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MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010

Thailand’s televised protest talks end without resolution


China’s Geely signs $1.8bn deal to buy Volvo from Ford

Slime flies at Kids’ Choice, Michelle Obama honored




in the news

Visit-to-work only for grads KUWAIT: Kuwait will limit the transfer of commercial visit visas to residence permits at the end of this month, a senior labour official has said. “The ministry will stop the systematic processing of applications to transfer business visit visas from April 1, and only foreigners who have university degrees will be allowed to change their visas into residence permits,” said Mohammad Al-Kandari, the labour ministry undersecretary. “Applications were accepted in the past for the sake of companies’ manpower requirements, but under the new labour law, there can be no exceptions,” he was quoted as saying by the local press. Applicants who seek to transfer their business visit visas must include a copy of their university degree to have their application processed, AlKandari said. Kuwait has launched a massive campaign to reform its labour market, eliminate “marginal” labourers and scrap the controversial sponsorship system. More than two million foreigners live in Kuwait, mainly Asian labourers in the booming construction sector and domestic helpers.

Disabled abused at state facilities KUWAIT: The Chairman of the Kuwait Society for People With Special Needs Ayed Al-Shimmari has threatened to throw what he described as a ‘high-intensity bomb’ when he talks about audiovisual recordings of physical and sexual abuses some citizens with special needs underwent at the facilities of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in a press conference he intends to hold by the end of the week. Al-Shimmari added that some complaints about violations committed at the Supreme Council for the Handicapped had been filed with the public prosecutor with no response so far. “It seems that our silence was misinterpreted as weakness or lack of evidence,” he said, adding that the society held back on the request of some MPs who asked it to give the ministry more time to set things right and hold those responsible for the violations accountable, reported Al-Rai. “But having been disappointed in the ‘healthy handicapped’ issue, we decided to voice our complaints’, Al-Shimmari said. He also urged MPs and members of the judiciary to stop the crimes being committed against the people with special needs.

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Button off the mark for McLaren in Melbourne PAGE 18

Amir urges action for Mideast peace Sheikh Sabah calls on Arabs to strengthen ties SIRTE, Libya: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in his address to the Arab summit yesterday, touched on crucial issues of common interest to all Arabs and affirmed that his initiative for setting up a special Arab fund for encouraging enterprises had been followed with tangible steps. Sheikh Sabah praised the restoration of calm along the Saudi-Yemeni borders, expressed hope that the Iraqi elections would be followed with stoppage of violence, hoped Baghdad would host the next summit, called on the international community to shoulder responsibilities toward the Israeli practices against the Palestinians, urged the latter to tackle their rifts, called for cleansing the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction and praised the recent accord on Darfur. HH the Amir also thanked Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for his great efforts to provide all ways and means to ensure the success of the Arab summit, which showcases his keenness on the future of common Arab action. He said the gathering Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has received approval to buy up to an additional 20 percent in Boubyan Bank, which could help Kuwait’s largest lender boost its Islamic business. NBK said in a statement yesterday it had received the Central Bank’s approval - valid for three months starting March 22 - to raise its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank to up to 60 percent from 40 percent. Boubyan’s shares jumped 5.43 percent on the news, while NBK shares closed flat at KD 1.220 ($4.22). Naser Al-Nafisi, general manager for Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy, believes NBK might be interested in buying all of Boubyan. “We expect that if they (NBK) can buy 100 percent, they would, because the Islamic banking industry is very promising,” he told Reuters. “(NBK) has ties with investors who want Islamic banking only and it cannot serve them, so it is

now transferring them to Boubyan Bank,” he added. NBK is the biggest shareholder in Boubyan, which has a market value of $2.65 billion. A 20 percent stake would cost NBK about $530 million, based on Boubyan’s market capitalisation. Nafisi expected NBK to buy the shares on the market. Earlier this month, NBK’s shareholders approved a 10 percent capital increase through a rights issue to fund expansion. Boubyan Bank, which complies with Islam’s ban on interest, competes with larger rival Kuwait Finance House and Kuwait International Bank. Under Kuwaiti law, conventional banks like NBK are not allowed to establish banking units run on Islamic principles as banks in neighboring Saudi Arabia are. NBK posted net profit of $925 million in 2009, up just four percent on the previous year’s $886 million after making huge provisions for suspect loans. — Agencies

MP queries citizenship ruling By B Izzak

SIRTE, Libya: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah visits Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at his residence yesterday. — KUNA (See Page 3)

SIRTE, Libya: Arab leaders yesterday ruled out renewed Middle East peace talks unless Israel halts all settlement building and urged US President Barack Obama to keep up his opposition. At the end of a two-day summit in Libya, they called for Obama to remain loyal to his “initial and key position” to work to halt Jewish settlement on Palestinian land that posed a “dangerous obstacle” to

peace. The summit was dominated by Israel’s decision this month to build 1,600 settler homes in mainly Arab east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as the capital of their future state. US efforts to broker indirect “proximity” talks between Israel and the Palestinians were stymied by the move, which came just days after the Arabs had agreed to give negotiations another chance. Arab

leaders also agreed on “a plan of action that includes political and legal measures to confront Israel’s attempts to Judaise Jerusalem,” and pledged to raise $500 million in aid to bolster the Palestinian presence there. “The resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations demands that Israel implements its legal commitments by stopping all settlements in the occupied

Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem,” the final resolution read. The statement insisted “on the need to have a timeframe for these negotiations and that they resume from where they left off and on the basis of what has been agreed upon in the peace process.” Syrian President Bashar Assad urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from Continued on Page 14

Cutting edge robots at doner kebab fair

BERLIN: A new doner kebab-cutting robot slices kebab meat during the “Doga” doner gastronomy trade fair on Saturday. — AFP

NBK to raise stake in Boubyan Bank

Barrak rebuked over post-quiz allegations

Arabs: Settlement halt must for talks

BERLIN: It goes by the uninspiring name “FFDR-V1004”, but Ahmet Kalyoncu is convinced his meat-cutting robot will transform the doner kebab industry, which held its first conference in Berlin this weekend. “It’s going to change the market,” said the 34-year-old Cypriot, while crowds gathered around the machine as it sliced the meat off a huge doner kebab (known as shawerma in the Middle East) spit, at tremendous speed, and, as he put it, “without ever getting bored”. The robot has a digital camera to sense the changing thickness of the meat, producing a perfect, tasty, waferthin slice every time. FFDRV1004 is also phenomenally efficient, creating as many as 120 portions of kebab in an hour. “I got the idea from my cousin who is an engineer,” said Kalyoncu, the European sales manager for the “Doner-Robotu” company, who now lives in Vienna and spent his formative years slicing kebabs in south London after school. “It’s the first kebab robot anywhere in the world,” he told AFP, Continued on Page 14

150 FILS

KUWAIT: A number of lawmakers who voted in favour of the information minister in the no-confidence motion yesterday strongly criticized opposition MP Musallam AlBarrak who claimed the government had struck underthe-table deals with some MPs to rescue the information minister. Information and Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah narrowly survived the no-confidence motion on Thursday by 23 votes in favour, 22 against and three abstained. His opponents needed just 25 votes to oust the minister from his post. Following the close vote, Barrak claimed that the gov-

ernment had made behindthe-scenes deals with a number of MPs, adding that a number of oil contracts have been awarded in the past few weeks in a very suspicious manner and in violation of the rules and regulations. MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak strongly lashed out at Barrak over his remarks. “It is shameful that the series of accusations by Barrak continues against those who differ with him in opinion. Barrak should produce the evidence he has or he and others like him should remain silent,” Mubarak said. The lawmaker also insisted that the positions of honest lawmakers are not for sale. MP Salwa Al-Jassar strongly rejected Barrak’s Continued on Page 14

CIA detainee death shrouded in secrecy US officials go unpunished

KABUL: US President Barack Obama reviews the honor guard with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace yesterday. — AP

Obama meets Karzai in secret Afghanistan visit KABUL: US President Barack Obama landed in Afghanistan yesterday for a surprise first visit as US commander-in-chief and as his huge surge of 30,000 troops, designed to end the eight-year war, gathers pace. The trip, shrouded in secrecy until his arrival amid security concerns, opened with talks with President Hamid Karzai at his Kabul palace, which Obama used to press for a stepped up fight against corruption and the drugs trade. Obama landed in Afghanistan amid a spike

in deaths of foreign troops in the escalating war, and as the first big offensive of his new strategy unfolds in Helmand province, with Taleban strongholds in Kandahar among future targets. The White House, which has had a testy relationship with Karzai before, and after his reelection last year, announced after the one-on-one meeting between the presidents that the Afghan leader would visit Washington on May 12. Continued on Page 14

official said Rahman WASHINGTON: More was taken during an than seven years ago, a operation against suspected Afghan miliHezb-e-Islami tant was brought to a Gulbuddin, an insurdimly lit CIA comgent group headed by pound northeast of the Afghan warlord airport in Kabul, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Afghanistan. The CIA and allied with Alcalled it the Salt Pit. Qaeda. A reference to Inmates knew it as the Rahman’s death also dark prison. Inside a turned up in a recently chilly cell, the man was declassified governshackled and left halfment document. naked. He was found Dr Ghairat Baheer This account of the dead, exposed to the case was assembled cold, in the early hours of Nov 20, 2002. The Salt Pit death from documents and interviews with was the only fatality known to have both militants and officials in occurred inside the secret prison net- Afghanistan and Pakistan, and with work the CIA operated abroad after more than two dozen current and forthe Sept 11 attacks. The death had mer US officials. The Americans spoke strong repercussions inside the CIA. It on condition of anonymity because the helped lead to a review that uncovered details of the case remain classified. abuses in detention and interrogation Rahman was arrested with Dr Ghairat procedures, and forced the agency to Baheer, a physician who is Hekmatyar’s son-in-law and a leader of change those procedures. Little has emerged about the Hezb-e-Islami, an insurgent faction Afghan’s death, which the Justice blamed for numerous bombings and Department is investigating. The violence in Afghanistan. Baheer, who said he spent six Associated Press has learned the dead man’s name, as well as new details months in the Salt Pit during six years about his capture in Pakistan and his in Afghan prisons, said in an interview Afghan imprisonment. The man was in Islamabad that he never learned Gul Rahman, a suspected militant cap- what happened to Rahman. Rahman’s tured on Oct. 29, 2002, a US official family repeatedly pressed Continued on Page 14 familiar with the case confirmed. The



Monday, March 29, 2010

Ministers, MPs participate

Kuwait launches campaign to boost disability awareness By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: Ministers and MPs on Saturday evening attended the launch of a campaign entitled ‘Kuwait: A Better Environment for Disabled People’ in Souk Al-Mubarakiya. Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad AlHaroun, Minister of Public Works and Municipality Affairs Fadhil Safar, and

KUWAIT: Some of the participants of the ‘Kuwait: A Better Environment for Disabled People’ campaign.

Admission for bedoon kids KUWAIT: Disabled bedoon (stateless) children will be able to attend local special needs schools from the start of the next school year, following a decision from the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) council of deputies. Mohammed Al-Kandari, the MoE’s Assistant Undersecretary for Qualitative Education, indicated that the country’s special needs schools are fully prepared to welcome the bedoon pupils, reported Al-Qabas. Extensive preparations have already been made to ensure that they are

smoothly integrated into the student population, with all the necessary classroom equipment, textbooks and teaching staff being provided, while the schools’ curricula have been updated and the necessary classroom space made available. On a separate issue, Al-Kandari revealed that the ministry is currently working closely with expert physiotherapists to construct a wellequipped specialist physiotherapy unit that meets international standards, which is scheduled to open next May.

“Our brothers and sisters who are disabled are also members of this society and they deserve to be helped. We are obliged to make things easier for them and facilitate whatever makes their experience better,” said Safar. “We might end up in wheelchairs due to an illness or an accident; it is important that we join our efforts in making our surrounding environment suitable for the disabled.” Expressing similar sentiments, the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Al-Haroun said that being in a wheelchair had given him an insight into how difficult it is for wheelchair users to move around the souk, which he added does not currently have enough facilities to help the disabled. “Disabled people suffer a lot due to the government’s negligence in providing them with facilities that make their experience easier,” he said, stressing the importance of paving roads and offering facilities for the disabled and pointing out that many people do not understand the difficulty of the situation. He demanded that those who do not show respect for the disabled, even using the parking spaces designated for them in front of malls and shopping centers, be punished. “We want to create an aware society that respects the disabled,” he said, also stressing that it is extremely important to create rules and laws that help disabled people

MP Walid Al-Tabtabae were seated in wheelchairs to allow them to experience things from a wheelchair-user’s vantage point and to empathize with the physically disabled. The event was attended by representatives of the Kuwait Human Rights Society, a number of disabled people and their families. After touring the souk in a wheelchair, Dr. Safar said in his speech that it is the duty of all members of society to help those with disabilities.

KUWAIT: Ministers, MPs and other dignitaries attend the campaign in Souk Al-Mubarakiya. — Photos by Joseph Shagra participate in the industrial and commercial fields. MP Al-Tabtabae said in his speech that he wishes to see present and future legislation and laws put into action. “It is easy for us to say that we

want to create and facilitate, but it is turning words into action that really matters,” he said. Even during their experience of wheelchair use, the MPs had to get up and walk

through certain parts of the souk that are not yet disabledfriendly. Minister Safar clarified that since 2005 Municipality law has obliged all those constructing new buildings to

provide access and facilities for disabled users, adding that new laws are to be introduced compelling the owners of older buildings to modify them so that they are disabled-friendly.

kuwait digest

Is privatizing education necessary?


o one can argue about the significance of privatization as a means to diversify and better the quality of services provided by the state. Privatization is an old technique that is being adopted worldwide, namely developing ones, who believe in the roles played by individuals and various establishments who have taken up providing some services instead of governments,’ wrote Dr Yaqub Ahmed Al-Sharrah in his Al-Rai column. He pointed out that such countries have managed to develop and achieve great progress in various fields. He added that, therefore, the basic aim of privatization is to achieve development rather than please certain private companies for win-

ning this or that millions-worth of tender. ‘The main concern is about winning tenders that are done in accordance with legal procedures without any favoritism,’ he explained. He pointed out that states which adopt privatization usually have more time to tend to security and political matters. ‘Privatizing education is not as important and urgent as privatizing other sectors such as electricity, transportation, health and other services,’ he added noting that, on the other hand, national security, foreign policy and the judicial systems were the responsibility of the states. ‘Education is as important as national, political and economical security. It is the process by which people are prepared for the

future,’ he underlined. He rejected recent calls made to the privatize education sector, merely by cutting down on expenses paid by the state. ‘According to statistics, around KD 1.25 billion is spent annually on educating 370,000 undergraduate students with 80 percent of the cost paid for fees alone. So, is the main motive for privatization to cut down expenses regardless of considering other elements?’ he questioned. He pointed out that having private school administrations, as suggested, will have its catastrophic impact on the state’s educational policies. ‘Education cannot be politicized. We have to be careful and set the necessary legislations to ensure that education is not alienated from political conflicts,’ he warned.

New GCC media strategy in the offing KUWAIT: The GCC Joint Program Production Institution is meeting in Kuwait today to discuss its new strategy which is aimed to boost appeal as well as artistic standards of joint productions, the Kuwaiti Information Undersecretary said yesterday. Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik AlSabah said the new strategy also aims to increase variety of productions and guarantee a key role for the institution on the media and productions scene in the GCC region. He said the meetings are to be presided by Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, the institution’s board chairman. The official recalled the institution’s quality productions last year which won several prizes in specialized festivals in Cairo, Tunis and GCC countries. He also praised its debut into the Cannes television productions market. On participating countries’ representation, he said the UAE is to be represented by United Arab Emirates National Media Council Director General Ibrahim Al-Abid, while Bahrain is to be represented by Executive Chairman of the Radio and Television Authority Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulrahman AlKhalifa. Oman is to be represented by Information Undersecretary Sheikh Abdullah bin Shuwain Al-Hosni, and Qatar would be represented by Executive Chairman of Qatar Media Corporation Sheikh Jabr bin Yousef Al-Thani.— KUNA


Monday, March 29, 2010


The Labor Law Chapter Six Work Inspection and Penalties Section One Work Inspection Article (133) The competent employees designated by a resolution from the Minister shall have the capacity of judicial officers to supervise the implementation of this Law, bylaws and regulations. These employees shall perform their task with loyalty integrity and neutrality. They shall not divulge the secrets of the employers that they become acquainted to due to the nature of their work. Each employee shall before the minister make the following oath: “I solemnly swear to perform my duties with loyalty, neutrality and integrity and to keep the confidentially of the information I become acquainted with in the course of my work and until the end of my service.” Article (134) The employees referred to in the preceding Article shall have access to the establishments during the official working hours in order to inspect their records and registers and request data and information related to workers. They shall have the right to test and take any samples of the materials for conducting an analysis thereof. These employees shall have the right to access areas allocated by the employer for labor services, and shall have the authority to use public security force in carrying out their duties. They shall also write violation tickets to employers and give sufficient time to remedy their violations. They may also submit violation tickets to the competent court in order to impose the penalty provided for by this Law. Article (135) In the event where employers violate the provisions of Articles 83, 84 and 86 of this Law and the resolutions passed in execution hereof in a manner that may threaten the environment, public health or the health and safety of workers, the employees entrusted with the inspection may write violation tickets and submit them to the competent Minister who shall cooperate with the competent authority in order to issue a resolution to entirely or partially close the work place, or suspend the use of a specific machine or machines until the violation shall have been remedied. Article (136) Employees entrusted with the inspection shall have the authority to write violation tickets to workers who work in unspecified locations. They shall have the right to request the assistance of public authorities and cooperate with competent authorities with regard to any goods left by said workers, where the whereabouts of the owners thereof are not known. Section Two Penalties Article (137) Without prejudice to any more severe punishment stipulated in any other law, a fine of not more than KD 500 shall be imposed on those who violate the provisions of Articles 8 and 35 of this Law. In the event of repetition of the violation within three years from the date of the final judgment, the penalty shall be doubled. Article (138) Without prejudice to any more severe punishment stipulated in any other law, any person who violates the provision of paragraph 3 of Article (10) of this Law shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and a fine not less than KD 1,000 and not more than KD 5,000 or either of these penalties. Article (139) In the event of violation of the provisions of Article (57) of this Law, the employer shall be subject to a fine that does not exceed the total of the workers entitlements that he failed to settle, without prejudice to his duty to settle such entitlements to workers as stipulated in Article (57). Article 140 Without prejudice to any more severe punishment stipulated in any other law, a fine of not more than KD 1,000 shall be imposed on those who obstruct the work of the competent employees designated by the Minister in the performance of their duties specified in Articles 133 and 134 of this Law. Article (141) Without prejudice to any more severe punishment stipulated in any other law, any person who violates the remaining provisions of this Law and its by-laws shall be punished as follows:

a- Violators shall be warned that they should remedy their violation within a period that shall be specified by the Ministry, provided that such period shall not exceed three months. b- In the event where the violator does not remedy the violation within the specified period, he shall be subject to a fine of not less than KD 100, and not more than KD 200 for each of the workers who are involved in the violation. In the event of recurrence within three years from the date of the final judgment, the punishment shall be doubled. Article (142) Any person, who violates the order of closure or suspension issued pursuant to the provisions of Article (135), failing to remedy the violations specified by the competent inspector, shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not more than six months and a fine not more than KD1,000 or either of these penalties. Chapter Seven Final Provisions Article (143) The minister shall issue a resolution for the establishment of a Labor Affairs Consulting Committee that consists of representatives of the Ministry, Team for the Restructuring of the Manpower and the Executive Branch of the State, employers and workers organizations and whomever deemed appropriate by the Minister. The committee shall give its opinion regarding any issue referred to it by the Minister. The resolution shall also include the procedure relevant to convening the Committee and the manner of issuing recommendations. Article (144) Upon denial, the lawsuits filed by the workers one year after the end of the work contract on the basis of the provisions of this Law shall not be heard. Denial shall be subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 442 of the Civil Law. Lawsuits filed by workers or beneficiates shall be exempted from judicial fees. However, upon the dismissal of lawsuits by the court, the court may order the party who files the case to pay all or part of the court fees. Labor lawsuits shall be heard as summary matters. Article (145) As an exception from Article (1074) of the Civil Law, the rights of the workers granted by the provisions of this Law shall have a lien over the employers movable and immovable properties except his private residence. Such amounts shall be settled after deduction of the judicial fees, amounts due to the treasury as well as preservation and repair expenses. Article (146) Prior to filing a lawsuit, the worker or the beneficiaries through him shall submit an application to the competent Labor Department which shall summon the disputing parties or their representatives. In the event where the Department is unable to settle the dispute amicably, it shall, within a month after the submittal of the application, refer the case to the Court of First Instance for settlement. The referral shall be made by virtue of a memorandum that includes a summary of the dispute, the defenses of the parties and the remarks of the Department. Article (147) The Clerks Department of the Court shall within three days after the receipt of the request, set a session to hear the case and notify the parties to the dispute thereof. Article (148) The Minister shall, within six months from the date of the publishing hereof in the Official Gazette, issue all by-laws and resolutions required for the implementation of this Law, in consultation with the employers and workers. Article (149) The Law No. 38 of the year 1964 concerning Labor in the Private Sector is hereby cancelled. All rights granted to workers prior to this cancellation shall remain in effect as well as all applicable resolutions that do not conflict with the provisions of this Law until the issue of the necessary bylaws and resolutions for its implementation. Article (150) The Prime Minister and ministers, each within his jurisdiction, shall implement this Law which shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette. Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Issued at Al-Seif Palace On 26 Safar 1431 H Corresponding to February 10, 2010 AD

Lawyer hits hard at new private sector Labor Law KUWAIT: A leading Kuwaiti lawyer has slammed the new private sector Labor Law, claiming that it will lead to higher charges for services and won’t benefit most Kuwaiti workers, while being potentially damaging to women’s employment chances. “The Labor Law was issued without careful study and research into its potential negative effects on companies,” said Omar Al-Essa, the head of the Kuwait Lawyers’ Association (KLA), urging the cabinet and parliament to

study the recently issued legislation in more depth. He further asserted that enforcing the new legislation would increase employers’ financial expenses, resulting in an increase in the prices of services, including medicine, legal services, engineering, education and others, which would inevitably be passed on to clients. Al-Essa also indicated that only the minority of Kuwaiti citizens working in the private sector would benefit from the new legislation, with most of

its benefits being for expatriate workers. The prominent lawyer also asserted that the new law had failed to address several issues that had been the focus of legal disputes, including how to assess the daily wage rate of those paid monthly. “The new law failed to determine whether monthly pay will be calculated over 26 days as per the legal departments’ regulations, or over 30 days as per the regulations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor”, he asserted.

SIRTE, LIBYA: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday visited Col Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, at the leader’s residence in Sirte. HH the Amir was accompanied during his visit by members of his accompanying official delegation. —Photos by KUNA

New moves to speed up deliberation

MPs push to prioritize KD 5,000 grant for all Kuwaiti citizens KUWAIT: A number of MPs are pushing to have the proposal to grant KD 5,000 to each Kuwaiti adult put amongst the top priorities of the upcoming parliament sessions, reported Al-Watan. A draft law for the proposal has been adopted by the parliament’s legislative committee and is currently being discussed in the financial committee before it is voted on in While agreeing on the benefits the law would have on the economy, head of the financial committee, MP Dr. Yousuf AlZalzalah, said that the draft law will be sent to the Cabinet for their opinion before assessing the cost of the bill. MP Salwa Al-Jassar said that this law will boost the economy

by helping 67 percent of citizens commit to their monthly debts and enable them to spend more. Creator of the proposal, MP Saleh Aashour, said that such actions were taken by countries around the world and reasserted that it will help indebted citizens. MP Khalid Al-Sultan does

the general assembly. The parliament’s office is expected to receive a signed request from the increasing number of MPs who support the proposal. The request would urge the financial committee to speed up their deliberation of the bill so that the draft law can be voted on as soon as possible.

not see the draft law as a sufficient solution to the indebted citizens’ crisis. He stated that it comes at a high cost and fails to solve the problem. He added that the Cabinet is expected to reject the proposal and that the best way to solve the crisis is to cancel the interests of citizen’s loans.

12 perished on roads last week KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday reported 12 deaths due to road accidents over the last week. A statement issued by the Ministry of Interior said the deaths took place on various roads during the period from March 20-27. “The fertilities included three Kuwaitis and nine expatriates,” the statement added.

The ministry urged motorists to drive defensively, adding that this relatively large number of deaths is an indication that drivers are ignoring ministry calls and campaigns. The ministry’s media department called on citizens and residents to abide by traffic rules for their safety and other road users.

