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Kuwait Times

February 26, 2010

NO: 14652



Heroes of Kuwaitʼs liberation PAGE 9

Hummer faces shutdown after Chinese sale collapses PAGE 16

KUWAIT: Children wave national flags and spray foam on passing cars during celebrations marking the National and Liberation Days on the Arabian Gulf Road yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Pages 6 & 7)

Kuwait in festive mood By Nawara Fattahova

Indian artist gets Qatari citizenship after threats PAGE 55

Stoke crush Cityʼs silverware hopes PAGE 64

KUWAIT: Kuwaitis wearing their national dress yesterday celebrated the 49th National Day and the 19th Liberation Day by coming out on roads and spraying foam. The celebrations, which are expected to continue until Monday, have become famous across the Gulf region. Citizens from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE travel to Kuwait to join processions and other festive activities in Kuwait. Expatriates living in the country also participate in the celebrations in various forms. All public buildings and major sightseeing spots in Kuwait are decorated with lights. Nowadays, hotel chains in Kuwait decorate their buildings with light in the colors of the Kuwaiti national flag and as the sun sets, the sky is illuminated with varieties of fireworks. Official parades including live music shows took place on the Arabian Gulf Road in the past, but they were stopped after the liberation of Kuwait in respect of Kuwaitis who were martyred during the six-month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, as well as citizens who remain missing since the 1990 invasion. It is a holiday in Kuwait and therefore most of families try to take advantage of this and visit each other. Some, however, prefer to stay at home and cel-

ebrate the special occasion of National Day in Kuwait with their family members. However, maximum crowds can be seen thronging the roads of Kuwait City with flags in their hands. Places like the Messila Beach, Al-Sha’ab Leisure Park and Green Island become crowded with people - both kids and elders alike. Public meetings and gettogethers are organized in various places. Most kids use white foam as the main tool to celebrate in their own style, despite officials warning that substances used in the making of the foam could cause blindness if directly sprayed on the face. Hospitals and clinics are receiving tens of cases, especially among kids who required urgent care. The Ministry of Interior had earlier issued a warning that security men would stringently deal with violations that occur during the celebrations. A ministry statement said yesterday that despite calls by the ministry urging the

public to celebrate in a civilized manner, “an innocent child has fallen victim to a tragic road mishap while spraying foam on a car on a public road.” The ministry added in the statement that over the past 24 hours a total 2,194 citations have been issued, in addition to confiscating 112 vehicles and three motorcycles. Some youngsters filled water pistols with tomato sauce and some occasion with a more dangerous substance, such as hair removal cream. This has caused serious harm to those lacking head cover. This year’s festivities also saw various voluntary groups raising awareness of these behaviors. One group operating in the Avenues Mall called for keeping Kuwait clean during the celebrations. Another group held an enlightening day at Al-Raya Ballroom, including an exhibition to teach youngsters not to spoil everyone’s fun by using harmful substances. This year, for the first time, in addition to stationing hundreds of police

Interior Ministry puts choppers in motion

patrol vehicles along the Gulf Road and around the chalets’ area, the Interior Ministry used helicopters to keep an eye on proceedings from above and sat up tents on pavements, particularly along the Gulf Road. “For the first time this year there will be helicopters watching the situation from the air and they will be distributing awareness brochures to revelers taking part in the parade from the air. These brochures will be distributed along both the Gulf Road and chalet areas in Bnaider, Julaia, Khairan and other districts,” MoI spokesperson Colonel Mohammad Al-Sabr, who is also the Head of the Security Media Department told Kuwait Times. The ministry has introduced severe penalties for those who break the law during the celebrations. “[Officers] may confiscate the vehicle or its technical papers. Also, violators may be arrested and kept in custody in serious cases,” warned Al-Sabr. “We do not want to spoil people’s happiness,” he stressed. “We want people to join the fun and celebrate without abusing the others,” the senior official said. He added that the ministry did not ban the sale of foam or water pistols, “but we may confiscate them if somebody complains or if we witness someone attacking others with it.”



Expats’ thoughts on National Day Dear Muna, Beware expats; the Kuwait National (Foam) Day is here. And this time, it is going to last for four long days. For any newcomers who are unaware of how ordinary Kuwaiti kids celebrate their National Day, they do so by spraying foam (of all kinds) onto innocent passers-by. Nobody and nothing in sight is spared, with everyone and everything being sprayed with foam, from cars to walls, poles to trees. Well, the more naughty or adventurous revelers go beyond the normal foam and use hair removal sprays. The after effects of such hair removal sprays are “imaginable” and that’s why a hijab is ‘recommended’ for the daring ones. The casualties rise with incidents of skin and eye irritation etc. Much has been said in the newspaper columns and online blogs, but I feel nothing’s going to change this year. In fact, with a five-day holiday, the ‘notorious’ festivities are bound to spill over throughout the whole week. It seems that none of the lawmakers or the law keepers are ever ‘victims’ of these festivities and hence the brazen display of ‘nationalism.’ Is this the right way to celebrate a national day? I can understand the enthusiasm of the young, but it should not be at the cost of harassing others. More fun and games-type events, which keep young people and children engaged in creative activities, should be organized to nourish their talent, rather than spoil others’ holidays. An expat Dear Muna, Here we go again. It’s the National and Liberation Day in Kuwait. I don’t know whether I should double my blood pressure medication, or head for the hills, along with the large majority of the population who were lucky enough to reserve those airline seats before the flights were fully booked. And they are not looking back, because on 25th of February this country will turn into a warzone full of unruly people with no consideration for the rest of the population and it is bound to get dirty. From complaints by defenseless Kuwaiti women who were molested by Saudis last year, who came in for the hooliganism, because after all this behavior is illegal in his country, to a young Kuwaiti boy who lost his life in a dispute with another car full of neighboring GCC nationals in all the so-called holiday celebratory foam spraying activities. Thus far, I have not seen one notice with holiday guidelines formulated by the

Ministry of Interior, nor have I seen any warnings issued on public protocol, nor maps of the parade routes, if there even is one. I have just seen a mad rush of Kuwaiti citizens running for the airport. Call any travel agent and he will tell you that THE FLIGHTS ARE CLOSED. There should be a ban on the sale of foam spray and silly string in the run-up to and during this holiday or restrictions on their use should be enforced for public safety. Now, what do you think it looks like to the Emiratis when all these Kuwaitis who so recently almost lost their country to a hostile invasion, pour off planes in Dubai during that nation’s National Day? I would find it puzzling and somewhat disturbing that citizens would want to flee their nation during its National Day - I would find it VERY unpatriotic. You don’t see Emiratis running to the airport when it is their National Day. Now, granted they have a government which organizes quality celebrations where many of the expatriate community celebrate with them with national pride and enthusiasm. They also have one of the best trained police forces in the GCC, if not in the world. For your information, the expatriate community in Kuwait is braced with fear right now of want lies ahead of them this weekend during the National and Liberation Days celebrations. They are stocking up on the groceries, reassessing their driving routes and planning homebound activities much like the days during the buildup to the Gulf War. Maybe you should discuss this matter, because the lack of patriotism in this nation is overwhelming and I guess that will be what they’ll be discussing at the current symposium on ‘Citizenship in Kuwait.’ Quite frankly, why don’t they put travel bans on all the Members of Parliament for the next week and make them stay in their country for National Day/Liberation Day? You say there is not proper entertainment like fireworks displays like the ones that the government of Dubai does over the creek for their National Day? You say that the National Day activities are substandard and not up to your five-star tastes? Well then, demand that your government provide National Day/Liberation Day celebrations in a secure environment that ensures public safety as in other countries. Unlike those in the UAE, Kuwait’s expatriate workforce has little interest in celebrating with you on your national day, so I guess we will leave it to the hooligans that will parade along the main thoroughfares endangering people’s lives with their unruly behavior, although hopefully innocent lives will be spared this year. Bunker down, Fred

Friday, February 26, 2010

The magic and logic of numbers in our names By Sunil Cherian


uwait Times had this ad in its classified pages a few weeks back: “Vinodkumar is changing his name to Vinodkumaar.” While both names mean the same thing, the spelling change with an added ‘a’ means a lot to the name holder. The young Indian changed the spelling of his name because of a belief that in doing so he could bring prosperity to his life. It is Numerology, or the art and science of numbers. It’s a joke for some, shock for others. It is gain-fame-throughname-game for many. At the same time, many people live by it and for it. Distor tion or transfor mation? Sounds ridiculous? Vinodkumaar spoke to this writer saying he does not want to be revealed because many people are skeptic about what he considers serious. But he is in high spirits to explain the numerological system he learnt from India and indicated that my ‘story’ about numerology should be general since it is practiced by many all over the world. “Job security, financial prosperity and betterment in life led me to go for a name change”, Vinodkumaar confessed. The change in Vinodkumaar’s name results from the added corresponding number of each letter in his name. The first letter in his name ‘v’ corresponds to number 6. The resultant numbers are added up to get a two-digit number, which in turn is added to get a single digit number. In numerology numbers 0-9 stand for a meaning invoking influences on the personality types. Since Vinodkumaar does not want to be exposed let me use my name to explain how this curious system works. The name Sunil Cherian has the following parallel numbers: S-3 C-3

U-6 H-5

N-5 E-5


I-1 R-2


The numbers are added up to get a 2-digit sum: 3 +6+5+1+3+3+5+5+2+1+1+5= 40. The number 40 is split and added this way: 4 + 0 = 4 My personality number is four and the basic characteristics of the number four are individualism, originality, inventiveness and tolerance. Vinodkumaar doesn’t explain further as to how ‘change’ occurs when the name is altered. He only says by associating with other number personalities, by harmonizing with the date of one’s job application, choosing a phone number that is in line with one’s name and the way one writes his/her address can bring about change. Vinodkumaar acknowledges his lack of deep knowledge in numerology and says when in doubt he consults his guru in India. “Has there been any effect since the change in name?” I called Vinodkumaar again the other day. “No substantial changes, but see my story is coming in your paper”, he said in a gist.

Count your blessings!

By Aliya Nabil Tebawi


L-3 I-1


t is very easy to criticize a country in which you are living for almost 35 years and count all the negative factors it offers. But very few of us have been able to realize the blessings that the state of Kuwait has offered most generously, not only to its citizens but to ALL who live here. I have lived in Kuwait since 1975, and have been working for the government loyally and devotedly. I did not abandon Kuwait, during her good days or bad days (the Iraqi invasion). To me and my family, Kuwait has been home and will always be “HOME”. I would like to share with you and my experience of cancer treatment since March 2008. I was admitted to the Kuwait Cancer Control Center, Hussain Makki Jumma Cancer Hospital. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma Cancer. Unfortunately, I kept getting a relapse every three months, each more severe than the other. The doctors therefore decided that I was a suitable candidate for a stem cell transplant. Everyone who is aware of

this treatment knows exactly how expensive this treatment is and one of the most recent breakthroughs in medical history. I went through three sessions of stem cell collection, where a machine extracted the good stem cells from my blood and then the cells were stored so they can later be transplanted into my body. It is not an easy procedure, because they first give you the strongest chemotherapy until the white blood cell count is zero. Then the good stem cells from my body was transplanted and grafted into my body. Each day the new cells started jumping and multiplying until the body created a new healthy maintenance army to protect and keep the body immune system fit to eradicate any negative cell from within. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my most sincere thanks and gratitude to the state of Kuwait, and in particular to Dr. Salem AlShammari, Chairman for Shiekha Badriya Medical Oncology and Stem Cells Transplant unit. Dr. Salem is assisted by a group of qualified doctors who work in the essence of a “team”. No deci-

sion is taken singularly but with discussion and agreement of the team. Unless you are admitted in a hospital, do you realize the amazing performance of the nurses who are diligently dedicatedly seeing to the needs of the patients. Kuwait unfortunately has a very big number of patients suffering from cancer. It has become chronic since the Iraqi invasion of 1990. The nurses are assisted by the porters, cleaners etc. Each and every one compliments the other. My family sent all my reports, CT scans and PET scans to the well known Johns Hopkins University, in USA, for a remote second opinion. You will be pleased to know that my treatment was recognized as being very competent with the international standards. So going abroad is not the answer, value what this country is offering. Two long years of treatment, chemotherapy etc, and now a stem cell transplant all for free! Come on count your blessings of being in Kuwait. Treatment is dispensed for all nationalities at no cost!!!! Long live Kuwait !!!! Thank you Kuwait!!!!! God bless Kuwait !!!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010 SATIRE WIRE By Sawsan Kazak


uwait is a very distinctive place to live, a country that runs on its own rules. Since we are amid National and Liberation day celebrations, it is only fitting to take a moment to enumerate the many aspects that make Kuwait, Kuwait. Kuwait is one of the few countries in the world where car service is available everywhere. You can drive up to the corner store, honk twice and pick up six eggs and a carton of milk from the comfort of your car. You can also pick up your laundry, get your pictures developed and you could even probably pay



Distinctively Kuwaiti your bill from your car, if you drive to the right locations. To top off the convenience, there is never a need to look for parking as valet service is present everywhere - from malls to office buildings and even hospitals you simply pull up and get out. Kuwait is a true paradise for the lazy and parking challenged. In relation to its population, Kuwait has a disproportional number of flower shops, chocolate shops, salons, barbershops and hospitals. At every corner you can purchase a dozen roses, a box of caramel almonds, cut your hair or do you nails and get your blood pressure checked. Apparently, people in Kuwait love to give gifts, look good doing it and are all a little hypochondriac. In Kuwait, a girl can never have low selfesteem as no matter how she looks or where she goes, she will get attention.

The importance of identity

By Abdulla Alnouri


hen I was living in the United States, identifying as an Arab was enough. I learned that, for the most part, all people really wanted to know was if I was Hispanic and why my name sounded so weird. When answering the question, ‘so, where are you from,’ I learned pretty quickly that all I had to do was tell them I was an Arab from the Middle East. Trying to explain the First Gulf War, or exactly where Kuwait is, usually resulted in blank stares and a quick change of topic. In reality though, there are about a million ways for a person to identify. Kuwaiti, black, college graduate, female, conservative, Muslim, Christian, liberal, vegetarianall of these are just examples of ways to describe yourself that will either draw you closer to family, friends, and even strangers or draw a distinction between yourself and others. In case you missed the foam, flag waving, and dancing on Gulf Road, the past two days have been spent celebrating Kuwait’s National and Liberation Days. Just like most other nations, Kuwaitis are celebrating a government that will first and foremost represent their interests. They are also joined by expats, excited and supportive of a government dedicated to making things better for the people within its bor-

Whether at the mall with some friends, driving to work or coming out of the gym in sweats, a girl is going to get attention whether she wants it or not. It is not always convenient, but it is always a self-esteem booster. Restaurants outnumber people in Kuwait, and yet they are all full at the same time. With such a wide variety to choose from, a person can have a hearty Indian breakfast, a good Italian lunch, a light Japanese dinner and a molten chocolate cake for dessert. If you are in Kuwait, you are gaining weight. Kuwait is probably the only country that celebrates its national day by completely trashing its streets and dirtying its residents with sticky white foam. It might seem weird to some, but that’s just how we do it here. Happy National/Liberation day!

I think it is not what our identity is that is important but how it is shaped and what we do with it. ders. And some, expats and citizens alike, are just appreciating the moment and celebrating for the sake of celebrating. Either way, pride in, and celebration of, a person’s nationality is a big deal here in Kuwait. Perhaps no more so than now, during the national holiday season. What surprises me is how many of the expats I know are just as excited about the national holiday celebrations as many citizens. I find it interesting that Kuwait enjoys this unique kind of patriotism in a region where nationalism and patriotism can have such negative connotations and catastrophic consequences. I understand how patriotism is used to discourage people from identifying with divisive and sectarian groups. I certainly see how important unity can be when struggling against the level of corruption

KUWAIT: Children spray foam on passing cars during celebrations marking the state’s national and liberation days on the Arabian Gulf Street yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

and nepotism that this country faces. When a person learns to appreciate and understand where they come from, ethnically and nationally, I think it is only natural for them to be interested in where someone else is coming from too. However, I also understand that nationalism can be quite negative. The conflict between the Algerian and Egyptian football teams are an excellent example. Nationalism can do the opposite of encouraging healthy societal relationships and create a harmful sense of exceptionalism. I think it is not what our identity is that is important but how it is shaped and what we do with it. I have found that if a person feels confident about their identity, they will be more likely to interact respectfully with a different one. There are many that would say that identity is an illusion, a cover you put over yourself to keep you from connecting with people on a more humanitarian, individual level. While I don’t completely disagree with that perspective, I do think that nationalism can play a positive and useful role in a person’s life. Being proud of your ethnic identity is important, even if it is a bit relative. It doesn’t matter that in the US, I would identify as an Arab and here as a Kuwaiti. What is important is knowing how to use my ethnicity and history to connect to people of all backgrounds, not just one like my own.


Holiday exodus By Badrya Darwish


ll of us in Kuwait crave and anxiously wait for any holiday. God bless our government and parliament who also encourage us. For instance, if a holiday falls on a weekend like this occasion when the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) falls on a Friday, our generous parliament compensates us and gives us Monday off. If a holiday falls on any workday, the government is more generous by shifting it to the weekend to make the holiday longer. In that way, we are all given enough reason to jump to Dubai or Saudi Arabia or even Timbuktu. Imagine how much Kuwait loses, economy-wise and money-wise from this exodus. I doubt that our Finance Ministry and Audit Bureau are aware or concerned of Kuwait’s financial losses. I think they share the same feeling and want to get out of their offices and run away somewhere, or just take off from the international airport or Sheikh Saad Airport to a destination anywhere around the world. Others, drive off in their cars to their chalets in Bneider or Nuwaisib, Mina Zoor or Khairan. Our reporter Rawan, for instance, opted for Khairan. Less fortunate people who have no chalets put up tents and camp in the desert even near the electricity poles. If you drive from Kuwait towards Wafra or Khairan, you will see the desert full of tents on both sides. Kuwaitis love camping. If you look at these camps, you will think that we all have no houses and live in tents equipped with all the modern devices ranging from laptops, TVs, satellites, you name it. But these holiday campers and people who opted to stay in Kuwait were unlucky with the sandstorm blanketing Kuwait since yesterday. Many of them opted to drive off to Saudi Arabia and go perform umrah to Makkah. To get my drift, just go to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border to see the long lineup of cars. It seems like many were forced to exit to Saudi Arabia due to the weather conditions. It is like a forced exodus to Makkah because of the weather. Whatever, it is a sweet exodus. Have a nice holiday if you are still around in Kuwait.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

The must-avoid places By Ahmad Saeid There are so many beautiful things about Kuwait. Like any other country in the world though, there are places that get less attention from authorities than others. With time, these places dive further into chaos and misery. This report shows the 10 least attractive places in Kuwait. This is not done for the sake of simple criticism, but rather to highlight the challenges these areas pose to those responsible for their development. The purpose of this report is not to badmouth Kuwait, but to help keep it beautiful.


Jleeb Al-Shuoukh


Um Al-Haiman


Sulaibiya and Taima

wo overcrowded slum areas. There are no water drainage systems. The streets are narrow, filled with cars, Twandering teenagers and dirty water used to clean cars and yards. The water stays in the open until it dries. The area also has a significant crime and drug record. area is a hub for all kinds of crimes - drugs, he area contains several factories that continuously belch liquor making, illegal international phone calls Tandheprostitution, smoke into the air. The pollution there is allegedly T sometimes even murders. The area is overcrowded with responsible for health problems to residents in the area is laborers, is polluted and un-organized.


Shuwaikh industrial area



causing a political crisis.


The roads of Kabd and Bnaider. used car junkyard is a bumpy, dusty, unorganized place the desert. Some very dangerous crimes take place in Tthisheinarea.

9 t contains a huge number of intersections without traffic lights or roundabouts. Narrow roads are filled with cars on Iboth sides and of course there is lots of bad driving. Shuwaikh is also one of the noisiest places in Kuwait.

two roads have the highest accident rate in the country. Many of the accidents on these roads are caused Tby hese drunk driving. Reckless drivers find these areas appropriate for driving at high speeds and showing off.



place is also in the desert, not too far from Scrapyard, but has a different kind of danger - con artists. Whether you Tarehis going there to sell or buy a car, there is a very good chance that you will get coned. Some expats are often forced to sign the selling contract with a price suitable for the broker.

Meshrif sewage area

he place is filled with excavating vehicles, tankers, noises and a disgusting stink. The lights used during evening hours distract and disturb drivers passing by.

Haraj, or the used car market


Sharq, Kuwait City

contains a sulfur emission that makes the area disgusting. Thesmellareacompletely

Photos by Joseph Shagra and Yasser Al-Zayyat



area is only accessible after midnight. Any other time the day, all days of the week, it suffers from traffic jams. TIt isheof extremely difficult to find a parking spot in Hawally. The whole area definitely needs a second floor.

Friday, February 26, 2010

By Hussain Al-Qatari


ash the clothes on Sunday, iron them on Monday. On Tuesday, vacuum the entire house. On Wednesday, clean the toilets and the kitchen from A to Z. Relax on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday prepare for the week ahead. This is how Manal Ashkanani, a 34-year-old housewife, organizes her daily chores. Manal and her husband are one example of over 1,500 Kuwaiti families who decide not to hire domestic help for their household. This is according to statistics released earlier this month by the Ministry of Interior’s Authority of Immigration. As reported in the Kuwait Times earlier, Kuwait is home to about 600,000 housemaids and domestic workers who mostly come from the Indian Subcontinent or the Southeast Asian region. Housemaids are usually responsible for cleaning, cooking and looking after kids in the household. For many years the complete dependence on housemaids has been the subject of many columnists, satirical plays and dramatic TV soap operas. After all these years, criticism has begun to pay off; families are now shifting towards independence, away from domestic help.

Their own stor y Manal and her husband have been married for 12 years and have three children. They rent an apartment in her in-laws neighborhood, and seldom use the help of any domestic workers. Manal says she doesn’t see the point of hiring a housemaid because she is capable of doing the house chores herself. When a time comes that she does need assistance she calls a part-time housemaid who comes every two weeks to help around the


house. “I have a job during the day and sometimes on Tuesday I feel that I can’t vacuum the house myself or iron everything on my own. Paying someone to do specific chores really helps,” she says. Between running errands and helping her children do their

homework, Manal says that every minute counts. “My husband and I teach our children that punctuality is very important. If I’m late running errands until seven in the evening, I

know that I won’t have time to iron all the clothes. My biggest asset is the fact that my husband manages his time efficiently. So, unless I’m sick or we have an emergency in the family, we never have problems doing all our chores,” Manal adds. She believes that teaching children at an early age to help do chores has a very positive impact on them. Umm Jarrah, a 54year-old Kuwaiti woman who has always been a housewife, explains that she doesn’t see the need of housemaids for young couples nowadays. “All my three daughters are married and they don’t have maids at home. In our time, people were more social and visited each other more often,” she says. By the time her son, the fourth child in the family was born, Umm J a r r a h remembers that she had guests coming over every single weekend whether they were inlaws, neighbors or family friends. Big dinners and lunches were a weekly event, she says, insisting that now that these gatherings sel-

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dom happen there is no longer a pressing need for domestic workers. ‘I’m not judging the young generation,’ she clarifies. Nowadays both husband and wife work and this leaves them with almost no time for socializing.” When her daughters socialize with their friends, she notices that they prefer to meet up with friends in restaurants or cafes rather than visit each other’s homes. No longer a necessity Maha Al-Anezi, a 47-year-old woman and mother to five sons, says that she has had a housemaid for over six years but no longer thinks she is a necessity. Now that all of her sons are old enough to help with the house chores, Maha doesn’t see why she needs a housemaid. She has recently retired and now only has home chores to tend to. “My husband has always been against hiring a housemaid. He sees it as a luxury, not a necessity, but there was a period during which we needed someone take over some of the chores. Hiring a maid sounded like the best solution,” she says. Now that Maha is retired and her husband is to follow suit, she thinks the idea of a housemaid is farfetched and nothing more than a luxury. Maha says that many of her friends don’t believe her when she says that she is comfortable without a housemaid. “It’s funny, they tell me that I can borrow their domestic helper if I need something. I appreciate their gesture, really, but there are companies for everything now. You can call a company to send people to clean your house, to dry-clean your clothes, to cater your dinners or lunches,” says Maha. Otherwise, the daily house chores are her form of exercise. “I’ve been meaning to shed some kilos,’ she jokingly says.

Kuwait celebrates!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010


n Days on the ions marking Kuwait’s National and Liberatio brat cele ng duri cars ing pass on foam y n Day marks the People wave national flags and spra Kuwait as a nation in 1961 while Liberatio of tion crea the es orat mem com Day l Arabian Gulf Road yesterday. Nationa at ng the Gulf War. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayy end of the Iraqi occupation in Feb 1991 duri

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Compulsory conscription through eyes of Kuwaitis By Ahmad Saeid

KUWAIT: The flag made from palm prints of hospitalized children is seen. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

Hospitalized kids make flag with palm prints KUWAIT: Under the auspices of Sheikha Sheikha AlAbdullah Al-Sabah and within the activities organized by the Child Development Center (Discovery) to celebrate Kuwait’s National and Liberations Days, Discovery, The C & G Events Technology and Kuwait Association for Care of Children in Hospital

(KACCH) started a campaign to paint the largest Kuwaiti flag made by hospitalized children’s colored hand palm prints. For this purpose, the campaign volunteers visited sick children in various pediatric sections and hospitals around Kuwait to get their hand palm prints and distribute gifts to them.

KUWAIT: While the bill to reintroduce compulsory military conscription is to be discussed in the National Assembly after the National and Liberation Days holidays, young Kuwaitis are split over the need for such a law in the country. Twenty-threeyear-old Hussain Dashti said that even if this law was passed, he would still be exempted on medical grounds due to having flat feet. Nonetheless, he said, it is essential for Kuwait to be prepared in this regard, especially given the current tension in the region. “But I guess the number of people currently in the army are enough,” he added. Another citizen, 36-year-old Yousef AlRashidi, said that introducing compulsory conscription would only make it harder for young people to progress in their careers,

and would not provide any value to the army. “It will take two years off young men’s lives, during which they won’t be doing anything, just taking a vacation from their jobs and stopping their development. On the other hand, if you look at the Kuwaiti Army now, many people in the army are not actually doing anything; they are just employed there, and inviting more people will simply cost the army more, and will not give anything.” Abdulla Bassam, aged 26, insisted that the government has no right to compel citizens to perform military service. “I don’t think that any government has the right to force people to join the army,” he asserted. “They don’t have the right to throw people into combat, and this is where the issue stops for me. They don’t have the right to make me kill or get me killed, and I don’t think that I need to

explain why!” Thirty-five-year-old Ahmad Al-Enezi had a different outlook, however, suggesting that compulsory conscription could be beneficial for Kuwait in other areas, not just the military field. “It will reduce many negative practices we witness among young people in recent years, like homosexuality for example, because we didn’t have as many of these practices in the past,” he said. Al-Enezi also stated that this could also help build patriotic spirit amongst young Kuwaitis during a period when national unity is essential. The previous policy of compulsory military conscription was suspended in the year 2001 at the initiative of the government, which explained that it had taken this step in order to “reconsider” some of the issues concerned in order to devise more efficient legislation.

Foam spray can cause permanent eye damage KUWAIT: Spraying foam, a popular but negative pastime during the national holiday celebrations, has more hazards than previously thought. Doctors from the Bahar Ophthalmology Center have reported that if used incorrectly, the spray

could cause per manent damage to the eyes, reported Al-Watan. Head of the surgery unit at the Center, Dr Abdullah Al-Baghli, warned that chemical substances used in the production of these foams, can cause eye irritation and lead

to severe damage of the cornea. He explained that this can be followed by damage to the retina and cause a temporar y vision defect that, if not taken care of properly, could result in permanent blindness. Al-Baghli

assured that a medical team would be available and put on high alert during the holidays to receive such expected cases. He noted that in past years the center received several cases of eye damage as a result of misusing foam spray.

HH the Amir inspects a model of a project at an expo organised by the ministry in this file photo. —Photo by KUNA

Ministry of Public Works presents past, future projects KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works displayed its upcoming projects and past achievements on the occasion of Kuwait’s National Day and Day of Liberation yesterday and today respectively. The year 2009 witnessed a number of projects aimed at taking Kuwait into a new era of development that will transform it into an example of a modern nation, the ministry’s Head of Public Relations Hamid Bushehri told KUNA. Last year saw the approval of the Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Hospital along with the Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Sports City under the patronage of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah. The Fifth Ring Road connection with the Fahaheel Expressway, the Kuwait National Library and phase three of the sewage system were other major projects, he added. Bushehri added that projects

being carried out include the Interior Ministry headquarters, the Kuwait Deaf Club (a sports centre designed to tend to the specific needs of the deaf), the Fatwa and Legislative headquarters and the Amiri Hall at Kuwait International Airport. Other projects the ministry is working on include the Information Centre, a new National Assembly building, the Police Academy, the First Ring Road and the new Al-Sabbiyya route which will connect areas north of Kuwait City with the Kuwaiti capital. The sewage system in Al-Egaila will receive a revamp, including its pumping station and sewage canals. Other sewage systems that will be dealt with similarly include areas south of Kuwait like Wafra and Kabd. Some of the larger projects the ministry is tackling include the development of Boubyan Island (complete with tourist resorts and its own railway line), and the southern resort town of Khairan. — KUNA


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Late Amir Sheikh Jaber Late Father Amir Late Saudi King Fahd Former US President Saudi Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Sheikh Saad Al-Sabah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud George H W Bush

Ex-UN Sec Gen Javier Perez de Cuellar

Heroes of Kuwait’s liberation remembered on 19th ’versary

Late Amir Sheikh Jaber meets US Army General H Norman Schwarzkopf. — Photos by KUNA

KUWAIT: Nineteen years after the liberation of Kuwait from the occupying Iraqi forces, Kuwaitis still remember the heroes of the liberation war, without whose efforts the coalition force would not have been formed and a war would not have been waged to drive out the occupiers. The late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah played a vital role in rallying the support of nations of the world for the just Kuwaiti cause. Addressing the international community from atop the UN podium, he said, “I come here today carrying a message from people who love peace and work for it, and who extended their hands in assistance to all those in need.” He added, “I come to you with a message from people whose country was, just yesterday, a (model) for peaceful co-existence and brotherhood with other nations, and a home where other people could meet safely ... Today these people are refugees holding on to hope, and others are being held captive or struggling and ready to sacrifice blood and soul but not surrender and bow down to occupation.” These words were instrumental in rallying the support that Kuwait needed, and seven months later, Sheikh Jaber was reinstated as Amir over his liberated homeland. Another man whose memory remains engraved in the hearts of Kuwaitis is the late Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who rushed to Dasman Palace just as the invasion was launched to

guarantee the safety of the Amir and to insist that he leave for Saudi Arabia. Kuwaitis will also never forget the kind heart of the late monarch of Saudi Arabia King Fahd bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, who embraced the people of Kuwait and hosted them in his country and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Some of the heroes of the liberation were thousands of miles away, and one such man was George H W Bush, the US president at the time. It was the US leader who called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting that led to passing Resolution 660 demanding Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwaiti territories. The former US leader was also the man who launched military preparations, with the US leading the coalition force in the Desert Storm air strikes against Iraqi troops, followed by the Desert Shield land offensive that freed Kuwait. Yet another hero is US Army General H Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the US troops and the general who lead the coalition. The efforts of Saudi’s Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, commander of the joint forces for the liberation of Kuwait, were also instrumental in the war to free Kuwait. Just as military man had a role to play, so did diplomats, and here one must not forget the efforts of the UN Secretary General at the time, Javier Perez de Cuellar. — KUNA

Kuwait embassies worldwide mark national anniversaries INTERNATIONAL: Kuwaiti Embassies around the world continued to celebrate the anniversary of the Gulf state’s 49th National Day and 19th Liberation Day, with senior officials and representatives from local communities attending the festivities. Kuwaiti Consul in Dubai Tariq Al-Hamad held a reception marking the national celebrations on Wednesday evening at the Emirates Towers, which was attended by honorary guest Sheikh Hashar AlMaktoum, the Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Information. In a statement to KUNA, AlHamad praised the UAE’s participation at Kuwait’s National and Liberation Days, saying that this underscored the strong brotherly ties between the two countries. He expressed his happiness at seeing a number of Kuwaiti students attending different UAE universities attending this joyous annual celebration and congratulated Kuwaiti leadership in this festive occasion. In the Moroccan capital

Rabat, several senior officials congratulated Kuwait on the occasion and wished the Kuwaiti leadership and people greater prosperity and advancement in the future. Speaking to KUNA during a reception held to mark the annual Kuwaiti celebrations, Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas El-Fassi said that Morocco and Kuwait would work alongside each other to achieve what would be most beneficial for the Arab and Muslim nations. “KuwaitiMoroccan bilateral relations are very strong and hopefully they will continue to be so due to both leaderships’ keenness to develop relations and ties,” said the premier. The Moroccan Minister for Public Sector Modernization Mohamed Saad El-Alami also congratulated Kuwait on its national celebrations, saying that development in Kuwait was a source of joy for the Arab world, and affirmed that Morocco would support the development and integration of any Arab state. Minister of Communication Khaled Al-Nasseri said that Kuwait’s democracy was

reflected through its free media, stressing that Kuwait did not need any commendation in this respect because the Gulf state was a beacon of freedom of speech and democracy. Lauding the resilience of the Kuwaiti people, Minister in Charge of Relations with Parliament Driss Lachguer said that “the Kuwaiti people and leadership have proved to the world time and again that they are up to any challenges, whether at the regional or international level.” Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Latifa Akherbach commended the level of cooperation between Kuwait and Morocco, adding that such cooperation would continue to prosper for the benefit of the Moroccan and Kuwaiti people. Commenting on the occasion from the Kuwaiti side, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Morocco Mohammad Saleh Al-Thowaikh expressed his joy at the advent of the National and Liberation Days, vowing that he would continue to strengthen ties with Morocco in accordance with directions from the Kuwaiti leadership. The

ambassador and embassy staff congratulated the Kuwaiti people and leadership on the national holidays, voicing hope that such celebrations would continue for many years to come. In the Algerian capital Algiers, Kuwaiti Ambassador Saud Al-Duwaish held a reception on Wednesday night to celebrate the national anniversaries. Speaking to KUNA during the event, Algeria’s Minister of War Veterans, Mohammad Cherif Abbas, said that relations between the two countries were strong, thanks to the wise rule of their leaders. On behalf of the Algerian government, he extended his congratulations to the Kuwaiti leadership and people on this joyous occasion. Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs Bouabdellah Ghlamallah said that this was a special occasion for all Arabs, given Kuwait’s support for Arab causes. Minister of Water Resources Abdulmalek Sellal expressed his congratulations on this occasion, and expressed hope that more Kuwaitis would

ALGIERS: The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Algiers Saud Al-Duwaish is seen with other officials at a reception at the embassy. — KUNA come to invest in his country. In the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, Ambassador Yaqoub Al-Attiqi held a reception on Thursday night, which was attended by government officials and representatives of the local business and social communities, as well as accredited diplomats. Ambassador Al-Attiqi told KUNA that the huge turnout reflected the deep relations between the two governments and people at all levels, and their keenness for further strengthening cooperation. On this occasion, the ambassador extended his sincere congratulations to the Kuwaiti leadership, government and people and voiced hope that Kuwait would continue to prosper under the wise rule of

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Meanwhile in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Ambassador Nasser Al-Enizi also held a reception on Thursday night that was attended by senior state officials, along with the heads of Arab and other foreign diplomatic missions, heads of commerce chambers, businesspeople, editors-in-chief of local papers and other local media representatives. The ambassador extended his sincere congratulations on this occasion to the Kuwaiti leadership, and prayed that Almighty Allah would continue to bring prosperity and advancement to the nation. — KUNA


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Ahmadinejad on visit to Syria

Iran: US should stay out of Mideast affairs

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, laughs during a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, in Damascus, Syria yesterday. —AP

Lack of religious backing illustrates Iraq Shiite split NAJAF: Iraq’s Shiite religious elite have refused to back any of the country’s political factions in the run-up to elections next month, highlighting a stark political split in Iraq’s majority community. The lack of an endorsement from the Marjaia, four deeplyrespected scholars who live in the holy city of Najaf, is in marked contrast to their stance in Iraq’s last parliamentary elections in 2005, when they backed the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), the main Shiite bloc and the current ruling coalition. That alliance has since split largely into two competing mostly-Shiite groupings-incumbent Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), built around the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) and the bloc loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr. The UIA’s split has for the first time presented Iraq’s Shiite voters, who make up around 60 percent of the country’s population, with a serious choice between parties that purport to represent their community. At the same time, however, it has made any religious stamp of approval for either bloc difficult, given the Iraqi religious elite’s tradition of taking an advisory role, in contrast to the more active role in government for religious scholars in Iran. “The Marjaia will not sponsor any lists, and it is for voters to choose which servant of the people will fulfill their aspirations and back stability and development,” the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini Al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric and a member of the Marjaia, said in a statement last week. “Voters must choose the candidate they believe is competent and able to serve the people.” Sistani also urged voters to turn out in large numbers for the polls, the second since dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted from power in the 2003 US-led invasion. The lack of endorsement differs from 2005 — in January of that year, the Marjaia, led by Sistani, played a leading role in creating the UIA ahead

of elections to Iraq’s constituent assembly. That backing helped push through key decisions during the drafting of Iraq’s constitution, notably that Islam was the official religion of the state and that no laws could conflict with Islam. Later that year, during the country’s first legislative elections, aides to Sistani made clear that he again backed the UIA. In that vote, the UIA obtained 41 percent of the popular vote and 128 seats in the 275seat parliament, helping bring to an end 80 years of Sunni dominance in Iraq. Times have changed, however, and Maliki decided last year to split from the ruling coalition in order to run on his own list. The division has put the Marjaia in a difficult position. According to Hassan Hakim, professor of Islamic history at the University of Kufa, twin city of Najaf, Sistani has “always called for a united Shiite bloc, but this time he is dealing with a new reality.” His colleague at the University of Najaf Sattar al-Araji added that “the Marjaia will not compromise its spiritual leadership in order to get between the divisions of Shiite politicians.” In May 2006, Maliki, then just the leader of the small Dawa party, a member of the UIA, was chosen to be prime minister, beating current Vice-President Adel Abdel Mehdi by a single vote. Since then, however, he has strengthened his position-in provincial elections in January of last year, his allies ran under a State of Law banner and performed considerably better than other Shiite parties. Despite calls from religious leaders both here and in neighbouring Iran for a united Shiite front, Maliki has reprised that bloc for the March 7 elections. On the other side of the Shiite divide will be the INA. Early indications are that Maliki holds pole position, with the premier’s bloc set to claim 29.9 percent of the popular vote compared to 17.2 percent for the INA, according to a poll of 5,000 Iraqis conducted by the National Media Centre, a government agency. —AFP

