prepared CMA part 1, proficient in Quickbooks, peach tree, hold ICDL. Contact: 65864734. Email: ahmed1osama@hotmail.com (C 20268) 1-2-2010

MATRIMONIAL Invited for Keralite RC boy, 30/170/BA/DME, working KRH Kuwait from professionally qualified girls. Email: abilashdk@gmail.com / abilashkaranath@yahoo.com (C 20238) 4-2-2010 Groom wanted for RC girl, 23, 5.4, from Ernakulam, MBA (HR & MKT), working as Assistant HR Manager in a reputed MNC, seeking alliance from Roman Catholic family, professionally qualified persons. Chavara matrimonial ID: er15509. Contact: mail2bnj@gmail.com (C 20263) 1-2-2010

Salwa. Tel: 97611015. (C 20286)

CHANGE OF NAME I, Manija Elizabeth Mathaikutty, holder of Indian Passport A-8183425, hereby change my name to Manija Elizabeth Vinod. (C 20277) I, Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab Shahida wife of Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab, born on 2nd September 1966, holding Indian Passport Number F8462504, shall henceforth be known as Shahida Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab Shahida. (C 20271) 1-2-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Part-time maid required for an Indian family in Farwaniya, near fire station. Time from 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Please call 66267690. (C 20279)

TRANSPORT Transport available 24 hours for hospitals, schools. We have bus coasters model 2004. For any more details please contact: 99589409. (C 20275) 2-2-2010

LOST Policy No. 630001571 Habib Ur Rehman Awan, Policy No. 630001523 Amanat Ali, Policy No. 633002284 Amar, have been lost. Anyone finding within one month report to State Life Kuwait. Phone: 22452208. (C 20273) 2-2-2010

No: 14632

Full-time English speaking maid with own residency. Friday holiday. For English working adults with pets in

An MBA post graduate in finance with an experience of three years in Kuwait with a transferable visa, seeking suitable placement in the field of financial accounts. Please contact: 23982669. (C 20267) 3-2-2010 Egyptian accountant (Eng-

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Saturday 06/02/2010 Airlines

Flt

Route

Time

Jazeera Tunis Air Wataniya Airways Royal Jordanian Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Kuwait Jazeera Turkish A/L D.H.L. Jazeera Emirates Etihad Qatari Ethiopian Air France Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera British Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Kuwait Arabia Qatari Etihad Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Iran Air Middle East Yemenia Pakistan Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Jazeera Emirates Gulf Air Etihad Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Sri Lankan United A/L Jazeera

0263 327 2011 802 2103 211 544 0513 1172 370 0241 853 0305 0138 622 6770 0503 0527 416 0529 0481 0157 206 352 0161 302 676 362 855 286 0121 0132 0301 1121 213 0447 0165 0425 1021 0113 619 404 825 239 610 0171 672 2301 0525 0251 2001 552 744 0457 0134 284 546 800 0173 857 215 0303 510 0239 0125 0367 2101 0497 227 982 0427

Beirut Tunis/Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Amman Beirut Bahrain Cairo Sharm El Sheikh Istanbul Bahrain Amman Dubai Abu Dhabi Doha Addis Ababa/Bahrain Paris Luxor Alexandria Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Assiut Sabiha London Islamarad Cochin Dubai Mumbai Dubai Colombo Dubai Chittagong Sharjah Doha Abu Dhabi Bahrain Bahrain Doha Dubai Bahrain Dubai Abu Dhabi Lar Beirut Sanaa Sialkot Cairo Dubai Dubai Damascus Alexandria Beirut Cairo Damascus Dammam Damascus Doha Dhaka Alexandria Amman Dubai Dubai Bahrain Abu Dhabi Riyadh Amman Sharjah Deirezzor Beirut Riyadh Colombo/Dubai Washington DC Dulles Bahrain

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

Wataniya Airways D.H.L. Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Indian Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Oman Air Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Gulf Air Kuwait Middle East Qatari Emirates Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air Shaheen Air Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan

2003 473 1025 542 618 674 166 0177 614 774 575 102 562 572 1201 0647 506 0459 217 786 402 0136 859 502 0449 0429 081 0117 0185 612 606 441 636 2201 1029 1129 215

Cairo Baghdad Dubai Cairo Doha Dubai Paris/Rome Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Chennai/Goa New York/London Amman Mumbai Jeddah Muscat Jeddah Damascus Bahrain Jeddah Beirut Doha Dubai Beirut Doha Bahrain Baghdad Abu Dhabi Dubai Cairo Luxor Lahore/Karachi Frankfurt Amman Dubai Bahrain Karachi

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

Departure flights on Saturday 06/02/2010 Airlines

Flt

Route

Time

Egypt Air Jazeera India Express United A/L Tunis Air Indian Pakistan Bangladesh Lufthansa Safi A/W Kuwait D.H.L. Turkish A/L Emirates Etihad Ethiopian Qatari Air France Jazeera Wataniya Airways Royal Jordanian Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera British Jazeera

607 0528 390 981 328 982 206 044 637 216 283 371 1173 854 0306 622 0139 6770 0164 1020 803 0524 2000 0112 0446 212 1120 0422 2300 545 0256 0156 0170

Luxor Assiut Mangalore/Kozhikode Washington DC Dulles Tunis Ahmadabad/Hyderabad/Chennai Lahore Dhaka Frankfurt Kabul Dhaka Bahrain Istanbul Dubai Abu Dhabi Addis Ababa Doha Dubai/Hong Kong Dubai Dubai Amman Alexandria Cairo Abu Dhabi Doha Bahrain Bahrain Bahrain Damascus Alexandria Beirut London Dubai

00:01 00:05 00:30 00:40 01:00 01:05 01:10 01:15 01:20 02:30 02:55 03:15 03:15 03:50 04:10 04:15 05:00 06:20 07:00 07:00 07:05 07:20 07:30 07:35 07:40 01:45 07:50 07:55 08:10 08:30 08:35 08:55 09:00

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Arabia Emirates Kuwait Qatari Etihad Kuwait Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Middle East Yemenia Pakistan Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Air Arabia Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Global Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Gulf Air D.H.L. Kuwait Middle East Jazeera Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Emirates Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait

671 551 0456 0122 856 117 0133 0302 173 2002 214 743 541 0172 2100 0366 0238 103 618 405 825 240 611 1024 673 561 0496 0176 1200 0426 0458 617 785 501 773 613 801 0135 216 0304 858 0126 0262 511 0184 0116 2200 082 0448 0428 2102 228 1028 362 343 1128 571 0648 331 507 218 171 675 403 0188 203 0137 301 860 0636 0526 613 0302 411

Dubai Damascus Damascus Sharjah Dubai New York Doha Abu Dhabi Frankfurt/Geneva Cairo Bahrain Dammam Cairo Dubai Beirut Deirezzor Amman London Lar Beirut Doha/Sanaa Sialkot Cairo Dubai Dubai Amman Riyadh Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Damascus Doha Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Riyadh Dubai Abu Dhabi Amman Baghdad Doha Bahrain Beirut Dubai/Colombo Dubai Colombo Chennai Bahrain Mumuai Muscat Trivandrum Jeddah Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Beirut Dubai Lahore Doha Mumbai Dubai Aleppo Alexandria Cairo Luxor Bangkok/Manila

09:00 09:10 09:25 09:35 09:40 10:00 10:00 10:20 10:20 11:30 11:40 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:20 12:25 12:30 12:50 12:55 13:35 13:40 13:55 14:25 14:30 14:35 14:40 15:05 15:10 15:25 15:30 15:35 15:45 16:10 16:10 16:20 16:25 16:30 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 19:30 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:10 21:20 21:25 21:55 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 23:10 23:20 23:25 23:45 23:50 23:55


TV PROGRAMS

18

Saturday, February 6, 2010

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

AMERICA PLUS Ashes to Ashes Life on Mars Knight Rider Dawsons Creek Life on Mars Inside the Actors Studio Tess of the D’Urbervilles Ashes to Ashes Without a Trace Inside the Actors Studio Knight Rider Dawsons Creek Tess of the D’Urbervilles Inside the Actors Studio Knight Rider Life on Mars Without a Trace Inside the Actors Studio Doctor Who Heroes Hotel Babylon Saving Grace Inside the Actors Studio Rescue Me

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

ANIMAL PLANET Animal Cops Phoenix Air Jaws 2 Untamed & Uncut Night Night Animal Cops Miami Animal Cops Phoenix Lemur Street Monkey Business Aussie Animal Rescue Dolphin Days Lemur Street Pet Rescue The Planet’s Funniest Animals The Planet’s Funniest Animals Animal Precinct Aussie Animal Rescue Miami Animal Police Animal Cops South Africa Vet on the Loose Pet Rescue The Planet’s Funniest Animals K9 Cops K9 Cops K9 Cops K9 Cops K9 Cops Xtremely Wild Xtremely Wild Up Close and Dangerous Up Close and Dangerous Crime Scene Wild Untamed & Uncut Untamed & Uncut Animal Cops Miami

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

BBC ENTERTAINMENT Holby Blue Coast Ancient Rome Hustle Holby Blue Coast Bargain Hunt Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Teletubbies Yoho Ahoy Tommy Zoom Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Teletubbies Yoho Ahoy Tommy Zoom Balamory Cash In The Attic Cash In The Attic Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Bargain Hunt Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Cash In The Attic The Weakest Link Holby City Holby City Canterbury Tales Little Britain Little Britain Green Green Grass Massive

01:30 03:15 05:30 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:15 15:00 17:00 20:00 22:00 23:30

CINEMA CITY The Appeared - 18 A Few Good Men - PG 15 Return To Rajapur - PG 15 Stolen Summer - PG Class Action - PG 15 Limbo - PG 15 O Casamento De Romeu E Julieta - PG An American Rhapsody - PG Meet Joe Black - PG 15 Land Of Plenty - PG 15 Kiss Of Life - PG 15 Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:55

DISCOVERY CHANNEL Untamed & Uncut Miami Ink Street Customs Berlin American Chopper

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

Chop Shop Mythbusters How Stuff Works Ultimate Survival Smash Lab Brainiac Mythbusters How Stuff Works Street Customs Biker Build-Off Wheeler Dealers Wheeler Dealers American Chopper Street Customs Building the Future Man Made Marvels China LA Hard Hats How Stuff Works Eyewitness Eyewitness Storm Chasers Ultimate Survival Extreme Fishing with Robson Green River Monsters: Killer Catfish Swamp Loggers

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

DISCOVERY SCIENCE Weird Connections Mega World Super Comet: After the Impact Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Weird Connections Beyond Tomorrow Ten Ways How Stuff’s Made Green Wheels One Step Beyond Super Comet: After the Impact Junkyard Mega-Wars Robotica The Future of... Mean Green Machines Green Wheels How Does That Work? Weird Connections Weird Connections Mighty Ships Download: The True Story of the Internet How It’s Made How It’s Made Robocar Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science The Future of... Mythbusters Mythbusters

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

DISNEY XD X MEN Fantastic Four Incredible Hulk New SpiderMan Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension American Dragon Phineas & Ferb K9 ADVENTURES K9 ADVENTURES Aaron Stone The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Suite Life On Deck Iron Man: Armoured Adventures American Dragon American Dragon World Of Quest NEXT X U.S SHORTS Zeke & Luther American Dragon Phineas & Ferb K9 ADVENTURES K9 ADVENTURES Zeke & Luther Aaron Stone Jump In Aaron Stone Kid vs Kat NEXT X U.S SHORTS Phineas & Ferb The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Kid vs Kat Iron Man: Armoured Adventures American Dragon Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension Power Rangers Jungle Fury X MEN

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

E! ENTERTAINMENT Streets Of Hollywood E!es Extreme Hollywood Sexiest 25 Celebrity Near Death Experiences Dr 90210 15 Most Infamous Child Star Mugshots Extreme Hollywood E! News The Daily 10 THS Fashion Police E! News The Daily 10 Behind The Scenes Behind The Scenes Perfect Catch Keeping Up With The Kardashians 50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up Behind The Scenes Behind The Scenes E! News The Daily 10 E!es Kendra E!es

Reservation Road on Super Movies

20:30 21:20 21:45 22:10 22:35 23:00 23:50

THS Leave It To Lamas Leave It To Lamas E! News The Daily 10 Fashion Police Wildest TV Show Moments

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

FOOD NETWORK Chopped Throwdown With Bobby Flay Throwdown With Bobby Flay Chopped Chopped Chopped Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping 30 Minute Meals 30 Minute Meals Giada At Home Giada At Home Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger Rescue Chef with Danny Boome Rescue Chef with Danny Boome Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Nigella Express Nigella Express 30 Minute Meals 30 Minute Meals Rescue Chef with Danny Boome Rescue Chef with Danny Boome Chopped Chopped Chopped Nigella Express Nigella Express Chefography Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Chopped Chopped

FOX SPORTS 00:00 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships Pairs Free from Spokane, WA 02:30 World Sport 2010 03:00 ICC Cricket World 03:30 Inside the PGA Tour 04:00 Golf Central International 04:30 The Golf Channel 07:00 Gucci Masters Paris, France 10:00 Heineken Open Semifinal #2 Auckland, New Zealand 12:00 European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic Rd. 3 16:00 World Sport 2010 16:30 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships Men’s Free Skate from Spokane, WA 19:00 Heineken Open Final Auckland, New Zealand 21:00 NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Boston Bruins 01:05 03:05 04:40 06:35 08:15 10:10 11:50 13:35 15:10 16:35 18:15 19:55 22:00 23:30