Fighting occupation not terrorism: MP BANGKOK: The head of the Kuwaiti Parliamentary Caucus, MP Mubarak Al-Kurainj, affirmed here yesterday that countering the Israeli occupation should not be considered an act of terrorism. Speaking at the 122nd meeting of the Inter-

Parliamentary Union (IPU), the leading Kuwaiti legislator stressed that the international community should not stand still and let Israelis desecrate holy sites in the city of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. He called for a just and consistent international

definition of terrorism and means to fight such evil. Another member of the Kuwaiti Caucus, MP Mubarak Al-Mae’a, called for effective international cooperation to counter drug trafficking and other illegal activities. —KUNA

On a separate subject, the financial committee approved a proposal to amend article 14 of the law regarding the supervision of merchandise and control of their pricing. According to the law, stricter penalties are to be enforced against merchants who deliberately raise the prices of their supply with-

out justification. The draft law proposes that the ministry of commerce and industry support basic goods by fixing the prices of about 100 items. However, some members of the committee pointed out that this proposal may have a negative impact on merchants.

in the news MoI to monitor Al-Sour channel KUWAIT: Official sources said that the Ministry of Information (MoI) will not stand for any violation of the print and publication or the audio-video laws and will take all legal procedures to deter and hold violators accountable. They said that the MoI is coordinating with the ministries of interior and communications in order to guarantee that what happened with the Al-Sour satellite channel does not get repeated, reported Al-Jarida. The sources added that the MoI is also coordinating with most private companies related to satellite broadcasting. The MoI asked the companies to prohibit the broadcasting of stations with harmful messages to Kuwait and its people. They added that the officials of those companies were willing to cooperate with the MoI. The official sources also said that the MoI has dealt with the news of Al-Sour’s rebroadcasting seriously. They are monitoring the channel thoroughly to make sure the channel does not violate any laws. The sources added that the ministry will deal with any violation according to the law.

21 AIDS cases in two months KUWAIT: Twenty-one Arab residents of Kuwait were diagnosed with the AIDS virus in January and February of this year, according to an official with the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) expatriate medical information department. Another 66 of those tested at the expatriate medical centers were found to be suffering from Hepatitis B, while 75 were diagnosed with Hepatitis C, 145 with Tuberculosis and 11 with Malaria, bringing the total number diagnosed with infectious diseases to 318.

Kuwait e-Award contest

KUWAIT: The American Business Council of Kuwait held its monthly members’ meeting on March 23, with guest speakers from the Al-Ahleia Insurance Company informing those attending about the importance and benefits of insurance in their daily business activities. Also at last week’s meeting, the hosts and panelists of the council’s defense focus group forum held earlier in the month were honored for their participation in that event. For more information about the council and its activities, visit:

Anti-drug meeting in Kuwait KUWAIT: The General Directorate for Combating Drugs is to host today the 24th three-day meeting of the chiefs of anti-drugs apparatuses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Director General of the Combating Drugs Directorate Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah told KUNA yesterday that this meeting is held annually for highlighting the most important aspects of drugs’ problem. He added that it is a significant gathering as “chiefs of

apparatuses are accustomed to follow up the implementation of decisions and recommendations made by the GCC Interior Ministers.” Sheikh Ahmad went on to say that the meeting will discuss items on its agenda including intensifying control through the security combat and accelerating on finding the mechanisms that curb the proliferation of drugs in implementation of the comprehensive security strategy of the GCC states.

He also pointed out that the meeting will focus on the role of the GCC anti-drug apparatuses in the security addressing of drugs. Finally, Sheikh Ahmad described the chiefs of antidrug apparatuses as “having a high national sense as they are closer to this ailment in what make them tell the drug addicts that it is high time to realize the real hazards of depending on drugs and to turn away for ever from addiction.” —KUNA

KUWAIT: Participants can submit entries for the Kuwait Electronic Award contest up until the end of April, said a representative of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research’s (KISR) committee organizing the event yesterday. Nader Maarefi, who is also the director of the KISR’s National Center for Scientific and Technological Data, explained that entry in the competition is open to all members of the public in Kuwait, as well as to public and private sector bodies and institutions, with the prize money to be awarded to the winners totaling KD 50,000. The supreme committee supervising the competition includes representatives from specialist Kuwaiti firms and official bodies in the fields of science, technology and communications, including the KISR itself, he explained. The competition has eight categories, which are e-government, e-recreation, e-health, e-commerce, e-heritage, e-education, e-sciences and e-content. —KUNA



Monday, March 29, 2010

Better service for all residents

Health insurance for citizens to be introduced this year KUWAIT: A law on health insurance for citizens will be passed during the current parliamentary term and the government has concluded a three-year study of the bill, officials said. “It’s high time it was approved to serve citizens and reduce the burden shouldered by the health sector in general,” stressed officials. Furthermore, officials emphasized that the current private “They also paid a lot in health insurance in order to obtain tourist visas to visit the US and European countries. We do have fully qualified and specialized private hospitals that are fully capable of providing various kinds of treatments to health insurance holders,” officials explained. Meanwhile, the cabinet has reiterated its commitment to presenting a united front against any grilling motion filed against any of its members in the upcoming period. The cabinet’s statement follows reports suggesting that at least four interpellation motions are currently being prepared against ministers. The cabinet is also intent on maintain-

ing its progress in implementing its development plan and will not allow political tensions to affect its efforts, reported Al-Qabas. There is a widespread feeling that while the reports of some interpellation motions are indeed correct, others are rumors being used to put pressure on ministers to carry out a cabinet reshuffle to force Information Minister and Minister of Oil Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah from his post after he survived a recent grilling, as well as a subsequent parliamentary noconfidence vote. The cabinet will be studying all the points raised during Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah’s recent grilling in order to take

Bavarian delegation in Kuwait to cement ties KUWAIT: The Bavarian Minister for Federal and European Affairs, Emilia Muller, yesterday arrived in Kuwait on a two-day official mission. During her visit, Muller will meet with Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, Minister of Electricity and Water Dr. Bader Al-Shuraiaan and other highlevel dignitaries. The German minister and her delegation will also hold a meeting with the members of the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as paying a visit to the Gulf University of Science and Technology. Yesterday evening, Minister Muller, along with the German Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr Michael Worbs, was scheduled to open an exhibition entitled ‘German UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites’ at the

Avenues Mall, phase II, opposite Dean and Deluca. “Bavaria is a state with a thriving economy and an important cultural heritage”, said Dr Worbs, adding, “I think that the visit will further strengthen the strong ties which already exist between Germany and Kuwait. I hope that it will kick-start some new projects in the fields of economy and culture.” Minister Muller’s visit is one of the highlights of the German Week organized by the German Embassy in Kuwait and supported by the German National Tourist Board, BMW, Lufthansa and Dean and Deluca. Other events during the week include a ‘German week’ at Dean and Deluca from March 30, the German Tourism Roadshow in the JW Marriott on March 30 at 12:30, and a reception at the German embassy. — KUNA

Water tests ‘clean’ KUWAIT: To mark Kuwait’s eighth Firemen’s Day, the Kuwait Fire Services Department (KFSD) held a third day of activities at Farwaniya’s Arbid complex, as well as staging another event to mark the occasion at the Saleel complex in Jahra in cooperation with the Jahra Governorate. KFSD personnel also turned out at the Kuwait Magic complex in Ahmadi, with a fire engine and equipment on show, along with an exhibition of pictures and competitions for the public.

Kuwaiti girl missing By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: At the Ardiya police station, a Kuwaiti man reported that his 19-year-old daughter has been missing for the past two days. He explained that the girl had an argument with her mother, left the house and did not return. Police opened a file and are in search of the girl. Car accidents At dawn last night in Wafra, a car accident resulted in the death of an unidentified person. Meanwhile, a 45-year-old Nepalese expat was seriously injured while trying to cross the street. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Drug possession Ahmadi police arrested an Asian expat working as a taxi driver for being in possession of six captagon tablets. Meanwhile, four drunk bedoons were arrested and found to be in possession of two imported bottles of liquor in Sulaibiya.

School fire The fire department extinguished a fire in an electrical transformer of a girls’ school. The school’s administration suspended classes and no one was injured in the incident. Egyptian injured An Egyptian expat was injured in his right knee during a fight in Farwaniya on Sunday night. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Also in Farwaniya, a 46-year-old Indian was injured during a fight and taken to the local hospital. Drunkenness A 70-year-old citizen was found in Maidan Hawally. He was suspected to be intoxicated but refused to be taken to the hospital. Hawally robbery A citizen reported to Hawally police that his textile shop was broken into. His report states that he was robbed of KD 680 in cash and that textiles worth KD 200 were also stolen.

KUWAIT: Tests of factories producing drinking water came out clean with no real hazards, said Kuwait Environment Public Authority’s (EPA) Director General Salah Al-Madhi yesterday. He told the press that the EPA would make sure that safety and environment regulations in such factories are being observed, adding that all tests have come out clean. The technologies used by these factories were mostly similar and tests were conducted regularly to make sure that water products were safe, said the EPA official. EPA is also cooperating with the Ministry of Health on this respect to make sure that the consumers face no harm, affirmed Al-Madhi. — KUNA

sector’s infrastructure comprising various specialized private hospitals and clinics were fully capable of providing adequate health services to both citizens and expatriates, reported Al-Rai. “Citizens have paid around KD 3 million in health insurance through special subscriptions or through the government or private institutions they worked for. the necessary steps, said State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Roudhan AlRoudhan, adding that it will also review the events that took place during the noconfidence vote session in order to devise new strategies to deal with political blocs in the future so as to gain their support and avoid further interpellations. Meanwhile, the delay in issuing this year’s annual government report will lead to additional delays in deciding the state budget due to the connection between the report and the parliamentary finance committee’s budget schedule, meaning that any amendments to the report will necessitate making corresponding amendments to the budget.

On a separate issue, MP Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem revealed that the Development and Reform Bloc is to ask the parliamentary women’s affairs committee to commit itself to presenting a report on the civil and social rights bill, accusing the committee of obstructing the passing of the legislation. MP Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak, a member of the joint parliamentary committee assigned to discuss the bill, denied reports that the committee had reached agreement with the cabinet during Tuesday’s session on adopting the bill, claiming that the cabinet still had reservations over the proposed legislation.

in the news Boubyan Port contracts KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) expects to sign the contracts for Phase One of the Boubyan Port project in June, according to a senior ministry official. MPW Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Kulaib said that the ministry is currently studying the technical details of the project, which will be carried out in three stages, before submitting the final documents to the Audit Bureau and the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) for approval, reported AlShahed. The main plan for the port has been carefully prepared in order to ensure that it offers the best port facilities in the region, as well as being a multipurpose transport center, Al-Kulaib added. The latest equipment and techniques will be used in the construction, with top local and international consultants helping in the project. Ban on poultry, egg imports KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) yesterday issued a directive prohibiting imports of chicken eggs or any poultry from Denmark and Romania. In a press release, the PAAAFR explained that the ban was based on reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggesting that the Bird Flu virus has been detected in these two European nations. Ex-official sentenced to 3 years KUWAIT: Yesterday, the Court of First Instances sentenced a former official to three years in prison for bouncing a check. Former undersecretary to the Ministry of Communications, Hamed Khaja, who is also the board chairman of the AlOgaila Company, was handed the sentence for bouncing a $17 million check. Kuwaiti Penal Code stipulates a three years jail sentence for individuals who issue dud-checks valued at KD 500 or more.

National manpower law KUWAIT: A law recently passed by the Cabinet on setting a standard pay scale for national manpower in accordance with profession, has not exempted any particular profession from the purview of the law. The new law has categorized professions under five categories according to the international standards, added Faris Al-Enizy, Head of the Executive Committee for the National Manpower Rates Law. Furthermore, AlEnizy clarified that governmental contracts signed after the new law was issued (March 19, 2010), will not be included under the pay scale law that was enforced prior to that date. He further added that the mechanism of collecting fines from companies that fail to commit to the national manpower rates stated by the law, was adopted during a recent meeting with Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor representatives. The National Manpower Law will help create 12,300 job opportunities for citizens employed with the private sector. Ambassador’s son in drunken crash KUWAIT: A police investigation has been launched into a car crash on Gulf Road in which the car involved was driven by an Arab ambassador’s son who was allegedly drunk when he lost control of the vehicle, which spun out of control before overturning. After receiving a report about the incident near the Dasman Roundabout involving a car with diplomatic number plates, police arrived to find the driver in an extremely inebriated state, discovering a bottle of liquor in the vehicle. He was taken to the Amiri Hospital for treatment to his injuries and the case was reported to senior Ministry of Interior officials, reported Al-Shahed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been informed of the incident, given the driver’s diplomatic status, and the investigation is continuing.

letters to muna Dear readers, I thank you all for sharing your thoughts and problems with me. Due to the large number of emails I receive every day, I would appreciate your patience as all your comments and views about life in Kuwait may take time to appear in print. Thank you.

isn’t wasta used to stop all this? Jleeb has been my home for the past 27 years. During the last 10 years, this place has changed from a peaceful place to a haven of crime, illegal phone booths, prostitution, unworthy, expensive flats, sewage problems. What are we waiting for? Another tragedy to happen? I am happy that someone like you had the guts to voice the problem out. Let us pray that this incident is a lesson to all and will never occur again. Best regards, A Jleeb resident

Dear Muna Al-Fuzai, This mail is with reference to the your article ‘Jleeb kills its workers’ that appeared in the Kuwait Times dated 22-3-2010. I deeply regret the tragedy that has extinguished the light in the homes of those who were subject to this dreadful event. However, I would like to bring to your notice that using the basement area to store inflammable items is not shocking news to the residents of Jleeb. If you are wondering what I am referring to, please take a walk in Abbasiya. If we walk between lanes, you can see how the buildings’ basement areas have been illegally used as storage areas and car sites for furniture and mattresses, and other inflammable items. So, how is the basement used for such purposes without the officials’ knowledge? Well, I have been told that after the Municipality official pays a visit, the basement that is designated to be used as a car parking facility will be closed, and rented out for storage purposes. This puts some extra money into the owners’ pocket. There are many buildings in Jleeb where such operations keep happening. A simple evidence is the lack of parking facility in Abbasiya. This is a major safety concern. Considering the amount of people that are already stuffed into apartments and pay hefty amounts in rents, even a small fire can endanger the lives of many, including those of children. Odd jobs also pose a health hazard to many due to the dust and waste that emanate from such sites. The dust contains minute wood particles that cause allergies and breathing disorders in many. Is wasta the key player here? Why

Dear Muna, I would like to comment on your article on child abuse. Child abuse exists in many forms. Recently, the case of a western national ( European or American) who had used children to satisfy his sex urge came to light. This maniac was caught on the outskirts of Madras in south India. Children who are barely six years old are used to carry out all types of labor in India- match box making, glass making, carpet making and the likes. I have seen small children sell news papers in Delhi as long ago as 1978. The children, eight years or so, are used to conduct automobile repair work in garages! The truck cleaners, table cleaners at restaurants are all young boys. Young girls work at households as sweepers and perform other odd jobs. Worse, young children, including women, are employed at construction work sites. They carry bricks on their heads! I would watch and ponder why Allah, the most merciful, was being unkind to them. Female children that attend primary school are sexually assaulted by teachers! These cases are on the rise every day! The child is so shocked, it cannot even talk. It is only when they refuse to go to school that parents learn the reason! Only the fear of God can deter ourselves from indulging in acts. Thanks, Kancheepuram Dear Muna Al-Fuzai, I am a Nepalese national. I read your

article in Kuwait Times about the Nepalese. Please continue to address the issues we face. Thank you , Bimal Dear Muna, I am overjoyed to hear that the Nepalese Embassy has finally opened in Kuwait. Although you highlight in your article that this ‘purportedly’ new Embassy is more consumed with fanfare than addressing the needs of their people, I would reconsider some of your brash statements towards this Embassy. I am positive that the Ambassador has been carefully chosen to work in such a volatile position and I am quite sure that he is very well-briefed on the plight of his nationals working in Kuwait and although the champagne glasses are now being toasted, he understands the difficult challenges that lie ahead of him and his staff in order to assist their nationals who face a crisis in Kuwait. I have travelled to Nepal, and during my visit to Nepal I had the opportunity to visit a women’s shelter in Kathmandu. Interestingly, while I was speaking to the brave woman who runs that shelter, Anuradha Koirala, she received a harsh phone call from a Kuwaiti woman in Kuwait who owned a maidrecruiting agency, and she was cussing this Nepalese woman out because this shelter was trying to prevent women from working in Kuwait. Many of these Nepalese women are trafficked over the open borders with India. These women are trafficked to Kuwait, although the Nepalese government passed a law forbidding Nepalese women from working in Kuwait because of the many stories of abuse and the lack of a consul in Kuwait. Further, it was explained to me that these maid-recruitment agencies in Kuwait were purposely recruiting these women, some kidnapped and trafficked over the border by force. Some are sold by their families in desperation because they are so poverty stricken. Another reason was because they did not have an Embassy in Kuwait where they could seek assistance if they ran into problems with their employers. I also met seven women, some who were banging their heads against the wall because they had lost their minds from abuse suffered by

their employers in Kuwait. So, before you get so abrasive on this topic, I encourage you to research this matter and to have some compassion on the plight of the Nepalese people working in Kuwait. As far as the security positions that are being recruited by your government from Nepal, you have every right as a Kuwaiti to demand that these positions be filled by your nationals. However, again, historically security personnel known as ‘gurkhas’ have been recruited for years and are very well known for their loyalty, their bravery and their reliability. The British Army used gurkhas during World Wars and they served valiantly with the British Army. Your government may know this and that is why they were chosen to work in this role. So, next time you go on holiday, I suggest that you pop into a women’s shelter, a school, so you can get a better understanding of the culture that you are visiting and a better understanding of the problems that women face in the world. I ended up visiting villages throughout the countryside in Nepal where women were commonly trafficked over the border with India and lecturing women on the labor laws that they face while working in the Gulf and persuade these women to work in countries where they have better legal protection working as domestics helpers. Regards, Nepalese Dear Muna Al-Fuzai, I read your article ‘Why is the Arab world so resistant to Change’ with great interest. I agree with many points you have mentioned. I kept wondering if the reason is really because Arabs are so emotional by nature. I wondered if they were taught how to use logic and critical/objective thinking in schools, like they do in advanced countries. Arabs would be less emotional and prone to change. I guess the difference is between nature and nurture. I’d like to think that there is hope for change with good and real education, which is lacking in our societies. Thank you for a good article. Sincerely, Firyal


Monday, March 29, 2010


Al-Khorafi attends assembly in Bangkok

IPU urged to address conflicts, disputes across the world BANGKOK: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has a duty to consider conflicts and disputes across the world and address tension spots and causes, said Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi yesterday. Addressing the 122nd IPU Assembly, the speaker noted the current state of affairs across the globe and the need to somehow reach middle ground between the different

KUWAIT: Moumen Choudary organized an event on the occasion of the National and Independence days of Bangladesh, for the Bangladeshi community in Kuwait. The event took place at Ramada Hotel in Riggae. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

kuwait digest

Inseparable democracy D

emocracy is one of the most important and sought-after forms of government in history, writes columnist Abdurrahman Al-Najjar in Al-Watan. Emerging some centuries ago and adopted by numerous nations worldwide which have used it to achieve political, ideological and cultural development, it has become an inseparable part of those nations’ and their peoples’ lives. Although many Third World countries have adopted democracy, a few years after its introduction it has often become more like democracy, a fragmented and disjointed ideology. Some people believe that in order for democracy to succeed, it first needs to be in place for a long time so that it can properly take shape. This is true to a degree: as we’ve seen in several cases, time can have diverse and widely differing effects, with democracy in some cases regressing rather than advancing with the pass-

ing of years. One clear example of this is what has happened here in Kuwait, where we see that a democratic system has regressed significantly from where it was around fifty years ago at the start of the 1960s when the country was led by the forefather of Kuwaiti democracy Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. This is clearly proof that time is not necessarily a guarantee of democracy’s success. On the contrary, the passing of time can lead to the appearance of flaws in the way that some nations’ peoples practice their democracy, in essence using democracy itself to damage democracy. In several Arab countries, we’ve witnessed a number of political parties which lost elections claiming that the electoral process was flawed and corrupted - claims they certainly wouldn’t be making if they’d won. This is their form of democracy.

KUWAIT: Sponsorship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for all activities, especially the youth ones that aim at developing scientific innovation of young men and women, proves the backing given by the political leadership to such activities, Sheikha Fadia Al-Saad Al-Sabah asserted here yesterday. She made this remark on the occasion of the sponsorship of the Prime Minister of the closing ceremony of Fadia Al-Saad Scientific Contest for Girls in its 10th edition on April 8. — KUNA

Airport to get ‘sleep boxes’ KUWAIT: Travelers transiting Kuwait International Airport or facing flight delays will soon no longer have to wait for hours in hotels with the airport set to acquire a number of ‘sleep boxes,’ courtesy of the Ministry of Communications, reported Al-Watan. The ‘sleep boxes’ or ‘sleep pods,’ similar to those found in a number of airports world-

Employment crisis KUWAIT: According to a source from the Civil Service Commission, the country may soon face an employment crisis, reported Al-Watan. It was reported that 4,170 approved employment applications were submitted to the government in their most recent application period. This has raised the total number of citizens with approved applications waiting for employment to 22,000.

wide, are one-person cubicles just large enough to fit a bed and sink into, which offer travelers, in exchange for a small fee, a few hours’ rest and privacy without them having to go through the trouble and expense of booking into a hotel. “The airport will feature a quantum leap in the level of services provided to achieve the best quality service for pas-

sengers as part of our commitment to maintaining the airport as one of the most vital state facilities,” said communications minister Dr. Mohammad Al-Busairi. The minister added that several other projects are also set to be launched at the airport from next month, as part of the cabinet’s development program.

“We ought to consider whether the advancements of the past few decades really improved conditions for people of the world,” the speaker said. This comes in line with the overall theme of “Parliament at the heart of political reconciliation and good governance” of the current IPU meetings. “We in the developing countries and the Middle East region are most concerned with this question,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are now left on our own to deal with the problems caused by globalization and international partnership, recently made worse by the global financial crisis. The more advanced nations are pre-occupied with handling their own internal situation in this regard and are failing to shoulder their responsibility to other parts of the world. Moving on from finance to politics, the speaker said the situation is just as unsatisfactory with many tension spots dating back to the cold war still compromising stability and security. These regions are neglected and ignored by the international community.

“On all these issues, we had hoped for good governance and coordination on the part of the United Nations, which would in turn yield good results. We now have to consider whether the UN needs to adjust its systems and mechanisms which correspond to the old world order and state of things rather than our situation today. “Failure to effect these adjustments could clearly be seen in the Middle East’s continuous and consecutive crises.” The Speaker stressed countering instability and tension in the region is not possible through the war on terrorism alone. “Seeking that alone would be subjectively turning blind eye to other causes of instability, most importantly the ArabIsraeli conflict. “Israel is meanwhile taking advantage of International failure to reach just settlement on this score to continue hostilities against the Palestinian people and the situation provides excuse and opportunity for constant external interference in the affairs of the states of the region.”

policies and approaches to key issues puts the IPU before a great challenge. “Among top-most priorities for the Kuwaiti delegation is the Palestinian cause, which we hope would see non-stop effort till a resolution is reached that would restore the rights of the Palestinian people and allow for Palestinian statehood.”

BANGKOK: NA Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi attends the IPU conference yesterday. — KUNA The speaker urged the international community to exert more effort on the Palestinian cause and to shoulder its responsibility towards all hot spots across the globe, and the Middle East specifically. The current IPU meetings began Saturday under an overall theme of “Parliament at the heart of political reconciliation and

good governance.” Meanwhile, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) yesterday held a meeting, to coordinate positions on issues in agenda of 122nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting. Member of the Kuwaiti Parliamentary Caucus Askar Al-Enzi said in a press release members of the Arab-Islamic group in

the assembly urged the other members to support the Arab proposal on devoting priority to the Israeli acts of desecration of the sanctities of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, rejecting Tel Aviv’s inclusion of AlHaram Al-Ibrahimi and Bilal Bin Rabah mosques into the list of Jewish heritage sites. APA has affirmed support for the proposal. — KUNA



Monday, March 29, 2010

Man held with forged passport

Eleven Asians injured in Salmi Road accident KUWAIT: Eleven Asian men were seriously injured in an accident on Salmi Road when the minibus carrying them overturned after the driver lost control of the steering. The accident took place while the workers were on their way to their work at a US military base, Serviceman dies A Lance Corporal with the National Guard was killed in a car accident on Kabad Road, reported Al-Qabas. The accident occurred when the vehicle lost balance and overturned while on patrol. Additionally, a passenger in the vehicle was seriously injured and admitted to a nearby hospital.