DAMASCUS: The United States should pack up and leave the Middle East and stay out of regional affairs, Iran’s president said yesterday during a visit to Damascus that follows a string of US efforts to break up Syria’s 30-year alliance with Tehran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, reaffirmed their ties by canceling visa restrictions between the countries and vowing cooperation. “(The Americans) want to dominate the region but they feel Iran and Syria are preventing that,” Ahmadinejad said during a news conference with Assad. “We tell them that instead of interfering in the region’s affairs, to pack their things and leave.” A string of high-profile visits to Damascus in recent months , from the US, France, and now Iran , shows Syria’s strategic importance in the Middle East. US President Barack Obama is determined to engage with Syria, a country seen as key to peace in the region but which the State Department has long considered a state sponsor of terrorism. America’s goals include peeling Syria away from Iran. Ahmadinejad’s trip comes amid rising US tension with Tehran over the country’s nuclear program. The US and others believe Iran is hiding nuclear weapons development under the guise of a civilian energy program. Iran insists that its intentions are peaceful. Yesterday, Assad signaled his strong support for Iran, saying America’s stance toward the country “is a new situation of colonialism in the region.” Still, Assad could be open to a breakthrough with the Americans. He is hoping for US help in boosting a weak economy and for American mediation in direct peace talks with Israel, a recognition that he needs American involvement to achieve his top goal of winning the return of the Golan Heights, seized by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War. But Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that the recent decision to send the first US ambassador to Syria in five years does not mean American concerns about the country have been addressed. Speaking to lawmakers, Clinton said the nomination of career diplomat Robert Ford is a sign of a “slight opening” with Syria. But she said Washington remains troubled by suspected Syrian support for militant groups in Iraq and elsewhere, interference in Lebanon and Syria’s close relationship with Iran. —AP

CAIRO: Nobel peace prize laureate and former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed ElBaradei (bottom, 4th L) poses for a picture with leading opposition figures during a late night meeting at his house outside Cairo on February 23. —AFP

Ex-UN nuclear chief forms reform group in Egypt CAIRO: Respected worldwide, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and for 12 years the leader of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohammed ElBaradei is positioning himself as a force for change in his homeland. He has already said he might run for president of Egypt, and now he’s forming a coalition to press for free and fair elections in a land ruled for nearly 30 years by President Hosni Mubarak. ElBaradei, 67, returned to Cairo only days ago to a hero’s welcome by supporters who see him as the most credible opposition leader to emerge as this USallied country prepares for the 2011 presidential vote. Existing restrictions make it practically impossible for independents to run, meaning that ElBaradei’s chances are dim without long-sought constitutional amendments. The former Egyptian diplomat has been mum about potential plans to join the campaign, saying that he would only do so if guaranteed that elections would be free, fully supervised by the judiciary and monitored by the international community. But he has used the publicity surrounding his visit to push for democratic reform and escalate pressure on a system he has criticized as stale. Calls for changes to the constitutional amendments, instituted by Mubarak himself in 2005 and 2007, are not new. The support from ElBaradei, a civilian with international stature and untouched by corruption tainting the Egyptian system, has given the demands a new momentum. He met with a group of about 30 opposition figures at his home on the outskirts of Cairo late Tuesday. Several participants said ElBaradei announced the formation of a national “society” for change to push for constitutional reforms that allow for contested elections. ElBaradei, who has lived in the West for

nearly three decades, has called for restrictions on candidates to be lifted. He also wants the elections to be monitored by international observers, the Egyptian judiciary and an independent civil body, instead of being overseen by the Interior Ministry, which controls Egypt’s internal security forces. George Ishaq, a reform activist who attended the meeting, said the attendees represent the founding committee, but details of the society’s goals are being finalized. “We call on all Egyptians to join,” he said. The group was a who’s who of the opposition, including leading dissident Ayman Nour who founded the liberal Ghad (Tomorrow) Party and was himself was jailed after running against Mubarak in the 2005 elections. Osama el-Ghazali Harb, who formed his own party after breaking with Mubarak, said the group differed in ideologies and political inclinations but agreed on its leader. “The problem for the regime now is that ElBaradei is an international figure with stature and can’t be easily stopped,” he said. ElBaradei’s vocal criticism of Egypt’s ruling system have stirred an unusual political debate about the future of Egypt. Established opposition groups have been weakened by restrictive laws, an aging leadership, and lack of a popular base. On top of that, the regime , backed by longstanding emergency laws , frequently jails journalists, pro-reform activists and political opponents. A popular movement that erupted around the constitutional amendment in 2005 has dissipated partially because of government crackdown but also because of lack of focus, and a unifying figure. Saad el-Katatni, a lawmaker with the Muslim Brotherhood, said the group hopes ElBaradei will change that. “Previous groups have lacked a symbol. —AP


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US slams Israel over designating heritage sites WASHINGTON: The Obama administration criticized Israel for designating two shrines on Palestinian territory as Israeli national heritage sites. The criticism came as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she hopes long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians will resume. Clinton told a congressional committee that groundwork is being laid to restart the talks with the help of US envoy George Mitchell. She did not say exactly when the negotiations might resume, but her remarks come amid a flurry of USdiplomatic activity in the region. The United States, Russia and their Middle East peace partners are trying to organize a strategy session among top diplomats next month in Moscow to prod the two sides to relaunch the negotiations. “We hope that that will commence shortly,” Clinton told the Senate Appropriations Committee, referring to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. “We think it is absolutely

necessary that they begin to talk about the final-status issues that divide them, that have perpetuated the conflict over all of these years.” Underscoring those difficulties, the State Department on Wednesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for adding two shrines in the West Bank to Israel’s list of national heritage sites. The move, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as provocative and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table. Toner said US displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the flash point town of Hebron and the traditional tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to senior Israeli officials by American diplomats. The

US, Israel resume ‘strategic dialogue’ JERUSALEM: The United States and Israel yesterday resumed a “strategic dialogue” over Iran’s nuclear program for the first time since US President Barack Obama assumed office, officials said. US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to pick up the regular consultations which were held during the Bush administration. “During this meeting, the first at this level since the (2009) beginning of President Barack Obama’s administration, strategic issues of prime importance will be discussed,” foreign ministry spokesman Ashley Perry told AFP. Another Israeli official said the talks would focus primarily on Iran’s nuclear programme, which Israel considers its greatest strategic threat. A US official, meanwhile, described the consultations as a “regularly scheduled annual dialogue” covering a range of regional and security issues not tied to specific events. The talks are part of “an ongoing process that the United States values as a meaningful tool to discuss a wide range of issues that concern both of our countries,” the State Department said. The meeting came during a visit to the United

States by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in which he was to meet with several top US officials. Israel has called for tough international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector to persuade Tehran to halt its nuclear enrichment program, which Israel and the West suspect is aimed at creating an atomic weapon. Iran has insisted the program is purely for civilian purposes. Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has viewed Iran as its greatest threat because of the nuclear issue and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated predictions of the Jewish state’s demise. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she hoped to see a UN Security Council resolution on new sanctions against the Islamic republic in the next two months. Washington has warned that “time and patience is running out” after Iran announced last week that it is considering building two more uranium enrichment plants inside mountains to protect them from air strikes. Iran, however, has at the same time told the UN nuclear watchdog it is still prepared to buy fuel for a nuclear reactor or swap its own stockpile of lowenriched uranium for the fuel, but on its own territory.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the FY2011 Budget Request for the Department of State on Wednesday. —AFP Palestinians claim all the West Bank as part of a future state and also protested the Israeli move as a provocation, a largely symbolic gesture. The

move heightened longstanding tensions, particularly around the shrine in Hebron. Jews revere the site as the Cave of the Patriarchs, where

the Bible says the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried along with three of their wives. Muslims call it the alIbrahimi mosque, reflecting that Abraham is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam. The US and Russia are trying to convene a meeting of the so-called Quartet group of peacemakers, those two countries plus the European Union and the United Nations , in mid-March in Moscow, according to diplomats. A tentative date of March 19 has been discussed but is not yet confirmed. The meeting would bring together Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton along with other European officials, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is now the Quartet’s special representative. It would seek to build on the work of Mitchell, the special US envoy for Middle East peace, who has been shuttling

back and forth to the region with only limited success in improving the atmosphere for a resumption in peace talks. If held as planned, the meeting would follow a recent flurry of US diplomatic activity in the Middle East, including a coming trip to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden in the second week of March. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg is in Israel now to participate in this week’s US -Israel Strategic Dialogue, and Clinton’s other two top deputies, Jacob Lew and William Burns, each returned from separate trips to the region in the past 10 days. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is due in Washington this week for talks with senior administration officials and will see Clinton at the State Department on Friday. Clinton herself just returned from a trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia that coincided with a visit to Israel by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.—AP

Fresh clashes erupt in West Bank town over holy sites plan soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets HEBRON: Around 100 Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Hebron on yesterday over an Israeli plan to renovate two deeply contested holy sites in the occupied territory. Young men hurled rocks at soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets in running clashes near the disputed Tomb of the Patriarchs, according to an AFP correspondent who saw four Palestinians detained by soldiers. An Israeli military spokeswoman said “several illegal riots are taking place in a number of places around Hebron.” “The protesters are burning tyres and throwing firebombs and rocks at Israeli security forces, who are responding with crowddispersal means,” she added. There were no immediate reports of anyone hurt on either side. It was the fourth day of clashes in the town following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem would be included in a heritage restoration plan. The decision infuriated Palestinians, with senior officials in the West Bank saying it could prevent the resumption of US-led peace talks and the Islamist Hamas in Gaza calling on Palestinians to “rise up” against Israel. The Hebron site, revered by Jews and Muslims as the burial

HEBRON: Palestinian youths throw stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron yesterday. —AFP place of the biblical patriarch Abraham, has frequently been the scene of violent tensions. A few hundred hardline Jewish settlers live under heavy Israeli military protection near

the site in the heart of the town of 160,000 Palestinians. Israelis worship in a part of the Ibrahimi mosque above the tomb which has been converted into a synagogue.

The mosque was the site of the infamous 1994 shooting massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers by the US-born Jewish extremist Baruch Goldstein.—AFP


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Nigerians ask who’s in charge, fear power struggle ABUJA: Nigerians demanded to know who was running the country yesterday after the return of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua from medical treatment abroad stirred fears of a power struggle and government deadlock. The renewed uncertainty threatens to keep official decisions on hold in the OPEC member of more than 140 million people and could endanger hopes of cementing an amnesty for rebels in the oil-producing Niger Delta. Although Vice President Goodluck Jonathan is officially running state business, Yar’Adua’s wife Turai is emerging as increasingly powerful and controls access to a president not seen in public for three months and too sick to rule. “Who is in charge here?” said the opposition Action Congress. The headline on the Daily Trust newspaper read: “President + Ag (Acting) President = Confusion.” Jonathan has been unable to see Yar’Adua

since his return from Saudi Arabia early on Wednesday. A planned meeting with Turai to discuss the president’s health was cancelled. “He did not meet Turai last night as she was busy tending to her husband,” said one source at the presidency who did not want to be named. “They may meet today.” Jonathan assumed executive powers two weeks ago in Yar’Adua’s absence and quickly set about reviving government work that had been in paralysis for months in Africa’s most populous country. Analysts say those close to Yar’Adua had been worried by Jonathan’s assertive behavior and wanted the 58-year-old president back quickly, even though he is unable to work, to ensure they were not sidelined. In a message to reassure Nigerians late on Wednesday, Jonathan said “The ship of state is on course.” FRUSTRATION But officials at the Aso Rock presidential villa said

WASHINGTON: This photo taken on December 13, 2007 shows Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua during a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. —AFP there was frustration in Jonathan’s camp at not being involved in decisions apparently driven by Turai, and uncertainty as to why

Yar’Adua returned if he was unable to resume work. “His return adds to the confusion,” said Lagos-based analyst Adeyemi Adeleke. “If he is

returning to take over the reins of power it is different, but you are returning to sit somewhere as an incapacitated president? I don’t understand.” Nigerian media said Jonathan was unaware Yar’Adua planned to return until shortly before his arrival and that troop movements were ordered to protect the president without the knowledge of Jonathan, who was in theory acting as commander in chief. “The president, as the father of the nation, should address the country on local radio and television to enable the citizens to assess his state of health,” said Lai Mohammed of the opposition Action Congress. Yar’Adua may be in no state to do so. Sources close to the presidency said he was still in a mobile intensive care unit almost a day after being flown in from Saudi Arabia. If Jonathan appears to be sidelined, it could increase the chances of a new flare-up in the Niger Delta, his home

region, where militants threaten attacks on Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry if there is no progress on the amnesty. “It is my strong feeling that if this situation continues, I guess it is not going to take more than one week, things will turn,” said Jonjon Oyeinfe, a former president of the Ijaw Youth Council ethnic rights group who sits on a government amnesty committee. “In Nigerian politics, no matter how you look at it, the ethnic factor plays a deep role. An Ijaw man is (in the presidency) and the freedom fighters have looked on his presence and tried not to carry out actions that will make his position difficult,” he told Reuters. Yar’Adua is from Nigeria’s largely Muslim north, where there had been unease among some politicians that Jonathan might become a candidate for the presidency in 2011, a post they want to keep for the north even if Yar’Adua cannot stand. — Reuters

Sudan releases 57 Darfur rebels Sudanese govt, rebel Justice and Equality Movement sign truce

ISTANBUL: Former Deputy Chief of Military Gen Ergin Saygun is surrounded by security as he arrives at a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday. —AP

More Turkish officers charged in coup plot ANKARA: A Turkish court yesterday formally charged eight more military officers of plotting to topple the nation’s Islamic-rooted government, increasing the number of officers who have been charged and jailed to 20 , including five admirals and three generals. Police also escorted several other officers , including former chiefs of the navy and air force and the ex-deputy chief of the military , to the court house for questioning yesterday. The court acted hours before President Abdullah Gul; Gen. Ilker Basbug, the military chief; and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met to discuss tensions over the largest-ever crackdown on the military in Turkey. The unprecedented showdown between Turkey’s governing Islamic political movement and the country’s fiercely secular military officers has worried businesses and investors, shaking the markets amid calls from opposition parties for early elections to end the turmoil. Wiretap evidence and the discovery of alleged plans for a military coup drafted in 2003 , a year after the current government was elected , led to the detention of about 50 military commanders by police on Monday. The court must decide whether to formally charge, arrest and jail them. Some are accused of plotting to blow up mosques and kill some non-Muslim figures to foment chaos and trigger a military takeover.— AP

KHARTOUM: Sudan released 57 Darfur rebels on Wednesday, including 50 who had been sentenced to death, under a new truce agreement between the government and the most country’s powerful rebel group. The leader of the most powerful rebel group promised that it, too, would release government soldiers it holds. The Sudanese government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement signed a truce agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday after a year of negotiations meant to end seven years of devastating conflict that have killed some 300,000 and displaced more than 2.7 million in the western Darfur region. The prisoner release was an important confidencebuilding measure. Justice Minister Abdel-Basset Sabdarat told reporters that President Omar al-Bashir ordered the prisoners freed. JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim said his group would release government soldiers it holds. The rebels had been imprisoned for their part in an attack on the Sudanese capital in 2008 that killed more than 200 people and caused heavy damage to public properties. Sabdarat said those released represent 50 percent of the JEM members already tried and found guilty and that other prisoners would be released as the peace

KHARTOUM: An unidentified convicted Darfur rebel is carried on the shoulders of supporters, after his release from prison, in Khartoum, Sudan Wednesday. —AP process progressed. Ibrahim’s brother, a senior leader in the group, was not among those released. The rebel movement had no immediate comment. An unknown number of JEM supporters were detained after the attack on the capital, and more than 100 were sentenced to death in hastily convened trials. The release of all these prisoners was a major JEM demand from the outset of the talks a year ago. The next challenge for peace mediators will be getting the dozens of other rebel splinter groups to join the process as arduous power

and wealth-sharing talks begin, especially since JEM is primarily a military movement without the popular base of other rebel groups. At a news conference in Doha, Ibrahim demanded that other rebel groups join the reconciliation process under its umbrella, rather than stake out their own, separate pacts with the government. But the government’s representative to the talks, Amin Hassan Omar, said that was not for JEM to decide, and that the government would approach the other groups. Al-Bashir said Tuesday that he hoped to see

a full peace agreement by mid-March. Previous cease-fires and partial peace deals have been short-lived. But the recent end of the long-running animosity between Sudan and Chad could be the deciding factor in this agreement’s longevity. Chad and Sudan once accused each other of supporting the other’s rebels. According to the agreement, Sudan has asked Chadian rebels who have taken refuge on its soil to lay down their arms and live as refugees in Sudan or return to Chad by March 21, Omar said.—AP


Friday, February 26, 2010

Page 13

Prez addresses upsurge in violence

Gunmen kill 13 people in southern Mexican town PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, left, gestures as he speaks during a press conference after the closing ceremony of the Rio Group Summit on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen. — AP

Venezuela annuls election of anti-Chavez mayor CARACAS: Venezuela’s highest court on Wednesday annulled the election of an opposition mayor, replacing him with a supporter of President Hugo Chavez until a new vote is held. The Supreme Court threw out the 2008 election of Jorge Barboza, mayor of the Sucre municipality in western Zulia state, on grounds that he failed to pay $292 in local taxes. The justices ruled Barboza was ineligible to continue as mayor because he lacked “the suitability (required) for the management of a mayoral post.” In brief comments on the local Globovision television channel, Barboza called the ruling a coup against a democratically elected official and denied any wrongdoing. His brother, Omar Barboza, said the arguments behind the ruling “constitute proof that the justice system is being used to politically persecute opponents” of Chavez’s socialist government.

Barboza said the owner of a house rented by the mayor apparently failed to pay the $292 in taxes. He called the court’s ruling ridiculous, saying his brother should not be held responsible for the home owner’s lack of responsibility. The Supreme Court appointed Humberto Franka Salas, a member of Chavez’s ruling party, as interim mayor. Franka Salas, who was runnerup in the 2008 mayoral vote, will hold the post until a new election. Chavez foes have long accused the president of using judges and prosecutors to bring trumped up criminal charges against government opponents. International rights groups have criticized the lack of independence of Venezuela’s judiciary, noting that Chavez appears to hold sway over the system. Chavez rejects the allegations, saying he has never pressured judges or prosecutors to target his adversaries. — AP

Obama, Republicans spar in rare TV forum WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and top Republican leaders debated how to fix the US health care system yesterday in an unprecedented televised spectacle that could have more bearing on the political future of Obama and the Democrats than on how Americans pay for their doctors. Obama goes into the event with little illusion that he can win over Republicans who have managed to block his sweeping health care overhaul package despite solid Democratic majorities in Congress. But the president is looking to the forum to give his party a jolt ahead of the November congressional elections and revive its fading hopes for passing sweeping health care reform in the only develop nation without universal health care. Obama is trying to boost support not only from the American public, but also from moderate Democratic lawmakers, who could face the wrath of conservative voters if they back their president’s plan. Republicans have been wary of the meeting, but their top congressional leaders plan to attend. They have called on Obama to start over the whole process of reforming health care, but he has refused. “We’re happy to be there, but I’m not quite sure what the purpose is,” said the Senate’s top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Obama will be the moderator for talks on four topics: revamping insurance, cost containment, expanding coverage and the impact of health care legislation on deficit reduction. The forum will take place in Blair House, the presidential guest quarters across from the White House, and be carried live on the C-Span cable network. It’s a sight Americans have never seen: the president and top congressional leaders from both parties seated together, sparring for six hours before a television camera.— AP

OAXACA: The US government warned its citizens Wednesday against traveling to a northern Mexico border state where shootouts killed 19 people the previous three days. The alert came a day after assailants stormed a rural town in southern Mexico and killed 13 people. President Felipe Calderon addressed the upsurge in violence, using a rare news conference with local news media to hotly deny accusations that his government is favoring one drug cartel over another. Calderon called the accusations “incredible ... false and illintentioned, and I don’t know what motives lie behind them.” In Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, reports of violence and impending violence have grown so bad that the US Consulate in Monterrey warned American citizens Wednesday to avoid traveling there. Nineteen people, including a soldier and police officer, were killed over three days in shootouts across the state of Tamaulipas, where Nuevo Laredo is located. Security forces have fought gang members in several areas of Tamaulipas since Sunday, state deputy attorney general Hernan de la Garza said. On Tuesday, gunmen attacked the police headquarters in the town of Miguel Aleman, de la Garza said. Six officers were missing and presumed to have been kidnapped. As rumors of shootouts spread, people stayed off the streets and two dozen schools ended classes early Tuesday in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, which sits across the border

from Brownsville, Texas. Reports of fighting spread by e-mail and social network postings. There were no shootings in either city Tuesday, however. Nuevo Laredo school superintendent Aurelio Uvalle said schools did not have permission to close and teachers who failed to show up for classes could face disciplinary measures. Drug battles had quieted somewhat in Tamaulipas the last few years, but the state has seen a recent increase in clashes. On Wednesday, the navy said three of its marines died in a shootout that also killed three suspected gang members Feb. 8 in the border town of Reynosa. It was unclear why the navy waited to release the information. In the southern state of Oaxaca on Tuesday, hooded assailants kidnapped several police officers at a checkpoint in San Vicente Camalote, state officials said Wednesday. The gunmen then burst into a house where they killed rancher Alfonso Maciel and five other people, including three police officers, before moving on to Maciel’s ranch, where they killed four people, including three of his sons. One of the sons was a minor. As they fled, the gunmen killed three local policemen who tried to stop them. One policeman was reported missing and possibly kidnapped by the gunmen, and state police were sent to patrol the town. Maciel apparently had links to a drug cartel, the state government said in a statement. The government said the 30 to 40 attackers traveled in five or six vehicles with license

plates from the neighboring state of Veracruz — territory of the Gulf cartel. Oaxaca, a Pacific coast state with a picturesque colonial capital, ancient Zapotec ruins and pristine beaches, is considered a drug trafficking corridor, although violence has not risen to the levels plaguing Mexico’s northern border region. In Guerrero, another Pacific coast state considered a trafficking corridor, police found two severed arms in an icebox Wednesday, along with a threatening message. State police said an anonymous tip led them to the remains in the town of Ciudad Altamirano. The Gulf cartel has recently hung banners in Nuevo Laredo accusing Calderon’s administration of protecting the less-openly bloody Sinaloa cartel, while cracking down on extremely violent rival drug gangs. While Sinaloa hit men have carried out massacres in the past, the Gulf and La Familia cartels frequently use the grizzliest methods imaginable to eliminate rivals and attack police and army patrols. Calderon angrily denied the accusation of favoritism Wednesday. “This administration has attacked all the (drug) groups, without distinction,” he said. In a separate statement, the Mexican Interior Department said that of the almost 72,000 people detained on drug charges during Calderon’s administration, 27 percent belonged to the Gulf cartel, just slightly more than the 24 percent from the “Pacific” (Sinaloa) cartel. — AP

Lula, Castro hold emotional meeting HAVANA: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had an “emotional” meeting on Wednesday on Lula’s last official trip to the island before his term expires, Cuban media reported. Photographs showed the two longtime friends chatting and smiling while sitting around a table and standing in the backyard of a two-story home. Castro wore a white Nike windbreaker and looked elderly but in good shape. Lula told reporters the ailing 83-yearold looked “exceptionally good,” staterun media said. A report on Cuban television said the two men had a long, “friendly dialogue” touching on topics including the global climate change conference in December in Copenhagen and the just-ended Rio Group summit in Cancun. Castro, who ruled Cuba for 49 years before health problems forced him to give way in 2008 to his younger brother, President Raul Castro, thanked Lula for his “gestures of solidarity and cooperation” with Cuba, the report said. “The emotional meeting was an expression of the existing friendship between the two leaders and the brotherhood that unites the two countries,” it said. The trip was Lula’s third to Cuba in two years and was meant to signal Cuba’s importance to whomever is elected his successor in Brazil’s October election, a Brazilian diplomat said. Under Lula, a former union leader, Brazil has provided money and corporate muscle to the island at a time when its economy has suffered in the global economic recession. Statecontrolled oil giant Petrobras is studying whether to drill for oil in Cuba’s offshore

HAVANA: Brazil’s President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, left, and Cuba’s President Raul Castro attend an agreement signing ceremony in Havana, Wednesday. — AP and Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht is heading a massive remake of the port of Mariel, west of Havana, into Cuba’s main commercial port. Brazil’s state-run National Development Bank has given $300 million to Odebrecht to build new highways, rail lines, wharves and warehouses at Mariel, best known as the site of a 1980 exodus in which thousands of Cubans fled to the United States in boats. Lula’s visit has been overshadowed by the death on Tuesday of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo after an 85-day hunger strike. Lula has not spoken to foreign press based in Cuba and news coverage of his departure for Haiti yesterday was canceled by the Cuban government. While touring the Mariel project on Wednesday, Raul Castro expressed

regrets about the death of Zapata, jailed since 2003 and serving a 36-year sentence, but blamed it on “relations with the United States.” Cuba considers dissidents to be U.S. mercenaries working to overthrow the communist-led government and blames Washington for encouraging their activities against the Cuban state. President Castro said Zapata was not murdered or tortured. He and Lula presided over a meeting on Wednesday night when Cuban and Brazilian officials signed a dozen accords on such things as technology transfer, biotechnology, agriculture and public health. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday, after the completion of the Rio Group summit, that he also would come to Havana to meet with Fidel Castro, but there have been no reports on his visit in Cuban press.— Reuters


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Man wanted in string of kidnappings, killings

Philippine police arrest another terror suspect MANILA: Philippine police dealt a new blow to a notorious Al-Qaeda-linked group with the arrest of a suspected militant wanted in a string of kidnappings and killings, officials said yesterday. Mujibar Alih Amon, an alleged logistics officer of the Abu Sayyaf group, took part in the 2000 abduction of American Muslim convert Jeffrey Schilling, who later escaped, and 21 Western tourists and staff of a Malaysian resort earlier that year, national police chief Jesus Verzosa said. Verzosa handed a 600,000 peso ($13,000) reward to an unidentified civilian informant who led police in a raid on Amon’s hide-out Saturday on southern Jolo Island, a militant stronghold. In the last six years of US backed counterterrorism strikes, Philippine security forces have killed or arrested more than 800 suspected militants, including 12 this month alone, said Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor. The arrest of Amon, 26, came a day before troops killed senior Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad, who was charged with murder and kidnappings, including last year’s abductions of three Red Cross workers. Security forces last week captured

MANILA: Philippine National Police officers escort to his detention suspected Abu Sayyaf leader Mujibar Alih Amon, center yesterday at Manila’s Quezon city following his arrest in the island of Jolo in southern Philippines over the weekend. — AP another suspected militant, Jumadali Arad, who was allegedly the driver of a speedboat used to carry dozens of hostages the Abu Sayyaf snatched from a southwestern resort in 2001. They included three

Americans, two of whom were later killed. With the arrests and Parad’s killing, Verzosa said authorities “are very positive that the strength and the morale of the group has been drastically reduced.” Police intelligence officials said

Amon joined the Abu Sayyaf in 1998, seven years after it was founded with suspected alQaida funds, and received combat training. He was trained in bomb-making by Umar Patek, an Indonesian terrorist suspect wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings, police said. Patek and Dulmatin, both members of the Indonesiabased militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, fled to the southern Philippines after the bomb attacks. Amon allegedly planted a bomb on a road to Jolo airport that killed two army bomb squad members who tried to defuse it in 2003, police said. He also allegedly was part of a group of militants who seized two army soldiers and burned them alive that same year. In 2001, police said he joined the militants who kidnapped six members of the Christian sect Jehovah’s Witnesses, two of whom were later decapitated and their heads dumped in the Jolo market along with a note calling for a holy war. The Abu Sayyaf, which is fighting to create an Islamic caliphate in the predominantly Christian nation, still has about 400 fighters, down from its peak of about 1,000 in the early 2000s, authorities said. It is on the US list of terrorist organizations.— AP

China warns US over future Taiwan arms sales BEIJING: China warned the US yesterday against any future arms sales to Taiwan and reaffirmed its decision to suspend military exchanges over Washington’s plan to sell $6.4 billion in military hardware to the island. China demands that the US “speak and act cautiously” to avoid further damaging ties and upsetting relations between Beijing and Taiwan, Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. Huang also said there had been no change in Beijing’s decision last month to put off military contacts in protest over the Obama administration’s decision to sell helicopters, missiles and other weapons to Taiwan. “The US side bears full responsibility for the current difficulties in exchanges

between the Chinese and US militaries,” Huang said. Huang’s comments follow the publication this week of a US Defense Intelligence Agency report stating that Taiwan’s air defenses against China were likely inadequate. Many observers saw the study as justification for the possible sale of advanced fighter jets to the selfgoverning island democracy. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to conquer it by force if necessary. Such US reports are an outgrowth of a law, passed 30 years ago when Washington cut ties with the island to establish relations with Beijing, requiring the United States to ensure Taiwan has an adequate defense against Chinese threats. China resents all US arms sales to Taiwan, seeing them

as interference in its internal affairs. In response to the latest sale, Beijing, for the first time, also threatened commercial retaliation against the aerospace companies that make the weapons offered in the latest deal. Speaking to reporters at a routine news conference yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang repeated China’s claims that the Taiwan arms sales undermine Chinese security and demanded the US take action to repair ties. “The people who tied the knot should untie the knot,” Qin said. The Taiwan arms sale is one of several issues that has roiled China-US relations this year, including trade disputes, President Barack Obama’s meeting last week with exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, and

cyberspying accusations from Google Inc. Also yesterday, China’s Commerce Ministry accused Washington of abusing trade relief measures after US regulators increased import duties on Chinese-made steel pipes to offset what it said were improper subsidies to manufacturers. “These seemingly fairtrade measures in fact are abuses of trade relief measures which are intended to protect the domestic economy,” said Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian, referring to a series of recent US trade cases against Chinese exporters. Yao said the number of US antidumping and anti-subsidy cases against Chinese goods rose by more than half last year to 23, while the value of goods affected rose by eight times to $7.6 billion.— AP

BANGKOK: In this Feb 9, 2001 file photo, Thaksin Shinawatra is surrounded by wife Pojaman, right, son Parntongtae, second right, and daughter Pintongta, left, as he makes a speech after receiving King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s command appointed him the country’s prime minister at his residence in Bangkok. — AP

Thai court to rule on Thaksin’s fortune BANGKOK: Thailand is bracing for “Judgment Day” today, when the highest court decides whether to seize the $2.29 billion fortune of the country’s divisive ex-leader, Thaksin Shinawatra. The universal assumption is that the Supreme Court will confiscate at least part of Thaksin’s fortune, which was frozen after his ouster in a 2006 coup that was staged because of his alleged corruption and abuse of power. The big question is whether Thaksin supporters will react to the verdict with riots. That could usher in a painful new chapter in Thailand’s political crisis after four years dominated by a bitter and sometimes violent rivalry between the allies and foes of the former telecommunications tycoon. Thaksin won two landslide election victories and remains popular among Thailand’s rural poor who benefited from his policies. But he is generally loathed by the urban elite, including in the military and bureaucracy, who contend he sought to usurp the power of the country’s revered constitutional monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Ahead of today’s verdict, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government has called in the troops. More than 20,000 soldiers and police will be on alert nationwide , with about 6,000 in Bangkok, the capital. Judges have been offered safe havens. Banks have been told to stock extra cash to accommodate panic withdrawals. The verdict is timed to minimize the blow to Thailand’s stock market, which like the economy and tourism industry have suffered through the instability. Judges will begin reading their ruling at 1 p.m. (0600 GMT) and are expected to finish after the market closes ahead of a three-day holiday weekend. “If everybody remains calm and accepts the (ruling), Thailand will get through this situation,” Abhisit said Wednesday. Thaksin supporters say the talk about violence is government propaganda designed to discredit them. The pro-Thaksin Red Shirts, known formally as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, say no protests are scheduled for today but a peaceful “million man march” will be held March 14 in Bangkok. The 60-year-old Thaksin, who jumped bail and fled the country in 2008, is currently based in Dubai. Thaksin plans to give a running commentary today’s proceedings by holding a live videolink as judges read the ruling, which will be broadcast to supporters from the headquarters of the opposition Puea Thai party, which is allied to him, the party said. “If I don’t receive justice, I will fight for it in every way,” Thaksin told supporters earlier this week via videolink. “I am willing to negotiate. But if I am persecuted and bullied, I will not tolerate it.” Thaksin’s served as Thailand’s prime minister for five years until he was unseated by the September 2006 coup. Critics accused the tycoon-turned-politician of massive corruption and abusing his power by shaping government policy to enrich his family’s telecommunications empire. He was convicted in absentia of conflict of interest in 2008 and sentenced to two years in prison. A nine-judge panel at the court’s special Criminal Division for Political Office Holders will determine if Thaksin concealed his assets after becoming prime minister and used his office to enrich himself. His 76.77 billion baht ($2.29 billion) fortune was frozen after the coup and is reportedly stashed in more than 100 bank accounts and other investments belonging to himself, his now ex-wife, his children and other relatives. Judges will consider several cases of Thaksin’s alleged policy abuse, including a multimillion dollar government loan to Myanmar in 2004. Thaksin is accused of endorsing the US$127 million low-interest loan in exchange for the junta’s purchases of satellite services from Shin Satellite, then controlled by Thaksin’s family. — AP


Friday, February 26, 2010

Page 15

Marines’ progress slowed by difficult terrain

NATO forces move to flush out final resistance COLOMBO: Election propaganda of candidate Dinesh Gunawardena for the upcoming parliamentary elections is seen in Colombo, Sri Lanka yesterday. — AP

Detained ex-army chief to contest Sri Lanka vote COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s exarmy chief who was detained on accusations of sedition after losing presidential elections is set to lead a new opposition coalition in an April parliamentary vote, a party official said yesterday. Retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka has signed nomination papers to contest a seat in the capital Colombo, representing the Democratic National Alliance at the nationwide polls on April 8, party official Vijitha Herath said. His papers will be submitted today. Fonseka contested the Jan. 26 presidential election with the backing of 14 opposition parties, but lost to the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The military arrested Fonseka nearly two weeks after his heavy election defeat, propelling this island nation into political turmoil as it emerges from a quartercentury of civil war, following the annihilation of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year. Charges against him have not yet been specified, and without a conviction against him, he should be able to contest the vote. Government officials have alleged various offenses from plotting to overthrow the government

while in military service to taking kickbacks on arms deals. Fonseka signed his nomination papers at the naval camp in Colombo where he is held and sent the documents through his wife Anoma Fonseka who is allowed to visit him, Herath said. Rajapaksa and Fonseka were formerly strong allies against the Tamil rebels, but after the war ended they fell out. Fonseka quit the army and ran for the presidency. After the vote, Fonseka accused Rajapaksa of electoral fraud and petitioned the Supreme Court to void the January election. Rajapaksa has faced international criticism for the arrest of Fonseka but the detention has been followed by a split in the opposition coalition. Its biggest partner, the United National Party, has decided to go it alone in the upcoming elections. Herath said Fonseka’s new alliance comprises six parties. The split in the opposition boosts Rajapaksa’s hope of dominating the next parliament. His ruling coalition controlled 128 seats in the 225-member legislature before it was dissolved earlier this month.— AP

Afghanistan demands return of commander KABUL: The Afghan government said yesterday it has demanded the extradition of the top Taleban military commander who was captured in a raid last month in Pakistan. Interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan had reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday on the extradition of Mullah Adbul Ghani Baradar. Baradar, second only to Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, was captured in Karachi in what US media reports said was a joint raid by US and Pakistani intelligence agents, dealing a blow to the hardline Islamist movement. Bashary said Baradar was one of 42 people, including other Taliban figures, Kabul wants returned from neighbouring Pakistan, which is under strong US pressure to crack down on militants in both countries. Another Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Kabir, is also believed to have been detained by Pakistani security forces in recent weeks, but Islamabad has yet to officially confirm his detention. Asked if Kabir’s name was on the list, Bashary said: “Yes. There are 42 people that we have demanded be extradited.” The demand was made during a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atamar, his Pakistan counterpart Rehman Malik and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bashary added. The US embassy in Islamabad confirmed that FBI director Robert Mueller held talks with Afghan and Pakistani officials on Wednesday, as well as Pakistan intelligence agents from the Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency. — AFP

MARJAH: US Marines and Afghan troops slogged through bomb-laden fields yesterday to clear the last pockets of insurgents from the southern Taleban haven of Marjah, while vegetable markets resumed business in other parts of town. The Marines’ progress was slowed by difficult terrain with no roads, few tracks and many hidden mines, but there was no gunfire by mid-morning. Several armored vehicles fell into irrigation canals while others were damaged by roadside bombs. The last couple days have been relatively calm, with limited engagement by insurgents, as troops secured areas they’ve already taken and moved into position to tackle these final insurgents holdouts. NATO said in a statement that while there are still occasional gunfights in town, the number of residents returning has increased in recent days and shops have opened to sell telephones and computers alongside fresh fruits and vegetables. The mass assault in southern Helmand province, with 15,000 NATO and Afghan troops, is the largest military operation in Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taleban regime in 2001. NATO’s strategy is to rout Taleban militants from a town that had served as a logistical base and drug trafficking hub, restore the Afghan government presence, and rush in public services in a bid to win over the confidence of local communities.