MGM Cuba Playing Mona Lisa Jason’s Lyric Laws Of Gravity Death Rides a Horse Bikini Beach Cooley High Crusoe The King And Four Queens From Noon Till Three The Hillside Strangler The Russians Are Coming Howling Ii: Your Sister Is A Werewolf Access Code

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

NAT GEO WILD HD Living With Big Cats Kalahari Kalahari Orca Killing School Dive To Tiger Central Superfish Monster Fish Of The Congo Killer Dragons Dogtown Hunter Hunted Orca Killing School Hammerhead Highway Sharkville Deadly Summer Prehistoric Predators Bizarre Dinos Secrets Of The King Cobra Lion Army Prehistoric Predators Bizarre Dinos Secrets Of The King Cobra Lion Army Sharkville Deadly Summer

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

OSN COMEDY How I met you mother Two and a half men The Daily Show with Jon Stewart The Colbert Report The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien Cougar Town Entourage Late Night with Jimmy Fallon How I met you mother The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Home Improvement Note from the underbelly Coach The Daily Show with Jon Stewart The Colbert Report George Lopez Everybody Loves Raymond Frasier Seinfeld After You’ve Gone Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Two and a half men Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Home Improvement Note from the underbelly Coach The Daily Show with Jon Stewart The Colbert Report George Lopez Everybody Loves Raymond Frasier After You’ve Gone Seinfeld How I met you mother Gary Unmarried The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien The Daily Show with Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Bored to Death Entourage Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

00:30 01:15 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 15:30 17:30 18:00 20:00 20:25 22:30

OSN MOVIES HD House - PG C.s.i. - PG 15 Transporter 3 - 18 Beverly Hills Chihuahua - PG Mamma Mia - PG 15 Madagascar 2 - PG Son Of Rambow - PG Drillbit Taylor - PG 15 Madagascar 2 - PG Live Premier League - U How I Met Your Mother - PG Doubt - PG 15 How I Met Your Mother - PG Live Premier League - U Orange County - PG 15

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 04:00 04:30

OSN VARIETY What’s Good For You 10 Years Younger Look A Like The Ellen Degeneres Show The Monique Show Chef’s Table Fresh

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

The Best of Jay Leno GMA LIVE GMA Health What’s the Buzz What’s Good For You Jimmy Kimmel The View The Ellen Degeneres Show Chef’s Table Fresh The Martha Stewart Show Parenting Job Club GMA Weekend Live GMA Health What’s the Buzz Downsize Me The View The Ellen Degeneres Show Jimmy Kimmel Jay Leno The Monique Show

00:30 02:30 04:15 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 17:30 20:00 22:00

SHOW MOVIES Blindness - 18 He Was A Quiet Man - PG 15 Dragonlance - PG Bedtime Stories - FAM Daddy Day Camp - FAM For One More Day - PG 15 Speed Racer - PG Call Of The North - PG Daddy Day Camp - FAM Brideshead Revisited - U Semi-pro - PG 15 The International - 18

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

SHOW MOVIES ACTION Hell Ride - R Road Of No Return - PG 15 Solstice - 18 Double Team - PG 15 Kung Fu Hustle - PG 15 Battle Of Wits - PG 15 Circus - PG 15 Kung Fu Hustle - PG 15 The Cook - 18 On The Doll - 18 House Call - PG 15 Creature Of Darkness - PG 15 SHOW MOVIES COMEDY I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry - PG

00:00 15 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

The Informant - PG -15 Ping Pong Playa - PG 15 Touch And Go - PG Griffin And Phoenix - PG 15 Class Act - PG Twins - PG Pretty In Pink - PG 15 I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry - PG Premier League 2009/10 - FAM Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo - R College - 18

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

SHOW MOVIES KIDS Barbie And The Magic Of Pegasus - FAM Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus - FAM Tommy And The Cool Mule - PG The Good Witch - FAM Barbie And The Three Musketeers - PG Tommy And The Cool Mule - PG Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo - FAM Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus - FAM Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! - FAM Zeus And Roxanne - PG White Tuft: The Little Beaver - FAM Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo - FAM

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

SHOW SERIES Burn Notice Burn Notice Turn Back Your Body Clock Turn Back Your Body Clock Sex and the City Sex and the City According to Jim According to Jim Ally Mcbeal According to Jim According to Jim Turn Back Your Body Clock Turn Back Your Body Clock Eureka According to Jim According to Jim Ally Mcbeal Hotel Babylon According to Jim According to Jim Every Body Loves Raymond My Name is Earl Burn Notice Burn Notice Eureka 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Law & Order Life Law & Order: Criminal Intent In Treatment In Treatment Sex and the City Sex and the City

02:30 03:30 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00 18:00 18:00 20:00 20:30 22:30 23:00

SHOW SPORTS 1 Barclays Premier League Preview Premier League Scottish Premier League Highlights Premier League Classics Premier League Classics Barclays Premier League Preview Dubai International Racing Carnival Barclays Premier League Preview Futbol Mundial Premier League Classics Scottish Premier League Highlights Premier League World Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Premier League Live Premier League Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Premier League Live Toshiba Super Saturday Premier League

01:00 01:30 05:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 14:30 15:00 15:45 17:45 18:00 20:00 20:30 22:30 23:00

SHOW SPORTS 2 Barclays Premier League Preview Show Twenty20 Cricket Barclays Premier League Preview Show European Tour Weekly World Hockey Gillette World Sport Barclays Premier League Preview Show Futbol Mundial Super League Barclays Premier League Preview Show Premier League World European Tour Weekly Scottish Premier League Highlights Barclays Premier League Preview Show Super League Futbol Mundial Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Premier League Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Premier League Live Toshiba Super Saturday Live Premier League Live Toshiba Super Saturday Premier League

02:30 03:00 05:00 05:30 06:30 07:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00

SHOW SPORTS 3 Barclays Premier League Preview Show Super League World Sport Weber Cup Bowling Premier League World Cricket World Sport Barclays Premier League Preview Show European Tour Weekly Live PGA European Tour Super League Live Premier League European Tour Weekly World Sport Live Super League PGA European Tour

Blindness on Show Movies 00:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:30 23:30

SHOW SPORTS 4 WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE ECW NCAA Basketball UFC 109 Countdown WWE Bottom Line WWE ECW WWE SmackDown WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line NFL Gameday UFC All Access WWE Bottom Line WWE ECW WWE SmackDown Live Premier League Live NCAA Basketball UFC 109 Countdown NFL Gameday

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

SUPER MOVIES Reservation Road - PG 15 Ten Inch Hero - PG 15 Mongol - PG Last Mimzy - PG Lovely Still - PG The Christmas Clause - PG High School Musical 3: Senior Year - PG Music And Lyrics - PG Lovely Still - PG Wall-e - FAM Georgia Rule - PG 15 Little Children - 18

00:45 02:50 05:00 06:50 07:20 08:00 09:55 11:45 13:40 14:10 16:00 17:25 20:50 21:15 23:00

TCM Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid The Bad and the Beautiful X Y & Zee The Screening Room The Screening Room The Big Sleep Boys’ Night Out The File Of The Golden Goose The Screening Room The Glass Bottom Boat The King And Four Queens The Alamo The Screening Room Hot Millions Where Eagles Dare

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

THE HISTORY CHANNEL Mega Disasters Dinosaur Secrets Prehistoric Mega Storms Monsterquest Conspiracy? UFO Files The Universe Mega Disasters Dinosaur Secrets Prehistoric Mega Storms Monsterquest Conspiracy? UFO Files The Universe

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

Mega Disasters Dinosaur Secrets Prehistoric Mega Storms Monsterquest Conspiracy? UFO Files The Universe Mega Disasters Dinosaur Secrets Prehistoric Mega Storms Monsterquest Titanic’s Achilles Heel Titanic’s Tragic Sister

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:30

THE STYLE NETWORK Clean House Peter Perfect Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane The Dish How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Area How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous Clean House What I Hate About Me Ruby How Do I Look? Clean House Clean House: Search For The Messiest... Tacky House Summer-Ize Your Home With Style Special Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Dallas Divas And Daughters Dallas Divas And Daughters

01:00 01:04 01:35 02:00 02:45 05:00 05:04 08:00 08:04 08:35 11:00 11:45 13:00 13:04 13:50 14:00 15:00 15:15 16:00 16:04 16:35 18:00 20:00 20:04 20:35 21:00 22:00

TRACE Code New Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Code Playlist Code RNB Playlist Club 10 Playlist Code Urban Hit Playlist Focus Guest Star Playlist Code French Only Playlist Urban Hit Code Africa Playlist Trace Video Mix Legend

Kung Fu Hustle on Super Movies


Saturday, February 6, 2010

NEWS

19

Delay in closing Afghan base led to 8 US deaths

KARACHI: Volunteers and officials gather outside an emergency ward of a local hospital after a bomb explosion in Karachi yesterday. Two bombs exploded in Pakistan’s largest city yesterday, one outside a hospital treating victims from the earlier attack on Shiite Muslim worshippers. — AP

Ten months on, Italian quake capital remains an ‘empty city’ L’AQUILA, Italy: Piles of rubble still lie in the streets of L’Aquila 10 months after an earthquake struck the central Italian city, as many of its thousands of displaced residents wonder if they will ever be able to return home. Scaffolding and steel supports shore up treasured architecture in the centre of the medieval walled city, which experts predict will remain a “red zone” for the next 10 years. “The rubble is considered rubbish, and has to be removed in a particular way,” said Eugenio Carlomagno, a cofounder of the Committee for an Old Town to Save, which has some 2,000 members. “There’s a bureaucratic blockage,” he said. Many of the some 40,000 people displaced by the April 6, 2009, earthquake are unable to return home because of the some four million tons of rubble still blocking the streets. Authorities have set a goal of removing one million tons this year. “My home just needs some work on the walls and the plumbing,” said Patrizia Colaci, an obstetrician who is among dozens of people lodging in three hotels at public expense on the outskirts of the city. While a staunch supporter of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Colaci said her patience was running out. “The work should have been done by now,” she said. “They’ve had plenty of time to do this work. (Staying in a hotel) is a great waste.” Thousands of others live in hotels on

the Adriatic coast or in new houses built in the area. But statistics provided by the civil protection agency leave out some 30,000 people who have simply left the area, Carlomagno said. On a tour of the “red zone”, civil protection official Enzo Ariu said renovation work would take at least a decade, and that part of the city centre may be lef t in r uins as a reminder of the ear thquake, which claimed more than 300 lives. “It’ll be like Pompeii, in a sense,” he said, adding that priority has been placed on rebuilding “politically sensitive sites, the symbols of L’Aquila.” Reflecting this priority, two cultural bodies dealing with art and architecture this week became the first public offices to open their doors-but in new quartersin the red zone. The culture ministry’s top archaeologist Giuseppe Proietti hailed the event as a “good signal” but said he feared work on rebuilding the city would continue more than 10 years. “It’s an empty city,” he said. The symbol of L’Aquila, the medieval Basilica di Collemaggioalready destroyed and rebuilt after an earthquake in 1703 — suffered heavy damage to its transept and apse in the quake, and lost some precious frescoes. Half of the Spanish For tress, an imposing hilltop Renaissance castle that contained Abruzzo’s national museum, was gutted in the ear thquake. Carlomagno noted that some 70 percent of the apartments in the centre of the

university town were second homes belonging to investors who live primarily in Rome, just an hour’s drive to the west. “L’Aquila will become a dormitory city with people living in new houses on the edges and the inner city will just be monuments and official buildings,” he predicted. Enrollment in the University of L’Aquila has dropped from 27,000 last year to under 20,000 this year, rector Ferdinando di Orio said last month. “The real huge problem for the students is where to live,” said Simonetta Ciranna, a professor of architecture at the university, adding that rents have skyrocketed. “It’s the law of supply and demand,” she said. “Ten years is too long to expect people to wait,” Carlomagno said. “There isn’t a real plan for the city, and keeping people in hotels is a waste of money.” He charged that media coverage of the aftermath of the earthquake has been skewed, recounting that two shops opened on the edge of the red zone in a protest over the slow rate of rebuilding. That evening a television station reported the event as a celebration of the rebirth of L’Aquila, Carlomagno said. The problem of the rubble still in the streets is a novelty in Italy even though the country, which sits atop two criss-crossing fault lines, is no stranger to earthquakes, he said. “No similar matter has come up because it is the first earthquake to hit a large city,” he said. — AFP

KABUL: A delay of months in closing a remote combat outpost with “no tactical or strategic value” led to the deaths of eight US soldiers last year in one of the worst battles of the Afghanistan war, a report found yesterday. The US military’s report into a Taleban assault on Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in Nuristan province last October found the dozens of soldiers defending it fought with “conspicuous gallantry, courage and bravery under heavy enemy fire”. But it said commanders had already concluded months before that there was no purpose to holding the outpost. The base had already been scheduled to close in July or August, but the withdrawal was delayed for months because vehicles needed to remove gear from it were being used elsewhere. The base was finally abandoned days after the battle, one of several outposts given up in the second half of last year under new commander General Stanley McChrystal’s counter-insurgency strategy of pulling out from remote areas to protect populated ones. An unclassified executive summary of the mainly secret report into the Oct. 9 battle said that by the time Combat Outpost Keating was attacked by 300 insurgents, it had long since become clear that there was no reason to hold it. Soldiers there could do little but protect themselves from constant attack. “The mission for COP Keating during the rotation of B Troop was unclear to the soldiers of B Troop, who understood counter-insurgency doctrine and the need to engage with the local population,” it said.