Kuwait gets ready for energy conference CANCUN, Mexico: Kuwaiti’s Minister of Oil Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah arrived here late Saturday to take part in the 12th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial and the Fourth International Energy Business Forum (IEBF) which will kick-off here today. Upon his arrival, the minister said that the “main and most important” reason of his participation in the three-day conference is that Kuwait will host the 13th IEF and fifth IEBF in 2010. He indicated that he will also be chairing the fourth and final session of the IEF, which is entitled “The Global Energy Dialogue: The Way Forward”, during which he will present a speech. He noted that there will be “four speakers and a summary of what has been discussed in this session,” which will be followed by a press conference and a declaration. Sheikh Ahmad added that on the sidelines of the conference there will be meetings with chairmen of several companies, in addition to bilateral meetings with ministers of the GCC and

other countries. He affirmed the importance of such gatherings, saying “if there weren’t meetings for the viewpoints everyone will lose.” He recalled how the prices of the oil once reached $147 then went down to $35, where “everyone was harmed. Those who benefitted in the beginning were harmed at the end.” “We are partners, therefore it is necessary to meet and discuss these issues with full transparency for everyone’s advantage,” the minister remarked. Kuwait and Germany are cohosts of the Forum, where Kuwait was selected to be host country of the 13th IEF and fifth IEBF, due in 2012. This biennial gathering of the world’s energy ministers and energy industry leaders, who will be engaged in a dialogue, is considered of great importance to global energy security. The agenda of this biennial gathering is considered by the Mexican Secretary of Energy Georgina Kessel “a challenging one” that aims at addressing the

“most pressing energy problems,” such as the decline in known energy reserves, the rise in the cost of energy resources, the imperative of addressing energy poverty and the threat of the effects of global warming. She considered the dialogue that will be held between energy producers and consumers essential for the harmonious and efficient operation of the world’s energy markets. In light of this, the IEF countries account for over 90 percent of global oil and gas supply and demand. Up to 65 countries will be taking part in the 12th IEF and 37 companies in the 4th IEBF, including the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), in addition to 14 international organizations, such as the Secretary General of OPEC, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Bank. The participating ministers are expected to discuss developments in the international energy environment, identify longer term issues and concerns and approve a set of recommendations to strengthen

the dialogue through the IEF and limit energy market volatility in order to meet the challenges facing global energy markets. The global energy environment has witnessed dramatic changes since the 11th IEF Ministerial, which was held in Rome, Italy in April 2008, as oil prices reached unprecedented levels of nearly $150 per barrel in July 2008 before falling to below $40 in January 2009. The 12th IEF Ministerial will be held over four sessions that will focus on critical issues to today’s energy dialogue. The first session will be entitled “Role of Energy in Fostering Human Development,” which will address the barriers to the development of energy in the least developed countries and explore concrete actions to alleviate energy poverty. As for the second session, “Global Energy Markets: Reducing Volatility and Uncertainty,” its objective is to seek cooperative means to achieve better market functionality. — KUNA

Drug arrest Police arrested a citizen and his son for being in possession of hashish, reported AlWatan. The arrest was made on Abdali Road where the criminal’s vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint. Police suspected that the driver and his son were intoxicated and a search revealed the hidden drugs. The two were taken to the General Department for Drug Control. Airport arrest International Airport security arrested an Asian man for trying to enter the country with a forged passport, reported Al-Watan. The man was questioned after his passport was determined to be fake. During the investigation, police discovered that the man’s fingerprints did not match those to whom the passport was registered. It was also revealed that the man was deported for a case of adultery. He was taken to the proper authorities. Suicide attempt An Indonesian woman tried to kill herself by jumping out of a speeding car on Fahaheel Highway, reported Al-Watan. The woman was caught by a citizen before she could jump and an emergency call was made. Police responded to the situation and brought her to a nearby

reported Al-Watan. Emergency personnel were quickly at the scene, with the injured being rushed to Jahra Hospital, where some of them being taken straight to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). An investigation is underway into the accident.

police station for questioning. She explained that her sponsor’s refusal to pay her for three consecutive months pushed her to try and kill herself. Drug possession An Egyptian man in his 30’s was arrested at the Kuwait International Airport after arriving from his home country, reported Al-Watan. The man was found with three bars of hashish hidden in his pants. He was taken to the proper authorities. Two Saudi men were arrested on King Fahad Road for being in possession of a bag containing several illegal drug pills, reported Al-Watan. Police discovered the illicit material after the men were pulled over for driving over the speed limit. They were taken to the proper authorities. Smuggling Authorities apprehended a shipment of 150 counterfeit BlackBerry devices at the Kuwait International Airport, reported Al-Jareedah. The phones were discovered on a flight from the United Arab Emirates and were supposed to be delivered to a citizen working with the Ministry of Interior. A case was opened for further investigation. Theft case The management of a local company discovered that one of its employees and a company representative stole an amount of money from the company’s treasury, reported AlJareedah. When questioned, the employee confessed to the crime and the representative disappeared as soon as he learned that the theft was discovered. A case was opened at the Fahaheel police station.

Missing father An Indonesian woman and her 16-monthold son filed a report with authorities at the Farwaniya police station, reported Al-Anbaa. She sought the help of authorities to help her find the father of her son. She explained that the man was Egyptian and that he may be in his home country. A case was opened and police are looking into the matter. Severe assault A Lebanese man sustained serious injuries and was admitted at the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital in unstable condition, reported AlAnbaa. The man was admitted to the hospital after he received a severe physical assault from his Syrian neighbor and his son. After his condition stabilized, the man informed police that his neighbor and his son burst into his home and beat him for listening to a soccer match with the volume too loud. The attacker is facing charges of breaking into a residence, damaging personal property and physical assault. Bootleggers held Two Asian men were arrested for being in possession of 17 bottles of imported liquor and five bottles of homemade alcohol, reported AlAnbaa. They were referred to the proper authorities. Body found Police believe that suspicious circumstance may be behind the found body of an Asian man in Qairawan, reported Al-Anbaa. An autopsy revealed that the man may have died as a result of angina pectoris during the most recent sandstorm.

Health supervisory posts to be filled KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health (MoH) is expected to complete the process of appointing candidates to vacant supervisory posts by next June. The announcement was made by the Assistant Undersecretary for Supportive Medicinal Affairs, Dr Qais Al-

KBC’s board chairman is seen with members of the club’s committees.

Duwairi. He indicated that announcements will be made in the near future. Internal appointments of nurses will be used to fill 1,187 vacant positions. So far, the ministry has already appointed 313 nurses. Al-Duwairi further men-

tioned the recent bonuses paid to Ministry’s nursing staff. He said that the move is an acknowledgment of the vital role played in countries’ medical system. He also indicated that the bonus paid will help reduce cases of mass resignation

among nurses, at the same time, making the nursing sector more attractive for applicants; mainly of national manpower. He added that the ministry had received 978 employment applications from the nursing sector.

KBC’s board of directors

KBC honors former treasurer, committees

Al-Buoaijan honors former treasurer, Ahmed Al-Sultan.

Al-Sayegh honors Ghadeer Al-Shalan.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Banks Club (KBC) recently held a special annual ceremony to honor the former treasurer, Ahmed Al-Sultan. Former board members and members of its various committees for the year 2009 were also felicitated. The event was held under the patronage of the chairman of board of direc-

tors. The ceremony was attended by KBC’s Sports Committee Chairman, Mohammed Al-Mail, Secretary General Jassim Al-Haidar, Head of the Medial Committee, Khaled Al-Methan, Assistant Treasurer, Mohammed AlSayegh and the Club’s Assistant Manager, Abbas Al-Bloushi.

Al-Methan honors Dareen Abdul Samad.

Mohd Al-Mail honors Khalid Hafez.

Social committee members

Monday, March 29, 2010



Yemen says Shiite rebels kill accused collaborator Killing among first signs of violence since truce SANAA: Yemen said yesterday it arrested two Europeans for weapons training in the centre of the country, while Shi’ite rebels shot dead an accused government collaborator in their war with Sanaa. The Interior Ministry said in a

SAN DIEGO: Lilya Salomi weeps upon hearing brother Issa Salomi was freed from kidnappers in Iraq, while being comforted by Issa’s wife Muna, with his sons Andrew (left) and Claude (right) on Saturday, March 27, 2010. — AP

Family euphoric at contractor’s release SAN DIEGO: The family of an Iraqi-American contractor said to have been kidnapped in Baghdad in January rejoiced Saturday over his release, saying they did not believe they would see him alive again. Issa Salomi, 60, spoke with his 27-year-old son Roger Friday and told him that memories of the birth of the oldest of his four boys sustained him during captivity, said Vivian Tilley, a niece. A few hours later, Salomi called his wife of 30 years, Mura Salomi, and asked for her homemade tabbouleh when he arrived home. “I was screaming,” Mura Salomi said in interview Saturday. “Really, I didn’t think he’d be alive ... I can’t wait to hug him and put him in my arms.” A Shiite extremist group claimed responsibility for the Jan 23 kidnapping and posted a video online that showed a man wearing military fatigues, reading a list demands for the release of militants, the prosecution of Blackwater guards and an immediate US troop withdrawal. A Pentagon statement Saturday said only that Salomi was back under military control, but gave no details on his disappearance or return. The statement said the circumstances of the case are under investigation. Mura Salomi was told to be prepared to reunite with her husband within the

next week at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. She, like other family members, said she didn’t know the circumstances of his abduction, captivity or release. The family learned he was safe Thursday afternoon but US authorities asked them not to say anything publicly until Saturday. Salomi arrived in the United States in 1991, days before the US forces invaded Iraq, with the help of his older sister, who arrived in New York from Baghdad in 1974. He had studied civil engineering in England. He became a US citizen and returned to Iraq in 2007 on an assignment from an Army contractor. He returned to San Diego occasionally to visit, most recently between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mura Salomi, who is seeking a kidney donor while on dialysis, said her husband called her three times a day from Iraq to check on her and kept her spirits high. “He never missed one day,” she said outside a family business, a supermarket in the heart of San Diego’s Barrio Logan, a heavily Latino neighborhood. The family said it never knew the nature of his work in Iraq but that he was dedicated to his job. “He felt like America has been so good to him, he felt it was his time to help America,” Tilley said. — AP

“Security forces in Dhamar province arrested two foreigners carrying the nationality of one of the European countries for practicing weapons firing,” the statement said. Yemen, struggling to stabilize a fractious country strategically located next door to Saudi Arabia, jumped to the forefront of Western security concerns after Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based regional arm claimed responsibility for an attempted December attack on a US-bound plane. Western countries and Saudi Arabia fear Al-Qaeda is exploiting the instability in Yemen to recruit and train mil-

itants for attacks in the region and beyond. The killing of the government collaborator was one of the first signs of violence since a February truce deal between the government and northern rebels whose fight drew in neighboring oil exporter Saudi Arabia last year. The Interior Ministry said that some of the rebels, who have fought the government on and off since 2004, had opened fire on two men in the Saada region, where most of the fighting took place. One died while the other was in critical condition. “Houthi rebels targeted the two

statement that one of the Europeans had an Arabic name and the other was a non-Arab. The two were 24 years old but the ministry did not specify which country they were from. young men as revenge for cooperating with the government during the war on Houthi rebel strife in the Saada province,” the Interior Ministry said. Analysts say the truce was unlikely to last as it does not address rebel complaints of discrimination by Sanaa. A member of a committee overseeing the truce said he did not expect violence to spread after the shooting, adding that it would be addressing revenge cases to help contain any feuds. “The incident was contained, and there is no fear of an outbreak of acts of violence. We will be resolving cases of revenge,” the committee

Bombs kill five near house of Sunni candidate in Iraq BAGHDAD: Several bombs exploded yesterday near the home of a prominent Sunni figure who ran in this month’s parliamentary elections in Iraq, killing five people and wounding 26 others, a police official said. The attack adds to fears of serious postelection violence as the bitter election rivals enter what are expected to be drawn out talks on forming the next government that will rule Iraq as US troops leave by the end of 2011. Yesterday’s blasts took place in the town of Qaim, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west of Baghdad and on the border with Syria, the police official said. The first bomb, planted at a house under construction, went off at 7 am in a busy area of Qaim. As onlookers gathered, four more bombs hidden in trash littered around the site detonated, causing the casualties. The official said the house belongs to Sheik Murdhi Muhammad AlMahalawi, a Sunni candidate who ran on the

Iraqiya list led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the top vote-getter in the March 7 balloting. Neither Al-Mahalawi nor any construction workers were at the site when the bombs went off, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media. The win in March 7 parliamentary elections by Allawi’s secular bloc, which got 91 seats, two seats more than Prime Minister Nouri AlMaliki’s group, reflected an extraordinarily close race. Allawi’s road to regaining the premiership is not certain. Al-Maliki angrily denounced the election outcome and his supporters have vowed to fight the results. Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition drew on support from Sunnis frustrated with the Shiite-dominated government, which they say has incited sectarian tensions and is too closely aligned with neighboring Iran. — AP

member said. Separately a judicial source told Reuters yesterday that a security court sentenced a former Yemeni ambassador to Mauritania to five years in prison for violating national unity and inciting armed rebellion in the south of the country. Yemen, in addition to its conflict in the north that has displaced 250,000 people, is trying to contain a separatist movement in the south that has escalated in recent weeks, leaving a trail of dead and wounded and raising fears of a new insurgency even as violence in the north fades. — Reuters

Turkish PM rejects new sanctions against Iran BERLIN: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again rejected the idea of imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program in an interview with a German magazine out today. Erdogan’s comments come ahead of a visit to Turkey today and tomorrow by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has held out the possibility of additional sanctions against Iran. “We must first try to find a diplomatic solution,” Erdogan told Spiegel magazine. “What we need here is diplomacy, and then more diplomacy.” The Turkish leader said “everything else threatens world peace.” Merkel on Saturday reaffirmed her country’s position on the Iranian nuclear crisis in a video message on her Internet site. “If Iran does not show proof of trans-

parency on nuclear energy issues, we (must) also think about sanctions,” she said. Western powers suspect Tehran is making a nuclear bomb under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, but Iran denies these accusations, saying the goal is to generate electricity. The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France-the five veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council members-plus Germany have been negotiating with Iran over its uranium enrichment program. Turkey, which has good relations with its neighbor Iran, has offered to host an exchange of Iran’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) with 20 percent enriched uranium to be supplied by world powers to Tehran as part of a UN-drafted deal. — AFP



Monday, March 29, 2010

More than 300 killed in attacks in DR Congo: HRW KINSHASA: Ugandan LRA rebels killed at least 321 civilians in a previously unreported “well-planned” fourday attack on villages in the DR Congo last December, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. In a report released in Kampala, HRW said 250 others, including at least 80 children, were abducted in the December 14-17 Lord’s Resistance Army attack in the remote Makombo area of northeastern Haut Uele district. A Catholic clergyman at Isiro-Niangara in the same district, speaking before the report was issued, confirmed that 30 members of the

rebel LRA attacked a dozen villages of Haut Uele, which is in Orientale province. “They killed at least 300 people. They also kidnapped between 200 and 400 others before disappearing,” clergyman Dieudonne Abakuba told AFP. “During the well-planned LRA attack,” the rebel outfit “killed at least 321 civilians and abducted 250 others, including at least 80 children,” said the HRW report headed “Trail of Death: LRA Atrocities in Northeastern Congo.” “The vast majority of those killed were adult men, whom LRA combatants first

tied up and then hacked to death with machetes or crushed their skulls with axes and heavy wooden sticks. “The dead include at least 13 women and 23 children, the youngest a three-year-old girl who was burned to death. LRA combatants tied some of the victims to trees before crushing their skulls with axes,” said the report, written after a mission visited the region in February. Between 25 and 40 rebels had walked for 100 kilometers (65 miles) during the operation which was aimed at killing, abducting and pillaging, Human Rights Watch said. “The

Makombo massacre is one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in its bloody 23-year history, yet it has gone unreported for months,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior Africa researcher for the rights watchdog. “The four-day rampage demonstrates that the LRA remains a serious threat to civilians and is not a spent force, as the Ugandan and Congolese governments claim.” Human Rights Watch said witnesses it interviewed said that “for days and weeks after the attack, this vast area was filled with the ‘stench of death.’” Children and

adults who escaped gave similar accounts of the “extreme brutality”, it said. “Many of the children captured by the LRA were forced to kill other children who had disobeyed the LRA’s rules. “In numerous cases documented by Human Rights Watch, children were ordered to surround the victim in a circle and take turns beating the child on the head with a large wooden stick until the child died,” the report said. The clergyman said the rebels were wearing military uniforms. “They killed a lot of people on the road and

attacked them with bludgeons,” he said. “They killed mainly men. They chopped some people’s heads off and kidnapped children on their way to school,” added regional lawmaker Jeannette Abakuba, confirming the more than 300 dead. The villages that were raided are south of the Uele river, 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the town of Niangara, and include Mabanga, Makombo, Ngbiribi, Tapili and Kiliwa. Some people fled and were slowly coming back. “But the atmosphere is poisoned, people are scared the LRA

might come back, they’re afraid of farming, so there’s a risk of famine,” said the clergyman. Led by Joseph Kony, wanted along with two other leaders by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, the LRA took up arms in 1988 in northern Uganda and has acquired a reputation for brutality. Since 2005, under pressure from the Ugandan army, the fighters pulled back from their bases in Uganda to move into the remote northeast of the DRC, where they were said to number fewer than 100 late last year, according to the UN mission in the DRC. —AFP

Switzerland defends Libyan travel ban scrapped by EU Ban based on security needs GENEVA: Switzerland defended yesterday its ban on some Libyans travelling in Europe’s Schengen zone, which the EU has lifted and apologized for, saying it was based on security needs and was within rules. The European Union announced on Saturday that it had scrapped the ban, removing the names of

prominent Libyans from a blacklist that barred them from entering the 25state Schengen visa zone. In an e-mailed reaction to AFP, the Swiss foreign ministry said it had imposed the ban after two Swiss citizens were “kidnapped” in 2009. It was referring to the detention in Tripoli of two Swiss businessman in a tit-fortat row after a son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was briefly detained in Geneva in 2008 when domestic workers complained of mistreatment. “As a result, the Federal Council (government) had decided for public and national security reasons, to ban the entry and transit of certain categories of Libyan citizens,” the foreign ministry statement said. “As an associate member, Switzerland had applied the rules of Schengen in vigor, conforming to legal demands, as the European Commission had also clearly confirmed,” it said. The Swiss blacklist had to be applied by all countries in the Schengen area, drawing the EU into the dispute. Libya retaliated by denying entry visas to Schengen-zone citizens. Under EU mediation, Switzerland said Wednesday it would lift the ban and that it expected Tripoli to reciprocate. On Saturday Brussels and Tripoli said they would CORDOBA: Penitents of the La Borriquita brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession yesterday. —AP resume granting visas to each others’ citizens. “We are sorry and deplore what happened and the problems caused to Libyan citizens,” said the foreign ministry of Spain, currently the EU president. “We hope that an event like this is not repeated in the future,” it added. Hasni Abidi, the director of the Geneva-based Study and Research Centre for the Arab VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI at the Congregation told Wisconsin bishops establishing justice and ‘purifying memoand Mediterranean World, told opened Holy Week yesterday amid one of to squash a church trial for a priest alleged ries’ that will let us look with renewed AFP that Brussels’ move was the most serious crises facing the church in to have abused up to 200 deaf boys. The commitment together with humility and “very dangerous”. “Not only decades, with questions about his handling Vatican insists Ratzinger was unaware of trust in the future,” he said in a statement did the EU agree to lift the of cases of pedophile priests and the the Munich priest’s move to the pastoral on Vatican Radio. His comments indicated ban, it apologized for the ban Vatican acknowledging its “moral credibili- job and has defended its handling of the that the Vatican is now looking at the scanand it even engaged not to do dal as a way to purify itself so that it can ty” was on the line. Benedict made no Wisconsin case. it again,” he said. “It’s a very Benedict has only publicly spoken out emerge renewed and strengthened. He mention of the scandal in his Palm Sunday dangerous decision, any counhomily. But one of the prayers, recited in about the scandal in Ireland, writing a let- pointed to the action taken by the US try can now take Brussels Portuguese during Mass, was “for the ter to the Irish faithful last week in which Conference of Catholic Bishops after the hostage. It weakens the EU, young and for those charged with educating he chastised Irish bishops for leadership clerical abuse scandal erupted there in and also isolates Switzerland.” them and protecting them.” Palm Sunday shortcomings and errors in judgment for 2002. The head of the German bishops’ Abidi noted that the decicommemorates Jesus Christ’s triumphant failing to apply church law to stop abusive conference has said the Vatican was comsion demonstrated that the EU entry into Jerusalem, and is the start of the priests. During his homily yesterday, the piling information from various bishops’ had placed its relations with pope directed himself to young people, as conferences around the world with the poschurch’s Holy Week. Libya above its relations with This year, the most solemn week on the Palm Sunday is traditionally dedicated to sible aim of setting out new guidelines for Switzerland. “Brussels had Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar has the young. He reminded them that dealing with the problem. Separately chosen Libya,” he said, pointbeen stained by a clerical abuse scandal Christian life is a path, or pilgrimage, with Sunday, a retired Italian cardinal and oneing out that countries such as that has spread across Europe to the pope’s Christ - “A walk in the direction that he has time candidate for the papacy said in comItaly, Malta and Spain have native Germany. The Vatican has been on chosen and shows us.” Christ, he said, ments published in the Austrian newspaper significant economic interests the defensive amid mounting questions guides the faithful “toward the courage that Die Presse that celibacy for priests should in Libya. Instead of lifting the about the pope’s handling of sex abuse doesn’t let us be intimidated by the chat- be reconsidered. ban completely, Abidi said Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, former cases both when he was archbishop of ting of dominant opinions, towards restrictions should have been Munich and when he headed the Vatican’s patience that supports others.” On archbishop of Milan and considered one of eased gradually, once guarandoctrinal office, the Congregation for the Saturday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev the more liberal-leaning princes of the tees were obtained for the Federico Lombardi, acknowledged that the church, was quoted as saying that mandaDoctrine of the Faith. release of Max Goeldi, one of The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger way the church responds to the abuse tory chastity for churchmen should be the two Swiss citizens caught was Munich archbishop when a priest was scandal is “crucial for its moral credibility.” thought over to prevent further abuse up in the diplomatic spat. allowed to resume pastoral work with chil- He noted that most of the cases that have cases by clergy and help the church regain Goeldi, a representative of dren even while receiving therapy for come to light recently occurred decades lost trust. The Vatican has rejected sugSwiss company ABB in Libya, gestions that celibacy caused the abuse and pedophilia. He was subsequently convicted ago. has been blocked from leaving “But recognizing them, and making Benedict has reaffirmed it as a gift to God of abusing minors. In addition, a case has the country since July 2008 come to light in which Ratzinger’s deputy amends to the victims, is the price of re- as recently as this month. —AP and is serving a four-month jail term in Tripoli for visa offences. The other Swiss businessman was freed in February. The Swiss foreign ministry reiterated its intenBASEL: An armed gang of masked men raided a casino packed tion to secure the release with about 600 guests early yesterday and made off with hunLONDON: The “special relation- tries with important US links. Goeldi. But Libya signaled dreds of thousands of dollars, according to Swiss prosecutors. ship” is not so special any more. “The overuse of the phrase by yesterday that its diplomatic In a statement, prosecutors in Basel described a scene like an That’s the word from a committee some politicians and many in the crisis with Switzerland was action-film heist: About 10 men dressed in black arrived in of lawmakers in Britain who say media serves simultaneously to far from over, and could only two cars at the Grand Casino near Basel shortly after 4:00 am. the phrase coined by Winston devalue its meaning and to raise be resolved through internaOne smashed the front door with a sledgehammer, and the Churchill to describe the country’s unrealistic expectations about the close ties with the United States benefits the relationship can delivtional arbitration. “We others ran inside with machine guns and pistols, the stateshould no longer be used because er to the UK,” the committee said demand international arbitrament said. Speaking French, a group of men ordered the it fails to reflect a true picture of in its report. tion,” to resolve the dispute guests and employees to the floor, while their accomplices Churchill used the phrase relations between the two counwith Switzerland, “and we emptied registers in the basement and an upper floor, it said. tries. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs shortly after World War II to They couldn’t get into the strong room, despite shooting at will accept any outcome, posiSelect Committee said the govern- describe the shared cultural, the locked door, prosecutors said. “The criminals fired a numtive or negative,” Libyan ment should be “less deferential” political and historic ties that ber of shots, but luckily no one was hit,” said the statement. It Foreign Minister Moussa toward the Americans and take a helped defeat Nazi Germany, and said some guests and one security guard were lightly injured Kussa told AFP. Asked if more realistic view of the relation- the fears of the looming Cold from being hit or stepped on, and that Swiss and French police Saturday’s lifting of the travel ship. In a report published yester- War. But in recent years, the were trying to track down the men. Swiss police said the men ban meant that the crisis with day, the committee said that, while timeworn expression has often fled the casino quickly, driving away in two silver Audis with Bern was over, Kussa said: ties with America remain close, it been derided - suggesting that French license plates. —AP “No, that is another thing is important to recognize that Britain was subservient to the altogether.” —AFP Britain is just one of many coun- United States. —AP