HELMAND: A British soldier of the 1st batallion of the Royal Welsh gives a pen to an Afghan boy during a patrol in the streets of Showal in Nad-eAli district, Southern Afghanistan, in Helmand Province yesterday. —AFP In a sign that NATO’s push to win over the population may be gaining traction, bomb tips from residents have increased by nearly 50 percent, the alliance said. As the offensive closes in on its second week, 13 NATO troops have been killed and three Afghan soldiers, according to military officials. Eighty NATO troops have been wounded, along with eight Afghans. At least 28 civilians have been killed, including 13 children, according to the Afghan human rights commission. The civilian toll has raised fears that NATO may lose the support of the population even as it drives out

the Taleban. The deaths come even though NATO has said its priority is protecting the civilian population and has adopted strict rules to prevent casualties. A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry said that both the Afghan government and NATO troops realized they had to be realistic and accept that there would be civilian deaths. “Preventing civilian casualties is our biggest challenge,” Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi told reporters in Kabul. “You should not expect zero casualties, either from our side or from the international forces. That will only happen

when the fighting is over. And we are all trying to make that happen. NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay, speaking alongside Azimi, urged Afghans to recognize that international troops are putting themselves in greater danger in order to try to protect civilians. “We are going beyond the laws of armed conflict by increasing our risk,” Tremblay said. A day earlier, more than 100 Marines and their Afghan counterparts began their push into a northern Marjah neighborhood they say is the last significant pocket of Taleban insurgents in town. — AP

India, Pakistan hold first talks since Mumbai attacks NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan held their first formal talks for 14 months yesterday, seeking to put their volatile relationship back on track after it was derailed by the devastating 2008 Mumbai attacks. Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir met for three hours in New Delhi for talks that offered little hope of a breakthrough but carried vital importance for regional peace and stability. Arguments over the agenda and a brief exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani border guards before the meeting augured badly for major progress, with the probable best-case scenario an agreement to keep on talking. But the mere fact that the nuclear-armed rivals sat down together marks a step forward for two countries that have fought three wars against each other and are seen as vital in bringing stability to neighboring Afghanistan. “I look forward to our talks,” Rao told reporters as she met Bashir at a former princely palace in the Indian capital. Bashir said he hoped for “a very good, constructive engagement.” New Delhi’s offer earlier this month to resume an official peace dialogue that began in 2004 had taken many by surprise. India froze all discussions after the

Mumbai carnage 14 months ago in which 10 Islamist gunmen targeted multiple locations in the country’s financial capital, killing 166 people. India blamed the attack on Pakistan-based militants and said talks could only resume if Islamabad took concrete steps to bring those responsible to justice and cracked down on militant groups on its soil. Reflecting domestic political concerns and criticism from the opposition about the initiative, India had insisted that the focus of yesterday’s meet would be on tackling Pakistan-based militancy. During the talks, the Indian side handed the Pakistanis the latest in a series of dossiers containing intelligence related to the Mumbai attacks. “It is our core concerns about terrorism that we find the essential focus for the discussions,” Rao had said on Monday, adding that effective Pakistani action against militant groups remained an “absolute must” if normalization was to proceed. Pakistan had balked at the Indian emphasis on terrorism and made it clear that all issues between the rivals should be up for discussion, including the seemingly intractable dispute over Muslim-majority Kashmir. The Himalayan region is held in part by Pakistan and India, but claimed in full by both. It has been the trigger for two

out of the three wars the countries have fought since 1947. Bashir met with senior Kashmiri separatist leaders on Wednesday, signaling Islamabad’s intention of keeping Kashmir on the talks agenda. Both foreign secretaries, the most senior civil servants in their foreign ministries, were expected to brief the press separately later yesterday. There will be no joint statement. Experts say Washington played a key role in nudging the two neighbors back to the table in an effort to keep a lid on South Asian tensions as it presses more troops into its fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Top leaders from both countries have met several times since the Mumbai assault during regional conferences, but yesterday’s meeting marked the first real move towards normalization. Indian politicians and newspapers were generally pessimistic on the likely outcome. “Talks low on hope,” ran the headline in the Times of India. “I’m not very optimistic,” Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Wednesday, while another senior government official highlighted a “trust deficit.” Writing in English-language Pakistani newspaper Dawn, guest columnist and retired Pakistani senior diplomat Tariq Fatemi said both sides needed to move beyond “talks about talks”. — AFP


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Friday, February 26, 2010

China’s global profile gets a boost with key IMF post

BEIJING: A Chinese sales assistant browses his mobile phone next to Hummer car models on display for sale at a car market in Beijing, yesterday. Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once symbolized America’s love for hulking Sports Utility Vehicles, faces a shutdown after its sale to a Chinese heavy equipment maker collapsed. — AP

Hummer faces shutdown as Chinese sale collapses NEW YORK: Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once symbolized America’s love for hulking Sports Utility Vehicles, faces a shutdown after its sale to a Chinese heavy equipment maker collapsed. Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. said Wednesday it pulled out of the deal to buy the company from General Motors Co. Tengzhong failed to get clearance from Chinese regulators within the proposed timeframe for the sale, the Chinese manufacturer said. GM said it will continue to honor existing Hummer warranties. “We are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed,” said John Smith, GM vice president of corporate planning and alliances. “GM will now work closely with Hummer employees, dealers and suppliers to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner.” GM has been trying to sell the loss-making brand for the last year and signed a deal with Tengzhong in October. However, resistance from Chinese regulators, who have been putting the brakes on investment in the fast-growing Chinese auto industry, created difficulties from the start. As recently as Tuesday, private investors were trying to set up an offshore entity in a last-minute effort to complete the acquisition ahead of a Feb. 28 deadline. That plan, along with other options, was unsuccessful, according to a person close to the situation. The person declined to be identified in order to speak more freely. “There’s no way forward with that,” this person said. “We’re out of time.” Tengzhong, in a statement, said it was disappointed that it could not pursue the opportunity to build attractive, greener

vehicles for sale in China and other new markets as well as Hummer’s traditional bases. “Tengzhong worked earnestly to achieve an acquisition that it believed to be a tremendous opportunity to acquire a global brand at an attractive price,” it said, thanking GM, Hummer and its executives, and “the 3,000 people who produce and support Hummer.” GM spokesman Nick Richards said the automaker would still hear last-minute bids for the brand. “In the early phases of the wind-down, we’ll entertain offers and determine their viability, but that will have to happen in pretty short order,” he said. Hummer, which traces its origins to the Humvee military vehicle built by AM General LLC in South Bend, Indiana, acquired a devoted following among SUV lovers who were drawn to the off-road ready vehicles. But they drew scorn from environmentalists and sales never recovered after gasoline prices spiked above $4 a gallon in the summer of 2008. Sales peaked at 71,524 in 2006. But in December 2009, only 325 Hummers were sold, down 85 percent from the previous year, according to Autodata Corp. Sticker prices start at more than $42,500 and run to about $63,000, according to data posted at the Web site. The H3, the most fuel-efficient vehicle in Hummer’s lineup, averages about 16 mpg. The vehicles are built at GM’s factory in Shreveport, La. Under the initial agreement to sell Hummer, Tengzhong would have received an 80 percent stake, while Hong Kong investor Suolang Duoji, who indirectly owns a big stake in Tengzhong, would have gotten 20 percent. The investors would also have owned Hummer’s nationwide

dealer network. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed, although a person briefed on the deal at the time said the sale price was around $150 million. GM’s bankruptcy filing last summer said that the brand could bring in $500 million or more. Beijing had been cool to the acquisition. Tengzhong lacks a government permit to manufacture cars, and the Chinese government has been seeking to streamline and slow investment in the fast-growing auto industry rather than to attract newcomers. Richards said the collapse of the sale does not change earlier plans to close the Shreveport facility by 2012. The plant also builds the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon and is currently operating on a single 10-hour shift, he said. Hummer production was idled in January. The plant once employed about 3,000 people, but that payroll has been reduced to about 950. Plant worker Alex Santana, a 17-year veteran of the Shreveport operation, said the end of Hummer “is going to hurt a lot of people.” “There’s a lot of jobs going down the drain,” he said. Doug Ebey, president of the United Auto Workers Local 2166 and a 28-year worker at the plant, said the proposed Hummer deal “was a little glimmer of hope we had.” “It’s going to be tough for the city of Shreveport,” Ebey said. “I wish there was more of a public outcry. This place will be missed once it eventually closes. It provides good-paying, union jobs.” Hummer is the second brand after Saturn that GM has failed to sell as part of its restructuring. GM sold Swedish brand Saab to Dutch carmaker Spyker Cars NV earlier this year. Pontiac is being discontinued. — AFP

WASHINGTON: China has won its highest-ever staff position in the IMF in a reflection of its growing economic might and the clamor by emerging nations for a bigger say in global finance. International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn notified the fund’s executive board on Wednesday of his intention to appoint the deputy Chinese central bank governor, Zhu Min, as his special advisor. It is the highest-level staff position attained by a Chinese citizen and follows appeals by China and other emerging nations for a bigger say in the running of the IMF and World Bank, the twin Bretton Woods institutions. Zhu, who joined the Chinese central bank in 2009 after more than a decade as a senior executive of the Bank of China, is expected to assume his position on May 3, the Washington-based IMF said in a statement. China hailed the move, saying it would pave the way for better cooperation between the IMF and emerging economies, which have battled for years for a greater voice at the multilateral table to better reflect their growing weight in the global economy. “I would say that China welcomes Zhu’s appointment, which we hope will help strengthen cooperation between the emerging economies, including those in Asia, and the IMF, contributing to sustained growth of world economy and international financial stability,” Chinese embassy spokesman Wang Baodong said. Strauss-Kahn said that Zhu, who holds an economics doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and was once a World Bank economist, brought “a wealth of experience in government and the financial sector” to the fund. Zhu would strengthen the Fund’s understanding of Asia and emerging markets, he said. Most Asian countries are still wary of turning to the IMF for assistance after its heavy-handed actions during the 1997-1998 regional financial crisis. The IMF had stepped in with major lending programs for Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia, which were among the worst hit by the financial crisis but the stringent conditions that came attached worsened the situation, critics had said at that time. Malaysia chose instead to peg its ringgit to the US dollar to protect it from currency speculators, a form of capital control that was criticized at the time by the IMF. But the IMF agreed in a report Tuesday that some emerging market countries will have to design policies to manage large capital inflows, reversing the fund’s past opposition to such government intervention. “The right policy responses will differ depending on individual country circumstances, and may include... when necessary, carefully designed temporary capital controls,” the report said. Zhu’s appointment and the perception shift over capital controls were all part of a broader change within the IMF over the last 18 months or so, said Derek Scissors, an expert on Asia economic policy at the Heritage Foundation. — AFP

China govt defends exchange rate policy BEIJING: China yesterday defended the value of the yuan, rejecting accusations that it was responsible for global trade imbalances. The commerce ministry said maintaining a stable currency was a “top priority” and was necessary for the survival of Chinese companies and supporting jobs growth in the world’s third-largest economy. It also was important in helping stabilize global financial markets, ministry spokesman Yao Jian said at a news conference. The value of the Chinese currency, which has effectively been pegged to the US dollar since mid-2008, has been a bone of contention between Beijing and its Western trading partners, which say it is kept low to boost exports. As China powers out of the global crisis, there is growing pressure on policymakers to let the yuan appreciate. Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill reportedly said earlier this month that China may allow the yuan to rise at “anytime” by as much as five percent in a one-off revaluation. However, Yao dismissed calls by “so-called experts and politicians in the United States” for the yuan to rise as “seeking the wrong prescription” for the trade imbalance problem. Meanwhile, China plans to expand subsidies to help the country’s vast rural poor buy home appliances and vehicles, as the government steps up efforts to boost domestic consumption. The range of products eligible for government subsidies will be widened and support will be given to increase sales of “new energy” vehicles, the State Council said late Wednesday after a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. “We will continue to implement policies to encourage home appliance sales in the countryside, the replacement of autos and home appliances, expand the products (eligible for) subsidies and support the promotion of new energy cars,” it said in a statement. The statement by China’s cabinet did not provide details on the subsidy program for appliances such as fridges and washing machines, or on what constitutes “new energy” vehicles. China is seeking to increase consumption among its 900 million rural residents as part of a broader effort to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on exports and investment to drive growth. — Agencies


Friday, February 26, 2010

Greece enters new critical phase of judgment on debt ATHENS: Greece enters a new phase of tense uncertainty over its program to slash overspending yesterday when European Union and IMF experts leave Athens with their findings of an audit of national finances. Their visit came as tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Greece on Wednesday to protest the Socialist government’s austerity measures. Greece is at the centre of a crisis threatening cohesion of the eurozone over huge debt and budget deficits, and credit rating downgrades, as well as weak credibility owing to inaccurate data in the past. It also faces strains in raising new finance on international markets and intense pressure from EU authorities which have offered help in principle but nothing yet in detail. If the experts say the program is not enough, a meeting of EU finance ministers could demand even harsher corrective action at a meeting on March 16. Before that meeting, the EU Financial Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn is also due to visit Athens. The mission from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund concluded their work on Wednesday. They met Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Economy Minister Louka Katselli just as the country was hit by a nationwide strike, including a strike by journalists, against austerity measures. Also late on Wednesday, Standard and Poor’s credit rating agency warned that it could downgrade Greek sovereign debt again within a month. The finance ministry said that the experts were expected to leave Greece later yesterday. Since Tuesday they have had sessions with the president of a committee of experts at the finance ministry, George Zanias, officials at the central bank and at the body which manages the national debt. They also had talks at the labor ministry on the pension system which is a subject of reforms. The government said at the end of last year that in May it might have to borrow to meet pension payments. The source at the finance ministry said: “We have provided all of the figures requested, there was good cooperation.” Under pressure from financial markets and EU institutions and partners, Greece has promised a program to cut public spending and crimp public sector pay, to raise taxes and fight tax evasion, and to restructure its economy. The baseline target is to cut back an annual public deficit by four percentage points of gross domestic product to 8.7 percent this year. This is widely considered to be an enormous undertaking particularly since credit rating agency Moody’s has calculated that Greece will have to use 15.1 percent of its tax revenues this year to meet debt interest payments due. That is about twice the ratio in other debt-stricken eurozone countries Spain and Portugal. The last EU summit on February 11 decided to send three-way EU, ECB and IMF missions to Athens regularly under a special arrangement of exceptionally close supervision of Greek public finances. Greece, which has ruled out making any approach for IMF help but wants support from the EU, holds that the involvement of the IMF gives the EU teams expertise in auditing under such circumstances which they otherwise lack. — AFP

German jobless rate up to 8.7% BERLIN: Unemployment in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, edged up only slightly to 8.7 percent in February despite a particularly hard winter, official data showed yesterday. The unadjusted jobless rate was up from 8.6 percent in January, with a total of 3.643 million people registered as unemployed, the Federal Labor Agency said. That was an increase of 26,000 over the previous month and 91,000 from last February. The rise was in line with the usual seasonal increase in February, when winter weather often weighs on jobs in industries such as construction, the agency said. This year has seen a harsh winter in Germany, with persistent snow. In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate crept up to 8.2 percent after

standing at 8.1 percent for three months, with 7,000 more people out of work. The effects of the economic crisis on the labor market were “moderate” in February, labor agency board member Heinrich Alt said. Germany’s economy returned to modest growth last year after a sharp recession but stagnated in the fourth quarter. However, exports Germany’s traditional economic motor were up 3 percent over the previous three-month period. Unemployment also has been tamed by a governmentbacked program that allows companies to put workers on reduced hours in an effort to avoid layoffs. That, along with the economic recovery, was a key explanation for the limited rise in unemployment this month, said Timo Klein, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Frankfurt. — AP

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Toyota faces tough road to redemption Toyoda chokes up with tears at rally after hearing WASHINGTON: Toyota Motor Corp’s president apologized to US lawmakers and ended the day in tears, marking a potential climax to his company’s safety crisis but leaving it with a long road to rebuild its reputation. Akio Toyoda, peppered with questions about its massive series of recalls, told lawmakers he was “deeply sorry” for accidents and injuries involving its cars and acknowledged it had lost its way in its pursuit of growth. Investors, who have knocked about $30 billion off its market value in the past month, appeared to view Toyoda’s hearing as a small step forward in what could be a difficult task of recovering the trust of consumers. “I think Toyoda did a good job, and its stock price shows the market shares the same view,” said Kazutaka Oshima, president of Rakuten Investment Management in Tokyo. “He should have come forward earlier, but his sincere attitude was understood by the audience. I would guess the flow of negative news on Toyota has reached a peak.” Toyota shares ended down 0.2 percent in Tokyo yesterday, failing to match the 3.9 percent rise in US-traded shares, but outperforming a fall in rivals Honda Motor and Nissan Motor, and the broader Tokyo market. Cheered by Toyota plant workers and dealers at an event organized by the automaker on Wednesday evening in Washington, Toyoda broke into tears under a giant display bearing the name of the company that his legendary grandfather founded. “I believe that Toyota has always worked for the benefit of the United States,” Toyoda said. “I tried to convey that message from the heart, but whether it was broadly understood or not, I don’t know.” He also offered a sober assessment of the challenges still ahead: “We at Toyota are at a crossroad. We need to rethink everything about our operation.” Toyoda’s appearance in Washington marked a dramatic peak in a safety crisis that broke a month ago with a series of recalls over unintended acceleration and braking problems that now include more than 8.5 million vehicles globally. MARATHON Politicians in Japan continued to express worries about the potential fallout from the crisis. Toyota, with a market value of about $125 billion, is at the heart of a massive supplier network that is vital to the economy’s health.

“It was good that the Toyota president himself appeared before the panel and testified,” Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. “I don’t think this marks the end of everything. He spoke of working to make improvements. This is a matter involving cars- that affects people’s lives, so the important thing is to pay close attention to safety and to fulfill its aim to make improvements where they are needed. I’m hopeful and I think they will do so.”

alternative transportation, a pact likely to expand to other states. Toyoda’s efforts to reassure US officials and consumers were undercut by a confrontation over a 2009 memo in which Toyota boasts of saving $100 million by persuading safety regulators to accept a relatively cheap recall of floor mats implicated in the unintended acceleration. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who preceded Toyoda before the committee, simply labeled recalled Toyota vehicles as “not

WASHINGTON: Toyota President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda speaks before dealers and team members during a town hall at the National Press Club after he testified at Capitol Hill. — AP But some warned that Toyota’s woes have just begun and that people in Japan, far from the centre of the crisis, may be underestimating the potential long-term impact. “In Japan, many think Toyota’s damage from the recalls will be relatively limited in the hope of not hurting the Japan-US relationship, but the reality is very severe,” said Koji Morioka, economics professor at Kansai University in western Japan. “At the hearing, some serious flaws in the company’s corporate governance came to light, including that Toyoda had not been aware of key pieces of safety-issue information until recently,” he said. The costs of the recall are set to grow with an agreement with New York state to speed customer repairs and provide

safe.” Dressed in a gray, pinstripe suit, Toyoda said he, more than anyone, wanted Toyota cars to be safe. “My name is on every car,” he said in English before using an interpreter to answer questions. But Toyoda rejected the possibility that some of the acceleration problems are in the electronics rather than the recalled sticky accelerator mechanisms and floor mats that can trap the accelerator pedal. Chris Gidez, director of risk management and crisis communications at Hill & Knowlton, said Toyoda gets points for coming from Japan to testify and judgments will not be made in just one hearing. “This is going to be a marathon for Toyota.” In its hometown of Toyota City, anxious employees rallied behind their president. “There were some tough

questions, but I think he answered them earnestly,” said Shingo Mori, who works at Toyota’s Kamigo Logistics Center. “Now we all need to work together to meet our customers’ needs and try to regain the trust that we’ve lost.” FIVE DEATHS The unintended acceleration problems have been linked to five US deaths, with 29 other fatality reports being examined by US authorities. Representative Paul Kanjorski, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, warned Toyoda that his company would have to pay for the deaths and injuries as US lawsuits mount. “You will be called upon to pay compensation,” Kanjorski said. Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, called it an embarrassing day for regulators and for Toyota. “I’m embarrassed for you, sir,” Mica told Toyota’s North American President Yoshimi Inaba, who was testifying with Toyoda. “I’m embarrassed for the thousands of Americans who work at 10 plants across the United States.” Toyota now faces a criminal investigation and a securities probe in the U.S. as well as unresolved questions about hundreds of incidents of unintended acceleration reported by consumers. The FBI raided the Detroit operations of three Japanese suppliers of electronic components to the auto industry on Wednesday. Denso Corp confirmed the raids were unrelated to the Toyota recalls. Other automakers are dealing with recalls as well. Nissan said yesterday it would recall 76,415 cars across 10 models in Japan due to a possible defect that may cause engine failure, and another 2,300 for the same problem overseas. Suzuki Motor said it would recall 432,366 units of two minicar models in Japan. Toyota has promised internal reforms, including a new committee on safety chaired by Toyoda himself. Jim Press, a former North American chief for Toyota who left in 2007, said the company had become dominated by “anti-family, financially oriented pirates” and needed Toyoda at the helm. “Akio Toyoda is not only up for the job, but he is the only person who can save Toyota,” Press wrote in an e-mail to industry publication Automotive News. Toyoda, who took just a few questions from reporters, only appeared to relax at the evening rally organized for Toyota dealers and workers. — Reuters


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Eurozone economic sentiment falls LONDON: Economic sentiment in the 16 countries that use the euro worsened in February, the European Commission said yesterday, in a further sign that the recovery from recession has lost its momentum. In its monthly survey, the Commission said that its main economic sentiment indicator fell by 0.1 point to 95.9 in February, partly because consumer confidence deteriorated. The decline, the first after ten consecutive monthly increases, was not expected by markets - the

consensus was for a modest increase to 96.6. “The rebound appears to have lost its momentum,” the Commission said. However, it sought to ease the disappointment by noting that the indicator is not far off its long-term average. Among the euro members, France saw the biggest fall in sentiment, followed by Italy, while the most pronounced advances were seen in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The Commission said there was no clear pattern across

sectors, with sentiment up in industry and services but lower with among consumers. The consumer confidence indicator fell by 1 point to -17, in line with market expectations. “Consumers’ perception of the general economic outlook and increasing unemployment fears, especially in Spain and in Italy, contributed to the overall deterioration,” the Commission said. Analysts think that the pace of the recovery in the eurozone will

depend heavily on whether consumers ratchet up their spending. So far, the modest economic growth - the eurozone economy grew by an anemic 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2009 - has been largely due to a pickup in global trade volumes, which has boosted exports. For the wider 27-country EU, which includes non-euro members such as Britain and Sweden, the Commission said its economic sentiment indicator rose by 0.2

points to 97.4, helped by a big increase in Poland. In a separate survey, the Commission said its business climate indicator - a gauge of business conditions - rose for the eleventh month in a row in the eurozone to minus 0.98 in February from January’s minus 1.13 partly as a result of improving order books. However, the Commission said the relatively low level of the indicator suggests that year-on-year industrial production was still negative. — AP

General Growth inks deal to exit bankruptcy

LONDON: People walk by an office of Royal Bank of Scotland in London yesterday. Government controlled Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC reported a loss of 3.6 billion pounds ($5.5 billion) for 2009, ahead of market forecasts, as income rose by 34 percent. — AP

European banks show 2009 scars, upbeat on year ahead Deutsche Postbank sees 2010 profit after 398 m euro loss LONDON: Europe’s banks showed the scars of the financial crisis yesterday as Royal Bank of Scotland posted a big loss as bad debts jumped and Credit Agricole was hit by losses in Greece, but both said prospects are brighter for this year. RBS, 84 percent owned by the UK government after a series of bailouts during the crisis, posted a 6.2 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) loss, the largest in Europe for 2009, as bad debts almost doubled to 13.9 billion pounds. But the bank said impairments had peaked and its investment bank arm GBM made a hefty profit, sending its shares 7.7 percent higher by 1019 GMT. “The results send a lot of positive signals... impairment trends look better than I generally expected,” analyst Joseph Dickerson at Execution said. “GBM looks strong relative to most peers, with the exception of Barclays.” France’s biggest retail bank Credit Agricole reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as earnings were hit by losses in Greece, but it also said it made a good start to 2010, helping its shares 4.2 percent higher by 1019 GMT. Agricole’s net profit rose to 433 million

euros ($587 million), swinging from a loss a year ago but almost 10 percent short of expectations due to losses at its Greek bank Emporiki. Emporiki and other Greek banks have been hit by the country’s economic woes and fiscal deficit. Emporiki made a 2009 loss of 583 million euros, but Agricole said it had no plans to sell the division. German lender Deutsche Postbank said lower loan loss provisions and reduced writedowns on toxic assets will help it achieve a pretax profit in 2010 as it unveiled a pretax loss for 2009. Germany’s largest retail bank by number of customers showed a near 400 million euro loss for 2009 after a big trading loss. It said it expects the level of provisions for problem loans to decline in the quarters ahead, however, after last week announcing a more aggressive approach toward booking losses. ‘HARD SLOG’ RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester acknowledged 2010 will be “a year of hard slog” and said attracting and retaining its best staff was the biggest problem he faced as he is under

even more pressure than rivals to clamp down on payouts. “We were treading an unenviable tightrope walk,” Hester said in regard to 2009 bonuses, which totaled 1.3 billion pounds. “We believe that in the context of the industry in which we operate we have been restrained and responsible.” The bank is restructuring and making progress on asset sales forced on it by European competition authorities. Its payment processing business WorldPay has attracted “considerable buyer interest” but the sale of over 300 branches is complex and not expected until 2011, it said. Agricole has also been restructuring and trimming back much of its investment banking activities, and Natixis is also rebuilding after being hit hard during the crisis. It reported a better-thanexpected fourth-quarter profit of 748 million euros and pledged to cut over 200 million euros in costs as part of a four-year turnaround plan. Natixis shares added 4.3 percent and Deutsche Postbank was flat by 1019 GMT, alongside a 0.9 percent rise by the broader DJ Stoxx European bank index. — Reuters

LOS ANGELES: The nation’s second-largest shopping mall operator, General Growth Properties Inc., said Wednesday it reached a deal with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc that will speed its exit from bankruptcy protection. Speculation raged for weeks that General Growth might turn to Brookfield, which has been looking to expand its slate of US retail properties and last year acquired an undisclosed stake in the company. General Growth, in turn, could thwart last week’s $10 billion takeover bid from Simon Property Group Inc. The No 1 shopping mall operator controls some 382 properties worldwide. General Growth rebuffed the unsolicited offer from Simon for being too low. General Growth owns or manages 200 shopping malls in 44 states. The company racked up $27 billion in debt by the time it sought shelter from creditors last April, making it the largest real estate bankruptcy case in US history. Last year, the company restructured more than $13 billion in secured debt, which enabled 108 of its properties to emerge from bankruptcy. As part of the new plan, General Growth would spin off some assets as a new company named General Growth Opportunities, which would essentially hold assets the company concedes aren’t producing much income, including the company’s master planned communities and some large retail hubs, such as the South Street Seaport in New York. “This proposed plan offers significant value for all of our stakeholders,” said General Growth CEO Adam Metz. The pact with Brookfield would allow General Growth to raise the money it needs to pay off some $7 billion in debt and interest to its creditors. Stockholders would get $15 a share. Brookfield is majority owner of Brookfield Properties Corp., one of the biggest owners of office properties in the world. Brookfield would invest $2.6 billion in cash in exchange for General Growth shares. That would give Brookfield a roughly 30 percent stake in General Growth and the right to nominate three directors to the board. The agreement is subject to approval by a bankruptcy court judge, and creditors and shareholders. A hearing is set for next Wednesday. Simon issued a statement late Wednesday arguing the General GrowthBrookfield plan carries risks for unsecured creditors and calling it a “complex piece of financial engineering that is so highly conditional as to be illusory.” Under the terms of Simon’s offer, General Growth’s unsecured creditors would get $7 billion, which would pay them in full. Shareholders would receive $3 billion. The key difference is Simon’s offer consists of $9 billion in cash, while the General Growth-Brookfield deal is heavily weighted on equity. Shares in Chicagobased General Growth slipped 8 cents to $12.89 Wednesday. Shares in Indianapolis-based Simon, fell 38 cents to $77.53, while Brookfield shares dipped 5 cents to $22.79. — AP


Friday, February 26, 2010

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US home sales hit record low New home sales tumble to record low

Commodities Review

Falling dollar boost commodity prices NEW YORK: Expectations that interest rates will remain low lifted commodities prices Wednesday. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee as part of his semiannual report to Congress that low rates are needed to help support a rebound in the economy by stimulating lending. Bernanke’s upbeat tone also raised general hopes for the economy. The expectations that rates will remain at record lows weighed on the dollar, which becomes less attractive to investors when interest rates are low. Commodities are priced in dollars so when the currency weakens raw materials become cheaper for foreign buyers. On Tuesday, a jump in the dollar had hit a range of commodity prices. But Wednesday, the ICE Futures US dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, fell. That helped lift prices of grains as well as oil. Jeffrey Friedman, senior market strategist at futures brokerage Lind-Waldock in Chicago, said Bernanke signaled that a recovery is going to be slow-going and that policymakers will still be there to help prop up the

economy. “What people took away was ‘Hey, we still have cheap money for a while,”’ he said. Grain prices climbed. May wheat rose 8 cents to $5.1375 per bushel. Corn for May delivery rose 7.5 cents to $3.8625 a bushel. Soybeans for May delivery rose 3.5 cents to settle at $9.63 a bushel. Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose $1.14 to settle at $80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The advance came even as the Energy Information Administration said that inventories rose last week and that supplies remain well above average for this time of year. Heating oil prices for March delivery gained 0.98 cent to $2.0421 per gallon on the Nymex. Gasoline rose 3.33 cents to settle at $2.0989 a gallon. Meanwhile, natural gas advanced 3.8 cents to settle at $4.816 per 1,000 cubic feet. Metals prices were mixed. Gold for April delivery fell $11 to settle at $1,092.20 an ounce. Silver for May delivery rose 4.7 cents to $15.96 an ounce. Copper for May delivery rose 2 cents to $3.2535 per pound. Platinum for March delivery fell $7.80 to settle at $1,499.40. Meanwhile, March palladium fell $11.30 to $422.70 an ounce. — AP

WASHINGTON: Sales of new US homes unexpectedly fell to a record low in January while demand for loans to buy homes hit a 13-year low last week, fanning fears of renewed weakness in the housing market. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales of newly built single-family homes dropped 11.2 percent to an annual rate of 309,000 units, the lowest level since records started in 1963, from 348,000 units in December. It was the third straight monthly drop and the largest percentage decline in a year. Analysts, who had expected a 360,000 unit pace, said bad weather was partly to blame and warned of more of the same for February. “There is no doubt that January and February are going to be messy months for housing, given the severe weather conditions, but that does not take away from the fact that the housing sector has taken another big step back, even with government aid,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. A separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed mortgage applications fell for a third straight week, with demand for home purchase loans sinking to the lowest since 1997. Mortgage demand also was hampered by inclement weather. US stocks shrugged off the weak housing data to end higher, cheered by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s reaffirmation in congressional testimony of the central bank’s commitment to keep interest rates low for an extended period. US government debt prices were little changed after a poor auction of five-year

notes. The dollar fell against the euro as Bernanke’s remarks cooled expectations of a rate hike. Compared to January last year, new home sales fell 6.1 percent. Last month’s drop came despite the extension of a popular tax credit for firsttime buyers, which was also expanded to include repeat buyers. TAX CREDIT HANGOVER Some analysts said it was likely sales were still suffering from the after-effects of the initial tax credit, which had spurred sales months ago at the expense of current demand. Sales are expected to rebound in the spring as buyers try to close purchase contracts before the credit expires in June. Analysts saw little impact from the January sales slide on the economy’s recovery from the worst downturn since the 1930s. “When you step back and look at what is going on with the broader economy in terms of retail activity ... and industrial production, I think our recovery is on pace to create jobs, if not this coming month, the following month,” said Craig Thomas, an economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. The $8,000 tax credit and purchases of mortgage-related securities by the Fed have underpinned the housing market’s recovery from a three-year slump that had led the broad economy into recession. Economists hope an expected turnaround in the labor market will help fill the void left by the end of the incentives. The Fed’s program ends next month. Bernanke told a Congressional panel that evidence so far suggested that even when the Fed ends its mortgage-backed

securities purchasing program, it could still help prevent mortgage rates from rising. “It is true that we will stop buying new mortgage-backed securities at the end of this quarter but we will continue to hold one-and-quarter trillion dollars in agency mortgage-backed securities and taking that off the market in itself will keep mortgage rates below what they otherwise would be,” he said. One of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Toll Brothers, sounded a cautious note of optimism on the housing market, saying it saw the choppy conditions gradually calming. Homebuilders’ confidence improved this month, but remains at very subdued levels. The drop in purchase loan demand combined with a decline in refinancing to push the Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of mortgage applications down 8.5 percent last week. However, a four-week moving average of loan applications, which smooths weekly volatility, was up 1.6 percent. There were no bright spots in the Commerce Department report, however. The median sales price for a new home fell 5.6 percent last month from December to $203,500, the lowest since December 2003. That monthly decline reversed December’s gain. Compared to January 2009, the median sale price was down 2.4 percent. The number of new homes on the market rose 0.4 percent to 234,000 units last month, while the supply of homes available for sale stood at 9.1 months’ worth, up from 8.0 in December. That was the highest in eight months — Reuters

Obama rejects criticism of his agenda as ‘socialism’ US president urges support for financial regulatory reform WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama launched a vigorous defense of his economic agenda on Wednesday, rejecting critics who call his policies “socialism” and insisting he aims to boost US competitiveness abroad. Speaking to the Business Roundtable, which groups some of the country’s top chief executives, Obama called for support of his administration’s efforts to overhaul financial regulation, revamp the health insurance industry and create jobs. “Contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market,” Obama said in remarks that were set against a backdrop of unease in the business community about his economic policies and legislative priorities. Businesses-and opposition Republicans-are wary of the Obama administration’s regulatory zeal in areas such as healthcare and energy policy, and worry about a perceived tendency to increase spending rather than lower taxes. Obama, a Democrat, said his efforts to enact sweeping legislation to overhaul financial regulations and set caps on carbon emissions to fight climate change were not aimed at thwarting businesses, and he reminded his audience that his $787 billion stimulus package included major tax cuts. “We have arrived at a juncture in our politics where reasonable efforts to update our regulations, or make basic investments in our future, are too often greeted with cries of ‘government takeover’ or even ‘socialism,’” Obama said. Obama’s legislative agenda is ailing and his popularity has dropped amid eroding public

support for his policies. The president hopes reaching out to the corporate world will help rejuvenate prospects of getting legislation passed. As part of that outreach, Obama said the US economy had to evolve to stay competitive and assured the CEOs that he wanted their companies to succeed. “We need an economy where we borrow less and produce more. We need an economy where we generate more jobs here at home and send more products overseas,” Obama said. “I want your shareholders to do well, I want your workers to do well, I want you to do well. Because I firmly believe that America’s success in large part depends on your success.” Republicans seeking to wrest control of Congress from the Democrats have tried to score points by accusing Obama of overspending to expand the reach of government. The Democrats’ recent loss of their Senate “supermajority” has stalled Obama’s healthcare and financial regulatory efforts for now. JOBS, INTERVENTION WORRIES After the meeting the CEO group commented broadly on Obama’s policies without endorsing them. “We all agree that for America to continue competing effectively in the global marketplace, healthcare reform that passes Congress must address costs and improve access to care for all Americans,” the group said in a statement. “We also must proactively address the risk of climate change such that we maintain robust economic growth and enhance our nation’s energy security.”

The president’s agenda got a boost earlier on Wednesday from the Senate which, in a relatively bipartisan vote, approved a $15 billion package of tax breaks and highway spending that aims to bring down the country’s stubbornly high 9.7 percent unemployment rate. Obama called the Senate vote an important step forward. Obama and his fellow Democrats are determined to bring down the unemployment rate before congressional elections in November. They also face a potential voter backlash over the hundreds of billions of dollars in spending and tax cuts they approved last year to blunt the impact of the recession. Obama assured business leaders that the $787 billion stimulus package and other measures to support the financial system did not represent a permanent government shift. “I think one of the reasons businesses haven’t been as vocal about their support is a belief that extraordinary measures like the Recovery Act or our financial stability plan somehow represent a lasting increase in government intervention,” he said. “So let me assure you, let me be clear: they do not.” He noted that General Motors, a year after near failure, was increasing production and paying back taxpayers for their support ahead of schedule. Obama, who has alarmed business leaders with populist-tinged denunciations of big executive bonuses, said he did not believe government should be involved in setting executive compensation levels once companies that received government support had paid that money back. — Reuters


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Oil prices lose ground Crude pulls back below $80

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010, before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report. —AP

Interest rates mixed Bernanke sees low rates amid signs of weak rebound CHARLOTTE: Interest rates moved in a narrow range in the bond market Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said rates will remain low to help support the economy. A drop in new home sales and lower demand for the Treasury’s auction of five-year notes offset the beneficial effects that Bernanke’s comments had on bond trading. Bernanke had good news for bond investors during his regular semi-annual report to Congress on the economy. The Fed chairman said he still expects interest rates will remain low for an extended period. Because rates and bond prices move in opposite directions, low rates are a positive sign for investors. The Fed surprised investors last

week by hiking rates it charges banks for emergency loans. The market was concerned then that the move was the start of a trend toward higher rates overall. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note maturing in February 2020, which is a basis for rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, edged up to 3.70 percent in late trading Wednesday from 3.69 percent late Tuesday. Its price fell 5/32 to 99 10/32. Yield and price move in opposite directions. The Commerce Department said sales of new homes fell to a record low in January. Economists had been expecting an increase. The government said that new home sales fell 11.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted

annual sales rate of 309,000 units. That’s the lowest level on a record that goes back nearly 50 years. Housing has been a big concern for investors who this week have been worrying about consumer spending. Many have been selling stocks and other investments seen as risky in a weak economy and transferred their money to Treasurys. Demand at a Treasury Department sale of $42 billion in five-year notes weakened. The bid-to-cover ratio, a measure of demand, came in 2.75, lower than the 2.80 in an auction for notes with a similar maturity in January. The yield on the five-year note that matures in January 2015 rose to 2.36 percent from 2.35 percent. — AP

LONDON: World oil prices weakened yesterday as prices struggled for support above 80 dollars a barrel, with global crude supplies still outstripping demand, traders said. New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, was down 30 cents at 79.70 dollars a barrel. London’s Brent North Sea crude for April delivery fell 19 cents to 77.90 dollars per barrel. “It’s not surprising that oil has pulled back below 80 dollars. Some downside risks in oil have remained, such as the sovereign debt problems in Europe,” said Victor Shum of energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore. “Since last year oil has traded primarily between 70 to 80 dollars per barrel. It’s been difficult to push above and stay above 80 dollars because of the downside risks and the continuing weakness in demand and high inventories.” New York crude advanced 1.14 dollars in US trade Wednesday after comments by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke helped weaken the greenback, prompting demand from buyers using stronger currencies. Bernanke had said the US central bank would hold interest rates low for an

extended period as the economic recovery gets on track. The Fed chairman told the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that he saw unemployment remaining stubbornly high, which will require the Fed to maintain its stimulative monetary policy. Clarence Chu, an oil trader with Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore, said it was difficult to sustain oil prices at more than 80 dollars a barrel, given that global supplies still outpace demand. “Sentiment has been bullish over these past couple of days,” Chu said. “But it hasn’t been supported by the fundamentals. So I don’t think oil will be supported at 80 dollars for the short term.” Prices also won support on Wednesday as traders digested some bullish elements in the US government’s weekly oil inventories report. The Department of Energy said US crude reserves jumped by three million barrels last week in the United States-the world’s biggest energy consuming nationsuggesting weak demand. But gasoline or petrol inventories fell, confounding market expectations for an increase. —AFP

American Indian reservation reaping oil benefits NEW TOWN: An oil boom on American Indian land has brought jobs, millions of dollars and hope to longimpoverished tribal members who have struggled for more than a century on the million-acre Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. In little more than a year, oil companies have put dozens of money-producing rigs on remote rolling prairie and sprawling badlands that are home to small cattle ranches and scattered settlements of modular housing. Although other tribes around the nation have oil interests, industry officials said none has likely experienced a recent windfall of this scale. The reservation is occupied by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes, known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, who were placed in west-central North Dakota by the federal government in the 1800s - long before anyone knew of the oil. “If they knew there was billions of barrels of oil here, they would never have put us here,” said Spencer Wilkinson Jr., general manager of the Four Bears Casino on the reservation.