“But owing to limited manpower and tactical reach off the compound, the mission devolved into one of base defense, and by mid-2009 there was no tactical or strategic value to holding the ground occupied by COP Keating.” Because the base was slated to be closed anyway, commanders became complacent about measures to protect it, the report found. “There were inadequate measures taken by the chain of command, resulting in an attractive target for enemy fighters,” it said. Intelligence assets that could have been used to better defend the base were deployed elsewhere. During their five months holed up in the base, the troops came under attack 47 times, three times as often as their predecessors. Although such attacks were usually small, they were often preceded by reports that insurgents were massing in large formations, so when hundreds of fighters finally massed in an attempt to overrun them, soldiers discounted the information. Fighters told villagers to leave the area at 3:00 a.m. Three hours later, they launched their assault, first killing a soldier at a mortar position, which prevented the base’s defenders from using one of their main weapons. The report concluded that the US defenders had killed or wounded 150 fighters during a day of “heroic” fighting. Air strikes were called in and the troops avoided being overrun. Twenty-two soldiers were wounded. The International Security Assistance Force commanded by McChrystal said the general has since taken “appropriate action regarding army personnel involved”, but gave no further details. — Reuters

Twin blasts in Karachi kill 25 Continued from Page 1 and others saying the bombs were planted. It’s not clear whether the attack was meant to trigger sectarian violence or create the impression that the government was incapable of stabilizing nucleararmed Pakistan. Police said they defused a bomb in the premises of the Karachi hospital treating the victims of the blast. “The bomb was planted in a television set and we successfully defused it,” said senior police officer Ghulam Nabi Memon. Pakistani Taliban have carried out waves of bombings at crowded markets and army and police facilities, killing hundreds of people since October in a bid to topple the pro-American government of unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari. Carnage in the home of Pakistan’s stock exchange and main port could further discourage investors, who have watched the Taleban spread their violent campaign from strongholds in lawless areas near the Afghan border to major cities, including an attack on a mosque near the headquarters of the powerful military.

“A woman was calling me at the emergency ward, when the blast went off outside and then it was all darkness,” said Seemi Jamali, a senior emergency room doctor recalling the explosion. “There was an absolute chaos and people ran out of hospital from whichever door they could access.” The violence shook Karachi, a city of around 18 million, as questions are being asked about the fate of Pakistan Taleban leader Hakimullah Meshud, who was wounded after a US drone aircraft strike in the northwest of the country in December. His appearance in a farewell video with the double agent suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan in December suggested Zardari’s pro-American government now faces a more sophisticated enemy capable of striking outside the country. The attacks had all the trademarks of the Taleban. Raja Umer Khattab, a senior police officer, said initial investigations suggested an al-Qaeda-linked group was responsible. “I came here with my two brothers to see our ailing cousin. Now they are missing. I don’t know where they are,” Meena, a 10-year-old girl, told a television station

at the hospital. Karachi has been largely free of Islamist violence over the past couple of years, but a bomb at a minority Shi’ite Muslim procession in late December that killed 32 people fuelled concern that the militants were expanding their fight to the city. Karachi already has its share of problems. Dozens of political workers have been killed in tensions which raised questions about the future of Zardari’s coalition. “A motorcyclist exploded near a bus ahead of us. We took off and rescued wounded,” a witness to the first explosion said. “It’s cruel. They are not Muslims. They are not human. The government is responsible because it has failed to provide us security and control terrorists.” Dozens of enraged Shiites gathered at the scene of the blast. Some scuffled with police. Others wept and embraced. On Wednesday, the al Qaeda-backed Taliban claimed responsibility for a high-profile bomb attack that killed three US Special Operations soldiers near a girls’ school in northwest Pakistan, and threatened more attacks on Americans. — Reuters

Indonesia to relocate young Obama statue Continued from Page 1 “It’s good — a little too late,” he said. “But I appreciate it.” Nugroho said he doesn’t hate Obama or the United States, but believes statues in Indonesia should be reserved for those who have made significant contributions to the country. “Obama is a very good man, he’s a good dreamer,” Nugroho said. “But he

has no contribution for Indonesia.” Ron Mullers, a Jakarta resident who came up with the idea of the statue and raised money for it, said the new location is more personal for Obama, and closer to the children of Indonesia, for whom it was made. “If the government would like to move it, well, that’s their prerogative and we have no objection,” said Mullers, the chairman of the nonprofit Friends of

Obama Foundation. “I think less people will see it, but that’s OK.” Obama, whose mother married an Indonesian, went to elementary school in the capital from 1967 to 1971 and is regarded fondly by most Indonesians. The nation is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and many here believe Obama will improve relations between the West and the Middle East. — AP

Major powers mull Iran diplomacy: US Continued from Page 1 Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, had not signaled any formal shift in Tehran’s position. Beijing, which appeared to snub the others by sending a low-level

representative to a meeting in New York last month, had its “assistant secretary for arms control,” take part in the call, Crowley said, saying the United States thought this was an appropriate representation. Asked if the group had reached any

agreement on fresh sanctions against Iransomething China has resisted-the US spokesman said: “That wasn’t the intent of the call ... they had a detailed discussion of where we are in the process and shared ideas on both tracks.”— Reuters

John Terry stripped of England captaincy Continued from Page 1 following allegations he had an affair with a former teammate’s ex-partner. In a brief statement after a meeting with England manager Fabio Capello, Terry, who is married and has two children, said: “I fully respect Fabio Capello’s decision. “I will continue to give everything for England,” added the 29-year-old. The woman at the centre of the allegations, Vanessa Perroncel, the French ex-girlfriend of England defender Wayne Bridge and mother of his three-year-old son, vowed she would not give her version of events to the media. Perroncel, who appeared on Sky News television alongside publicist Max Clifford, shook her head and mouthed “oh my God” when she heard the news that

Terry had been dropped as captain. In a statement read by Clifford, Perroncel said: “In recent days I have been the centre of a great deal of press speculation and comment. “The details of my friendship with John and his family have been the subject of intense and wholly unfair and untrue media speculation. “As Max has already said, much of the material in the press is inaccurate. “I now find myself subject to other unsubstantiated and false claims which have appeared in the papers over the past few days. “This has only added to the pressure which my family and I have been under.” The statement said the media “have sought to pore over my private life and that of my family, which is very upsetting.

“I have decided I do not want to speak publicly about the speculation since it only seems to add more fuel to the fire,” it added. Perroncel, a lingerie model, said her son was her “main concern”. “I do not believe speaking to newspapers or the media is in his interest or my own. I do not wish to add anything more to what I have said,” she added in the statement. As the news of Capello’s decision on Terry was announced, Clifford said: “Vanessa would also like to add that she finds it very sad that John Terry has been dropped as England captain.” Terry and Bridge were teammates at English Premier League giants Chelsea before Bridge was sold to Manchester City a year ago. — Agencies

KARBALA: People gather at the site of a bombing in the holy city of Karbala yesterday. A twin car bombing targeted a crowd of Shiite pilgrims packing a highway as they walked to a holy city south of Baghdad for a major religious ceremony. — AP

Car bombs kill 40 in Iraq, tensions mount Continued from Page 1 Banned under Saddam Hussein, Arbain and other Shiite religious events have drawn millions of Shiites, not just from Iraq but also from nearby countries like Iran since the Sunni dictator was ousted in the 2003 US invasion. A bomb planted on a cart pulled by a motorbike killed at least 20 pilgrims on Wednesday as they streamed into Kerbala. More than 40 were killed outside the capital on Monday as they began the long walk to Kerbala. The attacks added to sectarian tensions that have been rising as a result of an election ban imposed on almost 500 candidates suspected of links to Saddam’s outlawed Baath party. Although the list contained

more Shiite than Sunni names, many Sunnis believed it was aimed at denying them a fair share of power in the election. Sunnis boycotted elections in 2005 and their anger at their loss of power helped fuel the insurgency. An appeals panel announced on Wednesday that the ban would be suspended, allowing the barred candidates to stand for election but subjecting them to review after the vote. Angered by the panel’s action, the Shiite-led government called a special session of parliament for Sunday and asked the high court to rule on the decision’s legality. Iraq’s Shiite majority and minority Kurds were often brutally oppressed by the Baath party under Saddam and many of its current Shiite leaders were forced to spend

years in exile. Pilgrims in Kerbala said they were fearful of the arduous journey home after the rite finishes on Friday, despite the deployment of tens of thousands of troops and police. “I have concerns and expect to be targeted on the return route,” said Balasim Khalaf, 51, a resident of Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad. “This is our destiny but it won’t stop us from conducting our rituals.” Some pilgrims said they had decided not to risk the trip home on Friday while others seemed paralyzed with fear. “The visit has become a hell for us. We don’t know what to do, whether to stay or return,” said Aqeel Al-Magsosi, 32, who was in Kerbala with his wife and two children. — Reuters


SPORTS

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

High-scoring Saints-Colts spectacle looms in Super Bowl MIAMI: Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, prolific passers and emotional leaders of quick-striking offenses, are set for starring roles when the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints meet in tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Brees completed a National Football League-best 70.6 percent of his tosses for 4,388 yards and 34 touchdowns to ignite a New Orleans attack that led the NFL in scoring and total yardage and put the Saints in their first Super Bowl. “He brings the level of competition up for everyone,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We wouldn’t be here without him.” Manning connected on 68.8 percent of his throws for 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns as the Colts won an NFL-high seven times when trailing in the fourth quarter and moved within one triumph of

a second NFL crown in four seasons. “I have all the confidence in the world. A lot of that comes from him,” said Colts center Jim Saturday. “Regardless of the score, we’re not out of it. We can score quickly if we have to. Nobody throws in the towel.” An emotional backdrop for the championship spectacle centers around New Orleans, still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but devoted to their beloved Saints, a laughing-stock for most of their 43 seasons. “All the time they tell us we inspire them. They inspire us,” Saints center Jonathan Goodwin said. “The city is fighting back and improving everyday.” Brees has given a city which withstood flooding, destruction and more than 1,000 deaths something to

rally around and a reason to cheer. “Our success has been tremendous in regards to giving so many people hope and lifting their spirits when there is still a lot of work to be done rebuilding,” Brees said. “This has been a storybook season. We don’t look at it as extra pressure. We see it as a sense of responsibility and we really gain strength from the people of New Orleans, just knowing their spirit is with us.” No one knows better than Manning how much that means. He grew up in New Orleans, the son of former Saints quarterback Archie Manning. “What the Saints have meant to that community is extremely impressive,” said Manning. “Drew has been a leader of that on and off the field.” Manning’s favorite targets are receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end

Dwight Clark, each with 100 catches this season, but newcomers Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon and running back Joseph Addai, whose ground threat keeps defenses from overloading against the pass, have become more critical in the playoffs. Garcon, of Haitian heritage, takes extra motivation in trying to inspire earthquake survivors in his parents’ homeland and leads the Colts in the playoffs with 16 catches for 185 yards. “It has made me play harder and tougher and appreciate where I am,” Garcon said. “I’m playing for them.” Marques Colston and Devery Henderson have been the Saints’ top receivers with tight end Jeremy Shockey and running back Reggie Bush also threats to get the ball from Brees. Each side boasts a skilled defensive

Cavaliers brush off Heat to register tenth straight win Aldridge scores 28 as Blazers rally past Spurs CLEVELAND: LeBron James scored 36 points 17 on free throws - as the Cleveland Cavaliers ran their NBA winning streak to 10 with a 10284 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday. Daniel Gibson added 12 after joining the game in the second quarter. He arrived late after joining his pregnant fiancee who was hospitalized for precautionary reasons. James started at point guard for Gibson and added eight assists and seven rebounds. A one-on-one showdown between superstars James and Miami’s Dwayne Wade never materialized as the Cavs controlled the game and attempted 36 free throws to 14 for Miami. Wade finished with 24 points on 11 of 26 shooting and Michael Beasley had 21 for the Heat, which has dropped four straight. Miami was within eight after three quarters, but the Cavs outscored them 10-3 to open the fourth, taking a 91-76 lead. Wade tried to keep Miami close but didn’t have as much help as James, who has adapted his game lately to fill the backcourt void. While James was able to draw fouls - he shot 21 free throws to 2 for Wade - his Miami counterpart wasn’t able to get as many calls despite being knocked down on a few occasions. Twice, Wade ran into Shaquille O’Neal, his former Heat teammate, and found himself looking at the ceiling without hearing a whistle. O’Neal added 13 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes, yet another strong, efficient performance from the big man who has stepped his game up of late. Trail Blazers 96, Spurs 93 In Portland, Oregon, Portland came from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers. He hit a jumper with 2:54 left to give the Blazers the lead and Martell Webster dropped another 3 to make it 91-87 with 22.9 seconds to go. With the victory, Portland swept the three-game series over San Antonio this season. The Blazers have won their past five against the Spurs. Webster finished with 21 points and made all five of his 3-pointers. Manu Ginobili’s 21 points led the Spurs, who lost despite the return of guard Tony Parker,