Pope opens Holy Week amid sex abuse crisis

End nears for UK and US ‘special relationship’

ROME: Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi (right) flanked by right-wing candidate for the upcoming Lazio regional elections Renata Polverini, covers his eyes as he tells a joke during the closing of the electoral campaign. —AFP

Italians vote in elections seen as test for Berlusconi ROME: Italians began voting yesterday in regional elections seen as a referendum on embattled Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi two years into his mandate. Pollsters predict gains for Berlusconi’s troublesome coalition partner, the anti-immigration Northern League, and a low turnout reflecting voters’ disenchantment with the political class after an exceptionally negative campaign. Some 41 million Italians are eligible to vote in the elections for governors of 13 of the country’s 20 regions. Berlusconi, flagging in opinion surveys and beset by scandal, has campaigned hard to get people out to vote for his centreright People of Freedom (PDL) party for the last electoral test before his term ends in 2013. If the populist Northern League makes major gains in the wealthy regions of Lombardy and Veneto, it is likely to demand a new cabinet post and city hall in Berlusconi’s native Milan, Italy’s industrial capital. The party was an essential ally in Berlusconi’s return to power for a third time in 2008, campaigning on pledges of cracking down on illegal immigration and crime, often linking the two. The centre-right is reeling from

the arrests in February of party members accused of accepting kickbacks. That scandal was quickly followed by embarrassment when the PDL fumbled over its candidate lists in Rome’s Lazio region and Berlusconi’s native Lombardy. And earlier this month prosecutors opened a probe into allegations that Berlusconi, 73, tried to gag a political talk show that is often critical of him. Berlusconi, who campaigned for the PDL on the slogan “Love Always Wins Over Envy and Hatred”, has seen his approval rating slip to 44 percent, while the PDL-Northern League government scored only 38 percent in a recent opinion poll. The Ipsos polling institute predicted a low turnout because of concern about employment and the perception that the government has done little to address the financial crisis. A recent study found that one in four Italians have no interest in politics. Berlusconi has already lowered expectations, experts said, noting that the flamboyant media tycoon initially predicted six wins for the centre-right against seven for the centre-left, but now would be content with victories

in Lombardy and Veneto in the north and in Campania and Calabria in the south. The centre-left is expected to hold on to Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna as well as three smaller regions thanks to rising voter confidence since the party elected a new leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, in October on pledges of internal reconciliation and dialogue with potential allies. Four other regions that are currently in opposition hands could shift-with more probability for Piedmont and Liguria in the north, less for Rome’s Lazio region and southern Apulia, analysts say. Two women are vying to become Lazio’s next governor: former European commissioner Emma Bonino, a libertarian standing for the centre-left Democratic Party, and the PDL’s Renata Polverini, head of the right-wing trade union UGL. In Piedmont, Roberto Cota of the Northern League is running neck-and-neck with his leftwing rival Mercedes Bresso, according to recent polls. Yesterday’s voting at some 50,000 polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) and was to continue until 10:00 pm, resuming today from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. —AFP

Armed gang raids Swiss casino

MADRID: Protestors holding placards reading “Torture is not Art or Culture” march during a demonstration of several thousand people calling for the abolition of Bullfighting yesterday. —AFP


Monday, March 29, 2010


G8 to discuss global security Nuclear proliferation, terrorism will be key topics of discussion OTTAWA: G8 foreign ministers will meet today and tomorrow in Canada to discuss global security and threats such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism and hotspots on the verge of conflict. Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, securing the Afghan-Pakistan border and bolstering trade between these two neighbors, coordi-

PORT-AU-PRINCE: A sick woman lies in bed with her newborn in a hospital in the notoriously violent slum of Cite Soleil on March 27, 2010. —AFP

Garbage boy survives at Haiti slum hospital PORT-AU-PRINCE: Erod holds onto the bars of his cot and smiles, oblivious to his own amazing survival story 10 weeks after being left to die in a mound of stinking garbage following Haiti’s earthquake. Found in a chronically malnourished state, the 18-month-old boy was taken to a hospital in the Port-au-Prince slum of Cite Soleil where Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) returned to run things after the January 12 quake. Weeks of intensive care meant the determined 18-month old clung to life against the odds in the nation with the highest infant mortality rate in the western hemisphere. “At the moment, we are looking for a place for him so he can leave the hospital but we don’t know where,” Emmanuel Massart, a 28-year-old nurse from Belgium, told AFP. “We call him Erod but I don’t know who chose this name.” In a staggeringly poor country where an astonishing 40 percent of the population is under 14 and almost one in 10 children die before they are five, the future of the little survivor is very uncertain. Like Erod, who has half a finger missing on his right hand and a blotchy hairless scalp due to the months of starvation that nearly killed him, many babies are abandoned by families who can’t cope with an extra mouth to feed. Erod grasped the nurse’s thumb and then uncurled it with his tiny hand, smiling with bright eyes that suddenly let loose a stream of tears the moment he was placed back in his cot, alone. Leaving soon for a public creche to hopefully be adopted, Erod is not the main concern of doctor Manuel

Dewez, whose ward is full of suspected cases of meningitis, malaria and gastroentiritis. “Here is a little baby,” Dewez told AFP, his understatement only clear when he pulled back the curtain. A tiny, tiny face peered out from a bundle of swaddling cloths, eyes blinking, the hint of a smile. This was the newest addition to the ward, Bechina, a boy born two or three months prematurely and weighing an astonishing one kilogram (2.2 pounds). Most suspected cases of meningitis are negative and although malaria is becoming more prevalent as the rains come, there is no epidemic yet. Like most field hospitals in the developing world, one of the biggest killers is dehydration due to gastro-enteritis. “It’s a silly thing because it is very easy to treat,” said Dewez. “We haven’t had many deaths. In four weeks we’ve only had three or four deaths, which is pretty low actually. “What we need are more sophisticated diagnostic tools like a better laboratory for different tests. We need more health professionals to fill the gaps for the shifts.” The challenges facing field coordinator Karel Janssens are enormous, but he said the fact MSF had worked in the notoriously violent slum from 2005 to 2007 meant they were in a great position to help after the quake. “The people know us very well. The population of Cite Soleil know us very well,” Janssens told AFP. The clinic, known as CHOSCAL, treated patients with serious trauma injuries in the immediate aftermath of the quake but has now returned to its “normal” function as a general hospital. —AFP

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon will host US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, France’s Bernard Kouchner, Russian Serguei Lavrov and their British, German, Italian and Japanese counterparts, as well as the European Union’s chief diplomat Catherine Ashton. They are to make two declarations on Afghanistan and nuclear non-proliferation at the end of the summit, said an Italian diplomat. A third statement by Canada covering all of the topics discussed is also expected. On Friday, Cannon said Iran’s nuclear program “will be of critical concern” for delegates. “I will discuss with my G8 colleagues what we can do to put additional pressure on Iran to persuade it to stop its nuclear enrichment activities and convince the Iranian authorities to come back to the table,” he said, adding more UN sanctions are inevitable. The G8 will also discuss the upcoming review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at a New York conference in May and prepare for a nuclear security summit in Washington next month. “The NPT bargain is now under pressure from the perception that the nuclear weapons states have not disarmed, from the actions of countries like Iran and North Korea and from the perceived lack of support for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Cannon commented. “For the sake of future generations we need to work to renew and expand the global consensus around the treaty and its goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” he said. Cannon also said he hoped to build on past efforts to secure the Pakistan-Afghanistan border “to see how we (G8) can help increase trade between the two countries.” A senior Russian diplomat in Moscow this “would require much more cooperation between G8 states.” “Where militants are based, where there are hostilities on both sides of the border, it’s the absence of an economic life that pushes people to wage war,” the official said. “The G8 will try to come an agreement on new economic measures and development for the region, with the support of Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Similar strategies of attacking the roots of unrest are to be discussed also as they apply to “vulnerable” regions and terrorism. Cannon, who is to visit Yemen in the coming weeks, noted: “The attempted terrorist attack on a US airliner on December 25th was a stark reminder that terrorism remains a serious threat to us here at home. This attack can be traced back to Yemen.” He said he would insist on better G8 coordination to help countries with “security vulnerabilities” bolster their democratic institutions, police, courts, and border controls. Yemen, Somalia, Haiti and the Sahel region were described by various officials as in need of help to, according to Cannon, “prevent conflict, counter terrorism, crime and illicit trafficking.” —AFP

in the news Barbara Bush hospitalized in Texas

US zookeeper butts heads with giraffe

HOUSTON: A family spokeswoman says former first lady Barbara Bush has been hospitalized in Houston to undergo routine tests, though doctors don’t suspect anything serious. Spokeswoman Jean Becker says the 84-year-old Bush hasn’t been feeling well for about a week, and doctors suggested she “undergo a battery of tests.” She declined to provide details. Becker says Bush is expected to be released in a day or two. She says former President George H W Bush drove his wife to the hospital Saturday morning. Mrs Bush underwent heart surgery in March 2009, for a severe narrowing of the main heart valve. She also was hospitalized in November 2008, when she underwent surgery perforated ulcer.

PROVIDENCE: A zookeeper has been treated at a hospital for minor head injuries and released after butting heads with a giraffe. A spokesperson for the Roger Williams Park Zoo told The Providence Journal that the 18-foot(5 1/2-meter)-tall giraffe was being playful and took a swipe at the keeper when she was cleaning up in a space between the exhibit and the public viewing area Saturday. The keeper remained conscious and was able to walk to safety. Spokesperson Jan Mariani said the 20-year-old Griffy is not an aggressive animal but likes to get close to people and get his head petted.

Sarkozy cozies up to Obama PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy takes a break from a sea of troubles at home this week to sit down in Washington with Barack Obama, who looks more of a winner after his health care reform success. Obama and his wife Michelle will welcome the French president and glamorous first lady, supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni, to the White House for a private dinner tomorrow evening. The honor extended to the Sarkozys is seen as a fence-mending exercise after Obama bowed out of a European summit and reports of bad chemistry between the French and American leaders. The political fortunes of the two leaders could not be more different as they meet in Washington to compare notes on world problems, from global finance reform to the war in Afghanistan. Sarkozy has fallen on hard times, forced to backtrack on some of his signature reforms as his popularity sinks and his party reels from defeat in regional elections. By contrast, Obama last week signed into law a reform bill that has become the centerpiece of his presidency, providing health coverage to 30 million Americans and the most farreaching US social legislation in decades. “Obama has this victory and Sarkozy, well, doesn’t really have anything to show,” commented analyst Philippe MoraudDesfarges from the French Institute of International Relations. The White House visit will seek to dispel talk of a rift between Sarkozy-once considered the most pro-American French president in decades-and Obama, who will hold one-on-one talks at the Oval Office ahead of the dinner. “The dinner is an intimate thing,” said a western diplomat. “You invite an important statesman at a state dinner, but you invite a friend into your home.” —AFP

nating efforts to stomp out terrorist bases in Yemen and elsewhere, and tensions in Bosnia and South America will top the agenda, sources told AFP. The meeting, which is to be held in Gatineau, Quebec (near Ottawa), will also set the stage for G8 and G20 leaders’ summits in Muskoka, Ontario and Toronto in June.

SEARCHLIGHT: Former Alaska Gov Sarah Palin speaks at the Tea Party Express’ “Showdown in Searchlight,” rally March 27, 2010. —AFP

Palin urges Nevada voters to dump Democratic Senator SEARCHLIGHT: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged Nevada voters to retire their Senator, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, at a massive rally near the dusty desert outpost where Reid grew up. The “Showdown in Searchlight” was the kickoff event for a 44-city, three-week US tour of political demonstrations by the Tea Party Express, a consortium of anti-tax, antiDemocratic groups that culminates in Washington DC on April 15, the day US taxpayers’ returns are due. While there were dozens of speakers Saturday-from local politicians vying for Reid’s job to right-wing radio talk show hosts — the main draw was Palin. The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate is now among the most popular conservative politicians in America. “The big government, big deficit Obama-Reid-Pelosi spending spree is over,” Palin told the audience. Referring to the gambling state from whence Reid comes, she

went on: “This isn’t a c***shoot, but a lot of this is c***, though.” Crowd estimates ranged wildly, with organizers claiming as many as 10,000 people from every US state and across Nevada. There was no way to confirm either claim, but the one four-lane highway that led in and out of Searchlight, south of Las Vegas, was overwhelmed with hundreds of cars flying US flags and sporting such homemade signs as “Obama Care: Socialized Medicine Guaranteed To Kill You.” Despite the anger with federal government, rally participants had an upbeat, joyous tone. “Yes, I’m mad as hell, but today I’m with my people and I can’t believe how many there are,” said Gary Tangiers of Los Angeles, whose face was painted red, white and blue. “We’re going to make a difference and that’s something to celebrate.” Planes overhead etched “Vote Reid Out” in skywriting and performers sang patriotic songs from the dais. Reid,who is gunning for a fifth six-year term in

this November’s election, was not in Searchlight and issued a statement: “This election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachuted in for one day to have a tea party.” The attention and throngs of people were a bit disconcerting for the people of Searchlight, many of whom disagree with Reid’s politics but are protective of him as their favorite son. Reid, whose father and grandfather worked in mines in the area, rose from Searchlight to become the state’s youngest lieutenant governor at 29. He was elected to the Senate in 1986 and is the most powerful national figure to emerge from the state. “I tell ya, I really am in favor of Tea Parties, I think it’s wonderful that the American people are finally waking up, but for them to come to Harry Reid’s hometown is not the American way,” said Verlie Doing, 86, owner of the town’s only casino, the Searchlight Nugget. “You respect people more than that.” —AFP



Monday, March 29, 2010

Pyongyang’s involvement seen as unlikely

S Korea hunts for missing 46 after mystery blast on ship

PYEONGTAEK: Relatives of some of the 46 missing South Korean navy sailors whose ship sank weep during a briefing at a navy base yesterday. — AFP

Philippine troops capture important Abu Sayyaf camp MANILA: Philippine troops, backed by artillery and helicopter fire, have captured a key jungle camp of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group and may have killed several militants during a two-day assault, military officials said yesterday. Marines and army troops captured the jungle encampment in Jolo island’s mountainous Patikul township Friday with the help of US military intelligence, regional military chief Lt Gen Benjamin Dolorfino said. About 50 Abu Sayyaf fighters led by ailing commander Radulan Sahiron fled and were pursued by troops, he said. Two marines were wounded and several Abu Sayyaf fighters were believed killed as troops pursued the militants in an offensive that ended yesterday. At least one body of an Abu Sayyaf fighter killed in the assault was dug up by troops, he said. Dozens of army scout rangers were flown aboard air force helicopters to help pursue

the militants, who were also targeted by artillery and helicopter fire, he said. Sahiron, a one-armed commander who suffers from diabetes and other ailments, apparently survived. Washington has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture or killing. Dolorfino said the camp, which was ringed with foxholes, may have also housed members of the Southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiyah because of the unusually tight security. “They were frisking even their own members before being allowed entry there,” Dolorfino said, citing military intelligence. “We believe many of them were killed in the pursuit operation.” Troops recovered a homemade bomb and assorted ammunition in the camp and destroyed its foxholes, the military said. The Philippine army believes that up to 25 foreign militants may be hiding in Abu Sayyaf strongholds

in the news UNAIDS wants HIV travel bans lifted BANGKOK: UNAIDS, backed by hundreds of parliamentarians, called yesterday for the lifting of travel restrictions on HIV-positive people which are still by imposed by 52 countries. Complete entry bans on HIV-positive visitors are in place in 11 countries, including Singapore and China, while other restrictions including the refusal of residency rights remain elsewhere, including Australia and New Zealand. “There’s no reason to have these travel restrictions now, it’s not based in public health rationale, and they’re depriving people of their basic rights,” UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe said at an international meeting of lawmakers. “We are calling for global freedom of movement for people living with HIV,” he said in the Thai capital. Sidibe said that many of the countries had enacted laws restricting HIV-positive people during the 1980s, when the newly discovered virus triggered mass panic. But since then research on the epidemic has shown that giving people with the virus freedom of movement poses no hazard, he said. The United States overturned its HIV travel ban in January, while China and Ukraine are currently debating similar moves. The restrictions on HIV-positive people “needlessly rob them of their dignity and equal rights,” said Theo-Ben Gurirab, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Chinese farmer dies after self-immolation BEIJING: A Chinese farmer died after he set himself and his father on fire to prevent his house from being demolished in the latest case of deadly resistance against land seizures, the local government said. Tao Huixi’s pig farm was due to be torn down to make way for a highway in the eastern province of Jiangsu. He had refused compensation of 75,000 yuan (11,000 dollars) as too low and would not move, the local government said. Tao locked himself and his elderly father in his house in Donghai county when officials paid him a visit Saturday and set the room on fire. He was killed and his father was injured, the government added in a statement on its website. According to a report in the staterun Beijing News, the officials were demolition and relocation workers who had come with a bulldozer to tear the house down. Tao’s son said the 68-year-old had been negotiating for months over the amount of compensation he should get, but no agreement had been reached with the local government, the report said. Tao had reportedly said that his buildings alone were worth more than 150,000 yuan, it added. Land seizures have been a problem for years in China, and have given rise to the term “nail house” to describe a holdout tenant or occupant like Tao, likening them to a nail refusing to be hammered down. Bitter taste in Japan over China’s charges TOKYO: Japanese media voiced suspicion yesterday about Beijing’s motives after China announced the arrest of a factory worker accused of poisoning frozen dumplings destined for Japan. The arrest came two years after Tokyo first pressed Beijing to investigate the case of the pesticide-tainted dumplings that made 10 people sick in Japan, including a small child, triggering a row between the two neighbors. “This does not resolve the issue of food safety,” the liberal Asahi Shimbun newspaper charged in an editorial, while others questioned why the investigation had taken so long and demanded an apology from China.

on jungle-clad Jolo, a predominantly Muslim island 590 miles (950 kilometers) south of Manila. Newly appointed military chief Gen Delfin Bangit has ordered renewed offensives against the Abu Sayyaf in the next two months in a bid to wipe it out. The Abu Sayyaf, founded in 1991, has been blamed for bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings. It has reportedly given sanctuary to Indonesian terror suspects, including Dulmatin, a key suspect in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings who was recently killed by police in Indonesia. Washington has listed the Abu Sayyaf, which has nearly 400 fighters, as a terrorist organization. US-backed offensives have killed or captured many of its commanders in recent years, leaving the group without an overall leader to unify its factions on Jolo, nearby Basilan island and the Zamboanga peninsula. — AP

123 trapped in China coal mine BEIJING: Some 123 workers were trapped when a vast coal mine being built in northern China flooded yesterday, in the latest accident to hit the country’s notoriously dangerous mining industry. Water gushed into the Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province where 261 people were working, and just 138 managed to escape, the nation’s work safety administration said on its website. China’s coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, with safety standards often ignored in the quest for profits and the drive to meet surging demand for coalthe source of about 70 percent of China’s energy. Xinhua earlier reported that 152 people were trapped but officials revised the number down. The exact number of workers trapped was still being checked. The Wangjialing mine belongs to the state-owned Huajin Coking Coal company. It covers an area of 180 square kilometers (70 square miles), the official Xinhua news agency said. It added the mine sits on more than 2.3 billion tons of coal reserves, including over one billion tons of proven reserves, describing it as a key project approved by the provincial government. The mine is undergoing infrastructure construction and is expected to produce six million tons of coal each year once put into operation, according to the company’s website. It was approved in July 2005 by China’s State Council, or cabinet. “The company will build a first-class, safe and efficient, large modern mine,” Huajin said on its website. This is the latest in a series of recent mining accidents. In November, 108

miners were killed when an explosion ripped through a coal mine belonging to another state-owned firm in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. And this month, 25 people died in a coal mine fire in central China’s Henan province. According to official statistics, a total of 2,631 miners-about seven a day-were killed last year, down by 584 from 2008 in a decline officials attributed to improved safety measures. But Zhao Tiechui, head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, said in February that China would still need at least 10 years to “fundamentally improve” safety in its coal mines. “Awareness of safety and rule of law is still low in some coal-rich areas and some coal enterprises,” he was quoted as saying by Xinhua. Total coal production in China, the world’s third largest economy which is powering ahead with growth of eight percent forecast this year, rose from just over one billion tons in 1999 to 2.95 billion tons last year, Zhao said. As part of its campaign to increase safety standards, the government has levied heavy fines and implemented region-wide mining shutdowns following serious accidents. But the action has resulted in the under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses, labour rights groups maintain. Other safety measures include modernizing ventilation and gas detection systems and improving evacuation procedures. Fatalities at China’s coal mines peaked in 2002 when 6,995 deaths were recorded. — AFP

BAENGNYEONG ISLAND: Ships and aircraft searched yesterday for 46 sailors missing after a mystery explosion tore a South Korean warship apart, as tearful relatives urged the military to work faster. “My son, where are you in that cold water?” wept a woman carrying a framed photo of him as she waited for news at a navy base south of Seoul. In one of the country’s worst naval disasters, the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan with 104 crew on board sank late Friday in the Yellow Sea near the tense disputed border with North Korea. Seoul officials have not so far suggested Pyongyang was involved. Only 58 sailors have so far been rescued after the blast ripped the ship in half off Baengnyeong island. Hopes for the remainder were fading fast, with water temperatures only a few degrees above freezing. President Lee Myung-Bak urged rescuers not to abandon hope. “Utmost efforts must be exerted in carrying out the rescue mission in the belief that missing crew members could still be alive,” he told a security meeting yesterday, according to spokesman Park Sun-Kyoo. Lee also ordered a thorough probe with all possibilities taken into account, warning against “jumping to conclusions” prematurely. Defense ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae told a briefing it would take “a significant time to reach a reliable conclusion” about the cause of the blast. But angry and tearful families protested at what they called a lack of information and slow progress in locating the missing. Choppy seas, strong currents and poor visibility foiled two attempts Sunday by military divers to access the sunken hull. “Just fetch any divers, not just military ones but also civilian ones, to rescue them,” said one woman at the naval base at Pyeongtaek south of Seoul whose husband is among the missing A naval boat left Pyeongtaek to take 88 family members to the scene of the tragedy off Baengnyeong island. On Saturday some distraught family members had called the Cheonan’s captain a “liar” after he gave briefings on the blast at the navy base. “The ship was torn apart and the stern sank immediately,” the captain, Choi Won-Il, told relatives Saturday, saying power and communications were lost. “I was trapped in the cabin for five minutes before my colleagues broke the window in and let me out. When I got out, the stern had disappeared.” A salvage ship and two mine-detecting boats were at the scene Sunday. A US military salvage ship is set to join the rescue effort today, Seoul’s defense ministry said. The military has said many of the missing sailors may be trapped inside the submerged hull. The 88-metre (290-foot) craft was said to carry missiles, torpedoes and other weaponry and munitions. The tragedy occurred near the disputed sea border between North and South Korea, scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002 and of a firefight last November. “Military experts and warship engineers increasingly think the blast was accidental,” Baek Seung-Joo, senior analyst of Seoul’s Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, told AFP. “There must have been a very powerful explosion inside the vessel. “Chances are low that the ship-with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship warfare capability-was attacked by a missile, a torpedo or cannon fire and helplessly sank after a single blow.” The ship might have hit a drifting mine, which triggered an internal explosion, he said. — AFP

BANGKOK: Red Shirts supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra wave flags during an anti-government protest at the 11th Infantry Barracks yesterday. — AFP