“There is probably more opportunity here than people have had in their lifetimes,” said Marcus Levings, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes. Roads are now sometimes clogged with traffic, including Hummers and expensive pickup trucks. The local casino is buzzing with free-spending locals. And tribal members who had moved away to find work are now moving back for the abundant good-paying jobs. Tribal officials say the oil has helped right a wrong done to the tribes in the 1950s, when more than a tenth of the reservation was flooded by the federal government to create Lake Sakakawea, a 180-mile-long reservoir. Oil companies are now drilling beneath the big lake, using an advanced horizontal drill technique. Recently completed regulatory paperwork removed the last obstacle. Since the boom began, lease payments of more than $179 million have been paid to the tribe and its members on about half of the reservation land, tribal record show. Millions of dollars more in royalties and tax revenue are

also rolling in. Levings said the tribe will use its money to pay off debt, and bankroll such things as roads, health care and law enforcement. The reservation contains portions of six counties, covering more than 1,500 square miles. It lies atop a portion the oil-rich Bakken shale formation, which the US Geological Survey estimates holds 4.3 billion barrels of oil that can be recovered using current technology. The agency said the Bakken was the largest oil deposit it has ever assessed. In addition to the oil money, the tribes get $60 million to $70 million in federal aid annually from the federal government. “This is an opportunity for us to help ourselves as much as we get help,” Levings said. About 4,500 of the approximately 12,000 tribal members live on the reservation, one of about 300 in the United States. State demographer Richard Rathge said 28 percent of people on the reservation were living in poverty in 2000, the latest figures available. More than 40 percent did not have a job at

that time. The opening of the casino in the 1990s added about 200 jobs. But oil’s impact has been huge. “Anybody who wants to work can work,” said Levings, with jobs available on rigs and in support industries such as oil supplies and trucking. The reservation was the last area to be targeted by companies in the state’s oil patch because of onerous federal requirements. But a 2008 tax agreement standardized the rules for oil drilling. Dozens of wells have been drilled and more than 500 could be operating within five years. Lovina Fox hopes at least one winds up on her land near Mandaree, a town of about 500 on the reservation. Lights from nearby drill rigs and flares burning off excess gas already illuminate her home. “Everybody knows everybody here,” she said. “If people are getting rich they’re not saying anything and keeping it hush-hush. But it’s not hard to figure out who’s getting money it’s the people who have haven’t worked in years and all the sudden, they’re driving new vehicles.” Tribal

member Rose Marie Mandan, who admits to earning “a nice little cushion” from oil payments, said she moved away from the reservation more than 50 years ago to find a job, then returned after retiring. “In the 1950s there were no jobs here,” said Mandan, 80. Now she’s seeing tribal members moving to the reservation for work. Chuck Hale worked as a roughneck in other states before returning to his home near New Town to take a good-paying oilfield job. “It’s tough work and it’s damn cold,” Hale said. “But it’s worth it.” Mandan worries about the effects of the instant wealth. “It can be good but only if people know how to use the money,” she said. Wilkinson Jr, the casino general manager, said casino revenue jumped from $4.5 million in 2008 to $7.2 million in 2009. He said he had advised tribal elders “to have fun at the casino but don’t spend it all there. I’ve told them to invest it in something useful, like ... their house and kids and grandkids, and send them to college.” — AP


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Survey says US economy on ‘wrong track’ Heading into a mid-term election, the survey reflects problems for Democrats. But it also suggests pitfalls for both major parties. The economy far outweighs anything else as the most important issue facing the country, according to poll respondents. And only 24 percent said they believe the economy is on the right track.

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama speaks about the economy on the one year anniversary of the signing of the Recovery Act as Vice President Joe Biden looks on, in the South Court auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. — MCT etsy Osborn not only gets frustrated when she hears President Obama talk about the economy, she gets angry. “I don’t think you can spend your way to a prosperous economy,” says the 56-yearold dental hygienist from Albemarle. “If I handled my finances the way Washington handles theirs, I would have already been arrested for writing bad checks.” Osborn is among 81 percent of N C voters who say that despite last year’s $787 billion stimulus package, the administration’s actions have either hurt the economy or had little effect. And 54 percent believe the economy is on the wrong track, according to a new Charlotte Observer/WCNCTV poll of 625 registered voters. Heading into a mid-term election, the survey reflects problems for Democrats. But it also suggests pitfalls for both major parties. Among the findings: Though Obama narrowly carried North Carolina in 2008, only 38 percent say they would probably or definitely vote for


Few North Carolinians believe Obama actions have done much to help economy him today. Fifty-seven percent rate his performance as fair or poor. A January survey by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found 44 percent of N.C. voters approved the president’s job performance while 50 percent were unhappy with it. The economy far outweighs anything else as the most important issue facing the country, according to poll respondents. And only 24 percent said they believe the economy is on the right track. A slim majority of voters — 51 percent-do not want Congress to change healthcare this year. At the same time, 67 percent say at least some changes are needed to control costs and expand coverage. Though 80 percent of voters have heard of state and federal corruption investigations involving former Democratic Gov. Mike

Easley and others, only 36 percent primarily associate the allegations with

Democrats. Forty-two percent say both parties share the blame.

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island: Cynthia Roderick, 57, fills out an unemployment claim form online at a jobs center in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Rhode Island’s 12.9 percent unemployment rate is third-highest among the 50 states in the US. — MCT

Opinion split On the economy, some North Carolinians give Obama the benefit of the doubt. “They were in a very tough position when Obama came into office, and had they not taken those steps they took right at the beginning of his presidency, we’d be in worse shape than we are now,” says independent voter Augustine Acevedo, a 47year-old workforce manager of a Charlotte insurance company. “Unfortunately it took us a while to get into this situation and it’s going to take us a while to get out.” Democrat Richard Schenck, 78, a retired diplomat from Chapel Hill, says the administration “averted a Great Depression.” “The problem is not the president but the Congress,” he says, “particularly the Republican side of it.”

But others fault Obama for escalating federal spending. “My grandkids are going to be paying for this,” says Ronald Williams, 77, a retiree from Concord. “How are we going to make up this deficit? ... “For one thing, he should not have bailed out the auto industry ... Same thing with the banking industry. Look what they did with the stimulus money. Turned around and paid it out as bonuses.” To Kathy Smith, a retired teacher from Conover, America’s debt is “increasing exponentially” while the economy shows little sign of turning. “In Catawba County, things are just terrible,” says Smith, 61. “Everywhere we turn, budgets are being cut and schools are having to turn back money and unemployment is still way up there. And I don’t see it improving.” Neither does John Smalley. The 60year-old retired businessman from Statesville says the bailouts have left the government back where it started. “What they’ve done is bail out ‘too-big-to-fail’ and made them too big to fail again,” he says. — MCT


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Workplace etiquette:

What you know but choose to overlook

hen in an office, whether working or visiting, there are guidelines to follow regarding achieving proper office etiquette. The workplace is entirely different from your home, where in the latter you can act any way you want it because no one is seeing you or you are not disturbing anyone or any activity. Remember that you have to act respectful and polite in a workplace. Do it with dignity and honesty at all times. It is a good reputation and one that your coworkers and customers will love.


Appropriate office clothing In terms of proper attire, certain rules apply. One example is wearing slippers, flip flops, or thongs while at the workplace is a big no-no. You can save all these foot wears to beach or mall. Sometimes, the nature of the office requires that you wear slacks or office pants, and not jeans or denims and t-shirts. In this note, do not come dressed in jeans or shirt unless during wash day or if your office allows you to. Office blouses, long sleeve blouses, polo tops, and long office slacks are appropriate dress code in most offices. The shoes must be closed for men and peep-toe or closed for women. Of course, if the environment of the office is casual, less formal dress

code may be implemented. However, you are still not allowed to ear mid-riff tops, spaghetti tops or dresses, revealing dresses or miniskirts, and slippers to work. Be clean and fit All people are turned off of smelly people. In the office, being smelly is even more a crime. You don’t want your officemates walking away from you because of the foul, offensive odor. Therefore, be sure to shower

first before going to the office and use a nice, suitable deodorant, and brush your teeth. Use clean clothes and shoes. And be sure to groom yourself. You don’t want to show up in the office with your hair all over places and your clothes wrinkled because you didn’t press them before coming in. Be neat and act conservatively, if required by the nature of the office. Hide your tattoos and remove all body piercings except ear piercings, if you

are a woman, unless you are working in a tattoo shop. Do not sneeze or cough without covering your mouth. Use tissue all the time to avoid the germs from scattering. And don’t forget to say excuse me every time. Good manners and right conduct Good office etiquette comes from being courteous and respectful all the time. Keep interrupting people at a minimum. If you find yourself

Tips to be tolerable f you are in a small office where other employees are close by do not speak loudly while on the phone. Also don’t make personal calls unless they are absolutely necessary. Nobody wants to hear about your cold or your party plans so keep quite. Popping gum is really annoying to the people around you. If you must chew gum during the day do it without popping or blowing bubbles. Not only is it distracting but it makes you appear to be a kid. Eating lunch at your desk is fine as long as you aren’t a messy eater. Bring in food that has little mess to it. Never take fish to work many people do not like the smell of fish and may become sick from it. Be considerate when packing your meal for the day. If someone comes up to you while your mouth is


full of food. Finish chewing before you talk to them. Also it is generally rude to start talking to a person while they are in the middle of eating lunch. Check your Facebook, Myspace or any other personal sites at home. The workplace is not the place to be looking at drunk pictures of your friends. If you accidentally bump into someone say “excuse me” or “sorry” don’t be rude and just keep walking. If you are having a problem with a co-worker try to politely speak with them about it. This means no yelling or crying. If this does not work go to a manager and talk to them about it in private. Do not tell the entire office about your problem with this person. —

suddenly meddling with office mates’ conversation, be sure to apologize for the intrusion. Use courtesy as well if you need to strike up a conversation with another. Remember that the conversation must be work-related as possible. The office is not an environment for gossip, so quit visiting your coworker’s cubicle if you don’t have anything important needed. If you need to visit them, be sure to knock before you enter. Always use courteous words, such as, thank you, you are welcome, and please. Always show appreciation. Don’t shout when talking or don’t laugh loudly. It is disturbing to other people.

Avoid these things: • Selling goods inside the office • Hovering around waiting a coworker to finish phone call • Tactlessly criticizing another coworker • Using cell phone, mp3 player, and other gadgets during office hours • Giving sexist, racial, and offensive comments • Being a know-all individual • Blaming someone else even if it was your mistake —


Friday, February 26, 2010

Samsung Halo

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HTC Desire

LG GD880 Mini

Smartphones just got smarter this year I

f you think the phones currently on the shelf are hot, think again. A hotter crop of smartphones will hit the market later this year. Most cell phone manufacturers have unveiled their best models at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in last one week. When these hotties make a debut in the market, they may make your heart go zoom. Check them out. Samsung Halo is a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen smartphone with an 8megapixel AF camera. The smartphone runs on Google’s Android 2.1 OS. It is equipped with a GPS, Wi-Fi, DivX and XviD support for videos, 8-megapixel camera, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and 16GB of internal memory. HTC Desire comes with a 3.7inch capacitive touch-screen (800 x 480), a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the Android OS. The smartphone supports Flash 10.1. HTC Legend sports a 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touch-screen display (320 x 480) and the company’s Sense user interface. The company also showcased Legend. HTC Legend is powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm processor and runs on Google’s Android operating system (version 2.1). Other features include Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, a 5 mega-pixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth. Vivaz Pro comes with a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from underneath the 3.2-inch touchscreen. The Symbian-based Vivaz Pro is about 2 millimeters thicker than the original Vivaz, allows for video capture in 720p HD, and comes in black or white. It includes an 8GB microSD card and a 5.1 megapixel camera. Sony introduced the original Vivaz last month, and that device is set to be released this quarter. LG GD880 Mini is a touchscreen handset supporting HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS. The super thin phone features a sleek design with textured metal side panels. Features include a 5-megapixel camera with face detection capabilities and a 16:9 widescreen display. LG also showcased LG GT350. The QWERTY messaging smartphone offers built-in applications for major social networks and sports a 3-inch full-touch screen. LG GT350 also includes real-time push e-mail and will be available in four colors.

Phones to watch out for

Vivaz Pro

Xperia x10 Pro

Motorola Quench

The two other phones introduced by Sony take their cues from Xperia x10 — the Xperia x10 mini and the Xperia x10 Pro. Both phones are built on Android 1.6 operating system and come with access to Google services like Gmail, Google Maps and the Android Market. They include a 2.55-inch touchscreen and 5megapixel camera. The Xperia x10 Pro, however, gets its own slide-out QWERTY keyboard like the Vivaz Pro. The addition makes the Xperia x10 Pro slightly heavier than the mini, 4.2 ounces compared to 3.1 ounces. x10 mini comes in black, pearl white, lime, pink, red, and silver, while the x10 mini pro comes in black or red. The original Xperia x10 debuted in November 2009, and includes an 8.1 megapixel camera and four-inch screen. It will be available this quarter. Acer launched Liquid E, its new Android-based smartphone (version 2.1). The original Acer Liquid was launched in 2009 and had Android 1.6. In Liquid E, Acer has upgraded not only the software but also provide multitouch support via its 3.5 inch touchscreen with capacitive sensitivity. Acer also unveiled the neoTouch P400 smartphone - a Windows Mobile powered handset. At just 12 millimetres thick it is one of the sleekest WinMo-based mobiles around and should feature version 6.5.3. Motorola’s only launch at Mobile World Congress is Android-powered Motorola Quench. The phone sports a 3.1-inch, 320 x 480 capacitive touch-screen, a 5MP camera and a 528 MHz processor. Other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G. Toshiba K01 is a slide-out phone with a QWERTY keyboard. The mobile phone features a Snapdragon 1GHz processor running Windows Mobile Professional 6.5, a 3.15megapixel camera with auto-focus and VGA video recording at 30 fps, 256MB RAM, 512MB ROM, and capacity for a microSD card up to 32GB. It also sports a 4.1-inch capacitive touch screen with touchsensitive navigation controls. Toshiba also launched TG02 features a capacitive touch screen and 3.15megapixel camera with auto-focus. The slim phone runs on Windows Mobile Professional 6.5 and is powered by a Snapdragon 1GHz processor.


8 steps

rep your eyes with concealer. Concealer can be used to cover up undereye circles or just the bluish discoloration just under your inner eye. To cover dark undereye circles, apply three dots of concealer under each eye. Start at the inner corner where skin tends to be darkest, then under the pupil and the third on the outer edge. Pat, never rub with your ring finger (this finger tends to have the softest pad) until it disappears. Apply eye base to your lid Eye base is the secret to keeping your shadow in place for hours. Without properly priming your lid first, your eyeshadow will likely end up a greasy line in your crease.


Friday, February 26, 2010

makeup in

How to apply

Page 24

Apply shadow. It’s great to use a three-toned shadow and build from lids to brow. Allowing them to blend into each other like a rainbow is gorgeous, according to celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal. Start with a light color that almost matches your lid. Sweep the color across the lid and up to your browbone. Follow with a medium color across your lid only. Build on this with a darker color in the crease. Blend the colors well. Follow with eyeliner Dark eyeshadows work great as eyeliners. Wet a slanted brush, then dip in a dark eyeshadow. Line eyes as close to the upper lashes as possible from the inner corner to the outer corner. Follow with liner on bottom eyes, but

only line from the middle of the eye out. Smudge the bottom line with a Q-tip or your finger. You don’t want a prominent line. For a smokey eye,

it’s ‘smudge-y.’ Brighten your eyes with a highlighter This step involves only the inside part of the eye. With a gold or pink highlighter (white is too

When evening calls for a glamorous look, you want to focus on making your eyes amazing. Here’s how to apply eye makeup in a few steps. use a brush to pat in a dark eyeshadow along the upper lid and below the lid. You don’t want a stark line, instead you want to blend it so

bright), draw a v-shaped shape that follows the inner corner of your eye from top to bottom. Blend with your fingers. This will help make eyes

‘pop.’ Highlight your brow Take the same highlighter and dab it on your browbone, concentrating on your mid-brow outward. Blend with your finger. Curl lashes An eyelash curler will make even long lashes look more gorgeous. For added effect, you can heat the curler under a blowdryer for a couple seconds. Test curler before applying to lashes because you could burn yourself. Apply mascara Place the wand of your mascara brush at the bottom of lashes and wiggle back and forth. Follow with another few sweeps of the wand. Apply to bottom lashes as well. —About

Ginger skin cream Ginger invigorates, and oil soothes. Try this double dose for dry skin. 2-inch piece of fresh ginger 2 teaspoons light sesame oil 2 teaspoons apricot kernel oil 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil 1/2 cup cocoa butter reheat oven on lowest setting. Finely grate the ginger just enough so that you have about an 1/8 teaspoon of ginger “juice.” To obtain the juice, squeeze the freshly grated ginger over a small bowl. Place the ingredients (including the ginger) in a glass container and heat just until the cocoa butter is melted and the oils are blended. Pour into a clean, dry container and store in a cool dry place. You can add a few drops of orange or other essential oil for a nice twist.



Friday, February 26, 2010

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Jeans that put muffin tops, cracks behind you he proliferation of high-end denim brought with it two fashion plagues: the muffin top and its first cousin, plumber’s pant. For those of you who may not be up to fashion snuff, muffin tops are love handles that gush over toosnug waistbands and singlehandedly eviscerate the sex appeal of an exposed midriff. Not cute. Plumber’s pant, equally evil, happens when an ample tush forces the waistband down, exposing the dreaded crack. Never cute. I suffer from the latter. That is why when I got word that three Philadelphia moms had created M’Chic jeans, a surefire remedy for muffin top and related maladies, I had to check them out. The trio stitched a band of breathable, heavy-duty sports spandex to the waistband of dark stretch denim. The result, not to be confused with maternity pants, is a pair of jeans topped with a stretchy tube. I broke into a sweat pulling the tube-with-jeans over my ample hips. But when I smoothed the spandex over my belly, everything got sucked in. (Insert slurping sound here.) I could sit down, bend over even. “Why should you have to be model-skinny to feel good and look good in your jeans?” asked Cheryl Williams, 39, the brain behind the britches. “Our dream is for all women to look slim and at the same time be comfortably chic.” Amen to that. Williams got the idea to modify trousers in early 2008. After giving birth to her third child, she was feeling a little frumpy. Her then-husband , they divorced later that year , even complained about the extra pudge. “That made me angry,” Williams said. “I just had three 9-pound babies and I was running a household; it was nearly impossible for me to have a model-perfect body.” Frustrated, Williams, who is probably about a size 6, if that , tried everything to manage her mommy pooch, from uncomfortable girdles to tube tops. Nothing worked to her liking. One day, she and friend Meredith Cole got the idea of sewing a


For those of you who may not be up to fashion snuff, muffin tops are love handles that gush over too-snug waistbands and single-handedly eviscerate the sex appeal of an exposed midriff.

stretchy material on some jeans from Wal-Mart. She put them on and instantly felt slimmer. Then she did the same thing with a pair of trousers. That worked, too. Williams started wearing her

body-slimming pants everywhere. But it was her father, Ken Williams, who suggested that she might have a business deal on her hands. “The jeans made her feel

so much better about herself,” said her father, who lives in Mount Laurel, N.J., and runs a construction business. “She had other girlfriends that were in the same boat, and I just

thought it was a good idea.” Williams, a registered nurse turned stay-at-homemom, immediately went into production mode. With about $100,000, mostly from her father, she sourced fabric and denim, and after finding a Pennsylvania-based pattern-maker, created a prototype. From there, M’Chic was born. Motto: Muffin tops are for eating, not wearing. “Originally, I wanted to save all the moms and housewives of the world

quite gotten rid of it feel so much more secure.” Williams had 1,000 pairs of the fall line made at a plant in the Dominican Republic, and now the business partners have 7,000 on order at a new manufacturing plant in Guatemala. In February, the trio plan to take their pinkaccented presentation booth to the granddaddy of all sportswear trade shows: Magic, in Las Vegas. There, they will introduce an expanded

from being called fat and wavy,” Williams said over Cherry Coke Zero at her Swedesboro, N.J., home. Cole, 31, was there, as well as the company’s third partner, Tracey Kerr, 39. The jeans retail for $89 and range in size from extra small to XXL. The spring line will be available in 17 boutiques along the East Coast. “The customers absolutely love them,” said Anna Russo, owner of Salon 365 in the northern New Jersey town of Roselle Park. Russo, who sold all but three pairs of the fall 2009 shipment, is anxiously waiting for her spring order to arrive. “Women who have a fuller middle and those that have had children and not

spring line that includes additional washes as well as a skinny-leg jean, two styles of capris, shorts, and a black tankini-style bathing suit. I’ve worn my M’Chics twice, and the comfort and fit are good. The stretch denim is soft and the dark wash has a definite slimming effect. I found the faux pockets strange , I’m a pockets girl , but Williams said the faux ones make for a smoother fit. They also don’t have the expected button/zipper combo , you pull these on. And that creates one small problem. I wore my jeans the day I sat through the three-hour blockbuster Avatar. When I got up, Mother Nature hollered, and let’s say it was a close call. —MCT


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Friday, February 26, 2010

12 tips to avoid daytime sleepiness N

ot surprisingly, the problem of daytime sleepiness usually starts at night. Even missing just a few nights’ sleep, or not getting enough uninterrupted sleep, can slow you down and sour your mood. Poor sleep habits are often the cause of daytime sleepiness. Before you go through any more groggy and crabby days, try these 12 ways to improve nighttime sleep and avoid daytime sleepiness. 1. Get adequate nighttime sleep. That may sound obvious, but many of us succumb to shaving an hour or two off our sleep time in the morning or at night to do other things. Most adults need seven to nine hours a night, and teenagers usually need a full nine hours. Block out eight or nine hours for sleep every night. 2. Keep distractions out of bed. “Reserve your bed for sleep and sex,” says Avelino Verceles, MD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the school’s sleep medicine fellowship. “You shouldn’t read, watch TV, play video games, or use laptop computers in bed.” Don’t do your bills or have heated discussions in bed either. They may leave you sleepless. 3. Set a consistent wake-up time. People who have problem sleepiness are often advised to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including on weekends. But randomly setting an ideal bedtime can lead to more frustration if you suffer from insomnia and already have trouble falling asleep,

says Barry Krakow, MD, medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M., and author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: 7 Keys to Sleeping Through the Night. Instead, Krakow suggests starting out by setting a wake-up time only. “Stick by that for the first few weeks or even months to establish a rhythm,” he says. “That process of always getting up at the same time helps to anchor the circadian rhythm. And if you do that and have a bad night, you’ll also to be sleepier the next bedtime.” 4. Gradually move to an earlier bedtime. Another approach to getting into a consistent schedule is to try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for four nights. Then stick with the last bedtime. Gradually adjusting your schedule like this usually works better than suddenly trying to go to sleep an hour earlier. 5. Set consistent, healthy mealtimes. Regular mealtimes, not just regular sleep times, help regulate our circadian rhythms. Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch on time — rather than grabbing a doughnut and coffee in the morning or a late sandwich on the run — also prevents energy deficits during the day that will aggravate your sleepiness. Plan to finish eating meals two to three hours before bedtime. 6. Exercise. Regular exercise (30 minutes a day on most days) offers multiple benefits for sleep. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, generally

makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. Exercise also gives you more daytime energy and keeps your thinking sharp. And if you exercise outside in daylight, you get still more benefits. Sleep experts recommend 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight a day because daylight helps regulate our sleep patterns. Avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime. 7. De-clutter your schedule. “If you don’t think you can allow seven or eight hours for sleep, then you need to look at your schedule and make some adjustments,” says Verceles. “Move some activities from nighttime to early evening or from early to late morning.” Try to eliminate tasks that aren’t really important. Getting enough sleep at night will help you function better during your remaining activities. 8. Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. If you go to bed when you’re just tired, you probably won’t be able to fall asleep, Krakow says. “Distinguish between the feeling of sleepiness and being tired. Get into bed when you’re sleepy — eyes droopy, you’re drowsy, you feel like you’re nodding off. It’s a very different kind of feeling.” 9. Don’t nap late in the day. Late afternoon napping can make daytime sleepiness worse if because it can interfere with nighttime sleep. 10. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxation routine before bedtime can help you separate from the day — especially from activities that are over-stimulating or stressful,

making it difficult to sleep. Try meditation, soaking in a hot bath, listening to soothing music, or reading a book. A cup of herbal tea or warm milk can also be soothing, but skip those if they cause you to wake at night to go to the bathroom. 11. Avoid “nightcaps.” People often think that alcohol helps sleep, but it actually robs you of deep sleep, which is essential for feeling well rested. When the effects of alcohol wear off during the night, you’ll probably be wide awake again. 12. See a sleep specialist. Daytime sleepiness can be caused by sleep disorders. If you are excessively sleepy consistently during the day even when you sleep well or if you fall asleep without warning during daily activities, you may have a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, a breathing problem that occurs during sleep. According to Krakow, undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorders are probably the greatest cause of daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Problem sleepiness can also be caused by certain illnesses and medications. And mental conditions such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and anxiety are very commonly linked to sleep problems. A sleep specialist can design a treatment program for you that treats the underlying sleep disorder and helps you develop better sleep habits and attitudes though cognitive behavioral therapy. Sometimes it takes a combination of medication and behavioral therapy to eliminate daytime sleepiness, but it can be done. ( )

For some people, excessive sleepiness actually gets in the way of daily work, childcare, and even leisure activities. This is known as hypersomnia, recurrent sleepiness that makes people want to nap repeatedly, even at work.


Friday, February 26, 2010

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10 workout secrets: Expert exercise tips 1. Be Consistent Chase Squires is the first to admit that he’s no fitness expert. But he is a guy who used to weigh 205 pounds, more than was healthy for his 5’4” frame. “In my vacation pictures in 2002, I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at the beach,” says the 42-year-old Colorado resident. Squires decided enough was enough, cut out fatty food, and started walking on a treadmill. The pounds came off and soon he was running marathons — not fast, but in the race. He ran his first 50-mile race in October 2003, and completed his first 100-miler a year later. Since then, he’s completed several 100-mile, 50mile, and 50k races. His secret? “I’m not fast, but I’m consistent,” says Squires, who says consistency is his best tip for maintaining a successful fitness regimen. “It all started with 20 minutes on a treadmill,” he says. “The difference between my success and others who have struggled is that I did it every single day. No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently.” 2. Follow an Effective Exercise Routine The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. Their top three suggestions: Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body. Interval

training. “In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer for ACE. “It is an extremely timeefficient and productive way to exercise.” Increased cardio/aerobic exercise. Bryant suggests accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing. 3. Set Realistic Goals “Don’t strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can’t be met,” says Kara Thompson, spokesperson for the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). “Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviors.” In other words, don’t worry if you can’t run a 5K just yet. Make it a habit to walk 15 minutes a day, and add time, distance, and intensity from there. 4. Use the Buddy System Find a friend or relative whom you like and trust who also wants to establish a healthier lifestyle, suggests Thompson. “Encourage one another. Exercise together. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and to strengthen the relationship.” 5. Make Your Plan Fit Your Life Too busy to get to the gym?

Tennis star Martina Navratilova, health and fitness ambassador for the AARP, knows a thing or two about being busy and staying fit. Make your plan fit your life, she advises in an article on the AARP web site. “You don’t need fancy exercise gear and gyms to get fit.” If you’ve got floor space, try simple floor exercises to target areas such as the hips and buttocks, legs and thighs, and chest and arms (like push-ups, squats, and lunges). Aim for 10-12 repetitions of each exercise, adding more reps and intensity as you build strength. 6. Be Happy Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing, suggests Los Angeles celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree. “If you hate weights, don’t go to the gym. You can lose weight and get in shape with any type of training or activity,” he says. And choose something that is convenient. Rock climbing may be a great workout, but if you live in a city, it’s not something you’ll be doing every day. 7. Watch the Clock Your body clock, that is. Try to work out at the time you have the most energy, suggests Jason Theodosakis, MD, assistant professor and exercise physiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. If you’re a morning person, schedule your fitness activities early in the day; if you perk up as the day goes along, plan

your activities in the afternoon or evening. “Working out while you have the most energy will yield the best results,” says Theodosakis. 8. Call In the Pros Especially if you’re first getting started, Theodosakis suggests having a professional assessment to determine what types of exercise you need most. “For some people, attention to flexibility, or balance and agility, may be more important than resistance training or aerobics,” he says. “By getting a professional assessment, you can determine your weakest links and focus on them. This will improve your overall fitness balance.” 9. Get Inspired “Fitness is a state of mind,” says fitness professional and life coach Allan Fine of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. One of Fine’s tricks to get and stay motivated is to read blogs or web sites that show him how others have been successful. “Who inspires you?” he asks. 10. Be Patient Finally, remember that even if you follow all these tips, there will be ups and downs, setbacks and victories, advises Navratilova. Just be patient, and don’t give up, she says on the AARP web site: “Hang in there, and you’ll see solid results.” ( )

So what’s the secret of eople who have managed to make exercise a way of life? To find out, WebMD talked to fitness experts and successful exercisers who revealed the top tips, tricks and secrets they use to get the most from their workout routines.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Carol Pencke (front,)and Bob Otterman, of Stanwood, Washington, enjoy the competition with their dogs Moss (left) and Molly, February 13, 2010, at the Zamora Hills Sheepdog Trail at the Slaven Ranch in Zamora, California. —MCT

Herding sheep turns into test for dogs A mong hills reminiscent of the English countryside, the Slaven family has raised sheep in rural Yolo County, California, for four generations. It’s a dying calling: Today, there are about 5.8 million sheep in the US, according to the American Sheep Industry Association. That’s down from a peak of 56 million in the 1940s. Yet a relic from the industry sheepherding - is growing in popularity as a sport. Last weekend, border collies, people and sheep have gathered at Slaven Roach for sheepdog trials. “It gets more popular every year,” said Francis Raley, secretary of the Texas-based US Border Collie Handler’s Association. Ten years ago, there were about 250 trials in the US, and this year, Raley estimates there will be about 500, up from 444 last year. Dogs and their handlers rack up points by herding sheep through an obstacle course. The pairs with the most points go to the Association’s National Sheepdog Finals, which will be held this year in Virginia. Saturday at Slaven Ranch near Zamora, Calif, handlers atop a bale of hay whistled commands to direct their collies through 11 minutes of tasks, which simulate farm work.

Event organizer Terri Pelkey peered under her cowboy hat at the green hills. About 500 yards away, five sheep were released and a collie bounded up to meet them, bringing them closer in a move called “fetching” and then directing them through two sets of gates on either side of the course - all as directed by the dog handler. Next the dog had to “shed,” or split two of the sheep away from the rest. On the farm, such a move would be necessary if one of the sheep needed medical attention. The sheep didn’t like it, clinging together as a fluffy unit. The handler inserted herself at the right moment, using her staff to separate the sheep without exciting them. “Wow, that was pretty perfect,” Pelkey said. Pelkey’s dog, Dash, qualified for the nationals last year but on Saturday nipped an ornery sheep, which is against the rules. Well-trained sheepdogs can sell for up to $15,000, and their owners describe them as having a humanlike intelligence. “It’s the smartest dog you’ll find,” said Nancy Carranza of Marysville, Calif. Bob Dias, of San Diego, believes his dog, McCloud, is superior to any human. “If McCloud were a woman, I would have married him for sure,” he said. —MCT

Jynx, a border collie owned by Mike Meredith, of Tehachapi, California, tracts down a stray sheep in competition. —MCT


Friday, February 26, 2010

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Kaney O’Neill (right) is given some water to drink by her caregiver Sasha Davidiuk, as her son Aidan, 4-month-old, rests on her lap at their home in Des Plaines, Illinois. — MCT

Disabled mother battles to keep her son aney O’Neill knows she has limits as a mother. The 31year-old Des Plaines, Illinois, woman cannot walk, move her fingers independently or feel anything from the chest down. A decade ago, O’Neill was a Navy airman apprentice when she was knocked from a balcony during Hurricane Floyd, leaving her a quadriplegic. When she discovered she was pregnant last December, she felt fear and joy. She quickly embraced the opportunity to raise a child, feeling she had the money and family support to make up for her paralysis. David Trais, her ex-boyfriend and the 49-year-old father of their now 5month-old son, disagreed that she was up to the challenge. In September, Trais sued O’Neill for full custody, charging that his former girlfriend is “not a fit and proper person” to care for their son, Aidan James O’Neill. In court documents, Trais said O’Neill’s disability “greatly limits her ability to care for the minor, or even wake up if the minor is distressed.” O’Neill counters that she always has another able-bodied adult on hand for Aidan - be it her full-time caretaker, live-in brother or her mother. Even before she gave birth to Aidan, O’Neill said, she never went more than a few hours by herself. The custody case, expected back before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue next month, raises profound questions about what rights disabled parents have to care for their own children. Ella Callow, the director of legal programs for the National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families, said disabled parents are incorrectly “perceived as unable to perform to standard.” “No judge wants to be the judge who sends a child home when the child gets hurt,” said Callow,


Callow said the bias against disabled parents is such that judges tend to grant custody to an able-bodied partner “even if they have a history that might usually be a heavy mark against them - not having been in the child’s life, a history of violence, et cetera.” of the Berkeley, California-based advocacy group. Callow said the bias against disabled parents is such that judges tend to grant custody to an able-bodied partner “even if they have a history that might usually be a heavy mark against them - not having been in the child’s life, a history of violence, et cetera.” Trais declined to comment to the Chicago Tribune when reached by phone. His attorney did not return repeated calls for comment. But Howard LeVine, a Tinley Park, Illinois, attorney not affiliated with the case, said Trais’ concerns are legitimate and may hold legal weight. “Certainly, I sympathize with the mom, but assuming both parties are equal (in other respects), isn’t the child obviously better off with the father?” LeVine, who has specialized in divorce and custody cases for the last 40 years, pointed out that O’Neill would likely not be able to teach her son to write, paint or play ball. “What’s the effect on the child - feeling sorry for the mother and becoming the parent?” On a recent morning, O’Neill’s caretaker, Sasha Davidiuk, propped Aidan on a pillow in O’Neill’s lap and O’Neill held her son. She has full use of her biceps muscles. When his bottle fell from his mouth, or tipped the wrong way, Davidiuk stepped in to reposition it. The two worked in tandem, with

Davidiuk heading up duties that require manual dexterity - like changing diapers - and O’Neill focused more on emotional engagement. When Aidan burst into tears, for example, O’Neill was the one to sooth him with a soft rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” In addition to Davidiuk, O’Neill’s brother, an ex-Marine, lives in an apartment attached to her home. O’Neill’s mother helps on weekends and the family keeps Pele, a yellow lab service dog, who can open doors, turn on lights and pick up stuffed animals. Her immaculate, one-story home is filled with photos of Aidan. Her son’s room, painted sherbet green and decorated with cheerful zoo animals, has a specially modified changing table and crib that allows for O’Neill’s wheelchair. In an overflowing folder marked “Mommy vs Daddy,” O’Neill keeps a copy of legal filings, tax records and proof of her income, including statements that reflect she receives $91,000 a year in veteran’s benefits that pay for her care. She also owns a general contracting company targeting federal government contracts earmarked for businesses owned by disabled veterans. O’Neill said the company, a two-year-old startup, has not yet generated a profit. How the case will play out is impossible to predict, say legal

experts, who point out that O’Neill’s disability, in and of itself, cannot be the determining factor. “You cannot categorically discriminate against people because of their disabilities,” said Bruce Boyer, director of the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, referring to one of the central tenets of the Americans with Disabilities Act. “You can consider the ways in which someone’s circumstances might interfere with a person’s ability to have the child’s needs met.” Helene Shapo, a professor at Northwestern University’s School of Law, said such custody fights often come down to a judge determining “the best interests of the child - a very nebulous standard that the courts use.” Shapo pointed to a 1979 landmark case in which the California Supreme Court reversed lower court rulings against a paralyzed father who had been fighting to retain custody of his two children. In its opinion, the court found that the “essence of parenting is not to be found in the harried rounds of daily carpooling” but rather “in the ethical, emotional and intellectual guidance the parent gives the child throughout his formative years.” As is common in child custody battles, the plaintiff did not limit his legal complaint to one concern. Trais, a self-employed Chicago attorney, also

charged in legal documents that O’Neill suffers from depression and that she smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol in front of the infant. O’Neill said she sees a therapist once a week and has been treated for anxiety, depression and sleep apnea. She denied Trais’ claim she smokes or drinks - though both are legal practices. “Who is lighting my cigarettes and pouring my drinks?” she quipped. Despite the acrimonious nature of their current relationship, O’Neill said she is committed to keeping Trais in their son’s life. She said she was devastated when she learned Trais had deemed her “unfit” in court papers and said she believes it was motivated by her decision to break up with him shortly after Aidan’s birth. Trais currently has visitation rights from 4 to 7:30 pm Mondays and Wednesdays, and overnight on Fridays, according to O’Neill. To be sure, O’Neill is not the first mother to parent from a wheelchair. Marca Bristo, president of Access Living, a Chicago community center providing advocacy and direct service for people with disabilities, was 23 when she suffered a spinal injury in a 1977 diving accident that left her paralyzed. She gave birth and raised two children when she was in her 30s. “I won’t kid you, it’s harder to be a mom with a disability,” Bristo said. She said both she and her kids learned to adapt. As her children got older, and starting to walk, verbal cues became increasingly important. “You develop different voices” for warning children, since physical intervention isn’t an option, she said. “My kids knew that ‘danger voice.’ They would stop in their trails when they heard that voice. “My kids did fine.” — MCT


Page 30

Everyday cooking:

Hot bean dip 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 cup sour cream 2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans 1/2 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix 5 drops hot pepper sauce 2 tablespoons dried parsley 1/4 cup chopped green onions 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese

reheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese and sour cream. Mix in the refried beans, taco seasoning, hot pepper sauce, parsley, green onions, 1/2 the Cheddar cheese and 1/2 the Monterey Jack cheese. Transfer the mixture to an 8x12 inch baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010


Page 31

Three bean salad 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 2 celery stalks, chopped fine 1/2 red onion, chopped fine 1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper n a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat. Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.


Tangy baked beans 1 pound navy beans or small white beans 6 ounces slab beef bacon — cut into 1/2” cubes 1 large onion — peeled and chopped 1 medium green bell pepper stemmed, seeded and — cut into 1/4” cubes 1 medium red bell pepper stemmed, seeded and — cut into 1/4” cubes 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, juices reserved — coarsely chopped 1/2 pound honey-baked ham — cut into 1/4” cubes 1 cup ketchup 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup dark molasses 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dry mustard 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and — cut into 1” cubes salt — to taste

Black bean soup Place beans and water in a soup pot; cover and simmer about 45 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer till beans are tender, usually about 1 hour. Dip out about 2 cups of bean mixture and run it through a blender or food processor to puree it; then put it back into the pot. Put the oil in a skillet and saute the onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano until the onions are soft. Add everything to the soup pot except the garnishes. Simmer about 20 minutes more. Serve with garnishes of choice as toppers.

1 pound black beans 6 cups water 4 cups rich chicken stock 1/4 cup olive oil 2 medium white onions chopped 6 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves 2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups cooked rice In small bowls for garnish, serve: chopped green onions, including tops lime wedges sour cream, chopped jalapeno peppers. Pick over the dry beans.