NHL results/standings WASHINGTON: National Hockey League results and standings after Thursday’s games: Montreal 3, Boston 2 (So); Washington 6, NY Rangers 5; Columbus 2, Dallas 1; Tampa Bay 5, NY Islanders 2; San Jose 4, St Louis 2; Nashville 5, Colorado 3; Minnesota 4, Edmonton 2; Los Angeles 6, Anaheim 4; Ottawa 3, Vancouver 1. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS New Jersey 35 18 2 146 125 72 Pittsburgh 35 21 1 180 161 71 Philadelphia 28 24 3 163 150 59 NY Rangers 25 26 7 149 162 57 NY Islanders 23 26 8 145 177 54 Northeast Division Buffalo 32 16 7 155 136 71 Ottawa 33 21 4 164 160 70 Montreal 27 25 6 149 156 60 Boston 23 22 10 133 143 56 Toronto 18 28 11 152 197 47 Southeast Division Washington 39 12 6 224 155 84 Tampa Bay 24 21 11 145 165 59 Florida 24 23 9 149 161 57 Atlanta 24 23 8 166 176 56 Carolina 19 30 7 148 184 45 Western Conference Central Division Chicago 37 15 4 182 132 78 Nashville 31 21 4 156 156 66 Detroit 27 20 10 147 152 64 St. Louis 25 23 9 148 159 59 Columbus 23 27 9 152 194 55 Northw est Division Vancouver 34 20 2 181 138 70 Colorado 31 19 6 164 149 68 Calgary 28 21 8 147 146 64 Minnesota 28 25 4 159 169 60 Edmonton 18 32 6 144 190 42 Pacific Division San Jose 37 11 9 193 140 83 Los Angeles 35 19 3 174 156 73 Phoenix 34 18 5 155 145 73 Dallas 25 21 11 162 181 61 Anaheim 27 24 7 162 179 61 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

PORTLAND: Portland Trail Blazers center Juwan Howard (left) and forward LaMarcus Aldridge (middle) battle for a loose ball with San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore. — AP who missed the previous three games with an ankle sprain. Parker, who started, pounced on the Blazers early with 16 first-half points and 18 for the game. Portland remained without All-Star guard Brandon Roy, who continues to nurse a left hamstring injury.

Roy, who is averaging 23.1 points, has missed 11 of the Blazers’ last 12 games. Portland coach Nate McMillan said before the game that he is hopeful Roy will return for Saturday’s game at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. — AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Thursday. Cleveland 102, Miami 86; Portland 96, San Antonio 93. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Boston 31 16 .660 Toronto 27 23 .540 5.5 NY Knicks 19 29 .396 12.5 Philadelphia 17 31 .354 14.5 New Jersey 4 44 .083 27.5 Central Division Cleveland 40 11 .784 Chicago 23 24 .489 15 Milwaukee 21 26 .447 17 Indiana 17 32 .347 22 Detroit 16 31 .340 22 Southeast Division Orlando 33 16 .673 Atlanta 31 17 .646 1.5 Charlotte 24 24 .500 8.5 Miami 24 26 .480 9.5 Washington 16 32 .333 16.5 Western Conference Northw est Division Denver 33 16 .673 Utah 30 18 .625 2.5 Portland 30 22 .577 4.5 Oklahoma City 28 21 .571 5 Minnesota 11 38 .224 22 Pacific Division LA Lakers 38 12 .760 Phoenix 30 21 .588 8.5 LA Clippers 21 28 .429 16.5 Sacramento 16 32 .333 21 Golden State 13 35 .271 24 Southw est Division Dallas 31 18 .633 San Antonio 28 20 .583 2.5 Houston 26 22 .542 4.5 Memphis 26 22 .542 4.5 New Orleans 26 23 .531 5

Sharks bounce back to thump the Blues ST LOUIS: Patrick Marleau scored his 38th goal of the season, remaining tied for the NHL lead, as the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Thursday. Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi and Scott Nichol also scored for the Sharks, who bounced back from their lone regulation loss in the last 11 games. San Jose has 83 points, one behind Washington for first overall in the NHL. Patrik Berglund had a goal and an assist, and Alex Steen also scored for the Blues, who have an NHLworst nine home wins from 29 games.

Blue Jackets 2, Stars 1 In Columbus, Ohio, Columbus marked the coaching debut of Claude Noel by edging Dallas. Noel was in charge for his first NHL game after taking over for Ken Hitchcock, who was fired Wednesday after the Blue Jackets sagged this season after making their first trip to the playoffs in 2008-09. Steve Mason had 22 saves, Anton Stralman scored and RJ Umberger added an empty-netter while sliding on his front. Brad Richards scored in the final minute for Dallas.

Capitals 6, Rangers 5 In New York, Washington was pushed all the way by New York in a high-scoring thriller before extending its team-record winning streak to 12. Niclas Backstrom already had four assists when he got to a loose puck near the left circle and snapped in his 24th goal of the season to complete the scoring in the third period. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist to reach 500 career NHL points. He is the fifth player to reach the milestone in five seasons, doing it in only 373 games. Boyd Gordon, Mike Knuble, and defenseman Tom Poti added goals for the Capitals, who haven’t lost in three weeks. Vinny Prospal had two goals for New York, and newly acquired forward Olli Jokinen, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ryan Callahan also found the net for the Rangers, but they lost in regulation for the seventh time in eight games.

Canadiens 3, Bruins 2, SO In Boston, Montreal sent free-falling Boston to its ninth straight loss. The Bruins blew a two-goal lead and extended the second-longest losing streak in franchise history. They also lost their eighth straight home game, also the second-longest skid in club history. Montreal’s Brian Gionta beat Tuukka Rask for the only goal in a shootout. Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead, but Glen Metropolit and Roman Hamrlik scored 39 seconds apart late in the second period for the Canadiens.

Senators 3, Canucks 1 In Ottawa, the hosts kept up their equally impressive and more unlikely streak, notching an 11th straight win by downing Vancouver. Jason Spezza scored his ninth goal in his last eight games while goalie Brian Elliott broke his own team record with his ninth straight win. Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Kings 6, Ducks 4 In Los Angeles, the hosts blew a

ST LOUIS: San Jose Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss, of Germany, reaches out to try and knock away a loose puck as St Louis Blues’ Keith Tkachuk (top) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Feb 4, 2010.— AP three-goal lead in the third period before steadying to beat Anaheim, tying a franchise record with their eighth straight win. Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal with 5:32 left, while Anze Kopitar had two goals and two assists and defenseman Jack Johnson had a goal and three assists for his first fourpoint game in the NHL. Wayne Simmonds also scored as the Kings beat their neighbors for the fifth straight time. Jason Blake, Troy Bodie, Matt Beleskey and Ryan Carter netted

for Anaheim. Predators 5, Avalanche 3 In Nashville, Tennessee, Patric Hornqvist had two power-play goals and an assist to lift Nashville over Colorado. Jason Arnott had a goal and three assists for Nashville, Steve Sullivan added a power-play goal and an assist, and Joel Ward also netted for the Predators. The Avalanche’s goals came from Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene and Justin Mercier.

Lightning 5, Islanders 2 In Tampa, Florida, Martin St Louis scored in his fifth consecutive game as Tampa Bay downed New York. Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist for Tampa Bay, while Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Lightning. Matt Moulson and Jon Sim scored for the Islanders, who have lost six in a row. Wild 4, Oilers 2 In St Paul, Minnesota, Martin Havlat had his first two-goal game for Minnesota, which beat Edmonton for their 12th straight time at home. Antti Miettinen and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for the Wild, while Mike Comrie and Marc Pouliot tallied for the Oilers. — AP

unit that made critical plays to ensure playoff triumphs. Whichever steps up to stifle their rivals longest could make a championship difference. “I expect a tough defense,” Manning said. “I know it’s going to be a challenge to move the ball against them. They are very active. They know how to get their hands on the football. We have our work cut out for us.” The Colts converted 49 percent of third-down opportunities to sustain drives this season, in part because of Manning’s skills at adapting to defensive schemes during games. “There’s a lot of adjusting and making moves as we go,” Clark said. “After the first few series, we will get a feel for what they are trying to do. We just have to adjust.” — AFP

Super Bowl fever swamps storm-ravaged New Orleans NEW ORLEANS: Win or lose tomorrow, the New Orleans Saints will return from their firstever Super Bowl to a hero’s welcome, complete with their own Carnival parade, from a long-suffering city still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina. Super Bowl fever has swamped the Big Easy, where everything from Mardi Gras parades to church services has been rescheduled to make sure fans can catch the kickoff of their team’s first-ever shot at the National Football League championship spectacle. The Saints’ surprisingly successful season has been a powerful tonic for residents still recovering from the killer August 26, 2005 storm that flooded nearly 80 percent of the low-lying coastal city. Hundreds of people died in their homes after the levees broke and water levels rose the rooftops. Even more died in the chaos that followed-including some of those stranded in the Superdome football stadium that served as a shelter. Locals, who had angrily brooded over the sluggish pace of recovery, have for months now greeted each other on the street with the joyously ungrammatical Saints’ fan chant, “Who dat? Who dat! Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?” The emotional boost came at a time when disaster-struck residents typically become disillusioned and fearful that their lives will never return to normal, said Charles Figley, an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder. The Superdome football stadium-once a horrific symbol of the abject failure of government to help thousands of people displaced by the storm-is now an emblem of the city’s rebirth. “It’s new life. It’s new hope. It’s promise,” said Figley, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. “The Saints are in the

Super Bowl-Anything is possible.” Most cities only throw parades if their teams win the Super Bowl. But fans here have been greeting their team at the airport after every game this season. And city officials say the floats will roll and the marching bands will play for the Saints on Tuesday whether they win or lose. “Beating the Indianapolis Colts may be more important to the players, but the fans will be proud of the Saints-win or lose,” explained Vincent Sylvain, a radio talk show host on WBOKAM radio. The Saints’ Super Bowl bid has put New Orleans back in the national spotlight “right at the time when we think many people have forgotten us,” Sylvain said. “It’s more than just a game.” The players agree. “It’s a source of strength for us just knowing we’re playing for much more than a Super Bowl,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. “We have an opportunity to give them so much hope, lift their spirits. No city deserves a champion more than New Orleans.” A million people were displaced by Katrina and tens of thousands have not yet returned. The Saints spent a year as nomads, with owner Tom Benson pondering relocating the team while the Superdome was repaired. The notion that the once-woeful Saints could even reach the Super Bowl five years after Katrina is so fantastic that residents here credit the team with infusing the city with triumphant optimism not seen since the storm. “No matter what happens in the Super Bowl, the Saints have already given this city a gift that will last forever,” novelist Tom Piazza agreed, as he tried on a black-and-gold Saints cap at a drugstore in the flood-scarred Lakeview neighborhood. —AFP

Dispute on dividing riches could shutdown NFL in 2011 MIAMI: National Football League owners and players union leaders are gearing up for a possible 2011 shutdown even as they negotiate over how to divide riches of eight billion dollars in total revenues last year. “On a scale of one to 10 it’s a 14,” NFL Players Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday about the chances for a lockout by owners in March of next year when the current labor deal expires. Talks continue behind the backdrop of tomorrow’s Super Bowl 44 between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts but owners want players to take an 18 percent salary cut, adding nearly one billion dollars to the owners’ take. “I’m sure the reason we’re not closer is I haven’t said yes to 18 percent,” Smith said. “We know revenues. I’ve asked when someone can tell me how much the NFL has lost. I’m still waiting to look at both sides of the ledger sheet.” Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti cited some rivals spending at team salary minimums to keep clubs profitable and others struggling to sell tickets in a sluggish economy. “I’ve got partners out there whose teams are making less money than their linebackers,” he said. “We’ve got an acute problem with general profitability of teams. It’s a bad deal that puts us in the unenviable position of this thing ending in a lockout.” Smith’s reaction to Bisciotti saying teams are “bleeding” was, “Fine. Show us what bleeding means.” Owners plead poverty despite huge television ratings and club values that jumped more than 500 percent over 15 years to more than a billion dollars each. Forbes magazine says 30 of 32 NFL teams made money in 2008 with average profits of 31 million dollars. Public information about the small-market Green Bay Packers’ finances showed their profit shrank last year, but Smith scoffed, saying, “Only in the NFL can you move from 34 million dollars to 20 million dollars and it’s a crisis. “It makes it very difficult to come to players to

say they each need to take a 340,000-dollar pay cut.” Now, owners receive one million dollars in revenue for stadium improvement and upkeep, then players receive 59 percent of remaining income. Owners want the players’ cut trimmed to 41 percent. That’s why the NFL might lock out players rather than continue beyond next season, which will be played without a salary cap or minimum unless a new deal is done this month after owners opted in 2008 to end the current deal in 2011. “I think it’s virtually impossible to go back to a cap system if we go through an uncapped year,” Smith said. The NFL last had a labor shutdown in 1987 when games were played with “scab” replacements for three weeks until striking players returned. “We’ve informed our players to prepare for a lockout in 2011,” said NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, a center for the Tennessee Titans. “We hope things don’t get to that point. We have to prepare for every worst-case scenario.” “I believe we will get a deal done. There has to be some give and take, not just take. It would be such a shame not to have football in 2011 because we can’t get this thing figured out.” Even those in the Super Bowl have the dispute in the back of their mind. “I have concerns. You don’t want to kill the golden goose,” Colts center Jeff Saturday said. “Fans can go a lot of other places with their money and their interest and that’s the last thing we want. We have a great game. Owners and the players do not need to be the ones to screw it up.” New NFL television contracts through 2013 that ensure payment even if games are not played are “lockout insurance” to Smith. “When you have in a contract almost five billion dollars to not play, what else can you consider it?” he said. Smith also noted the NFL’s 2008 hiring of lawyer Bob Batterman, who represented the National Hockey League during a labor feud that wiped out an entire season. — AFP


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Italy wary of Ukraine’s Fed Cup sister act PARIS: Francesca Schiavone has warned defending Fed Cup champions Italy that they will have to be on their toes to avoid an upset against debutants Ukraine in the first match of their title defense. Italy thrashed the United States 4-0 on home soil in last year’s final and they will take the same team into the match in Kharkiv that begins today and concludes tomorrow. Ukraine are playing in the World Group for the very first time after gaining

promotion last year and they can call upon the services of sisters Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, who are both in the world’s top 35. “It’s tough because we play the first round against a big team like Bondarenko and Bondarenko,” joked Schiavone, whose team-mates are Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. “We have to pay attention and play very good, at a very high level. They play at home, which is good for them. We have

to stay focused and enjoy our tennis like we did all year last year.” The USA’s defeat in last year’s decider marked their first final appearance since 2003, while the 17-time champions are still chasing their first title since 2000. Mary Joe Fernandez oversaw the run to the 2009 final and she will take an inexperienced team shorn of the Williams sisters into battle against France in the northern French town of Lievin.