Thailand’s televised protest talks end without resolution BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva held direct talks yesterday with leaders of anti-government protests to defuse deepening tensions, agreeing to their demand that the meeting be broadcast live on national television. After weeks of demonstrations and fiery rhetoric that prompted Abhisit to seek refuge at an army base, the two sides sat across a conference table from each other and shook hands. They then reiterated their sharply different stances. “Our request is simple and direct: Dissolve Parliament for the people to decide again,” said Veera Muksikapong, a protest leader. He was joined by two other protest leaders, all dressed in their signature red shirts. A tense-looking Abhisit - accompanied by two advisers, all wearing blue shirts - reiterated his position that dissolving Parliament immediately would not solve Thailand’s deep political crisis. “I have to make a decision based on a consensus from the entire country, including the Red Shirts,” Abhisit said. “We have to think: Will dissolution really solve the problem?” Abhisit has repeatedly rejected the protesters’ demands that he dissolve Parliament and call new elections. Thousands of protesters gathered in the historic heart of Bangkok awaiting direction from their leaders on how to respond if the talks failed. During more than two weeks of protests, the number of participants has peaked at more than 100,000. The protest movement consists largely of supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a 2006 military coup for alleged corruption, and pro-democracy activists who opposed the army takeover. Protest leaders have increasingly portrayed the demonstrations as a struggle between Thailand’s impoverished, mainly rural masses and a Bangkok-based elite impervious to their plight. The Red Shirts believe that Abhisit came to power illegitimately with the connivance of the military and other parts of the traditional ruling class and that only new elections can restore integrity to Thai democracy. Thaksin’s allies

won elections in December 2007, but two resulting governments were forced out by court rulings. A parliamentary vote brought Abhisit’s party to power in December 2008, leading the Red Shirts to complain his rule is undemocratic. In recent days, the protests have turned increasingly confrontational and raised fears of violence. The protesters issued an ultimatum yesterday threatening to scale the walls of the army base where Abhisit has been staying unless he agreed to meet them face-to-face. Abhisit went on national television earlier in the day saying he would not bow to ultimatums. Two hours later, however, he agreed to the talks. “To find a way to restore peace and minimize the chance of violence, the prime minister has accepted the condition to negotiate with the protesters,” a member of Abhisit’s staff said in a brief announcement. The two sides met at an academic institute on the outskirts of Bangkok. Security officers searched the venue for bombs before Abhisit entered. Four Thai soldiers were wounded early yesterday when two grenades were fired into the army barracks at the 11th Infantry Regiment that is serving as Abhisit’s base, Thai media reported. More than a dozen explosions have hit government targets since the protests began, including attacks on two television stations and the customs department on Saturday that wounded at least eight, according to the Thai News Agency. Abhisit has called in thousands of troops to guard Parliament, government buildings and other key locations. Protesters have denounced the show of military force as unfitting for a democracy. The Red Shirts held a full-day rally Saturday that drew more than 60,000 supporters and took a more confrontational stance than previous gatherings. The protesters forced soldiers to retreat from parts of Bangkok’s historic district, where the rallies have been concentrated. The Red Shirts declared it a symbolic victory, although authorities said the soldiers would regroup later at other locations. — AP

Missing lawyer says he is living in northern China BEIJING: A dissident Chinese lawyer who was missing for more than a year said yesterday he is now living in northern China and wants only to spend time with his family away from media attention. Gao Zhisheng went missing from his hometown in Shaanxi province on Feb 4, 2009, drawing international attention for the unusual length of his disappearance and for earlier reports of torture he said he faced from security forces. Contacted on his cell phone, Gao said he is living in Wutai Shan, a mountain range in Shanxi province that is a place for Buddhist pilgrimages, and that he is “free at present.” “I just want to be in peace and quiet for a while, and be reunited with my family,” Gao said. “Most people belong with family, I have not been with mine for a long time. This is a mistake and I want to correct this mistake.” Gao declined to answer further questions, saying he was not allowed by law, nor was he willing, to accept media interviews. A number of friends and other lawyers contacted by The Associated Press said they had not heard any news about Gao. Gao was known for his legal work on sensitive cases involving underground Christians and the banned Falun Gong spiritual group. Since he went missing, the government that so closely monitored him has not said where he was. The United States and the European Union have called on China to investigate his disappearance. In a statement made public just before he disappeared last year, Gao described severe beatings from Chinese security forces, electric shocks to his genitals, and cigarettes held to his eyes during a 2007 detention. Gao was arrested in August 2006,

convicted at a one-day trial and placed under house arrest. State media at the time said he was accused of subversion on the basis of nine articles posted on foreign Web sites. The constant police surveillance wore on his wife and children and they fled China a month before Gao disappeared and were accepted by

the United States as refugees. Officials have been vague on his whereabouts, with a policeman telling Gao’s brother that the lawyer “went missing,” and a Foreign Ministry official saying earlier this year the self-taught lawyer “is where he should be.” Chinese state-run media have not mentioned the case. — AP

PHONGKHAM: This photo shows a Lao Hmong hill tribe girl looking at foreign reporters and diplomats arriving to visit the village in Bolikhamsai province where some 3,000 Lao Hmong were resettled after recently being deported from Thailand. In December Bangkok sparked outrage when it defied global criticism and used troops to repatriate about 4,500 ethnic Hmong from camps on the border with communist Laos, including 158 recognized as refugees by the United Nations. — AFP

Monday, March 29, 2010


11 Focus on India

Pakistan wants 14 F-16 jets from US ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is negotiating with the United States to buy 14 additional F-16 fighter planes, Pakistan defense officials said yesterday, following talks aimed at reversing tempestuous ties between the allies. The United

MAZAR-I-SHARIF: An Afghan woman rolls a cart with her children as she begs in Kabul yesterday. — AP

Afghanistan: Peace in the north, war in the south MAZAR-I-SHARIF: Thousands of Afghans took to the streets of northern cities to welcome their new year in a joyous celebration of music, dancing and fireworks. Less than 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the south, residents of poverty-stricken villages, towns and cities riddled with mines and plagued by bombings know only war as they struggle for survival. In Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of the northern province of Balkh, authorities estimate that half a million people gathered for Nowruz, a 3,000-yearold Zoroastrian festival marking the Persian new year. The southern province of Helmand could not have been more different as 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops battled Taleban insurgents in the biggest offensive of a war now in its ninth year. As a half-hour fireworks display burst over Mazar on the evening of March 13, a series of suicide bombings killed 35 people, mostly civilians, in Kandahar city, capital of the southern province of Kandahar, the site of almost daily violence. “I’m just glad I’m from the north,” said Hamidullah, a 32-year-old agriculture student at Balkh University. “This side of the country is better than that side,” he told AFP, likening north and south to chalk and cheese. As he spoke, crowds were gathering for the traditional new year games-buzkashi, in which horsemen fight over a goat carcass, camel fighting and ram fighting. In the south, dog fighting was once the most popular betting man’s sport, but Taleban attacks have claimed huge casualties among spectators. Southern Afghanistan is home to the Pashtun tribes, the nation’s largest ethnic group and the country’s traditional rulers, as well as the source of Taleban leaders. The north, separated from the south by the Hindu Kush mountains and accessible via the treacherously steep and narrow Salang Pass, is dominated by Tajiks, the second largest ethnic group, as well as the Uzbek, Turkmen and Hazara tribes. President Hamid Karzai lacks standing among his fellow Pashtuns while Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek leaders, mostly warlords who won their following fighting the Soviets, are popular among their tribes. The Taleban ruled Afghanistan from Kandahar from 1996 until their overthrow in the 2001 US-led invasion. Remnants of the extremists retreated to the villages they had sprung from back in 1990 as a radical Islamic militia swept across the country to take power. From those villages across the south-a rugged region stretching from the foothills of the north-eastern Hindu Kush to the southwestern border with Iran-the Taleban have regrouped, rearmed and returned in the form of a deadly insurgency, waging war on the Westernbacked Kabul government. Most of their activity is focused in the south and south-east, where they have established “shadow” administrations, challenging the authority of the government, which in many places has no presence. Karzai holds onto power with the

backing of international forces under US and NATO command, set to peak at 150,000 by August under a US strategy to speed up the end of the war and then draw down troops. The first test of the strategy was launched in the poppy-growing Marjah district of Helmand province in mid-February with US Marines leading 15,000 troops against the Taleban and drug cartels that have been in control there for years. Initial operations are already under way in neighboring Kandahar, described by military planners as a vital objective in the war. “I love Kandahar,” said Attaullah, who runs a real estate agency in the city. “But life here is very, very hard,” he told AFP as he sat in his office waiting for customers. “We live under extreme hardship. Every time there’s an explosion I think my young son might die, if not in the explosion then maybe just from the fear of the noise. “I have lots of money but it doesn’t help. I might leave the country. This place is not for living,” the 42-year-old said. Landowner Mohammad Jaweed, 34, described similar troubles. “I can’t even go to my farms in Maywand,” he said, referring to a Kandahar district largely under Taleban control. “Sometimes I get nothing from the harvest.” The deadly reality of the south has persisted since 2001, yet in the north the Taleban struggled even when they were in power to gain a foothold in the face of local people’s hostility. As a result, northerners enjoy security, run thriving businesses and prosper in all aspects of life. “We have been lucky,” said Mohammad Ibrahim Ghazanfar, a successful businessman from Mazar-i-Sharif who said his importexport company had expanded into banking, thanks to “good security here”. “Security plays the most important role in any country’s economy,” he said. “If you have good security your business improves, and here we have good security. It has been the key asset in improving our business” in post-Taleban Afghanistan. It is not only business that prospers in the north. Local governments have been able to complete hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of development projects including schools, clinics and government facilities, power plants and roads, Atta Mohammad Noor, a powerful warlord and the governor of Balkh said in a recent speech. Cultivation of poppy-the raw material for heroin-has also been cut to almost zero, he said, in stark contrast to the south, where Helmand produces most of the world’s opium, a three billiondollar-a-year illicit industry. Balkh alone had contributed about 10 billion afghanis (200,000,000 dollars) to national coffers in taxes and revenues, Noor, who remains in power despite opposing Karzai during last year’s elections, told a new year ceremony. Nevertheless, security is fragile as the Taleban-led insurgency has in recent years managed to spread its footprint across 80 percent of the country. — AFP

Modi undergoes grilling over anti-Muslim riots AHMEDABAD: A Hindu nationalist leader accused of failing to halt deadly anti-Muslim riots in India in 2002 said yesterday that he had fully cooperated with a panel investigating the violence. Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat state, completed nine hours of questioning into his alleged role in the riots during which about 2,000 Muslims died. “I have fulfilled my words given to the people of the country. Nobody is above the Indian constitution and law,” Modi told reporters afterwards. “We spoke in detail. I have been told by the investigators that my work is over.” It was the first time that Modi-often accused of turning a blind eye to India’s worst outbreak of religious unrest in decades — had been quizzed about his handling of the violence. He declined to give details of his testimony but said he supported the panel, noting it was made up of independent Supreme Court-appointed investigators and contained no one from his own state of Gujarat. Modi, who has always denied any role in the riots, is a prominent member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is seen as a likely future prime ministerial candidate. Since he became chief minister of Gujarat in 2001, he has been credited with transforming the western state into one of India’s most economically successful regions. Last year the Supreme Court ordered investigators to probe a complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of exCongress party member of parliament Ehsan Jafri, who was killed on February 28, 2002. Reports said Jafri was hacked to death and burnt by Hindu extremists who stormed a residential complex housing Muslim families in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city. Sixty-eight other Muslims were also killed in the massacre, one of many killings across Gujarat triggered by the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire on February 27, 2002 that was blamed on Muslims. An inquiry in 2005 concluded that the

train fire was accidental. R K Raghavan, head of the Gujarat riots panel, described Modi’s appearance on Saturday as “a significant step forward”. The panel is due to submit its report to the Supreme Court by the end of April. Victims’ groups called for Modi to face a court trial over the allegations. “We hope this will lead to the formal framing of charges against him,” activist Teesta Setalvad told the NDTV news channel. Previous investigations into the riots by the Gujarat government absolved the state’s police and officials of collusion or allowing the rioters a free rein. But last year, one state minister, Maya Kodnani, was arrested for leading a mob that killed more than 100 people during the riots, making her the most senior state official to be accused of involvement. She is currently on bail. — AFP

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi attends a First Convocation ceremony of Gujarat National Law University yesterday. — AFP

A senior Pakistani defense official told Reuters that Pakistan was asking for 14 new F-16 planes. “Talks are underway and we’re hoping to get them at a low price,” the official, who requested not to be identified, said. Pakistan is an important US ally in the battle against Al-Qaeda and the Taleban in neighboring Afghanistan. But Pakistan faces its own Taleban insurgency and has long focused on upgrading its military hardware to counter a perceived threat from old rival India. The United States has provided F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad and Pakistan’s navy chief was in Washington this month to discuss the handover in August of a refurbished US frigate. Washington said this month it would deliver 1,000 laser-guided bomb kits to Pakistan within weeks and is considering more weapons sales to help the Pakistani air force crack down on insurgents in the Afghanistan border region. In early 2010, the United States approved the delivery of 12 Lockheed Martin Corp’s F16C and 6 F-16D planes, scheduled to begin from June 2010. This delivery to Pakistan will bring its inventory of the planes to 54. If a new deal is approved, Pakistan’s arsenal of F-16s, including refurbished fighters, will amount to 79, defense officials said. Pakistan has been operating F-16s since 1982. Another official said Pakistan’s interest in new F-16s was a bid to match India’s firepower. “Look at the rival (India). How many fighter jets they are purchasing and if you’re getting them at a low price then why not?” he said. Nuclear-armed neighbors, India and Pakistan, have fought three wars since their independence in 1947. Last month, the foreign secretaries of the two countries held talks in an attempt to improve ties after New Delhi broke a five-year-old dialogue process with Islamabad. India blamed a Pakistan-based militant group for the 2008 attack in Mumbai that killed 166 people. India plans to buy 126 air and ground attack fighters, which will elevate its air force to super-power status, with deployments planned near the borders with Pakistan and China, officials say. One bone of contention between Washington and Islamabad has been a delay in about $2 billion in military aid owed by the United States to Pakistan under a program called the Coalition Support Fund. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said a “substantial” amount of the money would be paid by the end of April, with Washington promising the remainder by the end of June. — Reuters

States and Pakistan have agreed to fast-track pending Pakistani requests for military equipment as the two step up security cooperation, Pakistan’s foreign minister said last Wednesday during a high-profile visit to Washington.

LAHORE: Pakistani devotees gather at the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Hussain popularly known Madhu Lal Hussain in Lahore on March 27, 2010, on his 422nd birth anniversary. The 422nd annual three day festival of Hazrat Shah Hussain began on March 27. — AFP

Invisible Taleban stress US Marines MARJAH: Wazir, an elderly bearded Afghan, is adamant: “The Taleban haven’t been here for weeks”. So US Marine Lieutenant Jackson Smith prepares to take his leave. Suddenly, gunfire rips through the dust on the outskirts of Marjah, a settlement that last month was the focus of a major US-led offensive to clear out the Taleban. Smith’s men dash to the nearest wall for protection. “Where da f*** does it come from?” shouts one against the din of at least two assault rifles. More than a month after US Marines led 15,000 troops into action in Marjah, on the poppy growing plains of southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Western-backed government does not have the area under complete control. Operation Mushtarak, launched on February 13, is the biggest offensive since the 2001 US-led invasion kicked the Taleban regime out of Kabul and the first test of a US strategy to end the war as soon as possible. Crouched down in the dust, the Marines try to position M-4 machine guns on a low wall to return fire. On a

hill overlooking the village, an Afghan soldier fires a heavy machine gun and the ground shakes. “OK, guys, we move to the next wall,” orders Smith as the firing gets heavier. “It’s ours, ours, no worries!” shouts Sergeant Robert Kayser as the soldiers duck down on hearing the rat-a-tat-tat of an American heavy machine gun. The streets are deserted in the village of mud, cement and strawbuilt farmhouses. Through a small hole in a wall a family gestures at Taleban fighters firing slightly further along, from a house near a mosque. The soldiers advance with difficulty: one Marine falls over while scaling a low wall. Another, weighed down by two rocket launchers and his gun, falls into the water while stepping over an irrigation canal. Bullets continue whistling overhead. “It’s fucking close,” laughs a Marine. About half an hour later, the Taleban cease fire and the soldiers advance. An Afghan soldier under Commander Amanullah-a northerner who fought against Soviet troops in the 1980s and emanates nonchalance under fire-insists he has seen an

insurgent near the mosque. Marines and Afghan soldiers enter a house and question the head of the family, a man apparently in his 50s. Amanullah becomes impatient: “It happened right outside your home and you didn’t see anything, you didn’t hear anything, just like usual,” he snaps. The man insists he was going to have a cup of tea near his poppy fields and took shelter on hearing the first bullet. The Marines fan out around his home. “Hey guys, don’t go on that road, it’s loaded with IEDs,” shouts one. On the road-a track between fields-bombs have wounded four Americans and an Afghan soldier in recent days. The Taleban haven’t been found and the troops resume their patrol. Children play in the street and life seems to return to normal. Some even come and shake the Marines’ hands. But no one tells the Marines they know where the Taleban are hiding. They insist the last fighters fled weeks ago. “They lie-of course they lie. They are scared to death. They won’t say where the Taleban are.

Taleban must have hidden their weapons. They must be somewhere in a compound. Who knows?” says Sergeant Kayser. In the courtyard of one farm, it is not the attack that preoccupies a group of three Afghans. “You killed our dogs. If you continue, the people will hate you,” says one. “Where was the shooting coming from?” retorts Sergeant Kayser. The Afghan with the long white beard gestures vaguely in the direction of a Marine encampment. “You promise, but you don’t keep your word,” he charges. “What did we promise?” asks the sergeant. “Not to come at night anymore,” says the man. “We are not coming during the night, searching houses. We patrol at night to kill Taleban,” says the sergeant. “Patrol, OK, but don’t fire on us,” says the Afghan. “We don’t shoot at you,” replies the sergeant calmly. On the way back, firing echoes at least three kilometers (two miles) away in a neighboring district. “It’s supposed to be a quiet area. But nothing is easy here,” says Smith. — AFP

Bomb attacks kill 11 in Afghanistan KABUL: A string of roadside bomb attacks killed 11 civilians including five children in insurgency-hit Afghanistan, authorities said yesterday. Five children were killed in the western province of Herat when a roadside bomb went off Saturday, the interior ministry said in a statement. The children were playing in Angil district when the buried device went off, it said. Six other civilians were killed in two separate but similar bomb blasts Saturday in the troubled southern province of Helmand, the statement said. The statement did not give more details about the bombings but it blamed the attacks on Taleban insurgents. Improvised bombs are a favorite weapon of the militants fighting to topple the Westernbacked government in Kabul. There are about 120,000 troops under NATO and US command in Afghanistan battling the Taleban-led insurgency now in its ninth year, with troop numbers expected to swell to 150,000 within months. — AFP

MARJAH: 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, Lance Corporal Daniel Weber, 23, of Fairfax, Virginia, poses to show his tattoos, including an inscription in Arabic which means “Unfortunate Soldier”, for a portrait at the entrance to a bunker at a base. — AFP



Monday, March 29, 2010


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American attitudes to Mideast conflict Dr. James J Zogby


new poll out this week shows that while Israelis retain strong US public support, Americans are deeply concerned that the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict puts US interests at risk across the Middle East and the public, therefore, supports President Obama’s stand against Israel’s settlement plans. These are but a few of the top line findings of a Zogby International poll of 2,471 Americans conducted between March 17-19, 2010. The poll, commissioned by the Arab American Institute, had a margin of error of 2.0 percent. Upon closer examination of the poll’s findings, observations can be made pointing to lessons that should be learned. • Israeli ratings are high, but dropping; so are the Palestinians. In 2009 71 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Israelis with only 21 percent rating them unfavorably. In 2010 the favorable/unfavorable ratings have shifted to 65 percent - 29 percent. This is largely due to a significant drop among Democrats who now hold a 42 percent favorable, 49 percent unfavorable view of Israelis. The Israeli Prime Minister’s rating among Democrats is an even worse 20 percent to 63 percent. During this same period, however, the US public’s attitudes toward the Palestinians and their President, Mahmoud Abbas, have also declined. In 2009 Palestinians were viewed favorably by 25 percent of the public and unfavorably by 66 percent. Today the favorable/unfavorable ratio is 21 percent to 73 percent. Abbas’ ratings during the past year have also declined to where he is now seen favorably by only 14 percent of the US public. These abysmally low Palestinian numbers point to their continuing failure to engage public opinion in the US. While the Israelis aggressively project their story, the Palestinians, and Arabs in general, do not. Fault certainly can be placed on the unbalanced way major US networks and press cover the IsraeliPalestinian story, but in this age where “new media” provides new possibilities and where many sectors of the US public (young people, women and minority communities) are more open than ever before to hearing a counter narrative to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this continuing decline in Palestinian ratings is worrisome and inexcusable. • Americans are deeply concerned that the continuing conflict puts the US at risk across the Middle East. This was the one area where there was broad national consensus. With over 80 percent of all Americans agreeing that the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is important and the same number expressing the view that the continuing conflict puts US interests at risk. With American troops still in Iraq and after witnessing the destabilizing consequences of

repeated flare ups in the ArabIsraeli conflict, Americans are worried. They still do not fully understand the region’s history and have little awareness of the Palestinian’s story, but like the famous line in a once popular Bob Dylan song “they know something is wrong, but they don’t know what it is”. In this context the warning recently issued by the US Commander of CENTCOM, General David Petraeus becomes important to consider. By observing the degree to which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict puts the US at risk in the region, Petraeus created the opening for a public discussion on the importance of resolution of the conflict. But the outcome of this discussion is not guaranteed unless Arabs take advantage of this opportunity to engage the public, tell their story and provide acceptable solutions they find acceptable. • Pluralities know settlements are wrong, should be stopped, and support President Obama’s efforts; but a significant number of Americans still do not understand the issue. By a margin of 40 percent 34 percent, Americans say Israel’s settlements in occupied territories are wrong. By a margin of 40 percent - 26 percent, Americans say the President should get tough with Israel to stop settlements. And, 51 percent worry that when the US is unable to stop Israeli settlements it weakens that stature of the US in the world. While these numbers point in a positive direction and also show both Democrats and Independents in support of a tougher US stance, two observations must be made. First, there is the presence here of a deep partisan divide with two-thirds of Democrats opposed to Israeli policies compared to two-thirds of Republicans in support of whatever Israel does. This divide is not new. It developed during the Clinton Administration as that president supported peace efforts only to be countered by Republicans in Congress who sided with Likud policies. The divide grew during George W. Bush’s first term when he so completely embraced Ariel Sharon. And now, given the hyper-partisanship of the current era, with President Obama’s strong stand against settlements, the divide deepens. The partisan split in not merely a function of leadership, it is also demographics. The pro-Israel bent of the Republican side is largely due to the preponderance of Christian fundamentalists in its coalition, while the Democratic side is increasingly made up of young voters, women and minorities (African Americans, Hispanics and Asians - who together form about one-third of the US electorate) - and they are more inclined to consider a broader view of international issues. NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute.

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

Women’s progress is human progress and vice versa

By Hillary Rodham Clinton


ifteen years ago, delegates from 189 countries met in Beijing for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. It was a call to action to the global community to work for the laws, reforms, and social change necessary to ensure that women and girls everywhere have the opportunities to fulfill their God-given potential and contribute to the progress and prosperity of their societies. Women around the world answered that call. At this moment, in cities and villages and countries and continents, women are running domestic violence shelters and fighting human traffick-

ing. They are rescuing girls from brothels in Cambodia, campaigning for public office in Kuwait, healing women injured in childbirth in Ethiopia, running schools for refugees from Burma, and rebuilding homes in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Without recognition or fanfare, and often with little support, women are working to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of all people. Their efforts are paying off. Today, more girls worldwide are in school. More women hold jobs and serve in public office. And more countries have passed laws recognizing women’s equality, although for too many, laws that exist on the books are not yet borne out in their daily lives. But our progress is far from complete. Women are still the majority of the world’s poor, uneducated, unhealthy, and unfed. They are the majority of the world’s farmers, but are often forbidden from owning the land they cultivate or accessing credit to make those farms profitable. Women care for the world’s sick, but women and girls are less likely to get treatment when they themselves are sick. They rarely cause armed conflicts but they always suffer their consequences and are often excluded from peace negotiations. And violence against women remains a global pandemic. The status of the world’s women is not only a matter of morality and justice. It is also a political, economic,

and social imperative. The evidence is irrefutable: when women are free to develop their talents and contribute fully to their societies, everyone benefits. When women are free to vote and run for public office, governments are more effective and responsive to their people. When women are free to earn a living and start small businesses, they become drivers of economic growth. When women are afforded the opportunity of education and access to health care, their families and communities prosper. When women have equal rights, nations are more stable, peaceful, and secure. Advancing women’s equality is at the heart of the foreign policy of the United States. We believe that women are critical to solving virtually every challenge we face, and that strategies that ignore the lives and contributions of women have little chance of succeeding. We view the subjugation of women as a threat to the national security of the United States and to the common security of our world. So we are integrating women throughout our work around the globe. In Afghanistan, the participation of Afghan women in decision-making about the future of their country is critical for sustainable development, better governance and peace. Which is why we have included a Women’s Action Plan to promote women’s leadership in both the public and private sectors to increase their access to edu-

cation, health, and justice, and to generate jobs for women, especially in agriculture. In short, women are essential to securing a better future for Afghanistan. Women are central to our effort to elevate development as a pillar of our foreign policy alongside diplomacy and defense. As those who grow the world’s food, collect the water, gather the firewood, and wash the clothes and increasingly, as those who work in the factories, run the shops, launch new businesses, and create jobs women are powerful forces for economic growth and social progress. Women are a focus of three major US foreign policy initiatives now underway. Our Global Health Initiative is a $63 billion commitment to improve health and strengthen health systems worldwide, and one of its key priorities is improving maternal and child health. Our global food security program is a $3.5 billion commitment to strengthen the world’s food supply and its ability to reach markets, so farmers can earn enough to support their families and food can get to all people everywhere and it is focused on supporting women, who are the majority of farmers in the developing farmer. In response to the challenge of climate change, the United States has pledged to help mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing

countries. And while all people will feel the effects of climate change, they will fall particularly hard on women in developing countries who often shoulder the responsibility of securing food and fuel for their families. Our plan seeks to empower these women to become part of the solution to this global crisis. These initiatives reflect a fundamental value of US foreign policy: The world cannot make progress if women and girls are denied their rights and left behind. Whether we live in New York or New Delhi, Lagos or La Paz, women and girls share many of the same struggles and aspirations. The principle of women’s equality is a simple, self-evident truth, but the work of turning that principle into practice is rarely simple. It takes years, even generations, of patient, persistent work to change not only a country’s laws but its people’s minds - to weave throughout culture and tradition, in public discourse and private views, the unassailable fact of women’s worth and women’s rights. In 1995, the world said with one voice that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights. Today, we must say with one voice that women’s progress is human progress and human progress is women’s progress, once and for all. NOTE: Hillary Rodham Clinton is the US Secretary of State.