Beef chili n a large pot, heat the brown the ground beef, making sure to continuously break up large pieces with a spoon or spatula. Once browned drain fat off of ground beef. Return the ground beef to the pot. Add onions and green bell pepper to the ground beef and cook over medium heat with stirring until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ancho chile powder,


lace beans in a large, heavy pot, add water to cover by 2 inches and soak overnight. Or, quick-soak by bringing them to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse several times. Place soaked or quick-soaked beans back in the pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil until just tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes. While cooking, skim off any foam that rises to the top. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º F. Place bacon in a heavy ovenproof pot. Cook over low heat until fat is just rendered, about 5 to 6 minutes (do not brown). Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion to the pot and cook until wilted, 10 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Add beans, reserved bacon and the chopped tomatoes. Then add the remaining ingredients except the reserved tomato juice, apples and salt. Fold together and cover; bake for 2 hours. Add the apples and 1/2 cup of the reserved tomato juice and bake, uncovered, until thick and fragrant, about 2 hours.


• 3 pounds ground beef • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil • 3 cups beef broth • 1 15 oz can red pinto beans • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain) • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce • 1 6 oz can tomato paste • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar • 2 large onions, diced finely • 1 large green bell pepper, diced finely • 6 cloves garlic, minced • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder • 3 tablespoons pasilla chile powder • 1 tablespoon sugar • 3 tablespoons cumin, ground • 1 teaspoon dried thyme • 1 teaspoon dried oregano • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 4 chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped in adobo sauce

pasilla chile powder, cumin, sugar, thyme, cayenne powder, oregano, and black pepper. Heat over medium heat with stirring for 12 minutes. Pour in the beef broth, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar and chipotle peppers. Stir to mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours before serving or refrigerating.

THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change the first of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!

THE STORY SO FAR : While visiting the Retreat, the remote Himalayan sanctuary for Noor Stone-wielders, three members of The 99 confront a wild tiger that has wandered in from the mountains. But as

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2010, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jabbar grapples with the giant cat, Fattah disappears through a teleportation portal!


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Cruise ships are in port in Charlotte Amalie harbor, St. Thomas. Most cruise ships come on Sunday through Tuesday. —MCT

Virgin territory: A few great reasons to discover the exotic yet familiar American Caribbean


any travelers think they know St. Thomas from a cruise ship stop. That’s like ringing the doorbell and believing you’ve seen the house. St. Thomas looks better now than it has in about 15 years. It struggled for a decade to recover from Hurricane Marilyn in 1995 and the downturn after 9-11. Now, it seems buoyant and in better shape than some places back home. Sister island St. John remains pristine, most of it a national park. I have not seen St.Croix, 40 miles to the south, but 21 years after Hurricane Hugo flattened it, it survives vibrantly. Existing under the radar of most Americans, the US Virgin Islands attracted only 600,000 overnight visitors last year as the US mainland economy ailed. The upside for tourists? The USVI suddenly is nearly as affordable as Florida. I paid $306 round-trip airfare from Detroit and rented a condo near the beach on St. Thomas for $165 a night. It’s as if Nordstrom suddenly has Sears prices. So without disparaging Florida’s many attractions, here are 12 reasons I recommend visiting the Virgin Islands this year. 1. The water and vistas. Did you ever buy Navajo turquoise jewelry? That’s the color of the water here. And the water temperature is 80 degrees in February. That’s not gonna happen anywhere else in the US except Hawaii. In the Virgin Islands, the hilly vistas rising out of the sea are what

you dream about in winter. It’s your screensaver back home. 2. The weather. Unlike Florida, USVI temperatures rarely vary from daytimes in the 80s and nighttimes in the 70s. The air is clear. Your hair suddenly feels moist, and your skin looks good. Steady trade winds from the east keep temperatures from sweltering. If it rains, the wet stuff generally yields quickly to blue skies. 3. Cheaper flights. Despite a decline in the number of visitors, there were more airplane seats last year, due to heavy lobbying by tourism officials. That means deals. On busy holiday weeks, it might still cost $600 round-trip, but if you are flexible with dates or days, you can find round-trip airfare for half that. I paid $306 round-trip, flew out of Detroit at 6:30 a.m. through Atlanta on Delta and was in St. Thomas by 1:30 p.m. Detroit time. 4. No passport or jet lag. It’s a US territory, which means you need only a driver’s license and a birth certificate. And time here is only one hour ahead of Eastern time, so there’s no jet lag. 5. The beaches, snorkeling, sailing and scuba. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can walk off the beach and snorkel amid schools of tropical fish. The diving is good, too. Beaches? My favorites on St. Thomas , Coki and Sapphire , are so pretty




they seem like you’ve walked into a photograph. On St. John, Trunk Bay is shaped like a giant smile. Busy or empty, beaches are everywhere, all with fine white sand and velvety water , and no jellyfish. Interesting side trips. Side trips? From an island? Florida may have Disney World, but the USVI is ferry distance from the stunning British Virgin Islands (Tortola is an hour from St. Thomas, Jost Van Dyke 45 minutes). Plus, St. Thomas and St. John are only 15 minutes apart on the ferry for just $6 each way. Want traffic, stores, lots of people and dining? Choose St. Thomas. Want to see nobody? Choose a remote beach on St. John. Want a combination of the two? Try St. Croix. There’s also a lot of history on these former Danish islands that gives them a cultural richness beyond palm trees and pirates. Hotels and rental units really, really want you. Many resorts have “buy two nights, get one free” promotions similar to the US mainland. Also, look for travel packages that include airfare and lodging. Meanwhile, do not be put off by high prices ($250-$600 a night) you see quoted on hotel booking sites. Go straight to the hotel/resort site for deals or scout out specials. Better yet, rent a condo or villa. You can actually drive around. At many Caribbean and

Mexican resorts, tourists are warned not to leave their resorts or drive. While the USVI has its share of crime (mostly drug-related), it is fine to drive around on your own on the islands, taking the same precautions you would at home. That gives you more freedom. The tricky part? Driving an American-style car on the left-hand side of the narrow winding roads. It took me only five Virgin Islands visits to get good at it. 9. The Virgin Islanders. Personally, I very much like the strong personality of the people here. Talkative, opinionated and direct, they also represent a place where manners and “Good mornings” still count. I also like the sailing crowd and the quirky wrinkly skinned US transplants, who for their own mysterious reasons have gone native. 10. The exotic yet familiar atmosphere. Folks in the USVI speak English and use the dollar. You’ll find American TV stations in your hotel, and your cell phone will get a good signal. There’s even a K-mart on St. Thomas. Still, this is the Caribbean, and efficiency is a relative term. “If you require speed and order, stick with Florida,” says David Bello, owner of Fair Wind Sailing School in Red Hook, St. Thomas. “This is the US , but it’s not the US “ 11. The shopping. St. Thomas is


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Coral World, St. Thomas raises rescued turtles, like this 18-year-old sea turtle and releases them back into the wild. This one is a captive.—MCT Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, is part of a national park. —MCT famed as the biggest tax-free, duty-free shopping hub in the Caribbean. And because it attracts lots of artists, “we have been trying to get us known as an art destination. We have 80 potters on the three islands and painters galore,” says Ruth Prager, owner of Gallery St. Thomas in Charlotte Amalie, which represents 27 artists. I also recommend the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative next to Vendor’s Plaza. Among the big

shops, try AH Riise, which has everything from perfume to an official Rolex store (men’s Rolex blue Submariner Oyster watches are about $7,500). Visitors are allowed to exit St. Thomas with $1,600 in dutyfree goods , double that of most destinations. 12. Bragging rights. The Virgin Islands are simply more glamorous than Florida. It’s just a sexier vacation. And no, you don’t have to tell anyone how little you paid.

SNAPSHOT OF THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS Islands:St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Cruise ships: The US Virgin Islands , especially St. Thomas , is the Caribbean’s third most-popular cruise stop after the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. About 1.2 million cruise ship passengers stopped in 2009, down 12 percent from 2008. In January, 76 cruise ships paid a call, down from 89 in 2008. Overnight visitors: About

600,000 visitors came from January through November 2009, down 3.3 percent from 2008. The USVI has fewer overnight visitors than Jamaica or the Dominican Republic but more than St. Lucia, the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands. The average length of stay is 4.1 nights. Hotels:Occupancy rate JanuaryAugust 2009 was 58.7 percent (65.6 percent in St. Thomas; 38.8 percent on St. Croix.) Hurricanes:Nothing major since 1998, when Georges sank 35 boats

A couple has the beach to themselves on Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas. In the far distance are the British Virgin Islands.—MCT

in Charlotte Amalie Harbor. But Marilyn devastated St. Thomas in 1995, and Hugo flattened most of St. Croix in 1989. All things considered, the islands are incredibly resilient. Flights: The number of flights to St. Thomas rose 9 percent in 2009 over 2008. The islands spent $3 million in marketing initiatives to encourage new flights and tourism. (Sources: Caribbean Tourism Organization; Smith Travel Research; USVI Bureau of Economic Research; Travel Weekly) ST. THOMAS TIDBITS It is one of the only places in the world where you drive Americanstyle cars but with British rules of the road , on the left. Drivers are warned to “keep your shoulder to the shoulder” to prevent crashes. St. Thomas’ tiny local paper, the Virgin Islands Daily Press, won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1995 for its series on police corruption, an amazing journalism achievement for such a small paper. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas’ biggest city and the seat for government and courts, was named after a Dutch queen from the late 1600s. People argue whether it is pronounced Charlotte “a-MAL-yea” or “a-ma-LEE,” but the Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists both as correct. Busy cruise ship days on St. Thomas are Sunday-Tuesday. Few ships arrive Wednesday-Saturday , so that’s when everyone actually staying on the island during high season visits area attractions and beaches. If you’re there on a Tuesday you can see the 5,400passenger new Oasis of the Seas in port, looking as big as an aircraft carrier. Ceramic artist Peggy Seiwert started Kilnworks Pottery in 1984 on St. Thomas and became well known for her signature pieces with the image of a lizard. She now has moved back to the States, so fans should snap up the last of the pottery at the stillopen shop (now called Quick Pics) at 6029 Estate Smith Bay 4H on the island’s east end or in the gift shop at the St. Thomas


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Friday, February 26, 2010

By Jay Asher lay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker-his classmate and crush-who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


By Amy Efaw n infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . . Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is madeDevon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer. And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible- she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.




Thirteen Reasons Why

Gripping teen novels that

Looking for Alaska By John Green deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the “Great Perhaps.” Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction. Miles has a quirky interest in famous people’s last words, especially FranÁois Rabelais’s final statement, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip — commonly known as the Colonel — who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore. The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and


revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like “forty-six days before” and “the last day” portend a tragic event — one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished “Great Perhaps.”

By Ellen Hopkins o twins begin in the womb? Or in a better place? Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down D to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family - on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites - and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept - from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is - who?

Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson his is a story about silence—the causes and effects, the costs and benefits, but Tmostly the breaching of it. Late summer before her freshman year in high school, Melinda calls 911 ending a party and becoming a pariah. The first day of class a few weeks later, she is left to talk with Heather, a new girl, while everyone else snickers or ignores her. Melinda’s parents are not getting along, Heather deserts her for the Martha’s, girls who dress, act, and try to think as one, and IT appears in Melinda’s dreams and around every corner. When day-to-day existence becomes too much to bear she takes refuge in a janitor’s closet, to which she adds some posters and a comforter. But even there she’s not safe from Andy Evans, the boy who raped her at the party and who is now dating the girl who used to be her best friend. Anderson provides the reader with hints of what happened at the party throughout the text, as Melinda attempts to break her silence and explain why she had to call 911. As the story unfolds some readers will react like the accepting, available art teacher; Mr. Freeman, some will respond like the

critical, absent parents; and some will recognize the adolescent, self-absorbed students at her high school. The wonderfully descriptive language, along with the suspense, capture and propel the reader through this tale.


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you must check out Heist Society By Ally Carter hen Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre . . . to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria . . . to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own - scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the

The Book Thief


world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection has been stolen and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled off this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and, hopefully, just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history - and with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

By Markus Zusak ith Death as narrator, Markus Zusak’s haunting novel follows Liesel Meminger, W The Book Thief, through the fear-filled years of Nazi Germany. The story opens as the ten-yearold girl takes her first book shortly after her younger brother’s death. Both children were en route to the foster home of Hans and Rosa Hubermann in a Munich suburb. Despite Rosa’s sharp tongue and Hans’s lack of work, their home is a loving refuge for the nightmareridden girl. It also becomes a hideout for Max, a young Jewish man whose father saved Hans’s life. Liesel finds solace with her neighbor Rudy and her creative partnership with Max. Accompanied by Rudy, the girl copes by stealing food from farmers and books from the mayor’s wife. There are also good moments as she learns to read and plays soccer, but Hans’s illadvised act of kindness to a Jewish prisoner forces Max to leave their safe house. The failing war effort and bombing by the Allies lead to more sacrifices, a local suicide and, eventually, to great losses. Reading books and writing down her experiences save Liesel, but this novel clearly depicts the devastating effects of war. Narrator Allan Corduner defines each character with perfect timing. He’s deliberate as the voice of Death, softly strong as Liesel, and impatient, but not unkind, as Rosa. With richly evocative imagery and compelling characters, Zusak explores behind-the-lines life in World War II Germany, showing the day-to-day heroism of ordinary people.

The Truth About Forever By Sarah Dessen acy begins her summer by M telling her boyfriend, Jason, “goodbye” as he leaves to spend the next two months at Brain Camp. Jason is perfect in every way and makes Macy feel she has to be perfect too. She knows he challenges her, but she feels she needs this to avoid dealing with the death of her father. Her mother believes that the stress of her job keeps her from mourning his death. After receiving an e-mail from Macy ending in “I love you” Jason considers their relationship a distraction for him. He replies, explaining that they should take a break. When Macy decides to take a catering job, everything changes. She meets a fearless girl who informs her that it is impossible to be perfect. She

When It Happens By Susan Colasanti n Colasanti’s sweet debut, an unlikely pair of high school seniors fall for each other, and learn to handle the ups and downs that come with love. At the start of the book, overachiever Sara starts dating popular Dave, mainly because “after being a nobody for so long, it feels awesome to be a somebody.” But when she gets paired up with smart slacker musician Tobey, they instantly connect and Sara realizes true


love is “finally happening.” Told through the couple’s alternating perspectives, the story realistically captures the thrill of first love (Sara realizes that “When I’m with Tobey, an hour seems like a second”). After finding each other, Sara and Tobey must deal with jealous exes as well as their futures (Tobey learns to study, hoping to go to the Manhattan Music Academy and be near Sara at NYU). Readers may find the plot somewhat thin, and secondary story lines remain underdeveloped (e.g.,

Sara’s strained relationship with her mother, who was 16 when Sara was born; her friend Maggie’s struggles to deal with her parents’ divorce). But the book emulates the feeling that everything but the budding romance slips to the background. Even the delectably hokey scene in which Tobey wins Sara back by standing under her window, holding up his boom box over his head (like John Cusack in her favorite scene from Say Anything) is sure to make readers smile.

also meets a guy who shows her how to remember her dad. Her mom observes these changes but does not see how much happier Macy is. If only Macy could get through to her mom, she would see that facing up to their loss is hard but necessary. I feel that Dessen does an incredible job of identifying the difficulties that come with losing someone. She points out how a person can react to a tragedy in many ways and how not reacting to the past can damage one’s future. This book suggests that hope can follow loss. This novel captivates its readers by allowing them to get involved by placing themselves in the story. Although it will appeal most strongly to females, everyone can enjoy the entertaining elements throughout the narrative.


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Sudoku for Kids

Friday, February 26, 2010


Friday, February 26, 2010


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The three butterflies N

eeli, Peeli and Lali were three brothers. And they were butterflies. The most handsome butterflies in all the land, and best friends, too. Their mother, Rangberangi, had taught them all they knew. She told them many things, “But”, she said, “the most important thing of all to remember is that you must always depend on and support each other. Together, you will be stronger than the Sun, Wind and Rain combined even though you fly on delicate gossamer wings. Individually you are just ordinary butterflies, weak and fragile. So never let each other down.” When they grew up, Neeli, Peeli and Lali decided to explore the world, just as every good fairytale character must do. So they set off, discovering wonders that they had never dreamed possible. Excited and laughing, they flew restlessly about as though there was no tomorrow. Then a mean, black cloud spotted them and felt jealous of the fun that they were having. “Ha,” he laughed to himself, “let’s see how loyal they really are to each other. I’ll put them to the test.” He began to rain. Neeli’s wings got wet, Peeli’s wings got wet and Lali’s wings got wet. Soon, it was difficult for them to fly with wet, heavy wings. “We must find some shelter before our wings get damaged,” they cried. A gulmohar tree sparkled with red flowers. “Oh good Gulmohar, please let us take shelter

in your flowers until the rain cloud has passed.” “I can take Lali, the red butterfly,” said the Gulmohar, “for my flowers are red. But I can’t take the other two”. “If you will not take in my brothers, I will not take shelter here either,” said Lali angrily. Peeli and Neeli tried to persuade Lali, but he would not agree. Then they came upon the blue mauve flowers of the Kachnar tree. The rain came down a little harder now, for the black cloud was a little annoyed that his plan had not worked. “Beautiful Kachnar,” the three pleaded,” give us shelter until the rain has passed...” “I can protect Neeli in my blue flowers,” said the tree, “but I cannot take in the other two.” “Then I too will not take shelter here,” cried Neeli. The rain drenched them as the cloud grew furious. “I will never desert my brothers.” The same thing happened when they came to the Amaltas tree, which dripped with a thousand yellow flowers. “If you will not help my brothers,” said Peeli, “I too will do without your help.” And they flew away together. The cloud turned white with shame when he realized the love and loyalty the brothers shared. Soon the Sun was shining through and Neeli, Peeli and Lali flew on happily, exploring the wide world once more. Source:


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Meaning of Marjah The American challenge lies not so much in assaulting or capturing Marjah but in continuing to deny it to the Taleban

By Kamran Bokhari, Peter Zeihan and Nathan Hughes


n Feb 13, some 6,000 US Marines, soldiers and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops launched a sustained assault on the town of Marjah in Helmand province. Until this latest offensive, the US and NATO effort in Afghanistan had been constrained by other considerations, most notably Iraq. Western forces viewed the Afghan conflict as a matter of holding the line or pursuing targets of opportunity. But now, armed with larger forces and a new strategy, the war - the real war - has begun. The most recent offensive - dubbed Operation Moshtarak (“Moshtarak” is Dari for “together”) - is the largest joint US-NATO-Afghan operation in history. It also is the first major offensive conducted by the first units deployed as part of the surge of 30,000 troops promised by US President Barack Obama. The United States originally entered Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Sept 11 attacks. In those days of fear and fury, American goals could be simply stated: A non-state actor - Al-Qaeda - had attacked the American homeland and needed to be destroyed. Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan at the invitation of a near-state actor - the Taleban, which at the time were Afghanistan’s de facto governing force. Since the Taleban were unwilling to hand Al-Qaeda over, the United States attacked. By the end of the year, Al-Qaeda had relocated to neighboring Pakistan and the Taleban retreated into the arid, mountainous countryside in their southern heartland and began waging a guerrilla conflict. In time, American attention became split between searching for Al-Qaeda and clashing with the Taleban over control of Afghanistan. But from the earliest days following 9/11, the White House was eyeing Iraq, and with the Taleban having largely declined combat in the initial invasion, the path seemed clear. The US military and diplomatic focus was shifted, and as the years wore on, the conflict absorbed more and more US troops, even as other issues - a resurgent Russia and a defiant Iran - began to demand American attention. All of this and more consumed American bandwidth, and the Afghan conflict melted into the background. The United States maintained its Afghan force in what could accurately be described as a holding action as the bulk of its forces operated elsewhere. That has more or less been the state of affairs for eight years. That has changed with the series of offensive operations that most recently culminated at Marjah. Why Marjah? The key is the geography of Afghanistan and the nature of the conflict itself. Most of Afghanistan is custom-made for a guerrilla war. Much of the country is mountainous, encouraging local identities and militias, as well as complicating the task of any foreign military force. The country’s aridity discourages dense population centers, making it very easy for irregular combatants to melt into the countryside. Afghanistan lacks navigable rivers or ports, drastically reducing the region’s likelihood of developing commerce. No commerce to tax means fewer resources to fund a meaningful government or military and encourages the smuggling of every good imaginable - and that smuggling provides the perfect funding for guerrillas. Rooting out insurgents is no simple task. It requires three things: 1. Massively superior numbers so that occupiers can limit the zones to which the insurgents have easy access. 2. The support of the locals in order to limit the places that the guerillas can disappear into. 3. Superior intelligence so that the fight can be consistently taken to the insurgents rather than vice versa. Without those three things - and American-led forces in Afghanistan lack all three - the insurgents can simply take the fight to the occupiers, retreat to rearm and regroup and return again shortly thereafter. But the insurgents hardly hold all the cards. Guerrilla forces are by their very nature irregular. Their capacity to organize and strike is quite limited, and while they can turn a region into a hellish morass for an opponent, they have great difficulty holding territory - particularly territory that a regular force chooses to contest.

Should they mass into a force that could achieve a major battlefield victory, a regular force - which is by definition better-funded, -trained, -organized and armed - will almost always smash the irregulars. As such, the default guerrilla tactic is to attrite and harass the occupier into giving up and going home. The guerrillas always decline combat in the face of a superior military force only to come back and fight at a time and place of their choosing. Time is always on the guerrilla’s side if the regular force is not a local one. But while the guerrillas don’t require basing locations that are as large or as formalized as those required by regular forces, they are still bound by basic economics. They need resources - money, men and weapons - to operate. The larger these locations are, the better economies of scale they can achieve and the more effectively they can fight their war. Marjah is perhaps the quintessential example of a good location from which to base. It is in a region sympathetic to the Taleban; Helmand province is part of the Taleban’s heartland. Marjah is very close to Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second city, the religious center of the local brand of Islam, the birthplace of the Taleban, and due to the presence of American forces, an excellent target. Helmand alone produces more heroin than any country on the planet, and Marjah is at the center of that trade. By some estimates, this center alone supplies the Taleban with a monthly income of $200,000. And it is defensible: The farmland is crisscrossed with irrigation canals and dotted with mud-brick compounds - and, given time to prepare, a veritable plague of IEDs. Simply put, regardless of the

Taleban’s strategic or tactical goals, Marjah is a critical node in their operations. The American Strategy Though operations have approached Marjah in the past, it has not been something NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ever has tried to hold. The British, Canadian and Danish troops holding the line in the country’s restive south had their hands full enough. Despite Marjah’s importance to the Taleban, ISAF forces were too few to engage the Taleban everywhere (and they remain as such). But American priorities started changing about two years ago. The surge of forces into Iraq changed the position of many a player in the country. Those changes allowed a reshaping of the Iraq conflict that laid the groundwork for the current “stability” and American withdrawal. At the same time, the Taleban began to resurge in a big way. Since then the Bush and then Obama administrations inched toward applying a similar strategy to Afghanistan, a strategy that focuses less on battlefield success and more on altering the parameters of the country itself. As the Obama administration’s strategy has begun to take shape, it has started thinking about endgames. A decades-long occupation and pacification of Afghanistan is simply not in the cards. A withdrawal is, but only a withdrawal where the security free-for-all that allowed Al-Qaeda to thrive will not return. And this is where Marjah comes in. Denying the Taleban control of poppy farming communities like Marjah and the key population centers along the Helmand River Valley - and areas like them around the country - is the first goal of the

A US Marine, running for cover from Taleban sniper fire, holds his boots after falling in the muddy waters of a poppy field during a battle with Taleban militants in Trikh Nawar, a poppy farmland area on the northeastern outskirts of Marjah on Feb 19, 2010. — AFP

American strategy. The fewer key population centers the Taleban can count on, the more dispersed - and militarily inefficient - their forces will be. This will hardly destroy the Taleban, but destruction isn’t the goal. The Taleban are not simply a militant Islamist force. At times they are a flag of convenience for businessmen or thugs; they can even be, simply, the least-bad alternative for villagers desperate for basic security and civil services. In many parts of Afghanistan, the Taleban are not only pervasive but also the sole option for governance and civil authority. So destruction of what is in essence part of the local cultural and political fabric is not an American goal. Instead, the goal is to prevent the Taleban from mounting large-scale operations that could overwhelm any particular location. Remember, the Americans do not wish to pacify Afghanistan; the Americans wish to leave Afghanistan in a form that will not cause the United States severe problems down the road. In effect, achieving the first goal simply aims to shape the ground for a shot at achieving the second. That second goal is to establish a domestic authority that can stand up to the Taleban in the long run. Most of the surge of forces into Afghanistan is not designed to battle the Taleban now but to secure the population and train the Afghan security forces to battle the Taleban later. To do this, the Taleban must be weak enough in a formal military sense to be unable to launch massive or coordinated attacks. Capturing key population centers along the Helmand River Valley is the first step in a strategy designed to create the breathing room necessary to create a replacement force, preferably a replacement force that provides Afghans with a viable alternative to the Taleban. That is no small task. In recent years, in places where the official government has been corrupt, inept or defunct, the Taleban have in many cases stepped in to provide basic governance and civil authority. And this is why even the Americans are publicly flirting with holding talks with certain factions of the Taleban in hopes that at least some of the fighters can be dissuaded from battling the Americans (assisting with the first goal) and perhaps even joining the nascent Afghan government (assisting with the second). The bottom line is that this battle does not mark the turning of the tide of the war. Instead, it is part of the application of a new strategy that accurately takes into account Afghanistan’s geography and all the weaknesses and challenges that geography poses. Marjah marks the first time the United States has applied a plan not to hold the line, but actually to reshape the country. We are not saying that the strategy will bear fruit. Afghanistan is a corrupt mess populated by citizens who are far more comfortable thinking and acting locally and tribally than nationally. In such a place indigenous guerrillas will always hold the advantage. No one has ever attempted this sort of national restructuring in Afghanistan, and the Americans are attempting to do so in a short period on a shoestring budget. At the time of this writing, this first step appears to be going well for American-NATO-Afghan forces. Casualties have been light and most of Marjah already has been secured. But do not read this as a massive battlefield success. The assault required weeks of obvious preparation, and very few Taleban fighters chose to remain and contest the territory against the more numerous and better armed attackers. The American challenge lies not so much in assaulting or capturing Marjah but in continuing to deny it to the Taleban. If the Americans cannot actually hold places like Marjah, then they are simply engaging in an exhausting and reactive strategy of chasing a dispersed and mobile target. A “government-in-a-box” of civilian administrators is already poised to move into Marjah to step into the vacuum left by the Taleban. We obviously have major doubts about how effective this box government can be at building up civil authority in a town that has been governed by the Taleban for most of the last decade. Yet what happens in Marjah and places like it in the coming months will be the foundation upon which the success or failure of this effort will be built. But assessing that process is simply impossible, because the only measure that matters cannot be judged until the Afghans are left to themselves. — Stratfor


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Utility of assassination Assassination is not without cost, and in war, all actions must be evaluated rigorously in terms of cost versus benefit

By George Friedman


he apparent Israeli assassination of a Hamas operative in the United Arab Emirates turned into a bizarre event replete with numerous fraudulent passports, alleged Israeli operatives caught on videotape and international outrage (much of it feigned), more over the use of fraudulent passports than over the operative’s death. If we are to believe the media, it took nearly 20 people and an international incident to kill him. Stratfor has written on the details of the killing as we learned of them, but we see this as an occasion to address a broader question: the role of assassination in international politics. Defining Assassination We should begin by defining what we mean by assassination. It is the killing of a particular individual for political purposes. It differs from the killing of a spouse’s lover because it is political. It differs from the killing of a soldier on the battlefield in that the soldier is anonymous and is not killed because of who he is but because of the army he is serving in. The question of assassination, in the current jargon “targeted killing”, raises the issue of its purpose. Apart from malice and revenge, as in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the purpose of assassination is to achieve a particular political end by weakening an enemy in some way. Thus, the killing of Adm Isoroku Yamamoto by the Americans in World War II was a targeted killing, an assassination. His movements were known, and the Americans had the opportunity to kill him. Killing an incompetent commander would be counterproductive, but Yamamoto was a superb strategist, without peer in the Japanese navy. Killing him would weaken Japan’s war effort, or at least have a reasonable chance of doing so. With all the others dying around him in the midst of war, the moral choice did not seem complex then, nor does it seem complex now. Such occasions rarely occur on the battlefield. There are few commanders who could not readily be replaced, and perhaps even replaced by someone more able. In any event, is difficult to locate enemy commanders, meaning the opportunity to kill them rarely arises. And as commanders ask their troops to risk their lives, they have no moral claim to immunity from danger. Now, take another case. Assume that the leader of a country were singular and irreplaceable, something very few are. But think of Fidel Castro, whose central role in the Cuban government was undeniable. Assume that he is the enemy of another country like the United States. It is an unofficial hostility - no war has been declared - but a very real one nonetheless. Is it illegitimate to try to kill such a leader in a bid to destroy his regime? Let’s move that question to Adolph Hitler, the gold standard of evil. Would it be inappropriate to have sought to kill him in 1938 based on the type of regime he had created and what he said that he would do with it? If the position is that killing Hitler would have been immoral, then we have serious question of the moral standards being used. The more complex case is Castro. He is certainly no Hitler, but neither is he the romantic democratic revolutionary some have painted him as being. But if it is legitimate to kill Castro, then where is the line drawn? Who is it not

An image grab taken on Feb 16, 2010 from hotel surveillance camera footage and released by Dubai police allegedly shows two murder suspects dressed as tourists in tennis outfits following Hamas militant Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh (front), before he was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai on Jan 20, 2010. – AFP legitimate to kill? As with Yamamoto, the number of instances in which killing a political leader would make a difference in policy or in the regime’s strength is extremely limited. In most cases, the argument against assassination is not moral but practical: It would make no difference if the target in question lives or dies. But where it would make a difference, the moral argument becomes difficult. If we establish that Hitler was a legitimate target, than we have established that there is not an absolute ban on political assassination. The question is what the threshold must be. All of this is as a preface to the killing in the United Arab Emirates, because that represents a third case. Since the rise of the modern intelligence apparatus, covert arms have frequently been attached to them. The nation-states of the 20th century all had intelligence organizations. These organizations carried out a range of clandestine operations beyond collecting intelligence, from supplying weapons to friendly political groups in foreign countries to overthrowing regimes to underwriting terrorist operations. During the latter half of the century, nonstate-based covert organizations were developed. As European empires collapsed, political movements wishing to take control created covert warfare apparatuses to force the Europeans out or defeat political competitors. Israel’s statebased intelligence system emerged from one created before the Jewish state’s independence. The various Palestinian factions created their own. Beyond this, of course, groups like Al-Qaeda created their own covert capabilities, against which the United States has arrayed its own massive covert capability. Assassinations Today The contemporary reality is not a battlefield on which a Yamamoto might be singled out or a charismatic political leader whose death might destroy his regime. Rather, a great deal of contemporary

international politics and warfare is built around these covert capabilities. In the case of Hamas, the mission of these covert operations is to secure the resources necessary for Hamas to engage Israeli forces on terms favorable to them, from terror to rocket attacks. For Israel, covert operations exist to shut off resources to Hamas (and other groups), leaving them unable to engage or resist Israel. Expressed this way, covert warfare makes sense, particularly for the Israelis when they engage the clandestine efforts of Hamas. Hamas is moving covertly to secure resources. Its game is to evade the Israelis. The Israeli goal is to identify and eliminate the covert capability. Hamas is the hunted, Israel the hunter here. Apparently the hunter and hunted met in the United Arab Emirates, and the hunted was killed. But there are complexities here. First, in warfare, the goal is to render the enemy incapable of resisting. Killing just any group of enemy soldiers is not the point. Indeed, diverting resources to engage the enemy on the margins, leaving the center of gravity of the enemy force untouched, harms far more than it helps. Covert warfare is different from conventional warfare, but the essential question stands: Is the target you are destroying essential to the enemy’s ability to fight? And even more important, as the end of all war is political, does defeating this enemy bring you closer to your political goals? Covert organizations, like armies, are designed to survive attrition. It is expected that operatives will be detected and killed; the system is designed to survive that. The goal of covert warfare is either to penetrate the enemy so deeply, or destroy one or more people so essential to the operation of the group, that the covert organization stops functioning. All covert organizations are designed to stop this from happening. They achieve this through redundancy and regeneration. After the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972, the Israelis

mounted an intense covert operation to identify, penetrate and destroy the movement - called Black September - that mounted the attack. Black September was not simply a separate movement but a front for various Palestinian factions. Killing those involved with Munich would not paralyze Black September, and destroying Black September did not destroy the Palestinian movement. That movement had redundancy - the ability to shift new capable people into the roles of those killed - and therefore could regenerate, training and deploying fresh operatives. The mission was successfully carried out, but the mission was poorly designed. Like a general using overwhelming force to destroy a marginal element of the enemy army, the Israelis focused their covert capability to destroy elements whose destruction would not give the Israelis what they wanted - the destruction of the various Palestinian covert capabilities. It might have been politically necessary for the Israeli public, it might have been emotionally satisfying, but the Israeli’s enemies weren’t broken. Consider that Entebbe occurred in 1976. If Israel’s goal in targeting Black September was the suppression of terrorism by Palestinian groups, the assault on one group did not end the threat from other groups. And therefore, the political ends the Israelis sought were not achieved. The Palestinians did not become weaker. 1972 was not the high point of the Palestinian movement politically. It became stronger over time, gaining substantial international legitimacy. If the mission was to break the Palestinian covert apparatus to weaken the Palestinian capability and weaken its political power, the covert war of eliminating specific individuals identified as enemy operatives failed. The operatives very often were killed, but the operation did not yield the desired outcome. And here lies the real dilemma of assassination. It is extraordinarily rare to

identify a person whose death would materially weaken a substantial political movement in some definitive sense - i.e., where if the person died, then the movement would be finished. This is particularly true for nationalist movements that can draw on a very large pool of people and talent. It is equally hard to reduce a movement quickly enough to destroy the organization’s redundancy and regenerative capability. Doing so requires extraordinary intelligence penetration as well as a massive covert effort, so such an effort quickly reveals the penetration and identifies your own operatives. A single swift, global blow is what is dreamt of. Covert war actually works as a battle of attrition, involving the slow accumulation of intelligence, the organization of the strike, the assassination. At that point, one man is dead, a man whose replacement is undoubtedly already trained. Others are killed, but the critical mass is never reached, and there is no one target who if killed would cause everything to change. In war there is a terrible tension between the emotions of the public and the cold logic that must drive the general. In covert warfare, there is tremendous emotional satisfaction to the country when it is revealed that someone it regards as not only an enemy, but someone responsible for the deaths of their countryman, has been killed. But the generals or directors of intelligence can’t afford this satisfaction. They have limited resources, which must be devoted to achieving their country’s political goals and assuring its safety. Those resources have to be used effectively. There are few Hitlers whose death is both morally demanded and might have a practical effect. Most such killings are both morally and practically ambiguous. In covert warfare, even if you concede every moral point about the wickedness of your enemy, you must raise the question as to whether all of your efforts are having any real effect on the enemy in the long run. If they can simply replace the man you killed, while training ten more operatives in the meantime, you have achieved little. If the enemy keeps becoming politically more successful, then the strategy must be re-examined. We are not writing this as pacifists; we do not believe the killing of enemies is to be avoided. And we certainly do not believe that the morally incoherent strictures of what is called international law should guide any country in protecting itself. What we are addressing here is the effectiveness of assassination in waging covert warfare. Too frequently, it does not, in our mind, represent a successful solution to the military and political threat posed by covert organizations. It might bring an enemy to justice, and it might well disrupt an organization for a while or even render a specific organization untenable. But in the covert wars of the 20th century, the occasions when covert operations - including assassinations - achieved the political ends being pursued were rare. That does not mean they never did. It does mean that the utility of assassination as a main part of covert warfare needs to be considered carefully. Assassination is not without cost, and in war, all actions must be evaluated rigorously in terms of cost versus benefit. – Stratfor


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Donald Roussin Jr, pictured January 19, 2010, has more than 8,500 beer cans displayed in his house in Maryland Heights, Missouri.—MCT

Collectors drink up discarded beer cans, memorabilia


ne person’s discarded beer can is another collector’s treasure. And some collections of beer cans and brewery collectibles are so extensive that just housing them has been a factor in deciding what home to buy. The first beer can was introduced 75 years ago by the Krueger Brewing Co. in New Jersey. It marked a revolution in packaging, cans were nearly unbreakable, stacked easily, chilled quickly, were nonreturnable and colorful. That last one is key to why Donald Roussin of Maryland Heights, Mo., has more than 8,500 cans displayed in his house. “A lot of them I remember where I got them or from whom. They all have good remembrances,” he says. With 10,000 brewery collectibles , cans, neon signs, bottles, glass and a whole lot more, displayed, beer is represented everywhere in Roussin’s home. He even bought the house because its 18-foot cathedral ceilings offered more display space and the reinforced beams let him safely hang his heavier beer signs. Just moving the big signs around the Roussin home is a challenge. “Painting is tough. You have to do it by sections,” he says. Photos of what’s on the walls help Roussin make sure that signs and other memorabilia go back in the same places. For Roussin, 55 and a buyer for Boeing, it all started with beer cans. “It was a fun hobby in high school, and it didn’t cost a lot of money. Cans could be found on streets or you could dig them out of trash cans.” It didn’t stay a cheap hobby. Beer can prices have come down of late, but a 007 can recently went for $500 on eBay. Roussin is a member of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America , , based in Fenton, Mo., and marking its 40th year. Founded in St. Louis as

The first beer can was introduced 75 years ago by the Krueger Brewing Co. in New Jersey. It marked a revolution in packaging, cans were nearly unbreakable, stacked easily, chilled quickly, were nonreturnable and colorful. the Beer Can Collectors of America, the club has expanded to include other breweriana, much like Roussin’s collection. With so many beer cans produced over the years, and only so much room in basements and houses, a lot of hard-core beer can collectors have taken to focusing their collections. Take Jed Conroy, an electrical contractor in Bethalto, Ill., who collects cans that have numbers in their name, such as 905, Cloud Nine, 5 Star, Brew 66 and Straight 8 beers. “I’ve hit that wall now where it’s hard to find numbered cans that aren’t so rare they cost a fortune,” he said. His rarest can is a white A1 Beer test can from Phoenix, and there are only three known to exist. You can see it at Others now specialize in number beer cans, but Conroy, 46, says, “I’m the original.” Bob Chapman of North County, Mo., remembers getting a call at 11:35 one night from another collector who thought he had a can he might want. When he brought over the can and Chapman saw that it was a black St. Louis ABC Old English Ale can, “it took me five seconds to say yes,” he recounts, pointing to the can, one of only five known to still exist in this country. The Lever Bros. retiree, 73, once had 20,194 cans but now

specializes in Missouri collectibles and cans, including Muehlbach, Country Club, Fishbach and Capital beers. He’s partial to items from Griesedieck Brothers in St. Louis and M.K. Goetz Brewing Co. in St. Joseph, Mo., partly because so many people in St. Louis are focused on Anheuser-Busch memorabilia, he explains. Of his collection, he says, “It’s history.” Collinsville, Ill., collector Kevin Kious has focused on Southern Illinois brews and breweries. On a tour of his collection, he pointed to Highland, Bluff City (Alton) and Mound City (New Athens) memorabilia and noted that East St. Louis was home to the Central Brewing Co., while Belleville breweries turned out Stag, Oldtimer and Stern Brau. There were also breweries in Granite City, Bethalto, Trenton and even Collinsville. “Any town that had 100 Germans in the 1860s had a brewery,“ says Kious, 50, a recently laid-off auditor. Kious, Roussin and Henry Herbst, who died last year, are the authors of “St. Louis Brews: 200 Years of Brewing in St. Louis, 1809 , 2009” (Reedy Press, 304 pages, $39.95). Mike Bender, a head chef at the Veterans Affairs hospitals in St. Louis, specializes in flat top and cone top beer cans, and his collection of about 4,000 cans “is pretty much in the basement with

some trays lining the walls of the stairs.” The beer can collection complicated the couple’s search for a home. Bender, 53, says he and his wife knew they wanted to find a house in Fenton when they married in 1983. “Karen and I saw a lot of nice houses, but they wouldn’t fit my beer cans.” His wife doesn’t mind all of his beer cans. “She collects Precious Moments statues,” he says. Al Kell’s specialty is 16-ounce aluminum bottle cans, the newest craze in collecting. He originally heard Anheuser-Busch was only going to turn out 20 of the “cabottles.” M “Heck, I only built shelves for that many,” he says. “In no way did I think A-B would put out as many as they did.” The Florissant, Mo., collector, 43 and a foreman at a machine shop, now has all 130 of the aluminum bottle cans A-B has produced, and more on the way, as new Budweiser and Bud Light ones are expected to mark St. Patrick’s Day. The most unique A-B cabottles are black light cans that appear silver in daylight with the beer label visible only in black light. Can collecting was in its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s when grade school and high school students were big collectors. Now the BCCA’s Gateway Chapter in the St. Louis area has more than 150 members, and many say the club is as much about the friendships and

camaraderie as it is about collecting and trading. Gerry Schwarz, half of a beer can and breweriana collecting couple in South County, Mo., says, “The BCCA is the best thing that’s ever happened to us.” Herb and Gerry Schwarz started collecting in mid-1973 and now “There are beer collectibles in every room except one bathroom,” says Gerry, 69. Lemp and Falstaff plates grace the walls of the dining room and hallway, a restored Lemp St. Louis wood clock hangs in the kitchen and more than 1,200 cans line a wall in the basement. The two retired civil service employees’ basement collection also includes glasses, beer bottle openers and aluminum bottle cans. Outside there are beer signs all the way around the fence by the pool. Gerry’s specialty is barrel beer glasses, but, “It’s all kind of near and dear to our hearts,” says Herb, 68. Where will all the beer cans and breweriana of collectors go years from now? Roussin, whose home resembles a beer can and brewery collectibles museum, says there are plans for a museum in St. Louis. The Brewery Museum Foundation (http:// is seeking funding for the museum now. The Lemp Brewery complex, near the Anheuser-Busch brewery, has offered free space, says Roussin, who is vice president of the foundation. “When you spend a whole lifetime gathering things , and some collectors have items that are one of a kind , you hate to see things dispersed,” says Roussin. “A museum in St. Louis would be someplace where everyone could enjoy the history of beer as seen in cans, signs, advertisements, exhibits and more.” And what better place than St. Louis, with its rich beer history, for such a museum?—MCT

Friday, February 25, 2010


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Friday, February 26, 2010 CROSSWORD 912

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

ACROSS 1. A French abbot. 5. (Greek mythology) A maiden seduced by Zeus. 7. A science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement. 11. A telephone connection. 12. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 13. Largest known toad species. 14. Type genus of the family Myacidae. 16. Any of numerous flowerless and seedless vascular plants having true roots from a rhizome and fronds that uncurl upward. 17. Take in solid food. 18. Cause to feel resentment or indignation. 19. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 21. The smallest multiple that is exactly divisible by every member of a set of numbers. 24. A slight amount or degree of difference. 25. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 29. A large building at an airport where aircraft can be stored and maintained. 32. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 33. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 35. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 40. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 42. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 46. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 47. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 48. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 49. 10 grams. 50. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 51. Showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair.