Golf at the Suwan Golf and Country Club to share the halfway lead with co-overnight leader Kiradech, who returned a 70 for a six-under-par 138 total. One shot back is in-form Singaporean Lam Chih Bing, who also carded a 70, while American rookie David Johnson sneaked into contention with another 70 to lie three shots back with Thai duo Thammanoon Srirot and Wisut Artjanawat and Filipino Angelo Que, who shot the day’s best of 67. At 14 years and 71 days Thai amateur Atiwit Janewattananond became the youngest player to make the halfway cut on the Asian Tour

Ukraine in making their World Group debut this year are Serbia, who welcome last year’s semi-finalists Russia-victors in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 — to the Belgrade Arena today. The hosts will include two former world number ones among their ranks in the form of Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, and Jankovic is anticipating a tremendous atmosphere in the Serbian capital. “It’s going to be an amazing

event,” she said. “We’re playing for the second time in Serbia. We already experienced it once when we played against Japan. We played in Belgrade and the support of the crowd was really unbelievable.” In the remaining World Group first-round tie, Germany travel to the Czech Republic. The semifinals take place on the weekend of April 24-25, with the final to follow on November 6-7. — AFP

Lead tied after Asian Tour opener’s 2nd day

Kiradech moves closer to victory BANGKOK: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat stepped closer to victory in the 300,000dollar, season-opening Asian Tour International yesterday but standing in his way was Filipino Mars Pucay. The 39year-old Pucay fired a second successive three-under-par 69

“We’re playing France, without (Amelie) Mauresmo, without (Nathalie) Dechy, because they’ve retired. So that’s a plus for us,” said Fernandez. “But they’re still very strong, they still have a lot of depth on their team. Alize Cornet, as we’ve seen in the past, can produce some great tennis. “We’re pretty evenly matched. Home always has a little bit of an advantage. It’s on clay so that’s a little more uncomfortable for us.” Joining

after shooting a 73 for tied eighth place. Atiwit was joined on 142 by, among others, Malaysia’s Ben Leong, India’s rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar and eight-time Japan Tour winner Hideto Tanihara. Atiwit, a grade eight student and a member of the Thai amateur squad, eclipsed Chinese Taipei’s Lo Shih-kai, who was 14 years and 275 days at the 2003 Taiwan Open. Pucay, who Thursday holed the season’s first ace, kept his round steady with four birdies against a lone bogey. Former world junior champion Kiradech turned in 37 but fought back with four birdies and another bogey to keep alive his dreams of a first Asian Tour victory at home. “I had two three-putts for bogeys on the front nine. But on the back nine, I hit it closer to the pins,” said the burly Thai, who finished 30th on the Order of Merit as a rookie last year. “I am hitting the driver well this week. I’m not feeling nervous at all. As I’m playing in Thailand, my family and friends are here and I’m not feeling too excited. I’m keeping my concentration well.” — AFP

China revamping professional golf with a new tour BEIJING: China’s golf bosses have restructured the professional game in the country with a new “Greater China Tour”, which will include a six-tournament circuit in place of the China Tour. The China Tour was launched in 2005 with the aim of providing regular tournament golf for the country’s professionals and, sponsored by Swiss watchmakers Omega, ran four events last year. The China Golf Association (CGA) have replaced it with the Chinese Pro Golf Championships in a new five-tiered structure for 2010. “I am glad to tell you the China Tour is not dead. It is sill alive and even stronger,” secretary general Zhang Xiaoning told the CGA’s website (www.golf.org.cn). “With golf entering the Olympic Games, from 2010 on the CGA will integrate golf events in China to create the Greater China Tour,” he added. “The Chinese Pro Golf Championship is a fourth tier event of the Greater China Tour, with total prize money of $200,000 to $1 million. The 2010 Tour will have six stages, starting in early April.” The return of golf to the Olympics from 2016 has been a great boost to the state-run CGA, which can now count on greater financial support from China’s sports system but will also need to produce top quality players to eventually compete for medals. — Reuters

BANGKOK: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand seen during the Asian Tour International Pro am golf event at the Suwan Golf and Country Club in Bangkok. — AFP

Monfils edges Ouanna in clash of French friends JOHANNESBURG: Top seed Gael Monfils stayed on course for a third ATP title with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over friend and fellow Frenchman Josselin Ouanna in a South African Open second-round tie here on Thursday. Paris-born Monfils, who has won tournaments in Poland and his homeland, is ranked 13 in the world, 108 places above Ouanna from the town of Tours 200 kilometers south west of the French capi-

tal. But that huge gap was never evident at the Montecasino entertainment centre in an upmarket suburb of the South African financial capital as Monfils took 79 minutes to subdue a former French tennis academy room-mate. Monfils, who is hoping to emulate compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and collect the 80,000-dollar first prize on Sunday, triumphed because he served better and

produced several timely topdrawer strokes. But it was not a vintage performance from the 23-year-old Frenchman, who committed 37 unforced errors in perfect conditions after rain and thunder forced an afternoon delay. And while the potent 200kilometre-per-hour Monfils service delivered 12 aces he will be concerned by six double faults ahead of a last-eight duel against Taiwanese Yen-Hsun

Lu yesterday. Ouanna emphasized early on that he was not going to be overawed in the first ATP clash between them

Tennis as he fell 3-1 behind only to break Monfils service in the fifth game. The set then went with service until the 10th game when Ouanna contributed to his downfall by serving one

started on the 10th tee and got hot early, with six of his seven birdies in his first nine holes. He cooled off coming in, with one birdie balanced by a bogey. Steve Stricker, runner-up here last year to Phil Mickelson, headed a trio on 67. Stricker launched his round with an eagle at the par-five first hole. He added four birdies and two bogeys to finish alongside Steve Lowery and Cameron Beckman. Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa was in a group of more than a dozen players on three-under 68 that also included South Africans Rory Sabbatini and Ernie Els, England’s Luke Donald and Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik. The 18-year-old is making his 2010 US debut at the same tournament where he missed the cut in his first US tour outing last year. He moved as low as five-under par, but had two bogeys in his last four holes - including a three-putt from 26 feet at the sixth. Even so, he was pleased to put himself in position to make the cut. “My mentality is better than last year, and especially my putting,” Ishikawa said. “I hope I can make the cut tomorrow.” World number two Mickelson left himself plenty of work to do if he is to claim an unprecedented third straight title in the event, posting a one-over 72, as did Ireland’s Padraig Harrington. Mickelson had four birdies, but his round got away from him with four of his five bogeys in his last seven holes. “I was three-under and I had a decent round going,” Mickelson said. “I ended up with four bogeys coming in, and I shot one-over it really wasn’t a good round.” — AFP

day we will meet in a Grand Slam event,” said Monfils. “I like the centre court here and each day I get more used to the altitude and am hopeful of going all the way and winning the final with the crowd behind me.” The other three second round ties were also settled in straight sets with seeds David Ferrer (two) of Spain and Lu (seven) and India Davis Cup star Somdev Devverman progressing. — AFP

Last hole blues for McIlroy in Dubai

US Johnson grabs Northern Trust lead LOS ANGELES: American Dustin Johnson fired a seven-under 64 at Riviera Country Club on Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the 6.4 million-dollar Northern Trust Open. Johnson made the most of cool, calm morning conditions as he nabbed seven birdies without a bogey on the par-71 layout for a one-stroke lead over Argentina’s Andres Romero and American Kevin Stadler. Ricky Barnes and Brandt Snedeker were two shots back on 66. “Got off to a good start, had good vibes going all day,” said Johnson, who started at the 10th and had two birdies in his first three holes. After a birdie at the par-five 11th, he drained a 64-foot birdie bomb at the parfour 12th. Johnson birdied Riviera’s other two par-fives - the 17th and the first, missing an eight-foot eagle attempt at No 1. Johnson, who missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open last week, appears to be building momentum before his title defense at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am next week. He said he felt at home on the historic Riviera course west of downtown Los Angeles. “It really fits my eye,” he said. Romero nabbed eight birdies in a sixunder 65, more than making up for a double-bogey at the par-four ninth. Romero, who closed his round with four straight birdies, admitted he might have avoided the big mistake if he’d heeded his caddie’s advice on nine. “My caddie was telling me to hit a seven-iron just to the front of the green, but I’m so stubborn I stayed with the six-iron and it buried in the bunker,” he said. Stadler

of his four double faults during the game while Monfils conjured a textbook cross-court winner. Each Frenchman held service in the second set until Ouanna finally cracked 12 games into the struggle as he failed to keep a wide return in and a relieved Monfils was through. “It was tough playing against someone I once shared a room with and I am happy to have succeeded. Perhaps one

DUBAI: Rory Mcllroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the first green during the first round of The Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. — AP

DUBAI: An errant seven-iron into water at the last cost defending champion Rory McIlroy the early clubhouse lead in yesterday’s second round of the 2.5 million dollars Dubai Desert Classic. Out early in overcast, calm conditions, the 20-year-old Ulsterman, one of six overnight leaders after an opening 68, was rock steady through 17 holes on a course he relishes playing on. He opened with seven straight pars from the 10th before unleashing a run of four birdies in a row on the back of a 25-footer putt at the 17th. A missed four-footer for another birdie at the par-five third halted his charge, but he looked set to par his way in for the early clubhouse lead on day two only to hit a flyer from the rough into water at the ninth. That led to a double-bogey and a two-under 70 leaving him six under for the tournament. Playing partner, Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez parred the ninth for a 67 which saw him overtake McIlroy for the early day lead at seven under where he was shortly joined by Welshman Stephen Dodd who had a fine 69. “Apart from that mistake at the last it was another good day’s work,” McIlroy said. “Made a few birdies round the turn and could have made a few more. But six-under par isn’t too bad going into the weekend. Only one shot behind at the moment.” The Irish prodigy is bidding to make history here by becoming the first man to defend the Desert Classic title in the 21-year long history of the Gulf’s premier tour-

nament. His win here last year was the first of his fledgling career and though he has yet to win another title, McIlroy is now firmly ensconced in the world top 10 as the youngest player in the elite group. The 46-year-old Jimenez, who changed caddies after two poor weeks in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, had seven birdies against two bogeys to signal his return to top form. “I hit it very solid and managed to hole a few putts,” he said. Explaining his move to a new bagman, Jimenez said: “I felt like I needed to change from Henrik, the caddie, to him. He was a very nice guy, but I felt a little lonely on the golf course. “Now I have this friend, he’s from Southh Africa, who is living here.” The 44-year-old Dodd was bogey free in his round of 69 as he battled to record his first win on tour since the 2006 European Open. Big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros joined McIlroy at six under at the halfway stage after also carding a 69 as did Australian Marcus Fraser with a 68 and Edoardo Molinari of Italy who had a 70. Alexander Noren of Sweden and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa were both due out in the afternoon looking to at least match their opening round 68s. There was a fine performance from US golf great Tom Watson who was making his debut in Dubai at the ripe old age of 60. Last year’s British Open runner-up shot a fine two-under 70 and at one under for the tournament had a chance of making the cut. — AFP