Allawi win could curb Iran’s influence By Hamza Hendawi


he surprisingly strong election showing by a secular, nationalist coalition in Iraq has provided a sudden opening for the mostly Sunni Arab world to curtail Iranian influence in Iraq, something that has been a source of serious alarm for the United States and its Arab allies since 2003. The banner headline in Asharq Al-Awsat, an influential newspaper in Saudi Arabia, said it all - “The Awakening of Moderation in Iraq” - offering an immediate endorsement of Iraq’s top vote-getter by the regional Sunni Arab powerhouse. The Iraqiya coalition led by Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who has campaigned for better ties with the Arab world and keeping neighboring Iran at a distance, won 91 of the new legislature’s 325 seats, edging Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s mainly Shiite bloc by only two seats. Allawi was prime minister in 2004-05. The narrow win foreshadowed possibly months of hard-nosed negotiations over the formation of a new government. But Allawi’s numerical victory was triumph enough for the mostly Sunni Arab regimes that have been wary of Shiite-dominated Iraqi governments since the 2003 US invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Sunni Arab governments have long kept their distance from Iraq’s postwar governments. They have declined to send full ambassadors - first because of the US occupation, then because of the precarious security and more recently because of their anger over perceived Iranian influence. But they have begun warming

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi speaks to the press in Baghdad Saturday. – AP toward Iraq, and Allawi’s ascension would likely tip the balance. The United States has long maintained that Iran was fomenting violence in Iraq. Washington charges that Tehran provides Shiite militiamen with money, weapons and training and blames the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq on a particularly effective brand of roadside bomb it says is supplied by Iran. US officials also claimed the banning by a Shiite-led vetting body of hundreds of candidates from running in the March 7 election for their alleged ties to the

Saddam regime was inspired by Tehran. Many of those blacklisted were Sunni Arabs. Iran denies the allegations. Significantly deepening the concern has been Iran’s disputed nuclear program and its alleged support for militant groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza. Iran has not officially commented on the election results, which were reported by the staterun news agency without comment. However, a senior lawmaker charged Saturday that Washington and Saudi Arabia had exerted their influence to get their favorite candidates elected.

“That’s why the Iraqi elections have definitely been rigged,” hard-line lawmaker Esmaeil Kowsari said. Iran’s main challenge to the region - building a sphere of influence extending from Iraq all the way to Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip makes any Iraqi leader with an anti-Iranian policy a favorite for Arab governments. Although a Shiite, Allawi is no exception and has enjoyed friendly relations with Sunni powers like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates for years. “Allawi will be able to strengthen Iraq’s relations with

the Arab world and will also be able to initiate contacts and improve relations with countries in the region,” said Hani Horani, director of the New Jordan Research Center in Amman, Jordan. “He’s capable of establishing balanced relations with all Arab countries and reversing Iraq’s tendency to lean toward Iran.” The Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper headline, which reflected relief as much as joy, mirrors the thinking in Saudi Arabia on Allawi’s victory and AlMaliki’s potential departure. The daily is owned by powerful members of the Saudi royal family and religiously toes the oil-rich kingdom’s foreign policy line. It is not certain at this point that Allawi will succeed Al-Maliki as prime minister, but he stands a good chance if his bloc is able to join forces with enough other political groupings to gain an influential majority. Even so, there are doubts over Allawi’s ability to end or greatly reduce the influence of Iran’s hard-line clerical regime, but sentiment against Tehran has been growing among ordinary Iraqis as well. “Allawi is the hope of all Iraqis,” said Fakhry Zaboun, a taxi driver from eastern Baghdad. “He will face up to the Iranians who want to occupy Iraq when the Americans leave.” The subsequent extent of Allawi’s success in reducing Iran’s influence in Iraq would depend to a large extent on who would be his partners in the next government. His most likely options are the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a large Shiite party established with Iranian backing in Tehran in the early 1980s; and supporters of

anti-US cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, also believed to be linked to the Iranians. It is doubtful that these two groups would be willing to entirely relinquish their ties with Iran anytime soon, but they could be persuaded to reduce or tone down the more conspicuous manifestations of their ties with Tehran if Allawi demands it as a condition for their participation in his government. Iran and Iraq both have majority Shiite populations, and are bound by strong religious ties. Iraq also is home to some of the Islamic sect’s holiest shrines, which are visited by millions of Iranians every year. Many in Iraq’s Shiite political elite lived in exile in Iran for years during Saddam’s rule. Allawi, in contrast, spent most of his years in exile in Britain. However, the two nations fought a ruinous, eight-year war in the 1980s in which a million people were killed or wounded. Memories of that conflict continue to feed mutual suspicion between Iraqis and Iranians. Bonds of such complexity and strength are virtually impossible to eradicate, but there is much more leeway when it comes to Iran’s political meddling in its neighbor. Furthermore, it is unrealistic to expect any Iraqi government to be outright hostile toward the country’s powerful neighbor. Amr Hamzawy, director of Middle East research at Carnegie - a Washington-based think tank sees a gradual rather than instant effort by Allawi to reduce Iranian influence. “There will certainly be a change of rhetoric, but nothing will change fast on the ground,” he said. — AP


Monday, March 29, 2010


Nuclear treaty and Obama’s ‘new start’ By Robert Burns


he name, perhaps more than the content, of a new US-Russian arms treaty - dubbed the “New START” - conveys President Barack Obama’s message about the direction of superpower relations. For the president, it marks not only his biggest foreign policy accomplishment but also a fresh beginning for relations with Moscow, which was one of his top priorities upon taking office. US relations with Russia had frayed during the Bush administration, largely due to a spat over US missile defenses, an expansion of NATO to Russia’s doorstep and Moscow’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008. For the Russians, the mere fact that the US spent so much time and effort negotiating an arms arrangement helps bolster Moscow’s claim to being a global force and not just another regional power. The treaty, announced by Obama on Friday after he spoke by phone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, would reduce the allowable number of long-range US and Russian nuclear warheads by about 30 percent. That, along with reductions in the permissible number of long-range missiles and a legally binding system to ensure against cheating, makes it the most significant nuclear arms treaty in a generation. “I’ve been committed to a reset of our relationship with Russia,” Obama said. “When the United States and Russia can cooperate effectively, it advances the mutual interests of our two nations, and the security and prosperity of the wider world.” He and

US President Barack Obama gives an unscheduled press briefing on the new START treaty at the White House as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates look on in Washington on March 26, 2010. – AFP Medvedev agreed to meet in Prague on April 8 to sign the treaty, which would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, which was itself historic but expired last December. The New START would take effect only upon ratification by the US Senate and Russian Duma. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the administration aims to have it ratified by year’s end. Signing in Prague has symbolic importance. It was there last April that Obama declared his vision for the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. The Czech Republic also was

to be one of the sites for an expanded US missile defense network in Europe, although Obama last fall reconfigured the plan and dropped the Czech site. It became clear immediately after Obama’s announcement Friday that the chances for Senate ratification rest in large measure on one related issue: Russia’s efforts to constrain US missile defenses. The Russians view US missile defense plans in Europe as a potential threat to the credibility of their strategic arsenal. The Obama administration - like the Bush administration before it _ insists that the defensive weapons

are too limited to worry Russia and are designed to counter missile threats from Iran. Ellen Tauscher, the undersecretary of state for arms control, told a White House news conference that the treaty imposes “no constraints” on US missile defense programs. Tauscher, who was sent to Geneva late in the negotiations to help clinch the deal, said both sides acknowledged that Obama and Medvedev agree there is a connection between strategic offensive and defense weapons - “and that is where the discussion ended.” Any treaty reference to missile defense could not be verified because the White House did not release the text. Sen. John Kyl, a leading Republican advocate of missile defense, wrote in a letter to Obama last week that he was worried by recent Russian statements about the treaty’s making a legally binding linkage of offensive weapons and missile defense. Kyl said it was unlikely the Senate would ratify a treaty with such links. Early reaction on Capitol Hill revealed no clear-cut Republican opposition to the treaty. Sen. Richard Lugar, whose foreign policy views are widely respected in both political parties, said he looks forward to Foreign Relations Committee hearings, “so that we can work quickly to achieve ratification of the new treaty.” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton predicted a “vast majority” in the Senate would vote to ratify. A key to the administration’s strategy for winning Senate ratification is highlighting the military’s backing. At the White House news conference, Adm. Mike Mullen, chair-

man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left little doubt about the military’s stance. “Through the trust it engenders, the cuts it requires and the flexibility it preserves, this treaty enhances our ability to do that which we have been charged to do: protect and defend the citizens of the United States,” Mullen said. “I am as confident in its success as I am in its safeguards.” In the history of nuclear arms control, the new treaty is not the most sweeping or dramatic, but it advances the case for disarmament in an era of increasing fear about the spread of nuclear arms technology particularly in the volatile Middle East. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appearing with Mullen and Clinton at the White House news conference, recalled the Cold War years when both sides had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, many on hair-trigger alert. “The journey we have taken from being one misstep away from mutual assured destruction to the substantial arms reductions of this new agreement is testimony to just how much the world has changed,” he said. Less clear is how enthusiastic the military would be about taking further steps toward eliminating nuclear weapons. Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, said the administration implicitly has committed itself to following the new treaty with negotiations on even deeper weapons reductions. “I would place money that President Obama on April 8 will say something about a follow-on treaty,” he said, even if the administration is not yet prepared to say exactly how much deeper it would be prepared to cut. — AP

US Senate approval of START presents challenges By Susan Cornwell


etting an agreement on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia has not been easy for the Obama administration. Getting it through the US Senate may be just as hard. The tortuous negotiations between the White House and Moscow are over as a deal was sealed on Friday on a landmark treaty to slash their nuclear arsenals by a third, and now the political horse-trading with Republicans begins. Democratic Senator John Kerry, whose Foreign Relations Committee will consider the treaty, said on Friday he wanted the Senate to ratify the agreement this year that replaces the Cold War-era START pact. But the US political climate hardly seems conducive. Some Republicans have declared that the bitter and drawnout healthcare reform debate has “poisoned the well” and Obama will be hardpressed to win them over on other issues. The numbers involved in ratifying a treaty are daunting as two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes out of the 100-seat chamber, are needed. Obama’s Democrats and independents who tend to vote with them number only 59, so Republican help will be essential. Then there are concerns Republicans have raised about what Washington is getting out of such a treaty, and whether Obama will keep the nuclear arsenal upto-date while cutting it. Some Republicans have warned Obama that they will not consider the START follow-on until the administration provides a modernization plan for the US nuclear arsenal, required by recent legislation. None of this means ratification won’t happen, but it could take a while, possibly beyond the November congression-

al elections in which the Republicans are expected to pick up seats. “Given the bruising partisan fracas over healthcare reform, Republicans can be expected to demand several pounds of nuclear and missile defense modernization flesh in exchange for their approval of START,” said Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. Administration officials say they are ready for the challenge. “We are focused on ratification. We’re working hard. We’re going to engage deeply and broadly with all of the members of the Senate,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as the agreement with Moscow was announced. “I think that national security has always produced large bipartisan majorities. And I see no reason why this should be any different,” she said. The White House said the new treaty will not place constraints on US missile defense programs, which had been a sticking point in negotiations because of Russia’s opposition to such plans. Senate Republicans who opposed any limits on missile defense will be looking at the fine print. They will also be watching what the Russians say on missile defense. “Republicans who want to undermine the administration’s case will probe the negotiating record for hidden commitments. In exchange for their votes some will try to exact pledges to accelerate defensive programs,” Stephen Sestanovich, a Russian expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote this week. It’s unclear when the treaty will be sent to the Senate. First technical annexes must be finalized, a process that has taken months with some agreements.

Getting it through the Senate can take months too. Sokolski said even the Senate approval of the largely uncontroversial Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, agreed by then-US President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, took

five months. Arms control advocates say the treaty will be approved. They believe it helps that Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on Kerry’s committee, favors ratification. “Verifiable reductions in bloated nuclear stockpiles are prudent and long

overdue. New START is clearly in the US national security interest and I believe it will gain well over the two-thirds majority needed for ratification,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. — Reuters

Russia’s wish for parity satisfied By Alexander Osipovich


ussia has much to be happy about in its new nuclear disarmament treaty with the United States, including a respectable compromise on the hot-button issue of missile defence, analysts said. With the treaty finally ready after months of difficult negotiations, Russia is now watching warily to see whether it will be ratified by the US Senate, where conservative Republicans have the power to kill it. Russian analysts described the new treaty as balanced -an accomplishment in and of itself, given Moscow’s hunger to be seen as an equal to Washington after losing the Cold War and suffering a deep decline in the 1990s. “It is very good for Russia that it reached an agreement which on the whole was fairly even in nature,” Roland Timerbaev, a retired Russian diplomat and veteran of USSoviet arms control talks, told AFP. “At the end of the day America is more powerful than Russia. This is clear,” said Timerbaev, who took part in the original talks on the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which the new agreement will replace. Moscow has touted the fact that the treaty, due to be signed by US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, includes language linking strategic offensive arms to missile defence. Russia, which is unhappy about US plans to build missile defences in eastern Europe, had long pushed for such a “linkage” and the issue was one of the main problems dragging out the negotiations. Washington says its missile defences are meant to protect against the threat of short- and medium-range missiles from Iran and not against Russia’s vast arsenal of longrange missiles, but Moscow is still wary of the plans. The new treaty will impose no restrictions on US missile

defences, both US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after the agreement was announced. However, Lavrov made it clear that Russia reserved the right to pull out of the nuclear disarmament process if it believed the United States was going too far with missile defence. “This is a fairly even compromise. There could not have been any limits on missile defence in the treaty, because it is a treaty on strategic arms and not on missile defence,” said retired Russian general Vladimir Dvorkin. “The agreement is balanced and reflects the interests of both Russia and the United States,” Dvorkin, who is now an analyst at the Centre for International Security in Moscow, told AFP. It remains to be seen whether Republican US senators, who in the past have warned they will not support any deal that harms US missile defense systems, will agree that it is a fair compromise. Obama needs at least some Republican support to achieve the two-thirds Senate majority necessary to ratify the treaty, which may be a struggle given the highly partisan atmosphere in Washington in recent weeks. Russia’s two houses of parliament - the State Duma and the Federation Council - need to ratify the treaty too, but approval will not be a problem because Russian lawmakers do the bidding of the Kremlin, analysts say. Lavrov however said ratification by the Russian legislature would be done only in “synchronization” with the US Senate, meaning that if lawmakers in Washington block the pact then it could be halted in Russia too. “Everything will be decided by the US Senate,” Alexander Konovalov, head of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Assessments, told AFP. “Our Duma is not a barrier. Whatever it is told, it will do.” —AFP

Oil wealth strains Brazil politics in poll year By Stuart Grudgings


volatile mix of vast new oil wealth and electionyear politics is straining relations between Brazil’s states and complicating President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s efforts to pass a landmark oil reform before the October polls. An amendment passed by Congress’ lower house this month that would take special income from Brazil’s handful of oil-producing states and distribute it among all 26 states has sparked protests and outrage in the losing regions. Rio de Janeiro state governor Sergio Cabral, who cried publicly when the measure was approved, rallied a reported 50,0l ($2.2 billion) a year and, he said, harm its ability to host the 2016 Olympics. Huge posters condemning the “cowardice” of the amendment have sprung up around Rio, including on the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking the beach-side city. While the controversial amendment will struggle to survive Brazil’s Senate and Lula’s veto power, it has opened a Pandora’s Box as non-producer state politicians see a chance to bring home an oil bounty for voters in an election year. “The field is fertile for demagogues,” wrote columnist Miriam Leitao in the O Globo newspaper,

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva poses with workers during the GASENE (Southeast Northeast Interconnection Gas Pipeline) pipeline inauguration in Itabuna, Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil on March 26, 2010. – AFP adding: “The field was plowed by the government.” The new offshore oil fields were found in 2007 and could hold more than 50 billion barrels. Lula, a popular former union leader who cannot run for a third straight term at the election in October, says the oil wealth can put Brazil on a fast track to wealth and social equality, He wants Congress to quickly pass four bills that would overhaul the previous model of oil extraction to give the government

more control over the reserves and create a fund to invest in education and health. Congress’ approval of the bills would help ruling party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s chief of staff and choice to succeed him. But the prospect of oil wealth for all has emboldened national legislators to question why Rio, Sao Paulo and Espirito Santo states should get the lion’s share of tributes from oil companies. “There aren’t any producer states. At

most, they have a sea view, which is very privileged,” said Ibsen Pinheiro, a deputy from Rio Grande do Sul state who coauthored the amendment, which would apply to existing and future oil production. The government had proposed discussing the distribution of royalties after Congress passed the oil reform bills, but was unable to vote down the amendment. Rio is by far the biggest beneficiary under the current system, receiving 70

percent of the royalties and more than 90 percent of a special participation tax, which oil companies pay based on the volume produced. The government of the state, which produces 85 percent of the country’s oil, raked in 4.9 billion reals in oil revenues in 2009, which would collapse to less than a quarter of a billion reals under the new law. Lula now faces a struggle to control the forces let loose by the bills, which were passed by the lower house and now need approval by the Senate before he can sign them into law. By upholding a change in distribution, Lula could risk alienating his Rio ally Cabral and losing votes for Rousseff in the country’s third most populous state. Rejecting the changes could also have a cost by antagonizing many legislators and possibly losing Rousseff support in nonproducer states such as Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul where she has roots. The dispute has carved divisions within the PMDB party, the main coalition partner of Lula’s leftist Workers’ Party. “This bill was obviously something you could not send to Congress in an electoral year, even less with the urgency requirement that it be voted within three months,” said Bolivar Lamounier, an independent political consultant in Sao Paulo. “Unless Lula finds a way

out, this may deepen.” The opposition, which is expected to struggle against Lula’s huge popularity and a rebounding economy in the election campaign, has majorities in key Senate committees and is likely to try to use the royalty conflict to block the bills. But Lula still has scope to push a compromise in the Senate and get the bills passed by June or July, when legislators’ attention turns to the football World Cup and the election campaign, said Christopher Garman, chief Latin America analyst at the Eurasia Group consultancy in Washington. Lula’s approval ratings of over 80 percent give him “kingmaker” status and he is likely to use that to nudge senators into supporting the government, he said. Still, the government may have to agree to pay from central coffers to appease non-producing states, perhaps by decentralizing revenue from the planned Social Development Fund. “Lula’s not going to pay a political cost for this,” said Garman, who gives the reforms around a 60 percent chance of winning approval. “The overarching message here is that you have a new oil reform, you have greater rents extracted from new production and you channel that to (an election message of) ‘the oil is ours’... it’s a political homerun.” — Reuters


Can Republicans win by opposing Obama? By Steve Holland


an Republicans ride all the way to Election Day in November by opposing most of President Barack Obama’s major policies? So far they are sticking with this strategy. After voting solidly against Obama’s healthcare overhaul, Republicans are also poised to oppose other big-ticket items on the Democrats’ agenda, including energy legislation and a rewriting of immigration laws. Their opposition is helping feed accusations from Democrats that Republicans are standing in the way of progress as the “party of No.” “We can’t stall our progress because of political decisions that have been made by one party or the other that we’re going to try and shut the whole process down,” said Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, on NBC’s “Today” show. Republicans, on the other hand, are content with their strategy and believe their opposition to the healthcare bill is justified and is borne out by polls showing Americans are divided about the legislation. “It’s not a strategy to say ‘No’ to everything,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s a strategy of saying ‘No’ to things that our constituents don’t want and that jack up the debt.” He and other Republicans say Americans would ultimately pay higher costs, pointing to announcements by several large companies, such as John Deere and Caterpillar, that healthcare reform would cost each of them in excess of $100 million. “We don’t want to be labeled ‘the party of No,’” Louisiana’s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “As it pertains to this bill, how about ‘Hell, no?’” Republicans are poised to pick up seats in November congressional elections in which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and more than a third of the 100-member Senate are at stake. Voters in these so-called offyear elections, in which a presidential election is not being held, are often overwhelmingly from the base of each party, meaning conservatives for the Republicans

and liberals for the Democrats. And conservatives, if nothing else, are energized to turn out and vote. “For the Republican base, which is energized, saying ‘No’ is plenty,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political science professor. The healthcare victory was a boost for Democratic morale but not enough to reverse the momentum of an election that will see Republican gains, said David Wasserman, a political analyst at the non-partisan Cook Political Report. “I see this development as a momentary political victory for Democrats that can’t do much to erase the enthusiasm gap between the parties. However, if healthcare had failed, I think Democratic morale would’ve gone off the cliff,” he said. One prominent conservative created a stir in Republican circles this week by arguing that election gains are one thing, but that the party should have gotten involved in healthcare negotiations with Democrats so that the ultimate product would reflect more of their beliefs. David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W Bush, wrote in a blog on Monday that even with big gains in November: “So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.” Frum was roundly denounced by other conservatives, who argued that Republicans offered their ideas for healthcare but were largely kept out of the negotiations. Still, Republicans are aware they have to offer more than just opposition. Republican strategist Karl Rove said they should twin their opposition with an optimistic vision of the country and alternatives to Democratic proposals. “It’s got to be measured and reasonable dissent from Obama, criticism based on the facts and hard evidence and not just hard rhetoric, matched with a positive and optimistic agenda,” said Rove, architect of President George W Bush’s two election victories. “They can’t be content to surf the wave of discontent with Democrats through the fall,” he said. — Reuters

Colombia presidential race set for run-off By Patrick Markey


olombia’s election looks set for a tough June runoff, possibly between two of President Alvaro Uribe’s supporters, after opinion polls showed them ahead for May’s voting and deadlocked in a second round. Former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos leads Conservative Party candidate Noemi Sanin by 10 points in a Gallup Colombia poll on Wednesday but both face hefty challenges and alliance-building to secure the presidency. Uribe, a key US ally in South America, remains popular among Colombians for his hardline drive against leftist rebels, and any candidate to succeed him will likely adhere closely to his security and pro-investment policies. Santos and Sanin both claim to be heirs to Uribe’s socalled “Democratic Security” policy. Santos leads Uribe’s U Party, while she took the Conservative candidacy. The two parties have been allies but will face off over the presidency by claiming the right to succeed Uribe. “The election will be decided between the pure Uribe supporters and the half-blood Uribe supporters,” Gallup pollster Jorge Londono said after his survey this week. “There is not much space left for the opposition.” Santos secured 34 percent in the Gallup poll followed by Sanin with 23 percent. Former Bogota mayor and independent Antanas Mockus, who could still present a challenge for the second round against Santos, stands third with 10 percent. For now, the poll showed Santos with 45 percent support compared to Sanin’s 43 percent in a possible runoff. A less wellknown pollster Datexo, which released a survey with El Tiempo newspaper on Friday, gave Santos first-round support of 34.1 percent and Sanin 21.7 percent. “Uribe remains an influence on public opinion and people see Juan Manuel Santos as his clearest representative,” local political analyst Leon Valencia told the newspaper.