DOWN 1. The highest level or degree attainable. 2. Common Indian weaverbird. 3. Cry plaintively. 4. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 5. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 6. The cardinal number that is the sum of seven and one. 7. A crime syndicate in the United States. 8. American novelist (1909-1955). 9. A circular segment of a curve. 10. The (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb. 15. A long noosed rope used to catch animals. 20. A lyric poet. 22. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 23. A hard brittle gray polyvalent metallic element that resembles iron but is not magnetic. 26. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 27. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 28. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 30. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 31. A master's degree in business. 34. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 35. A broad flat muscle on either side of the back. 36. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 37. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 38. A small cake leavened with yeast. 39. Massive plantigrade carnivorous or omnivorous mammals with long shaggy coats and strong claws. 41. A small piece of cloth. 43. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 44. Enlarged prostate. 45. Of or relating to a member of the Buddhist people inhabiting the Mekong river in Laos and Thailand. 46. A radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium.

Yesterday’s Solution

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Friday, February 26, 2010


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY A r i e s ( M a rc h 2 1 - A p r i l 1 9 ) "Everything is complicated," wrote poet Wallace Stevens. "If that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore." I hope you will choose his wisdom to serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks. It is high time, in my astrological opinion, for you to shed any resentment you might feel for the fact that life is a crazy tangle of mystifying and interesting stories. Celebrate it, Aries! Revel in it. Fall down on your knees and give holy thanks for it. And by the way, here's a big secret: To the extent that you do glory in the complications, the complications will enlighten you, amuse you, and enrich you. Ta u r u s ( A p r i l 2 0 - M a y 2 0 ) This is one time when you can be both the river and the bridge. In fact, I strongly suggest that you make every effort to be both the river and the bridge. I'll leave it up to you to interpret how this metaphor applies to your life, but here's a clue to get you started. Be a force of nature that flows vigorously along even as you also provide a refuge for those who want to be close to your energy but are not yet ready to be inside it and flow along with it. Gemini (May 21-June 20) Almost exactly ten years from now, you will be blessed with an eruption of personal power that's so crafty and so practical that you will be able to visualize a solution to a problem that has stumped you for a long time. It may take you months to actually carry out that solution in its entirety, but all the while you will have the luxury of feeling perfect certainty about what must be done. And you know what the weird thing is, Gemini? Something very similar is in the works for the next few weeks: an eruption of crafty, practical power that will help you materialize the key to solving an old dilemma, hopefully followed by months of carrying out your lucid plan. Cancer (June 21-July 22) Last night I had a dream in which I was addressing a crowd of thousands of Cancerians in a large stadium. I was referring to them as dolphins rather than as crabs. "I say unto you, my fellow dolphins," I proclaimed (I myself was born June 23), "that you have been given a sacred assignment by the great gods of time themselves. And that assignment is to master the art of Timeology." When I awoke from the dream, I was awash with feelings of deep relaxation and ease, although I wasn't sure why. I had never before heard that word "timeology," so I googled it. Here's how the Urban Dictionary defined it: "spending time doing what you want to do, not accomplishing anything major but also not wasting time." It so happens that this prescription is well-suited to our current astrological omens. I suggest that you and I be as playful as dolphins.

L e o ( J u l y 2 3 - Au g u s t 2 2 ) In an episode of the animated TV sci-fi series Futurama, we get to see inside the headquarters of Romanticorp, where "love research" is being done. One of the experiments involves robots delivering various pick-up lines to actual women. The line that works best is "My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself." I recommend that you make that your own catchphrase, Leo -- not just this week but for the foreseeable future. The entire year of 2010 will be an excellent time to deepen your commitments and transform yourself, and the weeks ahead will bring unprecedented opportunities to intensify those efforts.

Vi rg o ( Au g u s t 2 3 - S e p t e m b e r 22) "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers," advises a passage in the Bible, "for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." While that's always good counsel, it's especially apt for you in the coming days. I believe you will come into contact with people who can provide you with valuable teaching and healing, even if they're disguised as baristas or pet shampooers or TV repairmen -- and even if this will be the one and only time they will provide you with teaching and healing.

Libra (September 23O c t o b e r 2 2 ) Metaphorically speaking, you have recently begun crossing the water in a dream boat that has a small leak. If you keep going, it's possible you will reach the far side before sinking. But that's uncertain. And even if you were able to remain afloat the entire way, the shakiness of the situation would probably fill you with anxiety. My suggestion, then, is to head back to where you started and fix the leak. Scorpio (October 23-November 2 1 ) Some Scorpios bring out the worst in people. Other Scorpios draw out the best. Then there are those members of your tribe who sometimes bring out the worst in their fellow humans and other times bring out the best. Where do you fit in this spectrum? Regardless of your position up until now, I'm betting that in the coming months you'll be moving in the direction of bringing out more of the best. And it all begins now. To get the process underway, think of five people you care about, and visualize the wonderful futures that it might be possible for them to create for themselves. Sagittarius (November 22December 21) More than a few fairy tales feature the theme of characters who accidentally find a treasure. They're not searching for treasure, don't feel worthy of it, and aren't fully prepared for it. They may initially not even know what they're looking at, and see it as preposterous or abnormal or disquieting. Who could blame them if they ran away from the treasure? In order to recognize and claim it, they might have to shed a number of their assumptions about the way the world works. And they might have to clear up a discrepancy between their unconscious longings and their conscious intentions. Capricorn (December 22January 19) Everyone alive has some kind of learning disability. I know brilliant physicists who are dumb about poetry. There are fact-loving journalists whose brains freeze when they're invited to consider the ambiguous truths of astrology. My friend John suffers from dyslexia, while I myself am incapable of mastering the mysteries of economics. What's your blind spot, Capricorn? What's your own personal learning disability? Whatever it is, this would be an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to work with it. For the next few months, you will be able to call on what you need in order to diminish its power to limit you.

Aquarius (January 20Febr uar y 18) "We cannot change anything until we accept it," said psychologist Carl Jung. "Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses." Make that your hypothesis, Aquarius, and then conduct the following experiment. First, choose some situation you would like to transform. Next, open your heart to it with all the love and compassion you can muster. Go beyond merely tolerating it with a resigned disappointment. Work your way into a frame of mind in which you completely understand and sympathize with why it is the way it is. Imagine a scenario in which you could live your life with equanimity if the situation in question never changed. Finally, awash in this grace, meditate on how you might be able to actually help it evolve into something new. Pisces (Febr uar y 19-March 20) If you were going to launch a career as a rap artist any time soon, I'd suggest that maybe you use the alias "Big Try" as your stage name. If you were planning to convert to an exotic religious path and get a new spiritual name, I'd recommend something like "Bringit Harder" or "Pushit Stronger." If you were about to join an activist group that fights for a righteous cause, and you wanted a new nickname to mark your transformation, I'd urge you to consider a tag like "Radical" or "Prime" or "Ultra." And even if you're not doing any of the above, I hope you'll carry out some ritual of transition to intensify your commitment to your life's vital dreams.

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044 00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965

Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Majorca Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar (Burma) Namibia Nepal Netherlands (Holland) Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Nigar Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Ireland (UK) North Korea Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts Saint Lucia Saint Pierre Saint Vincent Samoa US Samoa West San Marino Sao Tone Saudi Arabia Scotland (UK) Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Korea Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Toga Tonga Tokelau Trinidad Tunisia Turkey Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Uruguay

00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389 00261 0034 00265 0060 00960 00223 00356 00692 00596 00222 00230 00269 0052 00691 00373 00377 00976 001664 00212 00258 0095 00264 00977 0031 00599 00687 0064 00505 00227 00234 00683 00672 0044 00850 0047 00968 0092 00680 00507 00675 00595 0051 0063 0048 00351 001787 00974 0040 007 00250 00290 001869 001758 00508 001784 00684 00685 00378 00239 00966 0044 00221 00284 00232 0065 00421 00386 00677 00252 0027 0082 0034 0094 00249 00597 00268 0046 0041 00963 00886 00255 0066 00228 00676 00690 001868 00216 0090 00688 00256 00380 00976 0044 00598


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Friday, February 26, 2010

UIS salutes Kuwait


special assembly on the occasion of the National Day and Liberation Day of Kuwait was put up by the High School and Middle School students. The Assembly began

IMA Youthwing Association holds campaign s a part of its upcoming conference “From Darkness to Lightî, Indian Muslim Association Youthwing is conducting an Associate Making Campaign, with an aim to reach out to thousands of new youth from all parts of Kuwait. The Youthwing invites youth from different age groups to be a part of this event. The program details are: Fahaheel: Today Time: 1pm Venje: First Darul Quran Fahaheel, behind petrol station. Fahaheel Date: Today Time: 7.30pm Venue Kharavi Masjid Camp #3, Mina Abdullah. Should you need further


with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by prayer. The nightingales of the Middle School expressed their love for Kuwait by rendering a melodious patriotic song praising Kuwait

and her rulers. The High School students enacted a skit, highlighting the commitment, dedication and hard work of the people of Kuwait. Various scenes depicting the disastrous effects

of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, her liberation and the progress made since then, were enacted. The traditional, colorful Arabic dance, performed by the girls of class VIII, received a loud

applause as students swayed to the vibrant music. The Assembly concluded with an invocation to the Almighty for His blessings and a glorious future for the nation.

PALPAK celebrates second anniversa conducts Annual General Body Meeti


alakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait (PALPAK) conducted Annual General body Meeting and the organizationís Second Anniversary Celebrations on l9th of February 2010 (Friday) at Indian Central School, Jleeb Shuyoukh, Kuwait. President P.N.Kumar, in his presidential address highlighted the achievements of PALPAK in the last years. General Secretary K. V. 1lamza presented the detailed Annual Report and Treasurer C. Rajendran presented the financial report and both reports are passed unanimously by the General Body. In the general discussions, Mr. Sebastian, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Balakrishan, Mr. Sankaranarayanan and Mr. Srcehari have opined on different aspects of the activities of the association. Vice president T. M.Mohan welcomed the

Members to the Annual General Body Meeting and Mr. Suresh Madhavan conveyed vote of thanks. The Presiding Officers Krishana Kumar, Ravidranath, Narayanan and Jayakrishnan presented the panel of the executive members for the year 2010, from which the office bearers were elected as follows: President: P.N.Kumar, Vice President: T.M. Mohan, General Secretary: K.V.l-Iamza, Treasurer: Suresh Madhavan, Joint Treasurer: A. Aravindakshan, Joint Secretaries: B. G. Venukumar, Adv. Suresh Pulikkal, Mr.Gulam Musthafa, Mr.UdayaVarman and Mr. Unnikrishnan. M. Executive Members: C. Krishna Kumar, K. Sankaranarayanan. Naushad.M.A .,C. Rjendran. Shyamkumar, Gopalakrishnan. P.V., Sreehari. K.. M. Vinod Kumar, N. Rajeev, Jayachandran Nair and 1’.

Padmanabhan, Advisors: Ravidranath, Narayanan, Jayakrishnan and Sebastian Paily, Auditor: Rajesh Kumar. Patrons: P.B.Maniyan and Han Menon. Area Coordinators:- Sharq Prabhathkhar. Abbassiya - Saleem Hussein. Appukuttan, T. Venugopalan, M.Sirajudeen, Ranjith Babu, Madhu, Farwania Vasudevan Madhavan, Vijai Pillai, K. Subramanian, Salmiya - Nanda Kumar, Raviprasad, Sreenivasan, Mangaf - Hanidas Mangara, Muraleedharan, Mehboola Chandran Praveen, Vinod P. Rajan, Fahaheel - M.P.Babu Raj, Sivadas Vazhayil, Haridas, Sreejith, Hasawi -Sivarajan, Vijayakumar. Abdul Saleern. Haneefa, Shuaiba -Mohanan Narayanan. The Second Anniversary of PALPAK was celebrated with various Cultural Programs such as Devotional Songs, Muslim Songs, Classical Songs, Light

Music, Cinematic Dance, Folk Dance, Mnidhangarn, Bharathanatyam, Mimics, Patriotic Song, Film Songs, Nadan Pattu and Kanyarkali with the participation of PALPAK Members and their families. This program was organized exclusively for promoting the gifted talents of PALPAK members and their children. The folk art Kanyarkali was staged in its original form by Karumbathil Raveendran from Palakkad along with PALPAK members. The Program Committee under the leadership of P.N. Kumar (President) and K. V. Ilamza (General Secretary) headed by Mohan (as Program Convener) and all Committee Members controlled the anniversary celebrations. Suresh Pulikkal and Aravindakshan conveyed vote of thanks in the inaugural and cultural sessions respectively.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Announcements TOMORROW Family get-together: The Kuwait Mar Thoma Church celebrates its grand family get-together 2010 - ‘Kudumbasangamam- 2010’ with numerous colourful cultural programmes at the national evangelical church of kuwait (NECK) premises on Saturday the 27th of February 2010 from 9 am to 4 pm. Main attraction this year would be the inimitable Christian Music Treat being presented by the orchestra led by Star Musician Jolly Abraham. This will be interspersed with various cultural programmes, competitions (fancy dress, drawing / painting etc.). Exhibition stalls, tantalizing presentations of multi cuisine home made food items from different parish members, etc, will add to the grace of this celebration. All parish members, friends, and well wishers are cordially invited with family to participate in the function. For more particulars, please make use of the following contact numbers: General Convenor: 9985 4931, Parish Secretary: 9912 4096. MARCH 26 CRYcket 2010: The 13th annual crycket tournament is scheduled to be held on Friday, 26th March 2010 at the KOC Hockey Grounds, Ahmadi. This tournament is organized by FOCC (Friends of Cry Club). Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) is associated with CRY (Child Rights and You), India and its main objectives are to create awareness of the underprivileged Indian children, help restore their basic rights, strive to provide support in personal development of the Indian children in Kuwait and bring out the qualities of social commitment in them. FOCC has been organizing CRY awareness programmes for children through its two annual events - CRYcket (Cricket match for children below 14 years organized annually since 1997) and CRY chess tournament (for children of all ages organized annually since 2005) - and ‘Brain Bang’ programme which is an ongoing bi-weekly Accelerated Learning activity. CRYcket will be played by 24 teams of children and about 500 spectators are expected for this special one-day event. The deadline to receive the registration forms is 18th March 2010, however registration may be close earlier if the available slots of 12 teams in each category are filled. A colourful souvenir will be released to mark the 13th year of FOCC’s activities in Kuwait. For details how to become a sponsor and/or to advertise in the Souvenir or to volunteer as a FOCC member, pls visit or email Idukki annual meeting: The Annual General Body Meeting of Idukki Association - Kuwait will be held on 27 Feb. (Saturday) at 7 pm at Hi-Dine Auditorium, Abbassiya. Prior to the AGM. a reception will be given to E M Agusthy Ex. MLA, who will be in Kuwait on a visit during that time. EN Agusthy will be publishing the IAX Members Directory during the reception. All members and their families of Idukki Association - Kuwait are cordially invited to the reception for E M Agusthy and to the AGM that follows thereafter. MARCH 5 World Mother tongue day: Ponguthamizh Manram is happy to announce a function to commemorate “The World Mother tongue Day and The International Women’s Day”. Many challenging competitions and interesting events are being planned for the commemoration. The function will be conducted between 0930 hrs to 1300 hrs on the 5th March, 2010 at Kohinoor Restaurant, Fahaheel, to register for various competitions & for further detailed information, visit us at or call us on 66852906 or Email us thro MARCH 26 Ugadi carnival: Kalanjali Kuwait plans to organize Carnival & Musical Nite of Sri Koti, on 26th March 2010, in American International School - Maidan Hawally, on the occasion of UGADI Telugu New Year’s Day. Sri Koti with his troupe from Hyderabad will present some of his hits. Kalanjali plans to conduct “Painting Competition” for school children & adults, as well as “RANGOLI Competition” for ladies, “Salad Cutting Competitions” for MEN during this occasion. There will be an Inter-School “Youth Festival Competition” among the Indian School Children. Schools interested in participating can contact us. Persons interested to keep Game Stalls, Food Stalls and ready to participate in various games & sports, or present any musical talents / perform any talents, can send an email to or contact 55457286 for further details. 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. MAY 6 2010 Mayflower Ball: The Social & Cultural Exchange Group - a multi-lingual, multi-cultural association will present the Mayflower Ball Dinner Dance & Beauty Pageant contest at a gliterring venue with a live music band from the western coast of India and renowned DJs. A galaxy of prizes awaits for the participants and to learn more about the show to be held on Thursday, 6th May 2010, watch out for more details in your favourite newspaper.

Gulf Studies Center invitation he Gulf Studies Center at the American University of Kuwait is presenting a lecture by Samer Ali, Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Fulbright Fellow, on the subject of “The Islamic Middle Ages as Public Sphere: Seeds of Democracy?”. Professor Ali’s lecture will be presented in English, and held on Tuesday, March 2nd, at 2 pm in AUK’s Liberal Arts Auditorium. Admission is free to the public. The lecture will be conducted in English. Professor Ali will examine the emergence of a new kind of sociability and patronage from the 10th to the 15th Century which enabled middle ranking members of society to form alliances and exercise influence in shaping ideals of government, leadership and selfhood. During the presentation, the speaker will adapt Habermas’s theory of the public sphere to examine a set of social and literary patterns that show people in the Islamic Middle Ages cultivating a literary, critical public that sought to influence government and society.


IMA Youth Wing Sports day MA Youth Wing is glad to announce a One Day Sports Event; The event is part of upcoming Youth Conference “From Darkness to Light” Sport Activities that will be conducted are: * Cricket * Volley Ball * Kabaddy * Tug of War * Running Race This one day event will be held on Friday 12th March 2010 from 7:30 am to 5:30 PM At Fahaheel Souk Saba Area. All sports equipments will be provided on the day of the event and also refreshments and Lunch will be served time to time. A complimentary T-shirt will be gifted to all the participants. For more details please visit For registration, please contact area Sports Coordinators Khaitan - Yaseen/ Mob: 9720 5185 Salmiya -Mujtaba Hashmi /Mob: 9406 2989 Hawally - Ghaffar/ Mob: 9726 7930 Fahaheel- Shameem /Mob: 6616 6034


Registration begins at the British institute of vocational training n this web-sited world of the 21 Century we are expected to know everything. How to write a business report, how to work the latest smart phone, speak six languages, be a perfect parent , trade in China, play a musical instrument, budget for school fees and breathe. At BIVT we truly understand. Our experts in Business, Computing, Media and Journalism, Languages, The Arts, and Life Skills offer you chances to enhance your


career prospects and your quality of life without breaking the bank. BIVT is the latest e d u c a t i o n a l establishment under British International WLL and manages BAIA, The British Academy of International Arts and Top Class for children. For information on our full range of courses please contact Principal Alison Shan Price at 25756110 or send enquiries to and visit our website

Send to What?s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations email: Fax:

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Embassy information EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait informs that it has started updating the information about Ukrainian citizens, who live and work in Kuwait. In this connection, we are asking you to refer to the Embassy and update your file in consular register in order not to be excluded from it. Please note, that the last day of updating your data is 20th of March, 2010. For additional information please call: 25318507 ext.106 or visit the embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait (address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str.6, house 5). The consular section of the Embassy open every day from 09:30 till 14:30 except Friday and Saturday. EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya whishes to inform the general public that the Embassy will remain closed till Monday, March 2nd 2010, on the occasion of National Day, Liberation Day and Birthday of Prophet Mohammed respectively. Office operations will resume on Tuesday, 2nd March 2010. EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Thursday, February 25 and Monday, March 1, 2010 on account of “National Day of Kuwait” & “Holi”. The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote. EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy would like to advise that it will be closed on Thursday 25 February 2010 on the occasion of the National Day of the State of Kuwait. EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed from Thursday 25 February to Monday, 01 March 2010 on the occasion by of National Day and Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait & Holy Eid-E Miladun Nabi.

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Friday, February 26, 2010



“IN CASE YOU ARE NOT TRAVELLING, YOUR PROPER CANCELLATION OF BOOKINGS WILL HELP OTHER PASSENGERS TO USE SEATS”. Arrival Flights on Friday 26/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Time Jazeera 0263 Beirut 00:05 Wataniya Airways 2011 Sharm El Sheikh 00:15 Royal Jordanian 802 Amman 00:35 Wataniya Airways 2103 Beirut 00:50 Gulf Air 211 Bahrain 01:05 Kuwait 544 Cairo 01:15 Jazeera 0513 Sharm El Sheikh 01:25 Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul 02:15 DHL 370 Bahrain 02:15 Jazeera 0241 Amman 02:30 Emirates 853 Dubai 02:35 Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi 03:00 Qatari 0138 Doha 03:25 Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa/Bahrain 03:30 Air France 6770 Paris 04:35 Jazeera 0503 Luxor 05:35 Jazeera 0527 Alexandria 06:10 Kuwait 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur 06:25 Jazeera 0529 Assiut 06:30 Jazeera 0481 Sabiha 06:35 British 0157 London 06:40 Kuwait 352 Cochin 07:40 Kuwait 206 Islamabad 07:40 Jazeera 0161 Dubai 07:45 Kuwait 302 Mumbai 07:55 Kuwait 676 Dubai 08:10 Kuwait 284 Dhaka 08:15 Kuwait 362 Colombo 08:20 Emirates 855 Dubai 08:30 Kuwait 286 Chittagong 08:35 Arabia 0121 Sharjah 08:55 Qatari 0132 Doha 09:00 Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi 09:35 Gulf Air 213 Bahrain 10:45 Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain 10:45 Jazeera 0447 Doha 11:00 Jazeera 0165 Dubai 11:05 Jazeera 0425 Bahrain 11:10 Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi 11:20 Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai 11:20 Iran Air 619 Lar 11:50 Middle East 404 Beirut 11:55 Yemenia 825 Sanaa 12:35 Pakistan 239 Sialkot 12:50 Egypt Air 610 Cairo 12:55 Kuwait 672 Dubai 13:25 Jazeera 0171 Dubai 13:35 Jazeera 0525 Alexandria 14:05 Jazeera 0257 Beirut 14:10 Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo 14:20 Kuwait 552 Damascus 14:35 Kuwait 744 Dammam 14:40 Jazeera 0457 Damascus 14:45 Qatari 0134 Doha 15:00 Global 076 Basrah 15:20 Kuwait 546 Alexandria 15:30 Royal Jordanian 800 Amman 15:40 Jazeera 0173 Dubai 16:05 Emirates 857 Dubai 16:55 Gulf Air 215 Bahrain 17:05 Saudi Arabian A/L 510 Riyadh 17:15 Etihad 0303 Abu Dhabi 17:15 Jazeera 0239 Amman 17:35 Arabia 0125 Sharjah 17:40 Jazeera 0367 Deirezzor 17:45 Wataniya Airways 2101 Beirut 17:50 Jazeera 0497 Riyadh 18:00 Srilankan 227 Colombo/Dubai 18:05 United Airlines 982 Washington Dc Dulles 18:15 Jazeera 0427 Bahrain 18:15 Wataniya Airways 2003 Cairo 18:20

DHL Wataniya Airways Kuwait 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 Jazeera Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air Shaheen Air Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan

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

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

18:30 18:40 18:45 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 22:10 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 Friday 26/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Time Egypt Air 607 Luxor 00:01 Jazeera 0528 Assiut 00:05 India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode 00:30 United A/L 981 Washington Dc Dulles 00:40 Indian 982 Ahmedabad/Chennai 01:05 Pakistan 206 Lahore 01:10 Bangladesh 044 Dhaka 01:15 Safi A/W 216 Kabul 02:30 DHL 371 Bahrain 03:15 Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul 03:15 Emirates 854 Dubai 03:50 Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi 04:10 Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa 04:15 Qatari 0139 Doha 05:00 Air France 6770 Dubai/Hong Kong 06:20 Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai 07:00 Jazeera 0164 Dubai 07:00 Royal Jordanian 803 Amman 07:05 Jazeera 0524 Alexandria 07:20 Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo 07:30 Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi 07:35 Jazeera 0446 Doha 07:40 Gulf Air 212 Bahrain 07:45 Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain 07:50 Jazeera 0422 Bahrain 07:55 Kuwait 545 Alexandria 08:30 Jazeera 0256 Beirut 08:35 British 0156 London 08:55 Kuwait 671 Dubai 09:00 Kuwait 551 Damascus 09:10 Jazeera 0456 Damascus 09:25 Jazeera 0170 Dubai 09:30 Arabia 0122 Sharjah 09:35 Emirates 856 Dubai 09:40

Global Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Etihad Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Middle East Kuwait Yemenia Pakistan Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Global Jazeera Wataniya Airways Srilankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Kuwait Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L DHL Kuwait Middle East Jazeera Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Emirates Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

075 Basrah 117 New York 0133 Doha 173 Frankfurt/Geneva 0302 Abu Dhabi 2002 Cairo 214 Bahrain 743 Dammam 0172 Dubai 541 Cairo 2100 Beirut 0366 Deirezzor 0238 Amman 103 London 618 Lar 405 Beirut 501 Beirut 825 Doha/Sanaa 240 Sialkot 611 Cairo 1024 Dubai 673 Dubai 561 Amman 0496 Riyadh 0176 Dubai 1200 Jeddah 0426 Bahrain 0458 Damascus 617 Doha 785 Jeddah 773 Riyadh 613 Bahrain 801 Amman 0135 Doha 216 Bahrain 0304 Abu Dhabi 858 Dubai 0126 Sharjah 0262 Beirut 511 Riyadh 0184 Dubai 0116 Abu Dhabi 2200 Amman 0448 Doha 082 Baghdad 0428 Bahrain 2102 Beirut 228 Dubai/Colombo 1028 Dubai 283 Dhaka 361 Colombo 343 Chennai 1128 Bahrain 571 Mumbai 0648 Muscat 331 Trivandrum 218 Bahrain 507 Jeddah 171 Bahrain 675 Dubai 403 Beirut 0188 Dubai 203 Lahore 0137 Doha 301 Mumbai 860 Dubai 0636 Aleppo 0526 Alexandria 613 Cairo 0502 Luxor 411 Bangkok/Manila

10:00 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 13:00 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 16:20 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 20:15 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


Friday, February 26, 2010

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Jleeb near Dhar Al Saha Polyclinic for couples or working ladies in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom CAC flat with Keralite family. Contact: 55256272. (C 20386) 25-2-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Sharq near Amiri hospital, in 2BHK CAC, separate bathroom, with Keralite family, for family, working ladies or executive bachelors. Contact: 97675851. One room sharing accommodation available for a bachelor or couple in a double bedroom window A/C flat with Indian Mangalorean Hindu family,

near Caesars takeaway Salmiya from 1st March onwards. Call: 55964524. (C 20384) Two rooms available in Beneid Al-Gar from March 1st, very near to Al-Salam hospital. Apply decent working ladies only. Mobile: 97879611. (C 20379) Fully furnished single bedroom flat available for rent with household items from March 26th to May 10th, near Integrated Indian School, Abbassiya. Contact: 66835943. (C 20378) Spacious room with attached bath in a CAC flat, a very convenient location in Hawally close to Tunis Street. Suitable for an executive bachelor or spinster. Contact: 97563283 or 66705749. (C 20381)

Spacious furnished room sharing 3 bedroom central A/C flat available from 1st March for a couple (no children), preferably Indian Muslims/Christian. Contact: 66808746, 24768675. (C 20382) Sharing accommodation in Abbassiya central AC flat, only for Keralite couples or ladies bachelors. Contact: 97134824. (C 20375) 24-2-2010 Sharing accommodation available one room with separate bathroom in old Riggae new C-A/C two bedroom flat, for family or working women. Interested please contact 97522921. (C 20372) 23-2-2010 Sharing


No: 14652

Page 49

available in Sharq, C-A/C 2 bathrooms, neat and furnished flat, looking for Indian small family or 2 working ladies or one executive bachelor rent KD 100. Call: 99849490. (C 20365) Sharing accommodation available, two bedroom, two bathroom flats in Abbassiya. Tel: 55845280. (C 20366) Accommodation available for family/bachelors/ working ladies in a two spacious room flat in Abbassiya close to Paradise hotel from first of March. Contact: 99698501/ 94046540. (C 20368) Sharing accommodation for Indian working ladies, couple, family in a 2 bedroom C-A/C flat in Maidan Hawally opposite Fourth Ring Road with Indian lady. Contact: 99325130/ 25649970. (C 20369) 22-2-2010

white, excellent condition. Contact: 97848608. (C 20373)

FOR SALE Pentium 4, Intel, 40GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD writer, 56K modem, sound car, speakers 17� CRT monitor, ready for Internet, KD 35. PIII, Intel, 10 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM with 17� monitor, KD 15. Contact: 66244192. (C 20388) 25-2-2010 Doctor owned, single owner, excellent condition, 2000 Pajero 4 WD, 6 cylinder, first come first served. Price KD 1,750. Contact: 66420040, 24892752. (C 20376) Toyota Camry XLi, model 2004, 4 cylinders, done 60,000 kms only, golden metallic, excellent condition, cash price KD 2,650. Contact: 66211779. (C 20380)

One room available for Keralites or Indian bachelors in Sharq Kuwait City with cooking and satellite facilities. Contact: 97964063. (C 20362)

2006 Mitsubishi Nativa, white color, excellent condition, free accident, lady used, leaving Kuwait. KD 2,700. Contact: 66321932. (C 20385)

Sharing accommodation with kitchen facility available for three months from 15th March, 2010 in Chitra studio building, next to Faiha store for a non-smoking, decent couple: KD 75/month. Contact: 97973657. (C 20361)

1999 Honda Accord Coupe, excellent condition, black color, full options, cruise control, CD, ceiling window. Price KD 1,300 (negotiable). Tel: 55522942. (C 20377) 24-2-2010

SITUATION VACANT Indian or Sri lLankan driver with a driving license to work for a family. Tel: 99022294z. 24-2-2010

Toyota Corolla 2003 model, 1.8 engine, golden color, center lock, excellent condition, cash price KD 1950. Phone: 55074670. (C 20371) Mitsubishi Lancer model 2007, km 63,000, color

MATRIMONIAL Born again boy, 31 years/163 cm/brownish complexion/B.Com, ITI, working in Kuwait as electrician. Invites proposal from parents of born again girl who is interested to serve the lord. Email: (C 20383) 24-2-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Borra Hussainaiah Gavaskar, holder of Indian Passport No. E5351841 have embraced Islam and I changed my name to Muhammad Hussainaiah Borra. Hereafter, in all my dealings and documents, I will be known by the name of Muhammad Hussainaiah Borra. (C 20389) 25-2-2010 Old name: Mohd Shaukat Ali Ansari, Indian Passport No: B1589375. New name: Mohammad Ansari. (C 20367) 22-2-2010

SITUATION WANTED I am B.Sc computers graduate, also bank experience in BPO, looking for bank related job, secretary, clerk or any suitable job. Contact: 55459765, 97175346. (C 20387) 25-2-2010

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 5622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 5752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 5321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 5739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 5757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 5732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 5732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz

4555050 Ext 510 5644660 5646478 5311996 5731988 2620166 5651426

General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi Dr. Yousef Al-Omar Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem Dr. Kathem Maarafi Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae

4555050 Ext 123 4719312 3926920 5730465 5655528 4577781 5333501

Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 2641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 2639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 2616660

Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 5313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

2547272 2617700 5625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan

2635047 2613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe Dr. Verginia s.Marin Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly Dr. Salem soso

3729596/3729581 572-6666 ext 8321 2655539 5343406 5739272 2618787

General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 5717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 2610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 5327148

Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra Dr. Mobarak Aldoub Dr Nasser Behbehani

5728004 5355515 4726446 5654300/3

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed Dr. Zahra Qabazard Dr. Sohail Qamar Dr. Snaa Maaroof Dr. Pradip Gujare Dr. Zacharias Mathew

5340300 5710444 2621099 5713514 3713100 4334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada) 5655535

2639939 2666300

Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 5339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 5658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 5329924 Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees

5722291 2666288

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 5330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 5722290

Dentists: Dr Anil Thomas Dr. Shamah Al-Matar Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

3729596/3729581 2641071/2 2562226 2561444 2619557 2525888 5653755 5620111

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman 2636464 Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 5322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali 2633135

Neurologists: Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 5633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan 5345875

Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 4555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 5339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555

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Friday, February 26, 2010

TV Listings Orbit /Showtime Channels

00:00 Ashes to Ashes 01:00 Prison Break 02:00 Friday Night Lights 03:00 Dawsons Creek 04:00 Prison Break 05:00 One Tree Hill No. 1 Ladies 06:00 The Detective Agency 07:00 Ashes to Ashes 08:00 Without a Trace 09:00 Ghost Whisperer 10:00 Friday Night Lights 11:00 Dawsons Creek No. 1 Ladies 12:00 The Detective Agency 13:00 One Tree Hill 14:00 Friday Night Lights 15:00 Prison Break 16:00 Without a Trace 17:00 Ghost Whisperer 18:00 Ashes to Ashes 19:00 Tess of the D’Urbervilles 20:00 Without a Trace 21:00 Survivor 22:00 The Closer 23:00 Secret Diary of a Call Girl

00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 Natural World 02:40 Untamed & Uncut 03:35 In Search of the King Cobra 04:30 Animal Cops Miami 05:25 Animal Cops Houston 06:20 Lemur Street 06:45 Monkey Life 07:10 RSPCA: On the Frontline 07:35 Vet on the Loose 08:00 Wildlife SOS 08:25 Pet Rescue 08:50 Animal Precinct 09:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:10 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:40 RSPCA: On the Frontline 11:05 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 Corwin’s Quest 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:10 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:40 Natural World 15:35 Lemur Street 16:00 Monkey Life 16:30 Pet Rescue 16:55 Vet on the Loose 17:25 Wildlife SOS 17:50 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 18:20 Animal Cops Miami 19:15 Night 19:40 Night 20:10 Natural World 21:10 Animal Cops Houston 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 Night 23:25 Night

00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:30 World 04:30 05:05 05:40 06:15 07:20 07:40 08:00 08:20 08:45 08:50 09:00 09:20 09:40 10:00 10:25 10:30 11:15 12:15 World

Lead Balloon Lead Balloon Little Britain Green Green Grass First Flight Days That Shook The Carrie & Barry Lead Balloon Lead Balloon First Flight Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Teletubbies Yoho Ahoy Tommy Zoom Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Teletubbies Yoho Ahoy Bargain Hunt Teen Angels Days That Shook The

13:15 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:45 16:15 16:45 17:15 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 21:00 21:45

00:05 00:30 01:00 01:20 01:45 02:10 03:15 03:45 04:15 04:43 05:15 05:45 06:10 07:15 07:45 08:10 09:00 09:25 09:45 10:30 11:30 12:20 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:45 15:40 16:05 16:30 16:50 17:10 17:45 18:15 18:50 19:45 20:15 20:45 21:05 21:35 22:05 22:45 23:40

The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Red Dwarf (re-mastered) Red Dwarf (re-mastered) The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Jam & Jerusalem Green Green Grass Antiques Roadshow The Weakest Link Doctors