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bordeaux’s vintage Blanc whets French palates PARIS: Six points clear and hurtling towards a second straight league title, life is rosy for fans of Bordeaux - but a bitter twist may be on the menu if coach Laurent Blanc proves irresistible to the palates of those who pick the national coach. Today’s trip to Rennes, who are chasing a top six finish, may prove to be less of a challenge in the overall scheme of things than fending off the high regard in which Blanc is clearly held by the French Football Federation. The FFF, having last month confirmed they want a new man at the helm of the national squad after the World Cup in place of Raymond Domenech, are keen admirers and Le Parisien daily on Thursday was

trumpeting that a deal was in the offing. A spokesman immediately denied the story after the paper reported that an agreement was “more than probable.” Le Parisien indicated that 44-year-old Blanc, who won 97 caps and who was a star of the French 1998 World Cup-winning and Euro 2000 winning side (though he missed the final of the former through suspension), had met a “very high-ranking federation member during January.” Despite their swift move to rebut the story the FFF have made it clear that they expect to name their man by May 20. “Out of respect, this should be done before the World Cup,” FFF head Jean-Pierre

Escalettes said after a meeting of the FFF federal council last week. Marseille’s Didier Deschamps, skipper of the 1998 and 2000 sides, is another name in the frame. A decision on May 20 would at least allow Bordeaux to seal their title dreams. For the meeting with Rennes Blanc will

French League Preview send in the heavyweights after resting several key men in the midweek league cup success over second division Sedan. That was as much as a punishment as anything given last weekend’s disappointing goalless

draw with struggling Boulogne. Argentine defender Diego Placente will miss the Rennes game after being allowed to visit his homeland for the birth of his second child. Trying to keep pace with Bordeaux are surprise package Montpellier, one of Blanc’s former clubs and who last week showed their form was no flash in the pan by beating Marseille. Now the southerners travel to Boulogne, four points from safety but who can take heart from their draw with Bordeaux. Third-placed Lille, a solitary point clear of Champions League survivors Lyon, have a trip to Nice, mired in the bottom five. Lyon must for now put aside thoughts of their

impending tussle with Real Madrid to ensure they stay just about in touch with Bordeaux with a win tomorrow at Toulouse. Nine points off the pace in the title race, Lyon go up against a Toulouse side beaten right at the wire in midweek by Marseille in the league cup semi and who are doubly keen to bounce back from that disappointment as last year they lost in the semis of the French Cup. “It’s cruel to go through that two years in a row,” said coach Alain Casanova, who nonetheless knows that victory over Lyon would mean six league wins and a draw since the turn of the year. Three points would also move the south-

erners from “la ville rose” to within four points of Lyon. “We’ll be out to overcome our (Cup) frustration and use our anger to propel us to three points,” warned Casanova. Monaco and Auxerre are level on points with Lyon and away wins at strugglers St. Etienne and Grenoble respectively would see them go joint second with Montpellier if the latter came a cropper at Boulogne. Paris St Germain, once again nearer the drop zone than the Champions League placings, badly need a win at home to Lorient - three points better off - while Marseille host Valenciennes tomorrow, aiming to close a four-point gap on the top three. —AFP

Neymar shines in Santos win RIO DE JANEIRO: Santos’ sensational 17-year-old striker Neymar put on a dazzling show with one goal and setting up another in a 2-1 win over Santo Andre on Thursday. The victory lifted Santos atop the Sao Paulo state tournament. Neymar whet fans’ appetites for the debut of Robinho, who was likely to play this weekend against rival Sao Paulo while on loan from Manchester City. In the 25th minute, Neymar took a pass just outside the area, deftly dribbled around three defenders and needled a brilliant score between the feet of two more competitors. “Really I only finished a rapid counterattack that

play, Vasco striker Dodo converted an early penalty kick against Resende to give the club a 1-0 win and a guaranteed spot in the semifinals. Vasco - the top team with six victories and no defeats - got the goal in the 17th when Resende’s Nailton brought down Vasco midfielder Leo Gago with a hard foul in the area on a free kick. Dodo stepped up and unleashed a powerful shot into the left corner of the net. Vasco played a lethargic game from that point on, but its defense was tight enough to hold on for the win. “Today’s match was full of obstacles,” said Vasco midfielder Carlos Alberto. “But

Brazilian Roundup began on our defensive side,” Neymar said. “I’ve got to share the merits with the entire team.” Santo Andre regained its composure, however, coming back in the 39th when striker Rodriguinho headed home a cross from Carlinhos. Neymar struck back in the 64th by dribbling past two defenders on a counterattack. Just as more players closed in on him, the striker flicked the ball from the top of the area to Ganso, just in front of goal on the left side, and he easily tapped in to seal the win. In other Sao Paulo matches, Palmeiras drew with Portuguesa 1-1; Bragantino got by Rio Branco 4-3; and Mirassol beat Mogi Mirim, 1-0. On Wednesday, Monte Azul drew with Ituano 2-2; Sertaozinho tied Rio Claro 1-1; Botafogo-SP rolled by Barueri 4-0; Oeste drew with Paulista 22; Ponte Preta got a big 2-1 win over Corinthians; and Sao Paulo cruised by Sao Caetano 3-0. In Rio de Janeiro state tournament

we’ve played with courage and daring in many games. At times, not everything goes right, but to keep trying is what is important.” On Wednesday, Flamengo also secured a spot in the Rio semifinals, drawing 3-3 with Olaria. Vagner Love continued his solid play since transferring from CSKA Moscow this year. The striker punched in two second-half goals while Flamengo’s other stellar attacker Adriano scored in the 5th, just seconds after an Olaria goal. That first Olaria goal came as Caca put in a resounding shot. The squad’s next score in the 59th saw Araruama put one through the goalkeeper’s legs. The third goal five minutes later came off a penalty kick. In other Rio state matches, Fluminense beat Boavista, 3-0; America beat Friburguense 2-1; and Botafogo eased by Madureira 4-1. On Wednesday, Bangu beat Americano 2-0; Duque de Caxias drew with Volta Redonda 1-1; and Macae beat Tigres 2-1. —AP

Rangers, St Mirren set to be best of ‘Buddies’ GLASGOW: Rangers have been handed an injury boost as they prepare to take on St Mirren in their Scottish Cup fifth round tie. The match will be the first of three games between the clubs in a month with the sides meeting in the League Cup final on March 21 as well as the Scottish Premier League. Cup holders Rangers are on a great run of form lately and are unbeaten in their last 12 matches despite a horrendous injury list since the turn of the year. Club manager Walter Smith has had to do without top-scorers Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller as well as American winger DaMarcus Beasley and his international teammate Maurice Edu. However Smith was given a lift when Miller declared himself fit for the match against the ‘Buddies’ as Rangers aim to get to their sixth cup final in a row. “I will join the boys for training today (Thursday) and hopefully come through that unscathed and be back in the plans for the St Mirren game,” Miller said. “I feel fine and I just want to kick on for the rest of the season. “It’s a fantastic achievement to have reached five cup finals in a row and it says a lot about the squad. “To be that consistent in cup competitions is a big feat and hopefully we can take one step closer to reaching another one when we face St Mirren today. “It will be another very tough match but we will go in to it with confidence.” Tomorrow Celtic face a tricky away tie to Dunfermline at East End Park. Tony Mowbray’s side were dealt a midweek blow when they saw their title aspirations torn to shreds after a defeat to relegation-threatened Kilmarnock and the Scottish Cup could be their only realistic chance of silverware.

The Hoops boss brought in eight new players in the transfer window, including Spurs captain Robbie Keane, as he shipped a similar number out. And after such a disappointing defeat he warned his stars - new and old - that they need to fight for their place in his side. “You don’t see it sometimes, but apathy does creep into football, players who expect to be on the teamsheet every game,” Mowbray said. “I’d like to think we’ve created a situation where nobody in the team now can expect to see their name on the sheet unless they are performing and contributing to a winning team.” SPL high fliers Hibernian take on the country’s worst performing team at Easter Road in the form of Montrose. Hibs, who sit third in the top division, should have no problems against a side that sit bottom of Division Three with just nine points from 20 games. There is an all-SPL clash as St Johnstone face Dundee United at McDiarmid Park. Derek McInnes has urged his side to use the hurt of their midweek loss to Rangers in the League Cup semi-final to drive them in their clash against the SPL’s fourth-placed clash. First Division side Raith Rovers host Aberdeen at Starks Park. The Dons will be glad to get away from Pittodrie after losing their last two league games there as they look to progress to the quarter-finals. Buoyed by their midweek win over Celtic in the league Kilmarnock will look to put their relegation worries behind them as they face Terry Butcher’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Elsewhere today First Division leaders Dundee take on league strugglers Ayr United and in-form Ross County face Second Division Stirling Albion. — AFP

MUNICH: Bayern Munich’s players celebrate winning the Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs FSV Mainz in this file photo. —AFP

Bayern hunt eighth straight win at Wolves BERLIN: Bayern Munich are expected to be without French midfielder Franck Ribery when they hunt their eighth straight Bundesliga win against defending champions Wolfsburg today. Bayern’s winning run has bolted them up to second in the table, just two points behind league leaders Leverkusen, and an eighth win at Wolfsburg would keep the pressure on with the leaders at strugglers Bochum today. With Munich’s Dutch playmaker Arjen Robben chasing

his third consecutive league goal after curling in free-kicks against both Werder Bremen and Mainz in recent weeks, Ribery should be on the bench. With his contract set to expire in June 2011, Ribery is expected to announce whether he will stay at Bayern in the next few weeks, but coach Louis van Gaal is trying to return him to the side after recovering from a knee injury. “Ribery is getting ever more fitter, you can see it in training,” said van Gaal. “I must integrate him back into

the team, but that is difficult, because I must do that in a league game.” Ribery’s agent has said his client is being chased by

closed, neither to Real Madrid nor to Barca or to Manchester. “With Bayern we will see how things go up to the beginning of March.” Van Gaal insists his

German League Preview European giants Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. “He would love to play alongside (Barcelona star Lionel) Messi, that would be phenomenal,” Ribery’s agent Alain Migliaccio told Spanish radio. “There is no door

side have put last season’s 5-1 hammering at home to Wolfsburg out of their heads and Wolves, who sacked coach Armin Veh nearly a fortnight ago, are chasing their first win for 10 games. Germany striker Mario

Gomez has scored six goals in his last eight league games and is relishing facing Wolfsburg. “For me personally, this is the best it’s ever been in my career,” the 24-year-old said after scoring in last Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Mainz. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg are desperately trying to keep hold of their striker Edin Dzeko with their hot-shot striker being chased by a number of top European clubs, including Manchester United. Wolfsburg’s caretaker

Plate grab away win

Juve hope to bounce back ROME: The Serie A title race will most likely take a back seat for the foreseable future after Inter Milan opened up an eight-point lead over bitter neighbors AC Milan. Inter’s victory in the Milan derby two weeks ago despite playing more than two-thirds of the match with a numerical disadvantage seems to have settled the title question. But there is still much to play for in Serie A and many issues to be resolved. Not least there is the Juventus situation. They are the biggest and most decorated team in Italy with 27 titles to their name and they began the season expecting to wrest back the Serie A crown from Inter. Indeed many pundits, including Italy coach Marcello Lippi, tipped them to bring to an end Inter’s four-year reign. But now they are a club in turmoil, knocked out of both the Champions League and Coppa Italia and out of the title race, down in fifth place - they trail Inter by 15 points having played a game more. Their recent form is abysmal and reads more like a relegation candidate than a title contender - three wins, a draw and nine defeats in their last 13. Ciro Ferrara paid for that run with his job and has been replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni but first game failed to yield a victory as it finished 1-1 at home to lowly Lazio. They have a tricky away tie against Livorno today in a match that holds some significance due to how their first clash earlier in the season affected their campaign. Juve began the season with four straight league wins, the fourth of which was a 2-0 home success over Livorno. However, they were dominated in the second half and had goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to thank for coming away with the three points. And that game heralded the beginning of Juve’s troubles as other teams took heart from their difficulties in

overcoming the minnows and started to exploit their failings. And now this is a team desperate to rediscover itself with Zaccheroni even mulling a switch to a back three to try to shore up a leaky defense - only seven teams in the 20team league have conceded more goals than Juve. Juve’s other problem is that the two teams liable to deny them a place in next season’s Champions League are the two most in-form in the league. Since a difficult start under coach Claudio Ranieri and losing three in a row in October, AS Roma have been on an incredible run, winning 14 and drawing three of their last 17 games in all competitions. They have stormed up from just above the relegation zone to level on points with second-placed AC Milan. But their trip to Fiorentina tomorrow will be as tough a test as they’ve faced on this run. Napoli are fourth and four points ahead of Juve. Since losing to Roma in October, a match that saw Roberto Donadoni fired and replaced by Walter Mazzarri, they are unbeaten in Serie A. Eight wins and seven draws later they have proved defensively sound and difficult to beat - they haven’t conceded a goal in six matches. They travel to Udinese tomorrow looking to continue this run. Milan have a tricky away trip to Bologna as they hope to bounce back from their last two disappointing results, the defeat at Inter followed by a home draw with Livorno. They had been the form team in Serie A until then but will have to continue for the moment without injured pair Alexandre Pato and Andrea Pirlo, although Gianluca Zambrotta should make his return. Inter’s clash on paper looks straight-forward at home to Cagliari but the Sardinians have proved tricky opponents this season and beat Juventus 2-0 back in November. —AFP

coach Lorenz-Guenther Koestner is undefeated after his side drew 1-1 at Hamburg, but morale is rock bottom at the defending champions. Leverkusen, the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga, are at Bochum with the league’s top-scorer Steffan Kiessling back to scoring ways having netted in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Freiburg. Schalke are at Freiburg and are defending a six-game unbeaten record which has put them amidst the title contenders and just three points off Leverkusen. — AFP