Santos and Sanin claim to be Uribe’s successors and will adhere closely to his hard line against guerrillas and other armed groups. Investors are already discounting any upheaval for the peso or local TES bonds after the election. Similar in their support of Uribe, the two candidates promise to continue his security policies and bring more social and economic development. They offer voters a contrast in style but not substance for the moment. Polls show that Colombians are most concerned now about unemployment, poverty and health rather than violence from Latin America’s longest-running guerrilla conflict. Santos, scion of a wealthy Bogota family, can refer to his portfolio of high-ranking posts from finance minister where he handled a fiscal crisis to defense minister where he orchestrated some serious blows against guerrillas. While he has the backing of the country’s largest party, Santos will seek to extend his hand to Uribe supporters within the ranks of the opposition Liberal party and former Uribe ally Cambio Radical party, said Rafael Nieto, a former vice justice minister who is now an analyst. Santos will also be counting on the Conservative vote splitting in his favor in June, and he named a left-leaning former union leader as his vice president in an attempt to appeal beyond his immediate political base. Sanin, a veteran running for the presidency for the third time, was foreign minister, communications minister and former ambassador to Britain. She may manage to appeal as a moderate Uribe supporter and attract votes from the Liberal, leftist Democratic Pole and Cambio Radical opposition parties. “A second round between the two is going to be very tough. There is no certain winner,” said Marcela Prieto, an analyst at the Bogota Institute of Political Science. “But the votes of the others are more susceptible to move toward Noemi.” — Reuters



Monday, March 29, 2010

Amir urges action for Mideast peace Continued from Page 1 comes at a time when the Arab region is witnessing critical circumstances and swift developments. He wished that the summit could come up with practical and effective resolutions that would meet the expectations and ambitions of the Arab people. Regarding the current Arab situation, Sheikh Sabah said although great fruitful efforts have been exerted to improve inter-Arab relations, more work is still needed to wipe out some remaining problems affecting inter-Arab ties. He called for building and developing Arab human capabilities as the best way to provide Arab people with a decent life to achieve the aspired cultural and human development. “Proceeding from this and in harmony with our historical responsibilities towards our Arab people, and out of our keenness on achieving social security and welfare, progress and growth in human development levels, I put forward an initiative during the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Kuwait early last year, aiming to provide financial resources worth $2 billion for funding and supporting the private sector’s projects and small and mediumsized projects in the Arab world,” Sheikh Sabah said. Concrete and procedural steps have been taken to put this ambitious Arab project in place by asking the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) to set out required regulatory and legal frameworks for carrying out

the initiative, he said, wishing that this project could bear fruit in the near future. On Yemen, he reiterated his condemnation of recent terrorist acts in this Arab country, but welcomed calmness on the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and showed solidarity with the Kingdom in its efforts to defend its territories and security. HH the Amir also voiced much keenness on, and support for, Yemen’s security, stability and territorial integrity. On Iraq, Sheikh Sabah said: “We closely and satisfactorily monitored the highly elevated democratic practice of the brotherly Iraqi people through their participation in the recent electoral process, which we hope could contribute to putting an end to acts of bombing and killing in the ranks of the brotherly Iraqi people, on the part of terrorist groups that do not want this country to be stable and calm.” He hailed the Iraqi people’s will to fight these “killers” and to pursue efforts to draw a bright image for a future democratic and strong Iraq which can play an effective Arab and international role and commit itself to international charters and resolutions as well as focus on economic development and public prosperity. As to the Palestinian issue, HH the Amir said: “Now that the Israeli military machine’s continuation of killing unarmed Palestinian people and destroying their holy sites is a crime, the international community’s insistence on standing just as a spectator and remaining silent towards such Israeli practices is a bigger and more heinous crime.” Therefore, he maintained, the international community,

mainly the Quartet, is required to live up to responsibility by working in earnest to put an end to such Israeli violations, including settlement activities, the racial separation wall and desecration of Palestinian holy sites. “Just, total and permanent peace in the region can be achieved only when a viable independent Palestinian state is created in line with the principles of international legitimacy and UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle and the Arab peace initiative,” Sheikh Sabah added. However, the Kuwaiti leader urged all warring Palestinian factions to bury the hatchet and to have a single voice as a prelude to having a national unity government with a view to shoring up national unity and regaining usurped Palestinian rights. In this context, he lauded Egypt’s good efforts for achieving inter-Palestinian national reconciliation. Concerning Iran’s controversial nuclear dossier, he reiterated his country’s position recognizing the right of Iran and even other countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes pursuant to IAEA criteria. But, he emphasized that this standoff should be resolved by peaceful means, and called on Tehran to comply with international efforts aiming to reach a political settlement to its issue. Finally, Sheikh Sabah welcomed and appreciated a framework agreement recently hammered out between the Sudanese government and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Qatar as a positive step towards a resolution of outstanding dossiers. — KUNA

Arabs: Settlement halt must for talks Continued from Page 1

RIYADH: An ostrich looks at visitors at the zoo in the Saudi capital yesterday. —AP

Obama meets Karzai in secret Afghanistan visit Continued from Page 1 Obama’s dramatic, round-the-world journey began when he left his Camp David retreat outside Washington and boarded Air Force One at Andrews air force base for a non-stop flight to the Bagram military base outside Kabul. After touching down after dusk, Obama flew by helicopter to the palace with key aides, including Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff and political advisor David Axelrod. The visit, expected to last only a few hours in the unstable Afghan capital, was also scheduled to include in-person briefings for Obama by war commander General Stanley McChrystal and US ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry. Obama and Karzai met almost immediately af ter he touched down, and emerged from the palace on a red carpet for a welcoming ceremony, including an Afghan guard of honor and the US and Afghan national anthems. Private, and likely candid talks between the two leaders were followed by an expanded session with the Afghan cabinet and a shared meal. Obama landed in Afghanistan emboldened by the best week of his presidency, after passing a historic health care reform

law and concluding a major nuclear arms control treaty with Russia. But the Afghan war, and his fateful decision to surge more troops into a conflict launched after the Sept 11 attacks in 2001, still holds the capacity to humble his presidency. Obama announced in December that he was pouring 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, vowing to “seize the initiative” to end the unpopular war and start a US pullout in July 2011. Since then, US public opinion has stabilized slightly, despite increasing fighting, with a CNN/Opinion Research poll last week finding opposition to the war had dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in nearly a year. Fifty-five percent of Americans now approve of how Obama is handling Afghanistan, up from 42 percent late last year when the president agonized for months over his strategy, before announcing the surge in December. The United States and NATO have more than 121,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to rise to 150,000 by August as part of the new plan to reverse the Taleban momentum, particularly in the south, and hasten an end to the war. Obama’s last visit to Afghanistan came when he was a senator and Democratic presidential

nominee in 2008 - but since then he has been involved in a long-distance battle of wills with Karzai, who won re-election last year. US national security advisor James Jones said on Air Force One that Obama would try to make Karzai understand “that in his second term, there are certain things that have been not paid attention to, almost since Day One. That is things like... a merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers, which fuels, provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents.” The two leaders would also discuss reconciliation of rival factions in Afghanistan, as US and NATO forces escalate efforts to beat the Taleban, Jones said. The fast-track war strategy envisages that American troops would start coming home in July 2011, though a full withdrawal could take several years. Most of the 10,000 extra troops that have arrived so far have been sent to the volatile south, the spiritual heartland of the Taleban insurgency. More than 105 foreign troops have been killed this year, more than double the number who died in the first two months of 2009. — AFP

Cutting edge robots at doner kebab fair Continued from Page 1 speaking English with a strong cockney accent. As well as the speed, the main advantage of the robot is hygiene, he said. “Doner kebab slicers, when they are cutting the meat, get very sweaty because they are close to the grill. We take that problem out, so it’s better in the end for the customer.” But is Kalyoncu not worried his robot could put kebab shop owners out of work? “At the end of the day, you still need people to stay there. What we’re saying is: it’s more hygienic and it’s easier. Why not just let the machine do the work?” Judging by the interest around his machine, many of Germany’s army of kebab shop owners may soon be doing exactly that. Although many people assume the doner kebab - the staple snack of students and drunken late-night revellers the world over - is a Turkish delicacy, in fact the world’s first doner was sliced in Berlin in 1971. Doner folklore has it that a Turkish immigrant in Berlin, Mahmut Aygun, first put his wafer-thin strips of

meat in an open pitta bread, added salad and lashings of sauce and hey presto, the doner kebab was born. And nearly 40 years later, Germany is the snack’s undisputed home. “There are more than 15,000 kebab shops in Germany, employing some 74,000 people,” said Tarkan Tasyumruk, president of the Association of Turkish Doner Producers in Europe (ATDID), as he opened the fair. “Annual sales in Germany amount to 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion). That shows we are one of the biggest fast-foods in Germany,” he added to a packed audience including Turkey’s vice-consul. According to ATDID figures, every day, more than 400 tonnes of doner kebab meat is produced in Germany by around 350 firms. “There are more producers in Germany than the rest of Europe put together,” said Tasyumruk. The doner kebab has become at least as popular a fast-food snack in Germany as the home-grown currywurst (sausage sprinkled with curry powder) or frankfurters, driven mainly by the largest Turkish population outside Turkey. Priced

at between €2.50 and four euros, an estimated 400 million doners are gobbled up every year in Germany, working out at five for every person. “I would say we are the most successful fast food in the country,” added Tasyumruk. At the fair, representatives of every possible facet of doner kebab making crowded into two small rooms at a conference centre in central Berlin. Firms making kebab shop clothes, grills, meat refrigerators and the shrink wrap needed to transport the enormous doners mingled with dozens of journalists from all over the world, talking doner in a mix of English, Turkish and German. And demonstrating how important the industry is in the country, German motoring giant Mercedes-Benz and insurance group Allianz had also set up shop at the fair, keen to have a presence in such an influential market. No prizes for guessing what was served for lunch as attendees shunned the far too healthy fruit salad and yoghurt in the cafeteria in favour of a steaming hot doner, fresh from the spit. Sliced, of course, by FFDR-V1004. — AFP

a US-supported peace strategy and take up arms against Israel, according to two delegates who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. They said Assad also urged Arab countries to halt any contacts with Israel, though only Egypt and Jordan have peace deals with the Jewish state. “The price of resistance is not higher than the price of peace,” one delegate quoted Assad as telling Abbas. Summit host Muammar Gaddafi of Libya warned that his nation will withdraw support for the peace initiative launched at a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut. Senior Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh swiftly dismissed the pressure. “Let us be realistic. We will not follow those who have special agendas,” he told Al-Jazeera television. “We are ready for any Arab option. If they want to go to war let them declare that and mobilize their armies and their people and we will follow suit.” The Islamist movement Hamas criticised the summit for failing to go far enough in response to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which the Palestinian group rules. “The positions taken by the Arab summit were not at the level demanded and did not match the aspirations of the Palestinian people to lift the siege, end their suffering and protect their holy sites,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP. “Waiting to test the intentions of the occupation is a

waste of time... The summit should have used every means of Arab pressure to isolate the Zionist occupation.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed no let-up in plans to build new settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, yesterday blamed the Palestinians for blocking peace talks, suspended since Dec 2008. “We continue to see that the Palestinians are hardening their positions. They do not show any sign of moderation,” said Netanyahu. Abbas already on Saturday ruled out new talks with the Jewish state until it halts settlements, despite agreeing earlier this month to US calls to enter into indirect negotiations with Israel. “We cannot resume indirect negotiations as long as Israel maintains its settlement policy and the status quo,” the Fatah leader told the summit. Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who said ahead of the summit that talks with Israel had become “pointless,” urged Arab leaders to mull their options in case of a total collapse of the peace process. UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in an address to the summit’s opening day, sought Arab support for US-brokered indirect talks while stressing Jerusalem must emerge as the “capital of two states”. The international community has never recognised Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war, when it captured the West Bank, and considers all settlements illegal. The leaders also decided to meet

again before the end of October at an “extraordinary summit” to discuss a proposal to reform and transform the Arab League into an “Arab Union” and another to set up an “Arab Neighbourhood Zone” open to non-Arab powerbrokers such as Turkey and Iran. “We invite Turkey to join us but we will hold discussions with Iran before inviting it,” Moussa said yesterday, citing some “points of difference” with the Islamic republic. “I do not believe the time has come where we can see that Iran has changed its behaviour towards Arab countries,” Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters. Concerns about Iran are especially acute among its neighbours across the Gulf, who fear they could be caught up in the fallout from any conflict over the nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful. The Arab leaders also welcomed the results of Iraq’s March 7 general election, and called for the rapid formation of a new government, saying “Iraqi national interest should be above everything else”. Iraq is due to host the 2011 Arab summit. Gaddafi, who hosted his first ever summit in his coastal hometown of Sirte, was true to his reputation of unpredictability by failing to keep with custom and deliver a closing speech at the end of the summit. The final session finished so abruptly that organisers had to hurriedly round up journalists, and a Libyan military band, so they could be present at the closing ceremony. — Agencies

Barrak rebuked over post-quiz allegations Continued from Page 1 accusations that suspicious deals were struck between the government and a number of MPs. Jassar said that Barrak should come forward and produce material evidence because “we cannot deal with verbal and unsubstantiated claims”. MP Adnan Al-Mutawa said that no one is allowed to make accusations without solid proof. The three lawmakers had voted for the minister. In another development, the National Assembly’s legal and legislative commit-

tee yesterday agreed to a request to lift the immunity of MPs Barrak, Khaled AlSultan and Faisal Al-Muslim to face trial on press offenses. The Assembly will decide whether to lift the immunity or not. Also, MP Khaled Al-Adwah yesterday asked a question to the State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan about a ruling issued in 1988 by the government’s legal department which allowed Kuwaiti citizens to hold nonArab foreign nationalities. Adwah said that the ruling states that Kuwaiti citi-

zens who gain a foreign nationality other than of Arab countries will not be prosecuted by the law. The issue of dual citizenship, which is banned under Kuwaiti law, has been raised recently amid reports that many Kuwaitis hold a second citizenship, especially that of Gulf states. Meanwhile, MP Rola Dashti yesterday asked the minister of electricity and water to provide her with a list of contracts awarded by the ministry since the start of 2006 and valued at more than KD 150 million.

CIA detainee death shrouded in secrecy Continued from Page 1 International Red Cross officials about his fate, Baheer said. “If he died there in interrogation or he died a natural death they should have told his family and ended their uncertainty,” Baheer said. Rahman had driven from Peshawar, Pakistan, in the northwest frontier to Islamabad for a medical checkup. He was staying with Baheer, an old friend, when US agents and Pakistani security forces stormed the house and took both men, two guards and a cook into custody. After a week, Rahman was separated from the others. “That was the last time I saw him,” said Baheer, now a member of a Hezb-e-Islami delegation that met this month in Kabul, the Afghan capital, for peace talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Baheer said he was flown to Afghanistan and taken to the Salt Pit, the code name for the abandoned brick factory turned CIA prison. In small, windowless cells, detainees were subjected to harsh treatment and at least one mock execution, according to several former CIA officials. “I was left naked, sleeping on the barren concrete,” said Baheer. His toilet was a bucket. Loudspeakers blared. Guards concealed their identity with masks and carried torches. Baheer said his American interrogators would tie him to a chair and sit on his stomach. They hung him naked, he said, for hours on end. Rahman was violently uncooperative in custody, current and former US officials said. At one point, he threw a latrine bucket at his guards. He also threatened to kill them. His stubborn responses provoked harsher treatment. His hands were shackled over his head, he was roughed

up and doused with water, according to several former CIA officials. The exact circumstances of Rahman’s death are not clear, but the Afghan was left in the cold cell on the morning of Nov. 20. He was naked from the waist down, said two former US officials. Within hours, he was dead. CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, sent a team to gather the facts, the current US official said. A CIA medic at the site concluded the Afghan died of hypothermia. A doctor sent later confirmed that judgment. But the detainee’s body was never returned to his family, and Baheer said his friend’s relatives still don’t know what happened. “The Americans have had enough time,” said Baheer. “After nearly eight years, enough is enough.” At CIA headquarters, the agency’s inspector general, John Helgerson, learned about the Salt Pit death and the existence of the agency’s secret interrogation program. Helgerson began an investigation into the death as well as a special review of the program. The case appeared to prod the CIA to codify its interrogations. The same month that the detainee died, the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center started training courses for interrogators, according to public documents. The following year, the CIA issued guidelines covering the use of cold in interrogations, with detailed instructions for the “safe temperature range when a detainee is wet or unclothed.” But harsh interrogation techniques continued until 2006. When the inspector general’s report on the Salt Pit death emerged, it focused on decisions made by two CIA officials: an inexperienced officer

who had just taken his first overseas assignment to run the prison, and the Kabul station chief, who managed CIA activities in Afghanistan. Their identities remain classified. The report found that the Salt Pit officer displayed poor judgment in leaving the detainee in the cold. But it also indicated the officer made repeated requests to superiors for guidance that were largely ignored, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials. That raised concerns about not only officials in Afghanistan but the CIA’s management in Langley. Similar concerns were later aired in the inspector general’s review of the CIA’s secret interrogation program. “The agency - especially in the early months of the program - failed to provide adequate staffing, guidance and support to those involved with the detention and interrogation of detainees,” the report said. The inspector general referred the Salt Pit death to federal prosecutors, who decided they couldn’t make a case. The former US official familiar with the case said it could not be proved that the CIA officer running the Salt Pit intended to harm the detainee. The CIA wouldn’t say whether the two agency officers cited by the inspector general were punished. But no administrative action was taken when the No. 3 CIA official reviewed the case, said two former intelligence officials. Now, a Justice Department criminal inquiry is looking at whether CIA operatives crossed the line in a small number of cases including the Salt Pit death. Since that episode, the Kabul station chief has been promoted at least three times, former officials said. And the officer who ran the prison went on to other assignments, one overseas. — AP


Monday, March 29, 2010


NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. Boston 5, Calgary 0; Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 1; Buffalo 7, Tampa Bay 1; Toronto 3, NY Rangers 2 (OT); New Jersey 4, Montreal 2; Ottawa 3, Florida 2; Atlanta 4, Carolina 0; NY Islanders 4, Columbus 3 (OT); Detroit 1, Nashville 0 (So); Phoenix 6, Colorado 2; San Jose 4, Vancouver 2; Dallas 4, Los Angeles 1. (OT denotes overtime win). (SO denotes shootout win).

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS New Jersey 44 25 5 202 178 93 Pittsburgh 43 25 7 232 213 93 Philadelphia 37 32 6 216 209 80 NY Rangers 33 32 10 197 203 76 NY Islanders 31 34 10 196 232 72 Buffalo Ottawa Montreal Boston Toronto

Northeast 41 23 41 30 37 31 34 28 28 35

Division 10 212 5 205 8 204 12 188 12 198

187 216 208 186 245

92 87 82 80 68

Washington Atlanta Tampa Bay Florida Carolina

Southeast 49 14 33 30 30 33 30 33 31 35

Division 11 289 12 223 12 197 11 193 9 206

209 236 237 217 235

109 78 72 71 71

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 46 20 7 239 187 Nashville 43 27 6 211 210 Detroit 39 23 13 207 197 St Louis 35 30 9 201 204 Columbus 30 32 13 201 242

99 92 91 79 73

Northwest Division 45 26 4 244 195 41 26 7 222 203 37 29 9 189 190 36 33 6 205 224 24 43 7 189 253

94 89 83 78 55

Vancouver Colorado Calgary Minnesota Edmonton

Pacific Division San Jose 46 19 10 243 195 102 Phoenix 47 23 6 210 187 100 Los Angeles 42 26 6 216 199 90 Dallas 33 28 14 215 235 80 Anaheim 35 31 8 208 226 78 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

BUFFALO: Thomas Vanek No. 26 and Derek Roy No. 9 of the Buffalo Sabres watch Roy’s shot hit the back of the net past Antero Niittymaki No. 30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning at HSBC Arena.—AFP

Penguins down Flyers, Coyotes stop Avalanche PITTSBURGH: Sidney Crosby set up three goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Saturday, the final regular season game in Mellon Arena between the longtime rivals. Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Cooke scored for the Penguins. Scoring more than three goals for the first time in 10 games, the Stanley Cup champions ended a three-game losing streak and clinched a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Flyers generated little offense and lost their fifth in a row and seventh in eight games.

Coyotes 6, Avalanche 2 At Glendale, Arizona, the Phoenix Coyotes, the surprise team of the NHL, celebrated their first playoff berth since 2002 with a big win over Colorado Avalanche. The Coyotes, still owned by the league after going through protracted bankruptcy proceedings last summer, clinched the postseason spot earlier in the day when Calgary lost to Boston. Four of Phoenix’s goals came from players who joined the team at the March 3 trade deadline - Lee Stempniak, Wojtek Wolski

and Derek Morris. Stempniak, with both scores in the third period, has 12 goals in 12 games since he arrived from Toronto, including four two-goal games.

Red Wings 1, Predators 0 At Nashville, Niklas Kronwall, in his first career shootout try, scored the winning goal in the 11th round to give Detroit a win. Jimmy Howard stopped nine of Nashville’s 10 shootout attempts to make Kronwall’s goal stand up as the winner. Detroit has won five straight and eight of nine to move into a more solid playoff position. The Red Wings jumped out of eighth place in the tightly packed Western Conference race. Nashville lost for just the second time in nine games. The fifth-place Predators are only one point ahead of the surging Red Wings.

Pavelski scored two minutes later, and Ryan Clowe added an empty-netter with 11 seconds left to make it 4-2. Dany Heatley also scored for San Jose. The Sharks have bounced back from a five-game losing streak that dropped them out of first place in the Pacific Division. Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, the NHL scoring leader, had two assists to push his point total to 101.

scored for the Bruins, who won for just the third time in 15 home games and moved into a share of seventh in the East with Philadelphia.

Devils 4, Canadiens 2

Sharks 4, Canucks 2

Bruins 5, Flames 0

At Montreal, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner had power-play goals and Dainius Zubrus also scored for New Jersey, which clinched its 13th straight playoff berth with a win over Montreal. Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his 41st victory of the season and New Jersey’s 44th. Brian Rolston recorded his 700th career point when he scored into an empty net at 19:50. The Devils, who have won four straight in Montreal, moved into a share of first place with Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division with 93 points. New Jersey, which snapped a four-game losing streak on the road, holds the edge for second place overall in the Eastern Conference with one more win than the Penguins.

At San Jose, Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who stretched their winning streak to three. Marleau’s 42nd goal gave the Sharks a 21 lead with 10:31 left in the second. Joe

At Boston, Dennis Seidenberg, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored power-play goals, and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for the Bruins in his first shutout since Dec. 21. Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi also

At Buffalo, Patrick Lalime won his 200th career game as Buffalo clinched its first playoff berth in three years with a rout of Tampa

Stars 4, Kings 1 At Los Angeles, Brad Richards scored two power-play goals less than 5 minutes apart in the second period, Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott also connected during manadvantages, and Dallas avoided a six-game sweep by Los Angeles. Mike Ribeiro and Stephane Robidas each had two assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves in his sixth start with Dallas since being acquired from Atlanta.

Sabres 7, Lightning 1

Bay. Lalime, who made 22 saves, is the 66th NHL goalie to reach the milestone. Derek Roy posted his fourth career hat trick and added an assist for Buffalo, which hadn’t reached the playoffs since the 200708 season. Paul Gaustad, Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville, and Adam Mair also scored for the Sabres, who have won five of six.

Maple Leafs 3, Rangers 2 At Toronto, Nikolai Kulemin scored 39 seconds into overtime and Jonas Gustavsson made 36 saves to outduel Swedish counterpart Henrik Lundqvist in Toronto’s comeback victory over New York. Gustavsson extended his winning streak to seven games, the longest run by a Maple Leafs goalie since Ed Belfour won seven straight from Nov. 22-Dec. 6, 2003.

Thrashers 4, Hurricanes 0 At Raleigh, Rich Peverley and Evgeny Artyukhin scored 57 seconds apart in the second period to help Atlanta beat Carolina. Niclas Bergfors added a goal late in the second for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game skid to stay in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Johan

Gloria de Campeao wins Dubai World Cup DUBAI: Gloria de Campeao, ridden by Brazilian Tiago Pereira for French trainer Pascal Bary, made all the running to win the world’s richest horse race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, on Saturday. The victory was well deserved compensation after the horse finished second to US raider Well Armed in the 2009 race, although a distant 14 lengths behind. It was a close-run thing this year as it looked as if Lizard’s Desire, ridden by Kevin Shea for South African trainer Mike de Kock, was going to catch Gloria de Campeao on the line. In a desperate photo-finish, the seven-year-old, a 16-1 chance in London betting, just held on by a nose from Lizard’s Desire (33-1) with Allybar (161) a short head away when finishing third out of 14 runners. “He’s a wonderful horse. He always tries,” Gloria de Campeao’s trainer Bary told AtTheRaces TV. The victory is worth a massive $6 million to winning connections but Bary said: “At the moment, I don’t speak money, I speak horses”. Beaten jockey Shea thought at first he had just grabbed the spoils on Lizard’s Desire, telling

Hedberg finished with 34 saves and earned his second shutout of the season.