Glamour Puds Masterchef Goes Large Masterchef Goes Large Cash In The Attic Usa Hidden Potential Living In The Sun Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me The Naked Chef Glamour Puds Cash In The Attic Usa Hidden Potential Living In The Sun The Week The Women Went The Week The Women Went Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Usa Hidden Potential Rhodes Across India Rhodes Across India Living In The Sun Antiques Roadshow The Week The Women Went The Week The Women Went Rhodes Across India Rhodes Across India Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge Cash In The Attic Usa Hidden Potential Antiques Roadshow The Week The Women Went The Week The Women Went Living In The Sun Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Living In The Sun What Not To Wear The Naked Chef

01:30 L’ivresse Du Pouvoir - PG 15 03:15 Liberty Heights - 18 05:30 Calendar Girls - PG 15 07:15 Max - PG 15 09:00 Napoleon Part 1 - PG 11:00 The Truman Show - PG 15 13:00 Maradona: The Hand Of God - PG 15 15:00 Napoleon Part 2 - PG 16:30 Meet Joe Black - PG 15 19:30 De-Lovely - PG 15 21:30 The Hi-Lo Country - 18 23:30 Wilby Wonderful - PG 15 CNN INTERNATIONAL 00:00 Connect the World 01:00 BackStory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 The Situation Room 03:00 World Report

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

Untamed & Uncut Miami Ink Street Customs 2008 American Chopper The Kustomizer Mythbusters How Does it Work Ultimate Survival Extreme Engineering The Kustomizer Street Customs 2008 How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds Destroyed in Seconds How Do They Do It? How Does it Work

13:50 14:15 15:10 16:05 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00

Fifth Gear American Chopper Miami Ink Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds Destroyed in Seconds Street Customs 2008 How Do They Do It? How Does it Work Fifth Gear Fifth Gear American Chopper Street Customs

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner Fbi Files A Haunting Dr G: Medical Examiner Crimes That Shook The Forensic Detectives Real Emergency Calls Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Csu Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Diagnosis: Unknown Solved Mystery Er Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Csu Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Diagnosis: Unknown Solved Mystery Er Undercover Fugitive Strike Force

00:40 Man Made Marvels China 01:30 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 02:20 The Future of... 03:10 Mission Implausible 04:00 Beyond Tomorrow 04:50 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 05:45 How Does That Work? 06:10 Mean Green Machines 06:40 One Step Beyond 07:10 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 08:00 Scrapheap Challenge 09:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 10:00 The Future of... 10:55 How Does That Work? 11:20 Stunt Junkies 11:50 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 12:45 Mean Green Machines 13:10 One Step Beyond 13:40 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 14:35 The Future of... 15:30 The Electric Garage 16:25 How Does That Work? 16:55 Scrapheap Challenge 17:50 Brainiac 18:45 Man Made Marvels China 19:40 Sci-Fi Science 20:05 Sci-Fi Science 20:30 Weird Connections 20:55 Weird Connections 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 How It’s Made 22:10 Mythbusters 23:00 Sci-Fi Science 23:25 Sci-Fi Science 23:50 Weird Connections

00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 THS Investigates 01:30 Extreme Hollywood 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 07:45 25 Most Stylish 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 09:50 Keeping Up With The

Kardashians 10:15 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 THS 13:40 15 Most Infamous Child Star Mugshots 15:25 50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up 17:10 E!es 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 E!es 19:40 E!es 21:20 E!es 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties

00:00 01:00 Flay 01:30 Flay 02:00 03:00 04:00 Flay 04:30 Flay 05:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:05 Boome 10:30 Boome 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 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 Boome 19:30 Boome 20:00 20:30

Chopped Throwdown With Bobby Throwdown With Bobby Food Network Challenge Iron Chef America Throwdown With Bobby Throwdown With Bobby Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Teleshopping Giada At Home Giada At Home Barefoot Contessa 30 Minute Meals 30 Minute Meals Rescue Chef with Danny Rescue Chef with Danny Great British Menu Tyler’s Ultimate Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa Kitchen Criminals Giada At Home 30 Minute Meals 30 Minute Meals Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa Grill It! with Bobby Flay Grill It! with Bobby Flay Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa Tyler’s Ultimate Tyler’s Ultimate Rescue Chef with Danny Rescue Chef with Danny Great British Menu Kitchen Criminals

00:00 PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open Rd. 1 Phoenix, AZ 04:00 Champions Tour Highlights Allianz Championship 05:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Wisconsin Badgers v Indiana Hoosiers 07:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Oregon St. at UCLA 09:00 Golf Central International 09:30 The Golf Channel 12:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Wisconsin Badgers v Indiana Hoosiers 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 World Sport 2010 15:00 PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open Rd. 1 Phoenix, AZ 19:00 Dream Team 20:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Oregon St. at UCLA 22:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Wisconsin Badgers v Indiana Hoosiers

00:00 Even Stevens - U 00:30 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl - U

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane on Show Movies 01:00 Fat Dog Mendoza - U 01:30 Tales From The Cryptkeeper - U 02:00 Max And Ruby Marathon 07:00 Corduroy - U 07:25 Titch - U 07:40 The Tidings - U 07:55 Rupert - U 08:20 Boo And Me - U 08:25 New Adventures Of Madeline - U 08:50 New Adventures Of Madeline - U 09:15 Max And Ruby - U 09:40 Max And Ruby - U 10:05 Babar - U 10:30 Babar - U 11:00 Cyberchase - U 11:30 Cyberchase - U 11:55 The Fairly Oddparents - U 12:30 The Fairly Oddparents - U 12:45 Pelswick - U 13:15 Pelswick - U 13:40 Fat Dog Mendoza - U 14:05 Fat Dog Mendoza - U 14:30 Birdz - U 14:55 Birdz - U 15:20 Beverly Hills Teen Club 15:45 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl - U 16:10 Sabrina The Animated Series - U 16:35 Pelswick - U 17:00 Pelswick - U 17:25 Pelswick - U 17:50 Pelswick - U 18:15 Pelswick - U 18:40 Boo And Me - U 18:45 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl - U 19:10 Ace Lightning - U 19:35 Rescue Heroes - U 20:00 The Prince And The Pauper - U 21:30 Ace Lightning - U 22:00 Rescue Heroes - U 22:30 Inspector Gadget - U 23:00 The Prince And The Pauper - U

01:25 The Moderns 03:30 Cohen & Tate 04:55 Foxes 06:40 Playing Mona Lisa 08:20 The Pride And The Passion 10:30 Queen Of Hearts 12:20 The King And Four Queens 13:45 Marie: A True Story 15:35 Crusoe 17:10 The Lost Brigade 18:35 Futureworld 20:20 Man in the Moon

00:00 Rita Rocks 00:30 New adventures of old Christine 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien 03:00 Family Guy 03:30 Entourage 04:00 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 05:00 Rita Rocks 05:30 The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien 06:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 07:00 Home Improvement 07:30 Malcolm in the Middle 08:00 Coach 08:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 09:00 The Colbert Report 09:30 Drew Carey 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Frasier 11:00 Til’ Death 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 New adventures of old Christine 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 Home Improvement 14:30 Note from the underbelly 15:00 Coach 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 George Lopez 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Teachers 18:30 Seinfeld 19:00 How I met you mother 19:30 Two and a half men 20:00 The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 Show

What’s Good For You 10 Years Younger Look A Like The Ellen Degeneres

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Friday, February 26, 2010 03:00 The Monique Show Cooking 04:00 Huey’s Adventure 04:30 Fresh 05:00 The Best of Jay Leno 06:00 GMA LIVE 08:00 GMA Health 08:30 What’s the Buzz 09:00 What’s Good For You 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 13:00 Chef’s Table 13:30 Fresh 14:00 What’s Good For You 15:00 GMA LIVE 17:00 GMA Health 17:30 What’s the Buzz 18:00 Look A Like 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel 22:00 Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 09:55 10:10 10:30 10:50 11:15 11:40 Pooh 12:05 12:15 12:55 13:05 13:30 13:50 14:10 14:30 14:55 15:20 15:45 16:10 16:35 17:00 Pooh 17:25 17:35 18:00 18:25 18:50 19:00 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:15 20:40 20:50 Pooh 21:00

Special Agent Oso Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Imagination Movers Chuggington Chuggington Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Imagination Movers My Friends Tigger and Chuggington Special Agent Oso Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Little Einsteins Imagination Movers Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jo Jo’s Circus Jo Jo’s Circus Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes My Friends Tigger and Chuggington Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Chuggington Chuggington Imagination Movers Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Handy Manny My Friends Tigger and End Of Programming

00:00 Across The Universe - PG 02:15 All The Boys Love Mandy Lane - 18 04:00 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins - PG 15 06:00 Two Weeks - PG 08:00 Surf’s Up - PG 09:30 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian - PG 12:00 The Incredible Hulk - PG 14:00 The Forbidden Kingdom PG 15 16:00 Surf’s Up - PG 18:00 Rush Hour 3 - PG 15 20:00 Confessions Of A Shopaholic - PG 22:00 I Am Legend - PG 15

01:00 The Day - 18 03:00 Rob Zombie’s Halloween 18 05:00 The Last Winter - PG 15 07:00 Twin Daggers - PG 15 09:00 Resident Evil: Degeneration - PG 15 11:00 Redline - PG 15 13:00 Anaconda 3: The Offspring - PG 15 15:00 Resident Evil: Degeneration - PG 15 17:00 Mad Blood Part 2 - 18 19:00 Feast 3 - 18 21:00 The Other Side - PG 15 23:00 The Tattooist - R

04:00 Split Ends 05:00 Dr 90210 06:00 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 06:30 Area 07:00 How Do I Look? 08:00 Style Star 08:30 Style Her Famous 09:00 My Celebrity Home 10:00 Style Star 10:30 Dress My Nest 11:00 Peter Perfect 12:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 13:00 Ruby 13:30 Giuliana And Bill 14:00 Clean House 15:00 Clean House Comes Clean 15:30 Dress My Nest 16:00 How Do I Look? 17:00 Split Ends 18:00 Dallas Divas And Daughters 18:30 Dallas Divas And Daughters 19:00 Running In Heels 19:30 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 20:00 Split Ends 21:00 Clean House 22:00 Dress My Nest 22:30 Style Her Famous 23:00 Ruby 23:30 Ruby

00:00 The Good Life - PG 15 02:00 American Pie 2 - 18 04:00 Big Daddy - PG 15 06:00 Christmas At The Riviera PG Of The 08:00 Sisterhood Travelling Pants 2 - PG 15 10:00 The Odd Couple 2 - PG 15 12:00 I.Q. - PG 14:00 Doctor Dolittle 4: Tail To The Chief - PG 16:00 The Good Life - PG 15 18:00 Art School Confidential PG 15 20:00 The Fantastic Water Babes 22:00 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - 18

00:00 Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker - PG 02:00 Justice League: The New Frontier - FAM 04:00 Madagascar 2 - PG 06:00 D3: The Mighty Ducks PG 08:00 Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm - PG 10:00 Madagascar 2 - PG 12:00 Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles - FAM 14:00 Justice League: The New Frontier - FAM 16:00 Hammer Boy - PG 18:00 Igor - PG 20:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea - FAM 22:00 Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles - FAM

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 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 23:00

Bones Dollhouse Parkinson Sex and the City Sex and the City The Murdoch Mysteries The Beast Emmerdale According to Jim Parkinson That Mitchell and Webb Look The Murdoch Mysteries The Beast Life on Mars Emmerdale According to Jim Turn Back Your Body Clock Turn Back Your Body Clock Bones Dollhouse That Mitchell and Webb Look That Mitchell and Webb Look According to Jim According to Jim Life on Mars Burn Notice Burn Notice Breaking Bad Sex and the City

01:30 Premier League World 02:00 Barclays Premier League Review 03:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 04:00 Premier League 06:00 Premier League Classics 06:30 Premier League Classics 07:00 Dubai International Racing Carnival 11:00 Premier League Classics 11:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 12:00 Premier League World 12:30 Premier League 14:30 Premier League 16:30 Barclays Premier League Preview 17:30 Futbrasil 18:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 18:30 Premier League

02:00 Dubai International Racing Carnival 06:00 Futbol Mundial 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 Premier League Darts 11:00 Barclays Premier League

01:00 01:04 01:35 02:00 02:45 05:00 05:04 08:00 08:04 08:35 13:00 13:04 13:50 16:00 16:04 16:35 18:00 18:45 19:00 20:00 20:04 20:35 23:00 23:45

Spiderwick Chronicles on Super Movies Highlights 12:00 World Sport 12:30 Super 14 14:30 Premier League Darts 18:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 19:30 Premier League Classics 20:00 Premier League Classics 20:30 European Tour Weekly 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Barclays Premier League Preview Show 22:00 Premier League World 22:30 World Sport

00:00 Futbol Mundial 00:30 Portugol 01:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:30 Weber Cup Bowling 02:30 Premier League Darts 06:30 World Sport 07:00 Portugol 07:30 Goals Goals Goals 08:00 Premier League World 08:30 European Tour Weekly 09:00 World Sport 09:30 Live Super 14 11:30 Futbol Mundial 12:00 European Tour Weekly 12:00 Live PGA European Tour 16:30 World Sport 17:00 Goals Goals Goals 17:30 European Tour Weekly 18:00 Super 14 20:00 Live Super 14 22:00 PGA European Tour

02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00

WWE ECW Bushido UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter

07:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 19:00 20:00 22:00 23:00

NCAA Basketball Brain Cell UFC All Access UAE National Race Day FIM World Cup Bushido WWE ECW WWE Vintage Collection NCAA Basketball Bushido NCAA Basketball WWE ECW WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE ECW

01:00 Gigantic - PG 15 03:00 The Children Of Huang Shi PG 15 05:15 Spiderwick Chronicles - PG 07:00 Familiar Strangers - PG 09:00 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! - FAM 11:00 Brick Lane - PG 15 12:45 The Golden Compass - PG 14:45 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! - FAM 16:45 The Children Of Huang Shi PG 15 19:00 Martian Child - PG 21:00 Casino Royale - PG 15 23:30 The X-files: I Want To Believe - PG 15

01:40 02:05 03:35 05:00 07:30 08:00 09:35 11:15

The Screening Room Return To Macon County Edge of the City The Dirty Dozen The Screening Room Jailhouse Rock Born Free Captain Nemo and the

Underwater City 13:00 Living Free 14:35 Man of La Mancha 16:50 Where the Spies Are 18:40 Little Women 20:40 Kelly’s Heroes 23:00 Slaves of New York

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

Mega Movers Al Capone Eliot Ness Decoding the Past Deep Wreck Mysteries Cities Of The Underworld Mega Movers Mega Movers Al Capone Eliot Ness Decoding the Past Deep Wreck Mysteries Cities Of The Underworld Mega Movers Mega Movers Al Capone Eliot Ness Decoding the Past Deep Wreck Mysteries Cities Of The Underworld Mega Movers Mega Movers Al Capone Eliot Ness Decoding the Past Ax Men 2 Tunnellers

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

Clean House Peter Perfect Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Running In Heels How Do I Look?

Code Hip Hop Us Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Code Playlist Code French Only Playlist Code Urban Hit Playlist Code Africa Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Trace Video Mix Code New Playlist Club 10 Playlist

00:00 Globe Trekker - U 01:00 Angry Planet - U 01:30 The Thirsty Traveler - U 02:00 Essential - U 02:30 Travel Today - U 03:00 Raider Of The Lost Snow - U 03:30 Skier’s World - U 04:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey - U 05:00 Globe Trekker - U 06:00 Swiss Railway Journeys - U 07:00 The Thirsty Traveler - U 07:30 Angry Planet - U 08:00 Globe Trekker - U 09:00 Essential - U 09:30 Rudy Maxa’s World - U 10:00 Distant Shores - U 10:30 Travel Today - U 11:00 Chef Abroad - U 11:30 Entrada - U 12:00 Planet Food - U 13:00 Globe Trekker - U 14:00 Chef Abroad - U 14:30 The Thirsty Traveler - U 15:00 Taste Takes Off - U 15:30 Entrada - U 16:00 Travel Today - U 16:30 Essential - U 17:00 Globe Trekker - U 18:00 Skier’s World - U 18:30 Hollywood And Vines - U 19:00 Chef Abroad - U 19:30 The Thirsty Traveler - U 20:00 Globe Trekker - U 21:00 Globe Trekker - U 22:00 Intrepid Journeys - U

02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 U

Vh1 Rocks - U So 80’s - U Greatest Hits - U Vh1 Music - U Chill Out - U Vh1 Hits - U Vh1 Music - U Aerobic - U Top 10 Lords Of Board’s - U Music For The Masses - U Vh1 Pop Chart - U Vh1 Music - U Music For The Masses - U Vh1 Music - U Vh1 Viewer’s Jukebox Rock -


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pop superstar - who has been in an on/off relationship with 23-year-old Jesus for over a year - has also drafted in the expertise of the legendary house music producer Victor Calderone. The source added to The Sun newspaper: “Madonna really wants Jesus’ career to take off. She’s been going through her Filofax and putting him in contact with as many of her influential pals as she can. “She’s worked with Victor for a very long time and he understands just what she likes. Having him work on Jesus’ tracks will give them a cool cachet which is essential to building a clubland buzz.”

Bruce Willis would do anything for daughters he 54-year-old actor - who stars as a policeman struggling to pay for his daughter’s lavish wedding in ‘Cop Out’ - is looking forward to his own children, Rumer, 21, Scout, 18, and 16year-old Tallulah Belle, walking down the aisle and will stop at nothing to make their big days special. He said: “The one thing I didn’t have to do any research on is what I would do for one of my daughters if she wanted something badly. That part came pretty easy. In real life, my daughters really rule my emotions, and I would do anything for them. I’m not worrying about their weddings yet. I have a little time. But when it happens it happens. Marriage is just one more rite of passage.” Bruce - who had his three children with ex-wife Demi Moore - also revealed he has never been happier since tying the knot with Emma Heming last March. He added to “I got re-married again last year to a really wonderful woman. That makes me happy all the time. This is the happiest time in my life. It just really is. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.”



iley Cyrus won’t be taking her boyfriend to the Academy Awards. The ‘Hannah Montana’ actress who is set to present an award at the forthcoming Oscars - is reportedly worried her appearance at the prestigious ceremony will be overshadowed if she is accompanied by Australian actor Liam Hemsworth. A source revealed: “Liam’s a pretty low-key guy anyway, he doesn’t mind not going.” However, Miley won’t be walking down the red carpet alone at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre on March 7. Her representative said: “She’s taking her mom, Tish.” Miley

Madonna’s Madonna’s ttoy oy bboy oy ssigns igns rrecord ecord ddeal e al he 23-year-old actress has reportedly been single for some time after her two-year relationship with artist Nate Lowman ended, putting an end to weeks of speculation. When asked whether they are still together, her representative told Us Weekly magazine: “No, they are not. It’s been a while.” It was recently claimed that Mary-Kate and Nate had split temporarily and the actress was finding life alone difficult. A source said: “Mary-Kate hasn’t been herself lately. She and Nate are kind of taking a break right now, and she isn’t used to all the free time she has on her hands. So much of her time before was spent with him.” Before embarking on a relationship with Nate, Mary-Kate was linked to a string of men - including late actor Heath Ledger - but had been officially single since 2005 when she split from Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos. After the split, Mary-Kate was left heartbroken and took a leave of absence from her studies at New York University. She said at the time: “I miss him and I love him. It’s a hurtful and a painful subject.”


and Liam have never officially confirmed their romance, though the 17-yearold ‘Hannah Montana’ star has previously admitted her closeness to the 19-year-old actor has helped boost her confidence. She said: “We’ve decided that any type of relationship that we have, we will always just keep it very down low. First and foremost, we are best friends, so that’s what I tell people all the time “All you want is for one person to say, ‘You did a really good job today.’ Or, ‘You look really beautiful,’ or, ‘I was really moved by that.’ You just want one person to make you feel good about something you’re doing.”

Cyrus not taking boyfriend

Mary-Kate Olsen splits from boyfriend

he ‘4 Minutes’ singer has used her sizeable influence to help the Brazilian model launch a pop career, and has even agreed to allow her former label Warner Brothers to use some of her iconic back catalogue in adverts in return for signing him. Jesus’ first single, entitled ‘We Came From Light’, will be released in the summer the same time a handful of Madonna’s classic songs, including ‘Vogue’ and ‘Like A Prayer’, will be licensed for a major advertising campaign in the US. A source said: “Madonna was determined to give Jesus all the help she can. She holds a lot of sway at Warners, where she had a deal until very recently. But getting him on the books wasn’t completely plainsailing. There was a little give and take between her and execs, but a compromise was eventually settled upon.” The 51-year-old

Friday, Febuary 26, 2010


Friday, Febuary 26, 2010

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Lady Gaga’s HIV panic ady Gaga took an HIV test after panicking about her behavior on tour. The ‘Bad Romance’ singer recently had a sexual health screening in New York because she “forgot” to look after her body properly when she was performing live shows for The Monster Ball Tour concerts. She said: “I had an HIV test two days ago - and it’s not because I’m taking off my clothes every night with a different man. When I’m on the road, I forget about taking care of my body. I don’t go to the doctor as regularly as if I were in one place all the time. So I


Depp to star with Paradis

ohnny Depp is to star with lover Vanessa Paradis on the big screen. The Hollywood heartthrob and his long-term partner are to appear in new movie ‘My American Lover’, the first time the couple will have worked together. He said: “It’s in preparation. It’s called ‘My American Lover’. Vanessa plays the French feminist Simone de Beauvoir and I play her lover Nelson Algren who is real macho.” Simone de Beauvoir was a 20th century French writer and philosopher famous for her treatise ‘The Second Sex’, an analysis of women’s oppression and contemporary feminism, and her open relationship with existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. She travelled through Latin America with writer Algren in 1949. Johnny - who has been in a relationship with French singer-and-actress Vanessa


for around 12 years and has two children with her, Lily Rose, ten, and Jack, seven - is currently shooting ‘The Tourist’ with Angelina Jolie and admits he is “impressed” by her talents. He said: “She’s a nice woman. What she does she takes very seriously. I was really impressed by her and I’m thrilled to be working with her.” Just as Johnny is excited about working with Vanessa and Angelina he is also very excited about the next ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film. The 46-year-old actor - who reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the upcoming fourth movie, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ revealed to “I love Captain Jack. In the earlier films there were so many subplots that the audience, and even I, was sometimes confused. The next part is fun, a lot of fun.”

laudia Schiffer doesn’t wear tight clothes when she’s pregnant. The 39year-old supermodel - who has children Caspar, seven, and Clementine, five, and is now expecting her third with husband Matthew Vaughn - likes to buy normal clothes and have them altered so they don’t cling to her.


woke up and thought, ‘Oh, I’m home in New York. I’m going to see my gyno and I’m getting an HIV test.’ “ The 23-year-old star - who is believed to be dating her stylist and friend Matthew Williams - has made it her personal mission to make it “fashionable” for women to carry condoms and practice safe sex. She told “You put that condom in your purse and save your own f**king life. And don’t call me in a week and cry. Because you know that infamous call from your girlfriend - ‘Oh, my God, I got caught

up, and I was afraid he wouldn’t like me.’ I mean, what year is it? It’s scary, but I want it to be fashionable to be smart.” Lady Gaga recently blasted contradictory attitudes to sexuality which let men be more vocal about their conquests than women. She said: “When a guy says, ‘Oh I f**ked all these chicks this week’, there’s a high-five and giggling. But when a woman does it and it’s publicized or she’s open about her sexuality or she’s free or liberated, it’s ‘Oh, she must have a d**k’. There’s a threat.”

Lohan to move to the UK

indsay Lohan is planning to move to the UK. The ‘Mean Girls’ actress - who has an on/off relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson - wants to start a new life in Europe, after having so much fun during a recent trip to London. She tweeted: “Moving to the UK is in my near future* better djs/music and Paris is just a Chunnel away! (sic)” While Lindsay is making plans for the immediate future, the 23-year-old star admits she has no idea how her life will turn out. She told America’s OK! magazine: “Where do I see myself in five years?


Having my own charity, doing a film that’s nominated. I don’t know. I can’t decide what’s going to happen. “I don’t want to know, actually. That’s the nice thing about life. It’s a bit mysterious.” In December, Lindsay travelled to India to film a BBC documentary looking at human trafficking and says the experience changed her perspective on life. She said: “It was really heartbreaking. It was extremely intense, and very eyeopening as to what people focus on, which is who’s dating who, and the things that aren’t necessarily the most important in the world at

She said: “I’m not the sort of person who likes to wear tight clothes when I’m pregnant, but I’m not a fan of maternity dresses either, so my advice would be to get things a few sizes bigger and have them tailored to fit.” However, she does like to take care of herself by eating healthily and using natural skin

the end of the day.” Continuing with her charity work, Lindsay recently hosted a benefit night in aid of earthquake-stricken Haiti, which she thinks was the next best thing to visiting the Caribbean nation. She said: “I wanted to go to Haiti, but it was too dangerous to go at the time because there were still earthquakes going on. “We decided to host a fundraiser. I’m trying to do as much as I can to help people that are in need of it rather than being self-indulgent, which is what people tend to do in this industry.”

products on her stomach so she doesn’t get stretch marks. She added: “During my first pregnancy, I started to eat organically and healthily because that was the first time I actually thought about what I was putting in my body. I’m still doing that today and I’m also just taking it easy, not working out too much, just enjoying this time in my life. “I do like to put a lot of cream on my tummy, as long it’s natural. I think it really works to help stretch marks and make the skin really nice and soft.” — Bang Showbiz

Schiffer’s pregnancy secrets


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Jay Leno adds Lambert, Harper to ‘Tonight’ return ay Leno is pumping more music into his “Tonight Show” return. Leno is back as host of NBC’s late-night show at 11:35 Pm EST (0435 GMT) Monday, March 1. NBC said Wednesday he’ll be joined the first two weeks by Adam Lambert, Robin Thicke, Ben Harper, Ryan Bingham and Lifehouse. Leno’s previously announced guests include Jamie Foxx, former Alaska Gov Sarah Palin and Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Apolo Anton Ohno. NBC says football star Brett Favre has been added as a guest for the March 4 show. Leno is returning to “Tonight” after a short, unsuccessful stint as a prime-time host. He’s reclaiming the show from Conan O’Brien, who left when NBC tried to move him to a midnight slot. — AP

Australian rock band Jet performs after a medal ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Medal Plaza venue on February 24, 2010 in Whistler. —AFP


Hong Kong ‘love hotel’ to become Bruce Lee memorial How a person can become

a Canadian in 8 easy steps


ant to become a real Canadian? Apparently it’s not that hard. A pamphlet titled “A Guide to Becoming an Authentic Canadian” is being distributed at an information kiosk not far from the Olympic cauldron on the Vancouver waterfront. You can read the whole thing in five minutes. Step 1: “Know Your Canadian Icons.” Beaver, maple leaf, Canada goose, moose, bears, Mounties, toques, loonies and toonies. Toque? That’s a wooly hat, pronounced “too-k.” Loonie? A one dollar coin, so nicknamed because it has a swimming loon on one side of it. Toonie? A two dollar coin, which features a polar bear. “Toonie just sounds better than Polar Bearie,” says the pamphlet. Step 2: “Eat and Drink Like a Canadian.” Salmon, donut holes, Canadian bacon, lobster, maple syrup, beer and poutine. Poutine? It “sounds terrible, looks worse, but tastes delicious,” the pamphlet reads. It is made with fries, cheese curds and gravy. Yum, maybe. Step 3: “Walk and Talk Like a Canadian.” We learn that “eh” can be used as a statement, direction or question. And, of course, “zed” is the last letter of the alphabet. Step 4: “Play Like a Canadian.” Ice hockey. Say no more.

This photo taken on December 14, 2009 shows the interior of a present-day love hotel which was the former residence of kung fu star Bruce Lee in Hong Kong. —AFP he rundown house at 41 Cumberland Road in Hong Kong’s quiet Kowloon Tong district might escape the notice of passers-by if it weren’t for a sign signaling that it is a “love hotel”. Rooms are offered for rent by the hour, with a discount rate of 205 Hong Kong dollars (25 US) buying amorous couples three hours in a tatty room off a narrow hallway decorated with a poster of a topless blonde. It is a far cry from when the building was the home of kung fu icon Bruce Lee in the years before his untimely death in 1973 at the age of 32. “The house has definitely been altered,” said Shannon Lee, the actor’s daughter, who recalled snickering when she learned about the home’s love hotel status in her mid-teens. The now 40year-old Lee remembers, in glaring contrast to its current appearance, a Japanese-style pond out front, pets running around and plenty of exercise space for her father. “I have very fond memories of it-my father definitely valued his privacy and


there was space for him to work out and the kids to run around.” The fact that guests walk in the footsteps of the kung fu star might have faded into the mists of time had it not been for fans who rallied behind a plan to turn the hotel into a Lee memorial. Following a public uproar, billionaire owner Yu Pang-lin agreed to cancel plans to sell the property, which he says is worth 100 million Hong Kong dollars, and instead donate it to honor Lee’s legacy. Yu has said the home should be renovated to include a museum, library, a cinema and martial arts area. Others, including Bruce Lee Club chairman Wong Yiu-keung, want the original floor plan preserved so visitors can imagine how it looked when the actor lived there. “It should be a memorial house. After all it’s his former residence,” Wong said. Leewho was credited with catapulting the martial arts film genre into the mainstream with films including “Fists of Fury” and the posthumously released “Enter the Dragon”-died after a severe

reaction to pain medication. His widow, now living in the US, has provided a rough blueprint of the home’s original layout to help restoration efforts. “My mom is definitely behind it,” Shannon Lee said. “I’m really in favor of (the memorial). It could be great for Hong Kong and great for my father and his legacy. I think the primary goal should be to preserve the house as much as possible to its original condition. “The draw of this space was that it was his home,” she added. “That makes it very unique.” A local design contest ended last month, but the memorial’s final look, building costs, who will pay them and when it opens remain unclear. The tourism board is hoping the attraction can draw visitors from inside and outside the city, and boost Hong Kong’s hard-hit film industry. A statue of Lee sits on Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars, but the daily South China Morning Post has described the lack of a more significant memorial to the Hong Kong-raised hero as a “travesty.”— AFP

Step 5: “Know the Maple Leaf.” We’re told the familiar Canadian flag did not become official until 1965 because Canadians “were too busy eating poutine and watching hockey to get to it any sooner.” Step 6: “Learn Our National Anthem.” Words in both English and French! Step 7: A quick quiz in which we learn that the number of points on the maple leaf signifies absolutely nothing. Step 8: Print my name in the blank, and I’m now “somewhat officially authentically Canadian.” Cool, eh? Pass the poutine!—AP

A fan passes out Canadian flags before the start of a preliminary round men’s ice hockey game between Canada and Switzerland at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. — AP


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Indian artist gets Qatari citizenship after threats A

cclaimed Indian artist MF Husain, who went into voluntary exile after getting death threats from Hindu hardliners, was granted Qatari citizenship this week, a report said yesterday. The 94-year-old Muslim painter was bestowed nationality by the emirate’s royal family without applying for it, The Hindu newspaper reported. The paper printed a sketch it said it had received from Husain, including the hand-written words that he had been “honored by Qatar nationality”. Husain has split his time between

Dubai and London since 2006, after Hindu fundamentalists intensified a violent campaign against his paintings of Hindu deities in the nude or in sexually suggestive positions. The protests against Husain’s work began in the 1990s and he estimates Hindu groups have filed around 900 court cases against him. He has been unable to visit India for fears of facing legal action and threats to his life, but has spoken of his longing to return to his homeland. Obtaining Qatari nationality could mean that Husain renounces his Indian

passport, because New Delhi does not allow dual citizenship. In 2007, the Indian capital hosted its first major exhibition of Husain’s work for nearly 20 years, which was disrupted by activists of the right-wing Hindu political party Shiv Sena. In 2006, a hardline Hindu outfit offered an 11.5-million-dollar reward for his death, and activists have disrupted auctions of Husain’s work. Husain is one of India’s wealthiest painters, with some of his original signed paintings selling for more than one million dollars at auctions in London. — AFP

In this January 14, 2004 file photograph, Indian artist Maqbool Fida (MF) Husain poses for photographers at the inauguration of his exhibition ‘...and not only 88 of Husain’ at the National Art Gallery in Bombay.—AFP

Muse, Kasabian top NME awards with two apiece M

use and Kasabian tied for top spot at the NME music awards on Wednesday with two prizes apiece. Blur and Arctic Monkeys also scored wins at the music magazine’s annual awards, where male bands dominated despite expectations in the pop world that 2010 will be another big year for female solo acts. And US rockers Paramore were the surprise winners of the international band category, beating the likes of Green Day, Kings of Leon and Vampire Weekend. NME editor Krissi Murison said 3.6 million votes were cast to decide the outcome of the awards. Muse won awards for best British band and best website, while Kasabian scooped the best album and best album artwork categories for “West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum.” Britpop veterans Blur won best live event for their gig at Hyde Park, and Arctic Monkeys were named best live band after a sell-out tour in 2009. The Big Pink won best track for “Dominos” and best new band

went to London indie rockers Bombay Bicycle Club. Following are the winners of the main categories:


Best British Band • Muse Best International Band • Paramore Best Solo Artist • Jamie T Best New Band • Bombay Bicycle Club Best Live Band • Arctic Monkeys Best Album • Kasabian/West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum Best Track • The Big Pink/Dominos Best Video • Biffy Clyro/The Captain Best Live Event • Blur at Hyde Park — Reuters

Easy to find LA celeb hangouts during Oscar season ook, there’s Oscar winner Warren Beatty at the Beverly Hills Hotel, lounging in a restaurant booth. Or Drew Barrymore huffing it up a trail in the Hollywood Hills. With the 82nd annual Academy Awards just weeks away, on March 7, Los Angeles becomes even more fertile terrain for celebrity sightings. Here’s a selection of places to eat, shop, sweat (as in exercise!) and schmooze alongside the stars:


Shop • The Grove/farmers market, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles: This outdoor retail mecca can be considered an all-in-one stop, where you can catch a celebrity shopping at Nordstrom’s, walking the main drag or noshing on gourmet pizza or Mexican food at the historic Farmers Market next door. Rihanna, Lindsay Lohan, Janet Jackson and Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon have all been spotted there. • Sunset junction, An eastside stretch of Sunset Boulevard in the trendy area of Silver Lake, Sunset Junction is a favorite hangout strip for celebrity hipsters. Recent Golden Globe winner Chloe Sevigny trolls for dresses at one-room vintage boutique Ragg Mopp. Musician and “Whip It” star Landon Pigg is a regular at coffee and tea shop Intelligentsia.

Eat • Polo lounge, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills: A-list stars for generations have frequented the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel before, during and after the Oscars, either while staying at the ritzy, pale pink hotel, attending Oscar parties there or just gathering for lunch, brunch, dinner and even afternoon tea. Fans of the place include Beatty, Jennifer Aniston, Jack Black and Oscar winner Michael Douglas. Dishes range from classic French onion soup and tuna tartare to chilled Maine lobster salad. • Urth caffe, 8565 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood: This West Hollywood

eatery is the original of a Los Angeles chain that specializes in organic coffee blends with names such as “World Peace” and “Rainforest.” Starlets including Katy Perry, Hayden Panettiere and Jessica Alba are drawn to the cafe’s outdoor patio and cozy weekend brunch. Customers and celebrities alike can feast on veggie omelets and healthy egg white and spinach breakfast paninis. Sweat (exercise) • Runyon canyon: By now it’s a cliche to see stars hiking or walking their dogs on trails winding through Hollywood Hills nature park Runyon Canyon, but there they are: Drew Barrymore, Zac Efron, Justin

Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Mandy Moore. Reach the top, and you can see broad views of LA, plus sweaty stars. Just be sure to sidestep any dog droppings. • Crunch, 8000 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood: Situated next to an art house movie theater, and across the street from mega-celebrity haunt Greenblatt’s Deli (Oscar winner Halle Berry gets food delivered from there), this work-out haven boasts a juice bar, boxing ring and live DJs. The long list of celebrities who used to or still sweat it out at the West Hollywood gym include newly engaged Brit comedian Russell Brand, Jeff Goldblum and Eva Longoria Parker. — AP

Men in loincloths jostle each other in a muddy rice paddy at Mimusubi shrine in Yotsukaido, near Tokyo yesterday. Hundreds of local dwellers took part in ‘the muddy rite’ a ceremony to pray for a good harvest for the year and good health for babies.—AP

This Jan 29, 2010 picture shows Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, at the premiere of ‘Twelve’ during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. — AP

US woman sues 50 Cent in NYC over sex video Florida woman has sued rapper 50 Cent in New York City, claiming he unlawfully distributed her homemade sex video over the Internet after editing himself into it as a wig-wearing narrator. Lastonia Leviston filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Manhattan claiming unauthorized use of her name or image and emotional distress caused by the public release of a video she made with a lover in 2008. The lawsuit claims 50 Cent posted the video on his Web site last year after blurring out the lover’s face. It also claims the rapper introduces the video while wearing a curly wig and fluffy blue robe and can be heard narrating throughout. The rapper’s real name is Curtis Jackson. His lawyer hasn’t responded to a phone message seeking comment. — AP



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In Milan, Elena Miro dresses trademark ‘real’ woman talian fashion house Elena Miro’s models —voluptuous, sensual, but most of all “real” — slinked down the catwalk Wednesday to kick off Milan Fashion Week. Basic black dresses and other dark solids flattered the fuller figures sporting Elena Miro’s fall/winter 2010-11 collection. Or how about stretch trousers in shimmering beige hugging a shapely derriere, or a cream-colored decollete wool suit jacket revealing an ample bosom? The brand’s goal is to “help real women to feel confident and at peace with themselves,” said owner and chief strategist Elena Miroglio. The collection headlined the show for the fourth year running, since an uproar over “heroin chic” in the fashion world followed the death of a top Brazilian model from anorexia in late 2006. Under the new rules, girls under 16 cannot take to the catwalk, and models must produce a certificate proving that they have no eating disorders. “The reasons for anorexia go much deeper,” Miroglio told AFP. “The important thing for the designer is to be able to present a different kind of beauty, both in marketing and in the media.” The diminutive Miroglio, 39, said the average size of Elena Miro models was 46 (British 16, American 12), and the lines all start at size 42. The Italian government and two top fashion associations signed a code of ethics in 2006 after Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died of heart failure weighing only 40 kilos (88 pounds). The following year, President


Giorgio Napolitano made Miroglio a Knight of the Italian Republic, praising the Elena Miro brand for “emancipating women from a restrictive concept of beauty.” Elena Miro is now in the 25th year of “the soft revolution,” the company said in a statement. The brand “has contributed to an enriched people’s perception of what is chic and sexy and has placed personality at centre stage,” it said. Recalling a 1997 ad campaign with the slogan “Goodbye Skinny Girls,” it said the drive was “a riposte to the fashion world’s neglect of the ‘Mediterraneanshaped’ woman.” Milan Fashion Week, which runs through Monday, will feature Fendi, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana. The top designers are squeezing their shows into four days this time after it emerged that fashion maven Anna Wintour, editor of the American Vogue magazine, would be cutting short her stay. Wintour, the inspiration for the book and subsequent film starring Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada,” is regarded by many as the most influential person in the industry. The highlight of Friday’s shows will be Gianfranco Ferre, Versace and Jil Sander. Bottega Veneta, Max Mara, Armani and Gucci will follow Saturday, with Marni, Roberto Cavalli and Missoni giving their shows on Sunday. While there will be other shows on Monday, none of the big names will take part. Several thousand buyers from around 40 countries are expected overall, as well as 2,000 journalists.—AFP

Models display creations as part of Elena Miro Fall-Winter 2010-2011 ready-to-wear collection on February 24, 2010 during the Women’s fashion week in Milan. — AFP

Women’s fashion week

Models display creations as part of Seduzioni Diamonds Valeria Marini Fall-Winter 2010-2011 ready-to-wear collection on February 24, 2010 during the Womenís fashion week in Milan.óAFP


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Vivienne Westwood’s shopping plea ame Vivienne Westwood wants people to stop shopping. The eccentric British designer, famed for her bright orange hair and colorful clothing, believes people should refrain from buying clothes to avoid overconsumption. She said: “I just tell people, stop


buying clothes. Why not protect this gift of life while we have it? “I don’t take the attitude that destruction is inevitable. Some of us would like to stop that and help people survive.” The 68-year-old fashionista often uses her catwalk collections to make a statement - in

2005 she launched a range of T-shirts and baby clothes emblazoned with the phrase ‘I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don’t arrest me’. Despite many people suggesting she cannot work in fashion and be against consumerism, Vivienne has claimed in the past it is a subject

that sits difficultly for her. She said: “I don’t feel very comfortable defending my fashion except to say that people don’t have to buy it. But if you’ve got the money to afford them, then buy something from me. Just don’t buy too much.”— Bang Showbiz

Models walk down the catwalk wearing clothes by Topman for the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection on the final day of London Fashion Week, in central London. —AFP

Models walk down the catwalk wearing clothes by Topman for the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection on the final day of London Fashion Week, in central London.—AFP


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Aussies set for stiff German test in India NEW DELHI: Australia are hot favorites to win the men’s field hockey World Cup starting on Sunday, provided they can break the German stranglehold. Germany, the reigning Olympic champions and world number one, defeated the Kookaburras in the final of the last two World Cups in Kuala Lumpur in 2002 and at home in Monchengladbach four years later. But the amazing 5-3 victory over the Germans in the Champions Trophy final in December, after trailing 1-3 at half-time, appeared to have turned the tide in favour of the Australians. Even German coach Markus Weise conceded Australia were the strongest contenders, but predicted the tournament was wide open. “I believe Australia have an edge right now,” said Weise. “But there are quite a few teams capable of winning. I would go so far to say that at least seven-eight teams have a chance.” The Kookaburras will be inspired by their legendary coach Ric Charlesworth, who was the tournament’s leading scorer when Australia won their only previous World Cup title in London in 1986. Charlesworth, 57, now hopes to become only the second person after Dutchman Hans Jorritsma to win the World Cup both as a player and a coach. Australia, who have made the semi-finals in each of their last eight World Cup appearances, are favoured to top group B, which includes Spain, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa. Germany should also make the knock-out rounds from group A, with the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina fighting for the other semi-final spot.