TURIN: Juventus Alessandro Del Piero celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against Lazio during their Italian Serie A football match in Turin’s Olympic Stadium in this file photo. — AFP

BUENOS AIRES: Paulo Ferrari scored twice as River Plate notched a 3-2 away win over Chacarita Juniors in round two of the Argentine league on Thursday. In other Clausura matches, Cesar Carranza scored as Godoy Cruz moved to the top of the table with a 1-0 away win against San Lorenzo, and Nestor Silvera hit a hat trick as Independiente won 3-1 at home against Atletico Tucuman. On Wednesday, it was: Gimnasia La Plata 3, Estudiantes La Plata 1; Huracan 2, Newell’s Old Boys 1; Boca Juniors 3, Lanus 1. On Tuesday, it was: Rosario Central 0, Tigre 1; Arsenal de Sarandi 0, Velez Sarsfield 3; Colon de Santa Fe 2, Racing Club 1. Ferrari opened the scoring for River, shooting under the Chacarita goalkeeper after the ball rebounded into his path in the 21st minute. Ferrari’s second followed a pass from Rodrigo Rojas in the 28th. Cristian Grabinski headed a goal for Chacarita in the 76th to halve the deficit, but Gustavo Canales fed Gustavo Bou to re-establish River’s two-goal lead in the 81st. Facundo Parra made it 3-2 with a header in the 87th, and Chacarita had an equalizer disallowed in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Elsewhere, Godoy Cruz became the only team with two wins out of two in the Clausura after Carranza’s winner against San Lorenzo. Carranza slipped the ball past goalkeeper Pablo Migliore after being fed by Nicolas Olmedo in the 36th. Nestor Silvera gave Independiente the lead against Tucuman after tapping home a cross from Leonel Galeano in the 22nd minute. Fabio Escobar scored the equalizer for Tucuman from a corner in the 28th, but Silvera was on target twice in two minutes to win the game for Independiente. Silvera slipped home a cross from Luciano German in the 57th and completed his hat trick with a header from Patricio Rodriguez’s lobbed cross in the 58th. — AP


SPORTS

Saturday, February 6, 2010

23

Bridge faces ‘Hullishly’ difficult return to spotlight HULL: Wayne Bridge will be in the Manchester City side that takes on Hull here today but the England defender could be forgiven if he has other things on his mind than City’s fight for a top four finish in the Premier League. Bridge, who has been sidelined since early December with a knee injury, was confronted last weekend with press reports that Vanessa Perroncel, his former girlfriend and the mother of his son, had been having an affair with John Terry. The resulting furor has cast doubt on Terry’s future as England captain and provoked widespread sympathy for Bridge, who played along-

side Terry at Chelsea before his move to City. Bridge has made no public pronouncements about the situation but City boss Roberto Mancini has has no doubts about the player’s ability to deal with it. “I think that Wayne can play today,” the Italian said. “He has been working with us for 10 days after his injury. “He is still good on the pitch where he is working very well and for me that is what is important - for me, other things are not important. “That’s his private life. All I know is that he is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.”

Hull are in the relegation zone but Mancini insists that his players will not underestimate a squad that secured a deserved 1-1 draw with Chelsea in midweek. City need to improve their away form to improve their prospects of finishing in the Champions League places, having won just three times away from Eastlands this season. Mancini added: “Hull are not easy to beat on their own pitch, as they proved by holding Chelsea to a draw this week, and they will provide a stiff test for us. “We need to play with concentration and heart because they will fight hard and we have to be ready for

that.” Mancini could give debuts to Patrick Vieira after the French midfielder recovered from a calf injury, and Adam Johnson, who joined from Middlesbrough on transfer deadline day. He added: “Adam Johnson is a good young player and we’re very happy to have him here. He is settling in quickly and, like Vieira, it is possible he could play. “We need a full squad to choose from with four games in 10 days coming up. They may not be teams challenging at the top of the table, but they will all be difficult matches-perhaps more so than the teams in the top six.”

Defender Joleon Lescott is still out with a knee injury and striker Roque Santa Cruz is sidelined with a calf problem. Hull will be looking for at least the point picked up a 1-1 draw at Eastlands in November that began to pile the pressure on former City manager Mark Hughes. The Tigers remain deep in relegation trouble and although they have not won since the 3-2 victory over Everton in November, they have only lost once in their past four matches. Phil Brown insists that he still has plenty of faith in Jozy Altidore despite the American striker’s goal drought. Altidore, 19, has only

managed one goal since joining on loan from Villarreal and that came in the 3-1 League Cup victory over Southend in August. “People can’t forget that Jozy’s only 19,” Brown said. “As long as Jozy can stay with that form and stay with that confidence, stay with that belief, the goal will come. “I think that they will be like London busses and if he gets one it will quickly be followed by another.” Paul McShane should be able to feature against City despite suffering a knock to the eye in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea in midweek but influential mdifielder Jimmy Bullard is still out with a knee problem. — AFP

Chelsea’s slip lets Gunners into the last chance saloon

LONDON: In this file photo England’s soccer coach Fabio Cappello (left) announces the appointment of the team captain John Terry (right) in London. A senior Football Association official said yesterday that John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy by coach Fabio Capello following a media storm over his private life. — AP

Big guns await Euro 2012 fate WARSAW: Europe’s footballing aristocracy gather in Warsaw tomorrow with the fates of Russian coach Guus Hiddink and scandal-hit England captain John Terry overshadowing the Euro 2012 qualification draw. The centre-back’s extra-marital affair with a French model hit the British tabloids last week and he could lose his captaincy over the scandal, while Russia’s coach Hiddink has yet to confirm whether he will stay on. Dutchman Hiddink flew to Moscow on Wednesday night ahead of talks with the Russian Football Federation to discuss his contract which expires this summer and he has already been linked with a return to the Premier League. Both Capello and ex-Chelsea coach Hiddink will be in Warsaw for tomorrow’s draw at 12pm (CET) with both of their teams in the first pot for Euro 2012 which is being co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. “I like my job and I hope to be still here in 2012,” said Capello, who is expected to decide Terry’s fate before England’s friendly with Egypt on March 3 at Wembley. “Of course that depends on the FA and results at the World Cup, but I like being England manager and I hope to carry on.” Although Russia failed to qualify for the World

Cup, they are amongst the top seeds and join holders Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, France and Croatia in the first pot. The second pot of seeds contains five World Cup finalists in Slovakia, Serbia, Euro 2004 winners Greece, 1992 winners Denmark and Switzerland, plus the Czech Republic, Turkey, Romania and Sweden. The Euro 2012 finals will take place from June 8 to July 1 2012 in eight host cities - four in each of the two countries - with the final set to be held in Kiev. The draw will take place here in Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science where 51 of the 53 UEFA member associations will take part as hosts Poland and Ukraine qualify automatically for the tournament. The 51 teams will be divided into six groups of six teams and three groups of five teams. The teams in each group will play one another on a home and away basis, with qualifying matches scheduled between September 2010 and November 2011. The winners of the nine groups and the best runner-up qualify directly for the final tournament. The eight remaining runners-up will have to battle it out in play-off matches to decide which teams grab the remaining four tickets for Euro 2012. —AFP

O’Neill urges Villa to keep eyes on the prize LONDON: Martin O’Neill has no worries about the League Cup final later this month being a distraction to his players as they bid for a Champions League qualifying place. But the Northern Irishman has more than a slight concern that his squad may be casting too many glances at the form of their rivals, rather than concentrating on stringing together the kind of consistent form that can carry them into the top four. The Villa manager and his squad will get the chance to take a real close-up view of one of their main rivals at White Hart Lane, hoping to take advantage of Spurs’ midweek FA Cup exertions against Leeds United and bolster their position in a scramble to join Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in next season’s Champions League. Another victory in the capital, to follow up last weekend’s success against Fulham will lift Villa above Spurs ahead of another crucial contest with their League Cup final opponents, Manchester United, in the league on Wednesday. “The League Cup final will take care of itself and that is not a problem,” O’Neill said. “What I do think is that we have to keep an eye on ourselves and

not worry too much about what’s happening elsewhere. “We can’t escape talk of the top four and our challenge at the moment and it is pretty crazy for us to keep getting mentioned. Tottenham are particularly strong for starters. “Liverpool, by virtue of beating us recently, put themselves right back in it again, not that I ever thought they were out of it, I just think that they will be a threat because they’re Liverpool. And then there’s Manchester City.” Despite ending 2009 with back-to-back league defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool, Villa are unbeaten in 2010 in league and cup, having also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup. But they will have to deal with an England striker on a mission at White Hart Lane without defender Stephen Warnock, who is still struggling with a shin injury that is threatening his Wembley participation. Jermain Defoe has set himself a target of overhauling England colleague Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba, to secure the Premier League golden boot trophy. Following his hat-trick that ended Leeds United’s hopes of an FA Cup upset at Elland Road

on Wednesday evening, Defoe now has 20 goals in all competitions, just two short of his best total, achieved in the 2004-05 season. He has 15 in the Premier League, the same as Chelsea’s Drogba. The duo are five behind Rooney, but Defoe is confident he can make up the deficit. “If I do get it, it would be great for everyone,” he said. “I just want to keep it going. It is at the back of my mind. “In terms of goals, this season has been great. When you’re playing with good players, you know you’ll get the chances, so you just have to score. “More importantly, I’m thinking about the team, and hopefully trying to make us better. If I’m scoring goals, it helps the team, so I’ll continue to try to do that. “When the other forwards in the division are scoring goals, you want to make sure you’re doing that as well. As a striker, it’s what you’re judged on, so that’s all I want to do. If I play well and work hard, then I know I’ll get my goals.” Villa are hoping to have Norway striker John Carew available for the trip to White Hart Lane following his recovery from a knee injury. —AFP

LONDON: Wayne Rooney was widely believed to have shattered Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes when he orchestrated Manchester United’s 3-1 win over the Gunners at the Emirates last weekend. So tamely did Arsene Wenger’s men surrender that it was hard to resist the conclusion that the title race had just been downgraded from a three to a twoclub contest. Wenger, understandably, begged to differ and Chelsea’s unexpectedly lackluster display in a 1-1 draw at Hull on Tuesday suggested the Arsenal manager was right to predict a few more twists in the plot before the denouement of what has been an intriguing season. Chelsea’s midweek slip means Arsenal can move back to within three points of their London rivals if they can repeat last season’s win at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. The way in which Arsenal were bullied into submission by Didier Drogba when the two clubs met at the Emirates in November will not give Gunners fans any great cause for optimism, but Wenger is confident of engineering a reaction from his players to last weekend’s humiliation. “Against United, we were naive,” the Frenchman admitted. “We were completely not at our level and now we need to deliver something special to stay in the race.” Chelsea’s recent tendency to concede goals from set pieces - described as their Achilles heel by Hull boss Phil Brown - could prompt Wenger to start Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, who is fit again after three months out following groin surgery. “Nicklas gives us a physical presence up there,” Wenger acknowledged. “He is not totally ready yet, but at the moment we are short in that position, so we are happy to have him back.” Abou Diaby is also back from injury and could be brought in to stiffen a midfield that was overrun in the defeat by United, who could return to the top of the table by beating crisis club Portsmouth at Old Trafford today. Avram Grant’s side have lost 16 of their 23 league matches so far this season and, although performances of late have been spirited, do not look capable of producing the goals they need if they are to escape relegation. With United scheduled to take on Aston Villa on Wednesday, manager Sir Alex Ferguson may take the opportunity to give Rooney a rest, which could mean a rare start for Michael Owen, who is rapidly running out of time in which to persuade Fabio Capello that he deserves an England recall. Elsewhere, Liverpool entertain Everton in the 213th Merseyside derby with both clubs having found some form of late. Victory in the lunchtime fixture today would lift Liverpool back into the top four for a few hours at least and manager Rafael Benitez believes a sixmatch unbeaten run shows his side are on the mend. “I think we can find the form of last season if we can fix two or three things,” the Spaniard said. “We have a lot of players coming back from injury and we are moving in the right direction.” Manchester City, arguably the club best-equipped to deny Liverpool the final Champions League spot, travel to Hull with Wayne Bridge set to play for the first time since revelations of England team-mate John Terry’s affair with his former girlfriend. Manager Roberto Mancini believes the left-back is in the right state of mind to feature in a match which could also see Patrick Vieira make his injury-delayed debut for the club. — AFP

LONDON: A file picture shows England footballer John Terry (left) in action against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium, in London. John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy following reports of an extra-marital affair with the ex-girlfriend of international team-mate Wayne Bridge. — AFP