The Germans will bid to become the first team to win a hat-trick of World Cup titles with nine players who helped clinch the Olympic gold in Beijing. Among other contenders are former champions the Netherlands, who won the last of their three World Cup titles in 1998, and Beijing Olympic finalists Spain. The Dutch, who slumped to seventh place in 2006 and finished fourth at Beijing, will once again rely on the mercurial Teun de Nooijer and top penalty corner specialist Taeke Taekema to deliver. Spain, often regarded as the best team not to have won the World Cup, were unbeaten through the league stage of the 2006 tournament, before being ousted by Germany in the semi-finals through a penalty shootout. Veteran Pol Amat remains one of the most feared strikers in the sport, but Spain will miss the goal-scoring abilities of Santiago Freixa, who has not recovered from a serious knee injury. Arch-rivals India and Pakistan, who clash in a marquee encounter on the opening day, hope to revive their fortunes after sliding downhill over the last 15 years. India’s eight Olympic gold medals, the last way back in 1980, hold only historic value as the former masters failed to qualify for Beijing and earned a World Cup berth only by virtue of being the hosts. Pakistan, who have clinched a record four World Cup titles, have not won a major tournament since their last Cup win in Sydney in 1994. The tournament will be played at the heavily-guarded Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the Indian capital over the next fortnight with the final on March 13.—AFP

WAGAH: The Pakistan hockey team gestures after exiting Indian immigration and customs check at the India-Pakistan Wagah Border. Pakistan are due to meet arch-rivals India in a league match on the first day of the 12th World Cup Hockey Tournament which runs February 28-March 13 in New Delhi. —AFP

World Cup schedule NEW DELHI: Schedule for the men’s field hockey World Cup starting at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday (matches begin at 1105 GMT): Groups: Pool A: Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Argentina. Pool B: Australia, Spain, England, Pakistan, India, South Africa. Schedule: Feb. 28: South Africa v Spain, Australia v England, Pakistan v India March 1: New Zealand v Canada, Germany v South Korea, Netherlands v Argentina March 2: South Africa v England, Pakistan v Spain, India v Australia March 3: Canada v Germany, Argentina v South

Korea, New Zealand v Netherlands March 4: South Africa v Australia, England v Pakistan, Spain v India March 5: South Korea v New Zealand, Netherlands v Canada, Germany v Argentina March 6: Australia v Spain, South Africa v Pakistan, England v India March 7: South Korea v Canada, New Zealand v Argentina, Germanyv Netherlands March 8: Spain v England, Australia v Pakistan, South Africa v India March 9: Germany v New Zealand, Netherlands v South Korea, Canada v Argentina March 10: Rest Day March 11: Semi-finals March 12: Classification matches. March 13: Bronze medal match, Final.

Ochoa tied for lead in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Lorena Ochoa of Mexico tees off during the first round of the HSBC Women’s Championship golf tournament. —AFP

SINGAPORE: World No.1-ranked Lorena Ochoa shot a 4-under 68 for a share of the lead after the first round of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. Americans Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr plus Hee Young Park also had 68s in the $1.3 million event at the Tanah Merah Country Club. Ochoa got off to a fast start, shooting three birdies for a 33 on the front nine. The Mexican cooled off as wind picked up, leading to two bogeys before birdies on two of the last three holes. “I’m really happy with four under,” Ochoa said. “I left some out there, but hopefully I’ll get them tomorrow.” Four players were one shot off the lead, including No. 4 Ai Miyazato of Japan, who won last week’s seasonopening LPGA Thailand. Several players said the swirling wind made play more difficult in the afternoon. “When we started it was blowing one direction and as it picked up it started to change direction,” Stanford said. “It was a little tricky coming down the stretch today.” Kerr got off to a rough start, with bogeys on two of the first three holes, but she finished with a flourish, birdying five of the last six holes to finish with a 31 on the back nine. Last year’s winner Jiyai Shin of South Korea shot a 1-under 71 while American Michelle Wie was four stokes from the leaders after a 72. —AP


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Top-seeded Verdasco and Venus advance ACAPULCO: Top-seeded Fernando Verdasco and Venus Williams both reached the quarterfinals of the Mexican Open with straight-set wins on Wednesday. Spain’s Verdasco beat Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-3 while Williams was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. The second-seeded players in both the men’s and women’s draw also advanced. Fernando Gonzalez of Chile defeated Victor Hanescu of Romania 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-1, and Agnes Szavay of Hungary beat Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-1. Defending champion Williams led 4-0 in the first set, but lost four straight games against the 96th-ranked Kanepi. “I expect every match to be challenging, especially on this surface,” Williams said. “At the beginning I had a lead but let it go and from there it was very competitive.” Williams won a WTA tournament over the weekend in Dubai and is playing her first tournament this season on clay, her weakest surface. The American was often forced to the corners of the court by Kanepi. “She’s a strong player, so she hits the ball strong and really tries to play offensively from all areas of the court,” Williams said of Kanepi. “She took her chances and a lot of times it worked _ and sometimes it didn’t.” Verdasco showed his adaptability in the win over Kubot. The Spaniard defeated Andy Roddick earlier this month on indoor hardcourt in the SAP Open final in San Jose, and looked just at home on clay, a surface he has not played on for seven months. “Always winning a tournament gives you confidence, even more against a player like Roddick,” Verdasco said. “But now we are on clay, a really different kind of tournament. The circumstances, the feeling are very different.” Verdasco will face seventh-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina, who defeated compatriot Juan Ignacio Chela 6-4, 7-6 (4). Gonzalez had trouble in the first two sets, but broke free in the third to beat Hanescu. “The first two sets he was serving really well, it was 80 percent in,” Gonzalez said. “But in the third set I had an early break and I could dominate the match at the end.” The Chilean will next be up against Eduardo Schwank of Argentina, who beat Simon Greul of Germany 7-6 (4), 6-3. No. 3 David Ferrer of Spain also advanced, beating Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4, 6-1. And another Spaniard, the in-form No. 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero, also reached the quarters, beating Igor Andreev of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Two-time defending champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain made it to the last eight by edging Richard Gasquet of France 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7). —AP

DUBAI: Venus Williams of the US returns the ball in this file photo. —AFP

IPL boss dismisses security concerns NEW DELHI: Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi has dismissed fears held by Australian and New Zealand players about security for next month’s competition, saying they could be easily replaced. “We will not be dictated by players associations where to play. DLF IPL will be played in India,” Modi said on his Twitter page.

Australian and New Zealand players had expressed concerns over an independent security report which revealed flaws in the security plans for the India’s lucrative domestic Twenty20 league, beginning from March 12. There were reports that a Pakistanbased guerrilla group linked to AlQaida might carry out attacks on three

premier sporting events in India — IPL, the men’s field hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. “Security — seems to be the new mantra of players association to arm twist us of sitting on the table with us,” Modi wrote. “Security is our top most priority. Just finished meeting with Cricket South Africa CEO (Chief Executive

KABUL: Afghan cricket player Amir Hussain (center left) and a teammate, are escorted after arriving at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. The players returned home after qualifying for the International Cricket Council Twenty20 World Cup. —AP

Officer). He is most satisfied with the arrangement.” Modi said there was a long waiting list of players who could be called up to replace any contracted player who chose not to take part. “If a few players play into the hands of the FICA and not show up — no issues,” Modi said. “We have 98 players on the waiting list eager to get called in for replacement. So they have hope now if some drop out.” The Australian and New Zealand players’ unions had forwarded their concerns to the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) and said they would await a response from the IPL. But Modi said he doesn’t recognize any of these bodies. “I have been sent messages thru (through) various quarters to entertain FICA President Tim May. Unfortunately we do not recognize FICA or any agents,” he said. Modi also criticized Australia’s test and one-day captain Ricky Ponting for his perceived role in the dispute. “(I have) been told Ricky Ponting pressuring players not to come. Maybe its due to the fact he was dropped from KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders team).” Modi expected foreign players would still compete in India, including Australia’s tour in October and the planned Champions League later this year. “Australia tour to India in Oct — will Australian players association dictate them not coming then ? Doubt it.” “Chances (are) Champions League will be in India — will teams say they will not come ??? Doubt it.”—AP


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Mavericks too strong for Lakers DALLAS: The Dallas Mavericks overcame the absence of Caron Butler to beat the the Los Angeles Lakers 101-96 on Wednesday in a clash of NBA divisional leaders, extending their NBA winning run to five games. Butler, a key part of a sevenplayer trade with Washington this month, missed the game because of a bad reaction to medication. Without Butler, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry picked up the slack by scoring 22 of the Mavericks’ final 23 points. Nowitzki finished with 31 and Terry with 30. Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant scored 20 points and moved into 13th place on the career scoring list. Bryant, who passed Reggie Miller, has 25,298 points. Bryant missed a 3-pointer that could have tied it with 25 seconds left. Magic 110, Rockets 92 In Houston, Dwight Howard was 11 for 11 from the field and had 30 points and 16 rebounds to help Orlando beat Houston. Howard scored all of his points in the last three quarters, as he sat out almost the entire first period after committing two quick fouls. He had his 19th straight double-double to break a tie with Shaquille O’Neal for the franchise record. Aaron Brooks led Houston with 24 points. Spurs 95, Thunder 87 In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and made a spectacular block on Kevin Durant’s would-be dunk late in the fourth quarter, leading San Antonio over Oklahoma City. Ginobili’s crucial block in the final minutes helped stop Durant’s streak of scoring 25 points or more at 29 games. Durant had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs. T’ Blazers 101, Raptors 87 In Toronto, Andre Miller had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to lead Portland over Toronto. Brandon Roy added 20 points for the TrailBlazers. Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 points for the Raptors who failed to top 100 points for the first time in 21 games - a streak that had extended back to Jan. 6. Jazz 102, Bobcats 93 In Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer scored 20 of his 33 points in the second half to help Utah defeat Charlotte. Deron Williams added 20 points and 12 assists for the Jazz, which has won 14 of its past 16 games to move within half a game of Northwest Division-leading Denver. Gerald Wallace scored

27 points for Charlotte. Bucks 115, Hornets 95 In Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut had 26 points and 13 rebounds to continue his string of dominant performances for Milwaukee, sinking New Orleans. The Australian had his fourth straight double-double in Milwaukee’s fourth straight win. The Bucks are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference and back at .500 for the first time since Dec. 12. It’s the first time Milwaukee has been .500 or better after the All-Star break since 2005-06, when they last made the playoffs. Marcus Thornton had 25 points for New Orleans. Suns 106, 76ers 95 In Phoenix, Steve Nash had 20 points and 13 assists in his return to Phoenix’s lineup after missing a game to rest back and abdomen injuries, boosting the Suns to victory over Philadelphia. Jason Richardson scored 24 points for the Suns, who have won four straight and moved 13 games over .500 for the first time since 2007-08. Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 20 points. Hawks 98, T’wolves 92 In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored a season-high 27 points as Atlanta overcame Minnesota. Joe Johnson had 21 for the Hawks. Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota. Bulls 120, Pacers 110 In Chicago, Luol Deng scored a season-high 31 points as Chicago beat Indiana after blowing an early 23-point lead. Derrick Rose added 23 points, eight assists and nine rebounds for the Bulls. Brandon Rush had 21 points for Indiana. Grizzlies 99, Wizards 94 In Washington, Memphis extended its run of road wins to three by downing Washington. Zach Randolph had 22 points, and Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each added 20 for the Grizzlies. Gasol made his first 10 shots and finished 10 of 11 from the field. Andray Blatche led Washington with 24 points. Clippers 97, Pistons 91 In Los Angeles, Chris Kaman had 21 points and 15 rebounds to help lift Los Angeles over Detroit. Drew Gooden added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won three straight following a six-game losing streak. Rip Hamilton led Detroit with 21 points, but missed all three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt with 7.9 seconds left. —AP

DALLAS: Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (right) of Spain, attempts a shot over Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (left) of Germany, in the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP

NBA results/standings WASHINGTON: Results and standings after Tuesday’s National Basketball Association games: Cleveland 105, New Orleans 95; Boston 110, New York 106; Minnesota 91, Miami 88; Portland 102, New Jersey 93; LA Lakers 99, Memphis 98; Phoenix 104, Oklahoma City 102; Detroit 101, Sacramento 89; Philadelphia 110, Golden State 102. Western Conference Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Northwest Division W L PCT GB Denver 37 19 .661 Boston 36 19 .655 Utah 37 20 .649 .5 Toronto 31 25 .554 5.5 Oklahoma City 33 23 .589 4 Philadelphia 22 35 .386 15 Portland 34 26 .567 5 NY Knicks 19 37 .339 17.5 Minnesota 14 45 .237 24.5 New Jersey 5 52 .088 32 Pacific Division Central Division LA Lakers 43 15 .741 Cleveland 44 14 .759 Phoenix 36 23 .610 7.5 Chicago 30 27 .526 13.5 LA Clippers 24 33 .421 18.5 Milwaukee 28 28 .500 15 Sacramento 18 39 .316 24.5 Detroit 21 36 .368 22.5 Golden State 16 40 .286 26 Indiana 19 38 .333 24.5 Southwest Division Southeast Division Dallas 37 21 .638 Orlando 39 19 .672 San Antonio 32 23 .582 3.5 Atlanta 36 20 .643 2 New Orleans 30 28 .517 7 Miami 29 29 .500 10 Memphis 29 28 .509 7.5 Charlotte 27 29 .482 11 Houston 28 28 .500 8 Washington 20 35 .364 17.5


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Riesch sights another gold in women’s slalom WHISTLER: Germany’s Maria Riesch came into the Olympic Games expecting to be overshadowed, as usual, by World Cup ski rival Lindsey Vonn of the United States. But in the final women’s alpine event of the Games, the big Bavarian star is being tipped to upstage the American speed queen by adding today’s slalom gold to her maiden Olympic title in the super-combined. After Vonn lived up to expectations by winning the downhill, Riesch’s domination of the supercombined, an event comprising a downhill followed by a slalom, has confirmed her superiority in skiing’s ultimate technical test. As well as being the slalom world champion, Riesch is the World Cup champion, and current leader with a 23-point lead on Austrian Kathrin Zettel, another medal challenger tomorrow. Riesch started her season by winning the World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland and in her six subsequent slalom races she has podiumed three times. Even before crashing out of the giant slalom, for which the second leg-delayed because of weather-will now be held late yesterday, Vonn was always an outside medals bet for the slalom races. Quoted in German newspaper Bild last week Vonn, who is also a close friend of Riesch, said: “I think Maria is better in both (slalom) races than me.” Now, the American’s participation in her final Olympic race is also in doubt having broken a bone in her finger in Wednesday’s fall. Vonn added a bronze from the super-G to her downhill gold, but while leading Riesch in their medals duel another gold for the German would shade Vonn’s achievements. The likes of Anja Paerson, Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic and Frenchwoman Sandrine Aubert could join Zettel in testing Riesch to the full. In the meantime the German is still in with a chance of medalling in the giant slalom. She went into yesterday’s deciding second leg with just a 0.48sec deficit to first leg winner Elisabeth Goergl of Austria, and is ready to attack. “It is not an easy race, but I am pretty happy with my run and will attack on the second run,” said Riesch.—AFP

WHISTLER: Germany’s Maria Riesch takes a curve during the Women’s Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Giant slalom event at Whistler Creek side Alpine skiing venue.—AFP

Tight battle for gold in parallel universe VANCOUVER: Top-ranked Nicolien Sauerbreij is eyeing gold in today’s parallel giant slalom, but faces a stiff challenge from 2006 silver medallist Amelie Kober and Fraenzi MaegertKohli. Sauerbreij of the Netherlands currently leads the World Cup standings ahead of Germany’s Kober and Maegert-Kohli of Switzerland. A consistent season on the World Cup circuit has given Sauerbreij, 30, the edge but she has just one victory under her belt, the same as Maegert-

Kohli, 27 while 22-year-old Kober has two. Other possible contenders for the podium include Alena Zavarzina of Russia and Austrians Marion Kreiner and Doris Guenther. Speaking after a fresh fall of snow on Wednesday, Kreiner said: “We still have to see if there are differences between the training course (on nearby Mount Strachan) and the actual Olympic PSG course (at Cypress Mountain).” Austria’s Claudia Riegler said: “It’s been very

good. I liked the fresh snow, it’s been perfect.” Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain, the venue for snowboarding and freestyle events, has been blighted by warm weather and a lack of snow for weeks. Parallel giant slalom was introduced to the Olympic programme at Salt Lake City in 2002, replacing the giant slalom. There are two phases in the parallel giant slalom - qualification and finals. In the qualification phase athletes

have two runs, the qualification run and the elimination run on parallel courses. The top 16 riders according to the combined time of the two runs qualify for the finals. In the finals two competitors ride simultaneously side-by-side down the courses. They change courses for the second run. The loser of the first run starts with a time delay, which corresponds to the amount of time she was behind from the first run.—AFP

China’s golden girls clash for 1,000m title

VANCOUVER: China’s Wang Meng (left) in action in this file photo. —AP

Home hope faces last chance to shine VANCOUVER: Canada’s highly-regarded Charles Hamelin faces his last chance to grab a short-track medal at the Vancouver Olympics when he competes in the 500m and the closing 5,000m relay today. As the world champion and the World Cup leader in the 500m, he is under intense pressure to win after Lee Jung-Su knocked him out of the 1,500m semi-finals and led South Korea’s one-two in the 1,000m. Hamelin, whose only Olympic medal to date was the 5,000m relay silver from the 2006 Turin

Games, finished out of the 1,000m podium with American Apolo Anton Ohno taking the bronze. Lee’s absence from the 500m makes Hamelin’s chances brighter. The 25-year-old French Canadian easily finished top in his heat on Wednesday despite starting from fourth position on the outside. “It was a tough race,” he said. “But I did it, and I feel proud of what I did.” Canada men’s short track coach Derrick Campbell said that his squad-so far without any medal to show despite two silver medals won by Canadian women-knows that “the 500 is probably their best distance”. —AFP

VANCOUVER: Double gold medalist Wang Meng faces compatriot Zhou Yang when China go for an unprecedented sweep of the Olympic women’s short-track titles in the 1,000m today. Wang, who retained her 500m title, and Zhou, who won the 1,500m, combined with Sun Linlin and Zhang Hui to end South Korea’s Olympic 3,000m relay winning streak at four on Wednesday. The relay gold was Wang’s sixth medal from two Games, making her the most decorated Chinese Winter Olympian followed by retired short-tracker Yang Yang. No country have swept either men’s or women’s shorttrack titles at a single Games. China’s assistant coach Paul Marchese said earlier about the possibility of Wang winning all three individual gold medals: “I don’t think she thinks that way, but just day to day. “She’s going to face a different group of competitors in each distance and

at each different distance there is a different task.” Wang, 24, who also won the 1,000m silver and the 1,500m bronze in Turin four years ago, did a brilliant job in the 1,000m heats, surging up front around the first bend from her start on the outside lane and winning with a large margin. Zhou, who topped the 1,500m World Cup for two straight seasons and ranked third in the 1,000m this season, insisted that her personal glory would be secondary. “I am happier winning the relay gold than my 1000m gold,” she said. South Korea, whose gold-medal monopoly was shattered by Wang in Turin, may aim to avenge their relay defeat in the final women’s event. Lee Eun-Byul and Park Seung-Hi finished second and third behind Wang in the 1,500m final. Lee will sit out the 1000m and Park will be joined by Cho Ha-Ri to restore Korea’s pride as the most medalled nation in Olympic short track.—AFP


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Friday, February 26, 2010

VANCOUVER: Canada celebrates after a men’s quarterfinal round ice hockey game against Russia at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Canada won 7-3. —AP

Canada back on medal track VANCOUVER: The Canadian men restored order in their Olympic ice hockey house and headed to the semi-finals after a 7-3 rout of Russia on Wednesday, a day of redemption and medal manna from heaven for the host nation. In a country where hockey is religion, Canadians rejoiced to be back on the medal track in Winter Games venue Vancouver where maple leafclad fans poured into the streets three days after a demoralising loss to the Americans. “We actually had doubts, about the game with Russia, but they won, and how,” said Mindy Mahil, a fan perched on a fountain waving a large redand-white flag. Canada’s happiness was compounded minutes later as two of the women’s bobsleigh teams took the top two medals, the gold going to Kaillie Humphries in a thrilling final that saw a highly rated German team flip over on the fast ice track. With a gold that takes Canada to the top of the medal table alongside the United States and Germany, two silvers, a bronze and the big hockey win, Wednesday was Canada’s day. Day 12 of the Winter Games had its notable

losers too. South Korea were disqualified while they were celebrating what they thought was their victory in women’s short track 3,000 metres relay. The gold went to China, while the Koreans’ cheers turned to tears and they rushed past reporters without stopping to explain what referees deemed a push in the relay exchange. It was also a disappointing day for top American skier Lindsey Vonn, the downhill gold medallist who crashed out on a fog-enveloped giant slalom and broke her little finger.

The giant slalom second leg fell prey to poor weather and will run instead on Thursday morning, with no Vonn and little hope for team mate and defending champion Julia Mancuso. In a different type of skiing, Australia’s Lydia Lassila flew and spun her way to Olympic gold in women’s freestyle aerials, cleanly landing two of the hardest jumps of the day. “Ever since I started this sport, I wanted to jump like a man,” said Lassila, when asked why she tried such a difficult jump on her first effort.

For all of Canada’s medal stash, no Olympic honour is more coveted than the gold one in men’s hockey. “You want to do well because you’re proud and because you think hockey is Canada’s game,” said Canada coach Mike Babcock after Wednesday’s win. “Now it’s pretty obvious it’s the world’s game but we still think it’s ours and I’m a bit of a redneck so I like to think it’s ours. After losing to the United States in the final round of preliminary matches on Sunday, Babcock told the nation the team had chosen to

Olympics medals table VANCOUVER: Olympics medals table after Wednesday’s five medal events: Germany United States Canada Norway Switzerland South Korea Austria China Sweden Russia Netherlands France Australia

Gold Silver Bronze Total 7 10 7 24 7 9 12 28 7 6 2 15 6 6 6 18 6 0 2 8 5 4 1 10 4 3 3 10 4 2 2 8 4 2 2 8 3 4 6 13 3 1 2 6 2 3 5 10 2 1 0 3

Czech Republic Slovakia Great Britain Poland Latvia Italy Japan Belarus Croatia Slovenia Estonia Finland Kazakhstan

2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 0 1 0 3 2 1 1 1 0 0 0

5 3 1 4 2 4 3 2 2 2 1 1 1

take a “longer route” to get where they wanted to be. And so far, he was right, and it has been pretty scenic. Forced to play an extra match to qualify for the quarter-finals, Canada dispatched Germany 8-2 on Tuesday. Twenty four hours later, they lined up for a mouthwatering clash with Russia and dominated from start to finish. Canada will face Slovakia, who knocked out 2006 Turin gold medallist Sweden in a 4-3 thriller. The United States was the first team to reach the semifinals when they beat Switzerland 2-0 on Wednesday, both goals coming from Zach Parise. The Americans will face Finland for a place in the final. Heavy fog at Whistler mountain forced the postponement of the women’s giant slalom until Thursday morning. Austrian Elisabeth Goergl was leading France’s Taina Barioz by 0.02 seconds. Vonn’s fall wreaked havoc on Mancuso, who was forced to stop her run with Vonn still on the course and make a new run later in worse snow conditions. The two-time silver medallist at these Games finished back in 18th place

and left the course in tears. “I know that she is mad and probably frustrated and probably mad at me but I can’t help that I fell,” Vonn said. “I wanted to finish, I was having a great run and wish I could have come down and not have her be flagged and that is absolutely not what I wanted.” Merchandisers had been cashing in on her appeal by selling t-shirts and baseball caps with Vonn-Couver emblazoned on them, but she has failed to live up to the hype. She defied a painful shin injury to win gold in the women’s downhill and a bronze in the super-G, but blew her chances of adding to her medal haul by falling in her two other events. Despite the broken pinkie, Vonn is expected to race in the final women’s Alpine event, the slalom scheduled for today. As the Games enter the final stretch, two athletes accumulated their second gold medal. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the women’s 5,000 metres speedskating gold while Marcus Hellner led Sweden to a surprise victory in the men’s cross country relay. —Reuters


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Brazilian clubs roll in Libertadores Cup BUENOS AIRES: Brazilian sides had a night to savour in the Libertadores Cup on Wednesday with Cruzeiro, Flamengo and Corinthians all recording home wins. Twice South American champions Cruzeiro, runners-up last year, crushed Chile’s Colo Colo 4-1 in a Group Seven match at the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Kleber converted a pair of penalties while Colo Colo had two men sent off. Flamengo also got the better of Chilean opposition with a 2-0 win over Universidad Catolica in a Group Eight encounter at the Maracana. Vagner Love also missed a late penalty for the Brazilians. Corinthians, with former World Cup winners Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos in their ranks, beat Uruguay’s Racing 2-1 at the Pacaembu in Group One. Looking to win the trophy for the first time in their centenary

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s Flamengo’s Adriano (center) scores as Chile’s Universidad Catolica’s goalkeeper Paulo Garces (left) tries to stop the ball during a Copa Libertadores soccer game. —AP year, the Brazilian side were stunned when Racing striker Martin Cauteruccio stole in behind the defence to net Rodrigo Brasesco’s free kick with 52

seconds on the clock. Ronaldo began the move that led to Corinthians’ 11th minute equaliser, feeding playmaker Tcheco whose excellent pass left

Elias with only the keeper to beat. Racing were reduced to 10 men when Dario Flores was sent off for a foul on Elias, his second booking, in the 57th minute and man-of-thematch Elias scored the 70thminute winner. “It’s going to be a very tough competition, but we’re prepared for that,” Ronaldo told reporters after only his second match this year because of injury. Cruzeiro, beaten 2-0 away by Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield two weeks ago, were whistled by their fans after the first half finished 11. Chile striker Esteban Paredes tapped in an equaliser from a low left cross in reply to Thiago Ribeiro’s seventh-minute opener for the Brazilian team. Colo Colo defender Diego Olate was then sent off for a second booking 12 minutes after the interval and Cruzeiro took charge. Leonardo Silva was brought down in the box on the hour and Kleber converted the first of his

penalties. Between the 68th and 71st minutes, Colo Colo had Roberto Cereceda dismissed for a second yellow card offence, Pedro Ken scored Cruzeiro’s third goal and Kleber made it four with his second penalty. Flamengo played with 10 men for virtually the whole match after midfielder Willians was shown a straight red card for elbowing Hans Martinez in the third minute but they came out on top with a man-of the-match performance from right back Leo Moura. Leo put Flamengo ahead with an 11th-minute free kick and Catolica lost their numerical advantage when Milovan Mirosevic kicked Toro in the stomach and was sent off before halftime. Adriano increased the home side’s lead af ter a fine attacking r un by L eo, and Vagner Love should have made it three but blasted a penalty over the bar. —Reuters

Ronaldo wants to renew partnership with Rooney LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo said Wednesday he wants to renew his feared striking partnership with Wayne Rooney. The Portugal forward has scored 12 goals in an injury-hit first season with Real Madrid since joining the Spanish club for a worldrecord 80 million pounds (§94 million; $131 million) but is still interested in linking up again with the man he left behind at Manchester United. The chances of that happening any time soon are slim, with Rooney having taken over from his former teammate as the focal point of the United attack, but Ronaldo said he is still in touch with Rooney and is looking further down the line. “I hope to play with him again some day,” Ronaldo said. “Anything is possible. I am really happy for him this season, and not just for him but for the other players at Manchester.” Rooney has scored 27 goals for United this season and excelled under the extra responsibility thrust upon him by Ronaldo’s exit in July. With Rooney so central to United’s progress, it may take Ronaldo to move back to the Premier League to reunite the pair. Ronaldo said that he is still in touch with many players at the club as well as manager Alex Ferguson. “I speak with the boss, Ferguson, sometimes,” Ronaldo said. “Rooney I speak with. Rio (Ferdinand), (Nemanja) Vidic, (Patrice) Evra, Nani, Anderson, many of them. Just because I have left the club does not mean my relationship with these guys ends. “I have spent many years playing with them and they

are still my friends. But what I speak to the boss about is private.” Unlike Ronaldo, Rooney has stated his loyalty to United and not expressed any desire to switch clubs, even for one as prestigious as Madrid or Barcelona. “The form of Rooney does not impress me, because of the quality he has,” Ronaldo said at the launch of Nike’s Mercurial Superfly boot in London. “He was always brilliant. This season he is playing very well and scoring many goals, but he is not a different player. “He is a winning guy.” Madrid and United are second in the Spanish league and Premier League respectively. United seemed to struggle initially following the sale of Ronaldo, who led the club to a record-equaling three straight Premier League titles, but Rooney has hit 19 goals in his last 19 games to make this the most profitable of his career. And Rooney could come up against Ronaldo at the World Cup in South Africa at the end of this season. The pair met at the 2006 World Cup quarterfinal stage, with Rooney sent off and Ronaldo’s Portugal advancing via a penalty shootout. This time, England cruised to qualification, while Portugal was forced into a playoff before qualifying for a tough group that also includes Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea. “In my opinion, Portugal has the most difficult group in the World Cup,” Ronaldo said. “It is not just Brazil, but the Ivory Coast is a fantastic team and we have to make sure we win the first game.”—AP

Ferdinand out of England friendly

SAN FRANCISCO: Bolivia’s Santos Amador (left) works against Mexico’s Aldo De Nigris (14) in the second half of an international friendly soccer match. —AP

Mexico rout Bolivia 5-0 in friendly SAN FRANCISCO: Javier Hernandez scored twice Wednesday as Mexico routed Bolivia 5-0 in an international football friendly at Candlestick Park, part of Mexico’s World Cup build-up. Mexico’s goals came from Pablo Barrera in the 2nd minute, Hernandez in the 12th and 20th, Braulio Luna in the 18th and Paul Aguilar in the 51st. The Mexico side looked little like the one that coach Javier Aguirre will likely select for June’s World Cup finals in South Africa. Those missing included goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defender Rafael Marquez, midfielders Giovani dos Santos and

Andres Guardado and forwards Omar Bravo, Nery Castillo and Carlos Vela. All but Ochoa and Bravo are playing overseas. Instead the young squad - which included nine of 18 players with fewer than five caps - allowed Aguirre to get a look at some players who may be ready to stake a claim to a spot in the eventual World Cup squad. They wasted no time on Wednesday, as Hernandez found Luna on the left and Barrera slotted Luna’s cross inside the post for a 1-0 lead after just two minutes. Hernandez doubled the advantage in the 12th, after a one-touch pass from Luna inside the penatly area. Six minutes later it was Luna’s

turn as Mexico capitalized on a miscue by Vaca and Luna ended up with the ball right in front of the empty goal to score. Hernandez added his second goal of the match just two minutes later, running onto a long ball and beating Vaca to make it 4-0 after 20 minutes. Aguilar scored the lone goal of the second half when he blasted home a corner kick that had been partially deflected by Vaca in the 51st. It was the first of 11 matches Mexico have scheduled in preparation for the World Cup finals. Mexico will open the tournament against hosts South Africa on June 11. —AFP

MANCHESTER: Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of England’s friendly against Egypt next week following a recurrence of a back injury that is threatening his chances of leading his country at the World Cup. Manchester United centreback Ferdinand, who had been due to captain England, had already been ruled out of Sunday’s League Cup final against Aston Villa after the problem in his back flared up before Tuesday’s win over West Ham. That match came just three games into the 31-year-old’s comeback from a long-standing back complaint which kept him out for more than three months. Ferdinand has made only 10 competitive appearances for his club this season but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson still believes the former Leeds star will be fit to play a key role in the run-in. “It is a blow for us because I was looking forward to having Ferdinand and Vidic back on Tuesday,” Ferguson said yesterday. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. You never know with back injuries and we have been through this before, but we don’t think it is too serious. “I don’t think he will be fit for the AC Milan game but I don’t think it will be long afterwards. We think he could be back in two weeks.” Ferdinand had been due to take over as England skipper from John Terry, who was stripped of the captaincy last month following a string of lurid headlines over an extramarital affair and alleged abuse of his position. In his absence, vice-captain Steven Gerrard will lead England against Egypt at Wembley, with either Frank Lampard or Wayne Rooney likely to act as vicecaptain. —AFP

LONDON: Manchester City’s Welsh forward Craig Bellamy (second left) scores during the FA Cup Fifth round replay football match against Stoke City at The Britannia stadium on Wednesday. —AFP

Stoke crush City’s silverware hopes LONDON: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insisted he is not under any pressure despite watching Stoke City end his side’s hopes of silverware this season by dumping them out of the FA Cup. A Dave Kitson goal gave Stoke the lead with just over 10 minutes to go before Craig Bellamy equalised moments later as a hitherto quiet game suddenly ignited. Emmanuel Adebayor was dismissed two minutes after Bellamy’s equaliser for catching Ryan Shawcross in the throat and that gave Stoke a crucial advantage going into extra-time, during which they scored two quick goals to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1972. Stoke utilised their biggest asset in the shape of Rory Delap’s huge throw as he launched a flat throw-in towards the six-yard box which allowed Shawcross to nod over Shay Given, and just four minutes later Tuncay dribbled past Pablo Zabaleta and Shaun Wright-

Phillips to score Stoke’s third and send City out. Mancini replaced Mark Hughes amid great fanfare in December and won his first four matches as manager at Eastlands. But City have now won just two of their last eight matches in all competitions and four defeats in 15 matches under the Italian compares unfavourably with Hughes’s record. Mancini however remained in bullish mood after the encounter and shrugged off any notions that his job is at risk. “There is no pressure,” he claimed. “I’m disappointed because we lost because we had a good chance to get through to the final but this is football, we must improve. “My opinion is that we played very well and dominated the game. We had six or seven chances to score a goal. I haven’t said anything to my players because they played well but football is strange.” The City manager felt the 83rd minute dismissal of Adebayor was a

particularly harsh judgement on the Togo striker and he may have had a point. Adebayor undoubtedly raised his arms to Shawcross and therefore contravened the laws but he only just caught Shawcross in the neck in a movement that seemed more clumsy than malicious. Referee Steve Bennett saw differently and produced a straight red card, much to Mancini’s chagrin as he felt it swung the match in Stoke’s favour.

FA Cup results LONDON: English FA Cup fifth round replay results on Wednesday (numerals denote division, AET=after extra time). Aston Villa 3, Crystal Palace (II) 1; Stoke City 3, Manchester City 1 AET; West Bromwich Albion (II) 2, Reading (II) 3 AET; Tottenham Hotspur 4, Bolton Wanderers 0.

He said: “It was not so dangerous, when a striker opens his arms it can happen. “Manu played very well and was fantastic tonight and at a maximum it was a yellow card. “In the end, we weren’t having any problems but when we had 10 men we then had a problem.” Stoke manager Tony Pulis professed to not having seen the red-card incident after the match and was understandably keener to praise his side for their efforts rather than concentrate on Bennett’s decision. This was Stoke’s third encounter with City in the space of 13 days after they drew with them 1-1 in a Premier League tie as well as another 1-1 draw which prompted this fifth Round replay and Pulis was ecstatic with the way his side managed against the world’s richest club. He said: “We are delighted - we have played a team three times in the last two weeks and they have unbelievable resources, unbelievable quality and depth of

quality and we have managed to come out on top in the three games so we are really delighted and pleased. “In the second half through to extra time I thought we were the better team. I thought we deserved it in the end. “I still haven’t seen the sending off. When ours are sent off I see them all the time but not this one so I don’t know if it was a soft one or whether it was right.” Stoke have never won the FA Cup and although they have a fine opportunity this season, Pulis maintains that avoiding relegation from the Premier League will remain his first priority, starting with picking up points against Arsenal this weekend. “I said to the players afterwards that we have a massive game here against Arsenal,” he added. “Arsene Wenger will be absolutely delighted that this game went for two hours, we have to prepare now and make sure we give Arsenal a game. I don’t talk about winning things.”—AFP

26 Feb  

Kuwait Times