Real looking for more Guti inspiration to reel in Barca MADRID: After ending their 19year jinx at the Riazor Stadium with last weekend’s 3-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna, Real look to keep their perfect home record intact with victory over Espanyol today and try to make inroads into Barcelona’s fivepoint lead at the summit. Real veteran Guti, 33, has been the talk of the Madrid media after his audacious back heel - which has been replayed constantly on Spanish television this week set up Real’s standout goal against Depor and the club hope he can produce more moments of magic as they attempt to overtake Barca. Barcelona have notched up four consecutive wins without conceding a goal and entertain Getafe at Camp Nou today before Real take to the field against Espanyol. “It was important for us to lift the Depor curse and the league is far from over,” said Guti. “Barcelona don’t seem to drop any points so we can’t afford to make any mistakes.” Guti looked to be on his way out of the club following a rift with coach Manuel Pellegrini earlier in the season but that now seems to be water under the bridge and the playmaker is even dreaming of making Spain’s World Cup despite winning the last of his 15 caps back in 2005. Real will again be without Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portuguese striker completes his two-match suspension but a perfect 30 points from ten league games at home make Madrid strong favorites for the win despite his absence. “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world but we are a team and can’t rely on one player,” said defender Raul Albiol. Espanyol, down in 14th, have won just once away from home largely due to their woeful three

goals on the road but have a habit of turning it on against the big sides. Barcelona will be cheering on their city rivals while Real hope their neighbors Getafe can at least take a point at unbeaten Barcelona. Getafe could be heavy-legged after playing the first leg of their Kings Cup semifinal on Wednesday - losing 2-0 at Sevilla - while Barcelona are rested after no midweek commitment. The Madrid media insinuated that leaders Barcelona were the beneficiaries of kind refereeing decisions but Mali international Seydou Keita said such suggestions were wide of the mark. “Barcelona are ahead of Real Madrid because we are better and not because of the referees,” emphasized Keita. “I don’t know if someone’s trying to unsettle

the referees with these comments.” In other matches, Villarreal stand-in coach Juan Carlos Garrido takes charge of the team for the first time in tomorrow’s match at Real Mallorca following the dismissal of coach Ernesto Valverde. “After 11 years here (as reserve team coach) I know the club well and the players,” said Garrido. “I think Villarreal have some of the best players in the world and you just have to look at the national teams for evidence of that.” A trip to Mallorca is not the easiest start considering the islanders have won all nine games at their fortress Ono stadium and lie fifth. Struggling Valladolid also got rid of their manager with Jose Luis Mendilibar with the club hovering one place above the relegation zone and reserve team coach

Onesimo Sanchez has taken over and must fire up the team for a testing trip to Valencia today. Valencia are in third, three points above Sevilla who beat them 2-1 last time out. That win helped Sevilla move back into the top four and they aim to close in further on Valencia with victory against lowly Real Zaragoza tomorrow. Sevilla put one step in the Kings Cup final with a 2-0 semi-final first leg win over Getafe on Wednesday so confidence is high. Atletico Madrid gained a huge psychological boost ahead of their tomorrow clash with Racing Santander after they thrashed the same opponents 4-0 in Thursday’s King’s Cup semi-final first leg meeting. Atletico may be going strong in the cup but languish down in 13th in the league a full 13 points off the top four.—AFP

Matches on TV (local timings) English Premier League Liverpool v Everton.....................15:45 ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2 Bolton v Fulham...........................18:00 Extreme Sport Hull City v Man City.....................18:00 ShowSports 3 Man United v Portsmouth.............18:00 ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2 Sunderland v Wigan......................18:00 ShowSports 4 Tottenham v Aston........................20:30 ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2

Real Madrid v RCD Espanyol..........0:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 German League VfL Wolfsburg v Bayern................17:30 Premiere Sport 1 SC Freiburg v Schalke 04...............17:30 Premiere Sport 1 Hoffenheim v Hannoverscher.........17:30 Premiere Sport 1 VFL Bochum v Bayer 04.................17:30 Premiere Sport 1 FC Koln v Hamburger....................17:30 Premiere Sport 1 FC Nurnberg v Stuttgart...............20:30 Premiere Sport 1

Spanish League Valencia v Real Valladolid..............20:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Barcelona v Getafe........................22:00 Aljazeera Sport +2

Italian League Palermo v Parma...........................20:00 Aljazeera Sport +1 Livorno v Juventus........................22:45


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Atletico Madrid thrash Santander 4-0 Atletico virtually secure a place in Copa del Rey final

MADRID: Atletico Madrid virtually secured a place in the Copa del Rey final after beating Racing Santander 4-0 in the semifinal first leg on Thursday. Atletico, which has reached the semifinals 17 times, scored twice in each half at its Calderon Stadium against Santander, which was making only its second ever appearance in the top four. On Wednesday, Sevilla beat Getafe 2-0 in the other semifinal. Atletico went ahead in the ninth minute, Simao Sabrosa volleying in Sergio Aguero’s cross from the right. Jose Antonio Reyes swept in the second in the 40th after the Santander defense failed to clear a Sabrosa cross. Diego Forlan converted a penalty in the 63rd, after Toni Moral brought Jose Manuel Jurado down, albeit outside the area, and another in the 72nd, following Marc Torrejon’s clumsy challenge on Aguero. Atletico started with some of the best attacking football of its erratic season. In the seventh, Reyes crossed to Aguero, who shot just wide. Seconds later Tiago Mendes struck the near post from a corner. Aguero was at the heart of things again in the 14th, when Fabio Coltorti saved his close-range header from Tomas Ujfalusi’s cross and the goalkeeper then just managed to push Forlan’s shot from a tight angle on the left. Santander occasionally threatened on the break and Oscar Serrano had a fine shot from the left saved in the 16th. Jurado replaced Reyes at the start of the second half after the midfielder limped off with a knee injury. Santander’s teenage forward Sergio Canales, who reportedly has agreed to join Real Madrid, was put through by Moral in the 57th, though he was ruled offside. Jurado should have scored a fifth for Atletico in injury time, when he blasted over after Ujfalusi crossed following a stunning individual play by Aguero. Atletico withstood some late pressure to take its four-goal lead into the second leg next week. The two teams meet again on Sunday, in the league. — AP

Two dreams collide as Utd take on stricken Pompey MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson’s dream of an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title collides with David James’s determination to play at this year’s World Cup when Manchester United take on Portsmouth here today. Three points against the side currently propping up the Premier League will send United back to the top of the table and put Chelsea under pressure ahead of their clash with Arsenal 24 hours later. For Portsmouth, the stakes are even higher with the financially stricken club desperate for points as the clock ticks down on their battle for survival in the top flight. Time is also running out for James, who has waived his right to a contract extension at Portsmouth to ease the financial pressure on the club and ensure he plays as many games as possible in the run-up to the World Cup. James, who was linked with a move to Stoke City in the transfer window, was entitled to a new 12-month extension at Fratton Park if he played 25 games this season. But with 14 matchses under his belt already, the 39-year-old has agreed to have the provision removed from his contract for fear it could result in him being left out of matches to avoid triggering the extension. James has slipped behind West Ham’s Robert Green in the England pecking order and knows regular matches and clean sheets at places like Old Trafford are the only way he is going to regain his former position as the national team’s number one. Explaining the move on his contract, James said: “It was definitely an issue and given that we would have been outside the transfer window, then sitting on the bench or not even sitting on the bench would not have done me any good in trying to help Portsmouth stay up or trying to get in the England squad for the World Cup. “The Premier League rulings allow us to do contract renegotiations outside of the transfer window and we will get it sorted out because I don’t want the club worrying about it and I don’t want to be worrying about it myself.” Portsmouth’s financial woes were underlined last month when Asmir Begovic, the Bosnian goalkeeper who had been keeping James out of the team, and defender Younes Kaboul were sold to assuage creditors, against the wishes of manager Avram Grant. The former Chelsea and Israel boss came close to quitting but has opted to stay at Fratton Park. “As long as we have a chance, we have to fight,” he said. “It’s very hard times off the pitch but I’m very proud of the players. I think if everything was a little bit more calm the results would be better.” On paper is should be a comfortable win for United, who stunned Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium in their last outing. Wayne Rooney orchestrated that win and has been irresistible of late. But with United facing a midweek trip to Aston Villa, the England forward could be rested today. At 68, Ferguson’s appetite for the game shows no sign of diminishing, but he revealed this week that he almost gave up his career in football after becoming disillusioned during his playing days. While struggling to make his mark at St Johnstone in the 1960s, Ferguson came close to emigrating to Canada before some harsh words from his mother prompted a change of heart. “I was part-time and in a reserve game against Airdrie I broke my eyebrow, cheekbone and nose and was out for months,” he recalled. “They put this massive plaster cast on my face. “After I came back from the injury I played three reserve games. We lost 8-1, 7-0 and 9-2. I said ‘that’s it - I am finished’. I took out papers to emigrate to Canada. “On the Friday, my brother’s girlfriend phoned up my manager at St Johnstone and told him I had the flu. But when I arrived home from a night at the swimming baths with my pals, my mother tore into me. “She said, ‘I’ve had a telegram from your manager get down to the telephone booth and call him’. The manager said: ‘Report to the Bath Hotel tomorrow, you’re playing against Rangers’. “I scored a hat trick and became the first player to do so against Rangers at Ibrox - it changed my life. I became a full-time footballer in the summer and never looked back.” — AFP

MADRID: Atletico de Madrid’s Luis Amaranto Perea of Colombia (right) jumps for a high ball with Racing de Santander’s Mohammed Tchite from Burundi during a 1st leg semi final Copa del Rey soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. — AP

Torres, Reina give Reds derby boost LIVERPOOL: Albert Riera has given Liverpool’s fans a lift ahead of the 213th Merseyside Derby by reassuring them that goalkeeper Pepe Reina and star forward Fernando Torres have no intention of leaving the club. Everton visit Anfield today for a meeting of two clubs who have hit form and are looking to climb back into contention for European places. David Moyes’s side are unbeaten in nine Premier League games - their last loss coming against Liverpool at Goodison Park back in November - while the home side

have also begun to find form, picking up 14 points from the last 18 available. Today’s early kick-off means a win will lift Liverpool back into the top four, for a few hours at least, and there was further good news from Riera about the plans of his compatriots. Reina and Torres were both linked with moves away from Liverpool as Benitez’s men struggled earlier in the season, but Riera has insisted that they are both happy in Liverpool and determined to bring silverware to the club. “It isn’t in the character of

any of us to turn our backs and run somewhere else when times are tough,” the 27-year-old winger said. “All of us would like to look back on our Liverpool career and say it was a success. I think exactly like them. “It is clear how happy Pepe and Fernando are at the club and I have no doubt they will both be here for a very long time no matter what happens. “They have both said to me that they want to make history with Liverpool and I share that ambition. “I understand I haven’t enjoyed quite as big an impact on

the club as them so far but I intend to.” Merseyside derbies are always passionate and tempestuous affairs and today’s encounter promises to be no different with Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini determined to end Liverpool’s resurgence while simultaneously extending Everton’s run. The Goodison Park outfit have been decimated by injuries this season and at one stage looked in danger of being embroiled in a relegation battle because they only had 14 fit senior professionals to choose from. However, the return

Roma blank Udinese 2-0 in Italian Cup 1st leg

ROME: AS Roma’s Philippe Mexes (at right airborne) heads the ball to score, during the Italian Cup, semifinal soccer match at Rome’s Olympic stadium on Thursday Feb 4, 2010. — AP

of the likes of Mikel Arteta, James Vaughan and Phil Neville has coincided with a reversal of those fortunes and if they beat Liverpool the gap between the two sides would close to six points, which is motivation enough for Fellaini. “You come here for the big games like this,” he said. “It’s a derby, it’s a great game, there’s a lot of spark and crackle about the occasion and tension going into it. You can feel the build up, it’s great. “We are going in to it positively but I think the main thing we’ve got to do is concentrate on putting

in a great performance.” “We’ve got to make sure we turn up and put on a good show. If we give a good account of ourselves then who knows what can happen?” Liverpool will be missing Torres with a knee complaint, Yossi Benayoun, who is still recovering from a rib injury, and Glen Johnson, who is still recovering from a medial knee ligament strain. Everton are without Arteta (groin) plus defenders Joseph Yobo (hamstring), Phil Jagielka (anterior cruciate) and Tony Hibbert (groin). — AFP

Roma in semis driving seat ROME: AS Roma stretched its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-0 win over Udinese in the opening leg of the Italian Cup semifinals on Thursday. Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring in the 12th minute at Stadio Olimpico and Philippe Mexes doubled the lead in the 40th. Inter Milan beat Fiorentina in the other semifinal on Wednesday. The return legs are tentatively scheduled for April 14. Roma has not lost since getting beat 2-1 by Udinese in the Serie A on Oct 28, compiling 15 wins and three draws in all competitions. Udinese eliminated AC Milan in the quarterfinals last week but the northern club was struggling in the Serie A, only one point clear of the relegation zone. “It’s key that we scored two goals because there are two months before the return leg and I’m sure they will improve by then,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said. Roma, which was tied for second in the league with Milan, took the lead when Vucinic collected a 50-meter pass from Daniele De Rossi, controlled the ball expertly and found the target with a precise shot after beating the offside trap. Mexes scored with a header from point-blank range following a cross from David Pizarro. Mexes exited in the 85th after an apparent bruise. Udinese midfielder Gaetano D’Agostino picked up a yellow card for a late, sliding tackle on Rodrigo Taddei in the 21st and will miss the return leg. — AP


6 Feb