Senators 3, Panthers 2 At Ottawa, Daniel Alfredsson scored the winning goal early in the third period and Brian Elliott made 20 saves for Ottawa, which topped Florida for its fourth straight victory. Matt Cullen and Peter Regin also scored for the Senators. Erik Karlsson assisted on all of Ottawa’s goals. Stephen Weiss and Steven Reinprecht scored for the Panthers. Tomas Vokoun finished with 22 saves.

Islanders 4, Blue Jackets 3 At Columbus, Josh Bailey scored 2:58 into overtime to send the New York Islanders to a come-from-behind win over the hosts. Kyle Okposo, Sean Bergenheim and Jon Sim scored in regulation for New York, which won for the first time at Nationwide Arena in its sixth attempt. It was the only NHL arena in which the Islanders hadn’t won. The Islanders earned their second road victory since Jan. 18 despite squandering a two-goal lead. —AP

Hakuho bags Emperor’s Cup

DUBAI: Pascal Bary trainer (left) and Tiago Pereira jockey of Gloria De Campeao from Brazil hold the trophy after winning the Dubai World Cup at Meydan horse race track.—AP the Racing Post: “When we crossed the line I really thought I might just have done it but then I was not sure. “He has run the race of his life and been denied by the narrowest of margins. It is very disappointing to be beaten so narrowly but it was great to be

involved in such an exciting race.” Victorious Pereira, who also won last year’s Singapore Cup on Gloria de Campeao, said: “The horse deserved that after a great run in this race last year”. American challenger Gio Ponti, second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic, fin-

ished fourth. Fancied English raiders Gitano Hernando and Twice Over were further back along with France’s Vision d’Etat, who had to pass a morning vet’s examination before being allowed to run. The race, by far the most valuable in the world, capped the

spectacular official opening of the $2 billion Meydan complex, which has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. In other lucrative action, the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic went to young English jockey William Buick who scored in his first Group One ride for his new

retaining trainer John Gosden when partnering the filly Dar Re Mi to a 9-1 success. Al Shemali, a 40-1 outsider, won the other $5 million race, the Dubai Duty Free, for jockey Royston Ffrench and leading Dubai trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.—Reuters

OSAKA: Mongolian Hakuho has defeated compatriot Harumafuji to win his 13th Emperor’s Cup at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament. Grand champion Hakuho sent ozeki Harumafuji sprawling to the dirt surface yesterday with an arm throw to finish the spring tournament with a perfect 15-0 record. Estonian Baruto finished with a 14-1 record after a win over Kotomitsuki and is virtually assured of being promoted to the sport’s second-highest rank of ozeki for the next tournament. Hakuho is the sole grand champion competing in sumo following the retirement of Mongolian Asashoryu, who was forced to leave the sport last month over claims he hit a man and broke his nose during a latenight drinking session in Tokyo. Meanwhile, a hulking former Estonian nightclub bouncer has gone some way to restoring harmony to the world of sumo after a troubled period for Japan’s ancient sport. The 1.98-metre tall, 190-kilogram Baruto is to be promoted to sumo’s second-highest rank of “ozeki” after coming close to winning his first Emperor’s Cup yesterday. Baruto, whose real name is the less intimidating Kaido Hoovelson, demonstrated security guard firmness by barging out rival Kotomitsuki to finish with a 14-1 record. “I want to be a powerful ozeki and please the fans,” the Baltic giant told reporters. “I got nervous towards the end but I’m surprised at how well I performed.” Baruto’s promotion is expect-

ed to be made formal by sumo officials on Wednesday. The 25-yearold will become the second European to reach the rank after Bulgarian Kotooshu in 2005. Mongolian “yokozuna” (grand champion) Hakuho paid tribute to Baruto after claiming his 13th major title with a 15-0 record by winning his bout to dash the Estonian’s playoff hopes. “Baruto’s sumo was amazing,” said Hakuho, the sport’s sole yokozuna after countryman Asashoryu quit in disgrace last month amid a “booze-rage” probe. “I wasn’t allowed to say this until the tournament was finished but I was relieved to have won my bout today (to avoid a playoff).” After the trouble-prone Asashoryu’s abrupt retirement following reports of a drunken scuffle outside a Tokyo nightclub, Hakuho displayed diplomacy his fellow Mongolian often lacked. “We have a big hole to fill with Asashoryu gone but sumo has a new ozeki and I expect him to be a major rival.” Baruto, whose name is a reference to the Japanese name for the Baltic Sea, joins a growing list of overseas wrestlers at the top of sumo. Japan has been without a yokozuna since Takanohana’s retirement in 2003, the same year firebrand Asashoryu became the first Mongolian to reach sumo’s summit. Historians agree sumo dates back around 2,000 years but foreign wrestlers have stolen the thunder from the Japanese over the last 15.—Reuters



Monday, March 29, 2010

Sevens raises Olympic hopes for Pacific nations HONG KONG: In the 114-year history of the Olympic movement, tiny Fiji and Samoa have never so much as won a medal. But their prospects changed on Oct. 9, when the International Olympic Committee voted to include rugby sevens in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. The two Pacific island nations may not boast any world-class sprinters or swimmers — but they both happen to be very, very good at the condensed form of rugby. Fiji is a two-time World Cup champion. Samoa has never lifted the Melrose Cup, but it’s a formidable contender on the IRB Sevens world series. And the Samoans are in particularly hot form this year, having won three straight titles in

Las Vegas, Adelaide and Hong Kong. On the sidelines of the Hong Kong Sevens — the biggest and most prestigious event in rugby sevens — as organizers and IRB officials revel in their recent Olympic inclusion, Fiji and Samoa are also looking ahead to 2016. “I haven’t known any athlete from Fiji who has competed in the Olympic Games. I think this is the only opportunity for us to compete,” retired Fiji sevens legend Waisale Serevi, who worked on the rugby bid for Olympic status, told The Associated Press. “Our country hasn’t won any sort of medal at the Olympic Games. So it gives us the chance to win at least some sort of medal and to be recognized on the

Olympic stage,” Samoa sevens coach Stephen Betham said. Betham said he expects Samoa’s rugby officials to soon start screening teenagers for Olympic potential. “Our high-performance unit will be looking at surveying schools and how to identify players who can play in the sevens arena and get them to start high-performance programs,” he said. But the two countries are also careful not to get ahead of themselves. In the six years between now and the Rio Games, the sevens landscape is expected to become more competitive, not just dominated by the Pacific islands and traditional powerhouses such as New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa,

which also excel at the traditional 15-aside format. And only 12 teams will qualify for the 2016 Games. “We have an opportunity, but we must bear in mind that a lot of other teams also want to get a medal,” said Serevi, a member of Fiji’s World Cup-winning squads in 1997 and 2005. “It’s a long way to go. We have just got to have the right plan to get there,” Fiji sevens coach Iliesa Tanivula said. For two countries at the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s a different kind of excitement. China and the United States combined for a total 87 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but rugby is often an afterthought in both countries. In the US, Olympic status for rugby

sevens may give the game a higher profile, US sevens coach Al Caravelli said. “It’s really legitimized the sport,” Caravelli told reporters, adding that the sevens national team is already enjoying new resources, such as access to the US Olympic training center in San Diego, California. Former American football recruit Zach Test switched to rugby sevens two years ago. The 20-year-old Olympic hopeful says he thinks short, fast-paced sevens games are an ideal for the American broadcast market. “It’s going to take off. It’s the perfect American sport. It’s a 14-minute game, then you can have a commercial, and then there’s another game,” he said. The US

team reached a milestone recently in Adelaide, Australia by making a surprising run to its first-ever cup final in world sevens series. In China, rugby takes a back seat to diving, table tennis and badminton. Currently, it’s mainly played at the university level, lacking the nationwide network of city and provincial teams that China uses to groom talent in other sports. China sevens coach Jiang Xuming said it’s still unclear how much Chinese sports officials will beef up their rugby program, but he’s hopeful there will be a push to make it a national sport. “The situation will definitely be much better than it is now,” Jiang said.—AP

Bulls charge continues

PERTH: Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe wins a high ball from two Bulls players during their Super 14 rugby union match.—AP

MERC Rally teams run in the shadow of WRC counterparts in Jordan Rally DEAD SEA: While the spotlight falls on the main FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) contenders taking part in this weekend’s Jordan Rally, around 36 of the entire field of 65 drivers will take part in the third round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). This is the first time that the regional rally series has run alongside the WRC, although MERC drivers will only tackle legs two and three of the main event on Friday and Saturday. The first running of the dual-status event has also forced officials at Jordan Motorsport to make several contingency plans in terms of results and timings, bearing in mind that five of the WRC field are also registered for the MERC. Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah is the joint leader of the regional rally series in his Skoda Fabia S2000, but he is also registered for the Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC). The six-time regional champion clinched victory in Qatar in January with a Ford Fiesta S2000, but was forced to miss the Kuwait round of the series because of a date clash with Rally Mexico. He was able to carry out a preevent test with other SWRC runners on Sunday. Al-Attiyah has won 35 rounds of the region-

al series — a feat only surpassed by Mohammed Ben Sulayem (60) — and will tackle Thursday’s special stages with other SWRC runners and runs the risk of damaging his car before the MERC gets underway on Friday morning. Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi has retired his Kronos Peugeot 207 S2000 from the opening two rounds and the pointless Saudi is in dire need of a strong finish in Jordan if he is to add to the solitary MERC win he took in Syria last season. Jordanians, Amjad Farrah and Mazan Tantash, are also tackling the WRC event and are registered to score points in the regional series. Farrah won the Jordan Rally in 2004 and is the only local driver ever to win a round of the championship. The UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi will continue the test and development of the new Ford Fiesta S2000 by running as top seed in the MERC category. Al-Qassimi scored maximum points by taking his seventh MERC victory in Kuwait earlier this month. He won the Jordan Rally in 2007 and is sure to be chasing a podium finish on Saturday afternoon now that the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) have backed a decision for Al-Qassimi to push for a first regional title since 2004.

Qatar’s Misfer Al-Marri finished second in last year’s regional championship and is seeded at two in an Autotek Subaru. The Dohabased driver has never won a round of the series, but has eight points after two rounds and is merely two points off the three-way tie for the lead held by Al-Attiyah, Al-Qassimi and Qatar’s Sheikh Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani. AlThani was regional champion in 1993 and scored his first podium finish since the mid1990s with third overall in Qatar. The UAE’s Rashid Al-Ketbi is the fastest driver in the Middle East never to win a round of the championship. He lies joint fourth in the series on eight points and is more than capable of pushing his Skoda Fabia S2000 to a top finish over the demanding stages in the Dead Sea area. Jordanians offer strength in depth to the MERC entry: former national champion Faris Bustami is seeded at nine and Faris Hijazi, Ahmad Mihyar, lady driver Abir Al-Batikhi, Issa Abu Jamous, Rami Hijazi, Hani Al-Baset and Ahd Eid round off the strong local contingent. Drivers from Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon and Abu Dhabi bolster an entire field of drivers from 26 nations, making the Jordan Rally one of the most international sporting events of the year.

WELLINGTON: The Bulls remained unbeaten through seven rounds of rugby’s Super 14, beating the last-placed Western Force 28-15 Saturday for their first win this season outside South Africa. The defending champions opened a five-point lead in the standings with their sixth win from as many games, ahead of the Stormers and Canterbury Crusaders who had seventhround byes. The inactivity of the Stormers and Crusaders had little effect on the standings, other than to extend the Bulls’ lead. The New South Wales Waratahs remained in fourth place after a 39-32 win over the Auckland Blues, and the ACT Brumbies stayed fifth after a 30-23 home win over the Waikato Chiefs. Most notably, the Queensland Reds demonstrated their ability to in South Africa, beating the Cheetahs 31-10 at Bloemfontein to move up to sixth place with a 42 record. The Chiefs (3-3) dropped back to seventh ahead of the Wellington Hurricanes, who suffered their fourth-straight loss, and the Blues (3-3) who are now ninth. The Sharks, who beat the Hurricanes 29-26 at Wellington for their second straight win after starting the season with five losses, are an improving 10th and will play four of their last six games at home. The transformation of the Reds under ex-Wallaby prop Ewen McKenzie, who previously coached the Waratahs and the French club Stade Francais, has been a feature of the season. Queensland has been one of the tournament’s regular cellardwellers in past seasons, finishing 12th in 2006, 14th in 2007, 12th in 2008 and 13th last year. McKenzie has managed, without a significant infusion of new talent, to turn the struggling franchise around. The Reds’ win over the Cheetahs was its first in South Africa in four years and marked the first time in six years the team has won three straight games. McKenzie was still unimpressed with his team’s form. “We did everything we could to try and keep them in the game. We dropped the ball, gave away penalties, yellow cards and whatever,” he said. “In the end, the scoreline was probably impressive for a team like us that hasn’t won in South Africa for four years. But the reality is we’re not really happy with the way we went about it.” The Bulls scored three tries to none in their win over the Western Force at Perth, but were less impressive than in their five straight games victories in South Africa. The Force, whose points came from five James O’Connor penalties, competed more strongly than their last-placing suggested. Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said his team showed fighting spirit, even if it failed to maintain its average of more than 40 points per game. “We were really happy with the win,” he said. “The first half we got in the right areas, maybe didn’t use all our opportunities, but in the second half we were clinical, got up there and got the points. “I think it was just patience, just applying the pressure.” Lachie Turner dashed 90 meters for an intercept try nine minutes from fulltime to lift the Waratahs. Flyhalf Daniel Halangahu converted the try and added a late penalty to seal the win, finishing with two tries, four conversions and two penalties for 24 points. “The points (Halangahu) scored were obviously impressive, but the thing that really impressed me was his game control and his decision making,” Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said. “His composure actually had an influence on the team and obviously in that 10 position that’s really important. His leadership and composure out there was really important in a game where there was a lot of pressure.” —AP

ORLANDO: Ernie Els of South Africa hits a shot from a sand trap on the 18th hole during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill.—AP

Els closes in on second successive tour victory ORLANDO: A rejuvenated Ernie Els closed in on his second successive PGA Tour win by finishing the Arnold Palmer Invitational third round with a oneshot lead over American Ben Curtis on Saturday. South African Els, winner of this month’s WGCCA Championship, shot a three-under 69 to close on 10-under 206. Curtis (70), who had been bogey-free for 31 holes, finally succumbed on the 16th and 17th to surrender the lead. Chris Couch (69) of the US was third, three shots behind Els, after enjoying some luck on the final hole when his ball ricocheted off three rocks on the edge of greenside water before jumping on to the green and allowing him to make par. Italian Edoardo Molinari (70) was joint fourth with American Kevin Na (72), four shots off the lead. World number three Phil Mickelson had a disappointing round with the putter-five bogeys and two birdies leaving him seven shots behind Els. Els, who won at Bay Hill 12 years ago, was oozing confidence after his third round in the sixties and was delighted with his play in glorious weather. “I felt comfortable from tee to green. I felt I struck the ball very nicely and my driving was a lot

better too, so I’m pleased with that,” he said. I felt the course was tougher today, especially the back nine. The greens finally got firmer. It was tough getting to those hole positions.” Els has a good record going into the final round with the lead, he has won 11 of 16 PGA Tour events when holding or sharing the third round lead, including the last seven occasions. The 40-year-old said he would have to be on his guard though on the freshly redesigned course. “There’s so many doglegs here, there are so many trouble holes with hazards and all kinds of stuff. “Length is not always the way to go here. I might just play it a bit more safe (and) basically play major championship-type of golf.” Couch conceded he had been fortunate to have avoided the water after watching his ball bounce around the jagged rocks. “I saw it very well. I kept thinking ‘please, please bounce on the green, baby, bounce on the green’. “That was a great break at the right time there. I was in a good position and I didn’t need to take worse than a par on that hole, especially making double or worse if it goes in the water. “It was a great break.”—Reuters

Seo extends Kia Classic lead CARLSBAD: South Korea’s Hee Kyung Seo shot a 3-under 69 Saturday to extend her lead to five strokes after three rounds of the inaugural Kia Classic. At 10-under 206, she is five clear of Taiwan’s Candie Kung, who also fired 69 in the third round. “Five shots is a big lead, but there are lots of great players,” Seo said. “I want to just play my game and not think about other things.” Seo, a South Korean who is not a member of the LPGA Tour, received one of the three sponsor’s exemptions to get into the tournament. She is playing in her sixth LPGA tournament, and has won 11 times on the KLPGA Tour. She said she would look back at her victories to help settle final-round jitters. “In final rounds of every championship I have been a little bit nervous,” Seo said. “I know what I have to do to win. I think I will enjoy it.” Michelle Wie, who is trying to win her second LPGA event, shot a 1-over 73 and is equal with China’s Feng Shanshan for third place, six strokes back. Feng shot a 68, level for best round of the day with Cristie Kerr and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist. Wie had a chance to get closer to Seo, but struggled on the front nine. “It was an interesting day out there,” said Wie, who had two bogies on the front nine. “The front nine was a bit tough for me. I was a bit unlucky in situations and I think I only hit one or two greens on the front nine.” Kung has won four times on the LPGA Tour and believes it is possible to catch Seo and win the first full-field tour event in Southern California since 2005. “If you get lucky out there,” Kung said of her chances to win. “If you get the bounce that you need, the bounce in the hole, then you can catch her for sure.” Seo began the day with a one-stroke lead, but started her round with her second bogey of the tournament. She came back with four birdies, including a 20-foot birdie on No. 16. “I was a little nervous on the first hole, but was trying to get relaxed,” Seo said. “I started concentrating on my shots and played well on the back nine.”—AP

CARLSBAD: Hee Kyung Seo of South Korea holds up the ball on the 18th hole after finishing the third round of the LPGA Kia Classic golf tournament.—AP


Monday, March 29, 2010


Another memorable event — FOCC’s ‘DNV CRYcket — 2010’ KUWAIT: On March 26 ‘10, the Ahmadi sports grounds wore a festive look. Children and adults sporting colorful dresses, displaying tremendous excitement and spirit of friendship in greetings and participation were seen all over the place to participate in the annual cricket tournament christened as “DNV CRYcket-2010” organized by Friends of CRY Club - Kuwait (FOCC-Kuwait). DNV-Kuwait branch were the main sponsor of this year’s event and co-sponsored by Payal Jewelers’ and Lambwestern Co. For the first time a Souvenir was released commemorating the 12 glorious years of FOCC’s activities. A motivating message from the ambassador of India to Kuwait, Ajai Malhotra and a message from Chief Executive of CRY-India, Ms. Puja Marwaha were the highlights, beside insights on Brain Bang mission and a brief on our supported project Manav Ashrita Sansthan (MAS). A unique drive for “Associate Membership” was also introduced in 2009 where anyone from the society could sign-up and feel attached to the FOCC & CRY mission. One of the highest number of children’s’ teams participated this year — ten Senior children and eleven Junior children teams — vying with each other for top honors consisting of a glittering rolling “CRYcket” trophy in each category. Additionally there was the KIDS corner where one could see children and adults participating in a spirit of friendship in the exciting games. The drawing competition and essay competitions wherein both children

and adults participants showed their drawing and writing skills. There was the Buy for CRY stall where articles donated by good Samaritans through FOCC’s efforts could be picked up almost for a song. The Telugu Kala Samithi (TKS) put up a canteen for tasty food items. It was pure fun and everything done at the event was for a noble cause - to help the underprivileged children in India in our own humble way. The Ambassador of India in Kuwait, Ajai Malhotra graced the occasion despite his busy schedule and lauded the efforts of FOCC for its activities and doing its bit for the underprivileged children rights in India. He enjoyed the final matches of both the junior and the senior

teams, officially released the “Souvenir” and presented the winners and the runner-up team Captains with the trophies to a thunderous applause from the parents and cricket lovers. Our special thanks to him. HS Gandhi, Country Manager (Kuwait) of DNV-Kuwait, who were the event sponsors, in his short speech congratulated the children and the organizers and expressed his continued support towards FOCC. Medals and certificates to all participants of CRYcket 2010 were given by Mr. Gandhi as well as Jamal A. Chaaraoui & Oussama Daher of Quality Light & Heavy Eqpt. Co. “With CRY every one is a winner”. The participating teams in the

DNV CRYKET-2010 tournament were: Senior Category: Carmel Super Kings; CCC; FAIPS. DPS; Falcon DNV; Friendz XI; Gladiators; Gulfmart Masters; Oman Exchange; Riggae Cricket Coaching; Terminators whereas Junior Category had: CCC; FAIPS. DPS Juniors A; FAIPS.DPS Juniors B; Gladiators Juniors; Gladiators Eleven; Gulfmart Blasters; Oman Exchange XI; Pace XI-A; Pace XI- B; Qatar Airways Super Tots. After almost 10 hours of quality cricket play, the winner for the Seniors was DPS Seniors and the runner-up, CCC. The best player award went to Fizan (76 runs). In the Junior category, the winner’s trophy was picked up by

CCC and the runner’s-up trophy went to RCC. The best player award was given to Allen (82 runs & 4 wickets). The two girl children who played cricket this year - Sanghamitra and Srineedhi from Gladiators XI were honored by the FOCC and by the Ambassador. Their coach and parents were congratulated for their encouragement to the girls. For the Drawing competition held in three categories from age under 6 years to 16 years, N. Anjali, Pratishtha Reddy; and Vishala Darshini. For the Essay competition held in two categories from age 11 years to 16 years: Ikhlaas Merchant and Presil were the first and second prize winners. For the adult category, Binoy

Sebastian’s essay won the prize. The Raffle draw was done at the hands of Tehmina Merchant, our oldest FOCC supporter where Reena took home the fabulous first prize. Handsome prizes offered by Payal Jewellers, Avanti Palace Restaurant, Cake & Bake, Marina Hotel among others were bagged by 13 other lucky persons. FOCC thanks with gratitude the participating children and parents for working so hard with the children, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), KOC Hockey committee, Indian Embassy, Det Norske Veritaas (DNV), Payal Jewellers, LambWestern, E.S. Rao, Quality Light & Heavy Equipment Co., Career Hunters, Avanti Palace Restaurant, KAPICO Travels &

Tours, Cake & Bake, Marina Hotel, Udayam Restaurant, Life Insurance Co. (LIC), Joseph Sebastian, Fantasy World, Sahara Airconditioning Co., Telugu Kala Samiti (TKS), Friends of FOCC, the cricket umpires, scorers and all supporters including the local press — IndiansinKuwait. com, Kuwaitsamachar. com, Goa-world. com, Mangalorean. com and The one day event was a refreshing get away for all the participants and parents alike that had a touching gesture to the society at large. You can join hands with FOCC by becoming a volunteer and/or an associate member. For details visit or email:

Indian sports minister critical of BCCI, IPL NEW DELHI: Sports Minister MS Gill has accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India of having a conflict of interest as national administrators of the sport and backers of the lucrative Indian Premier League, which he says is damaging the game. In an extraordinary criticism, Gill told English-language TV news channel CNN-IBN that cricket had become “an instrument of business,” and changes introduced to make the IPL’s Twenty20 format more popular for TV audiences were bad for the game, the Press Trust of India reported yesterday. The IPL has increased from eight to 10 teams this season and attracts many of the leading players from around the world, who earn high salaries based on what the teams are prepared to pay for them at auction. It has also sparked interest around the world in Twenty20 cricket, which can be over in three hours and features often risky shotmaking by batsmen. But Gill said IPL stakeholders should not be allowed to hold top positions in the BCCI. “Those who control the game, that is BCCI, they have a direct interest as owners of teams, as people who have a direct benefit from it and this is something very dangerous,” Gill was quoted as saying. “Major office bearers are on both sides. “Those who are to make rules for everyone, for all aspects of the game and keeping in view the interest of the game and the country and the long term, have to be totally apart from being involved in IPL in any way.” Gill said as well as impacting on the longer, more traditional cricket formats, the money offered in the IPL was threatening player loyalty to their countries. Some older players already have retired from international cricket to play in the IPL. “The five-day test is under challenge and you see nobody turns up for it, crowds have already been moved away. Even the 50-over is reduced to T20 and I sometimes say jokingly that we’ll go to T5 and then T1 and then half an over,” Gill reportedly told the TV network. “People will not be that keen to play for the national team, as they will be for a commercial team. Certainly, test cricket and India’s position in it will be affected.” Gill said the cricket season had been

altered to accommodate the IPL, the playing field had been reduced in size — making it easier for batsmen to hit boundaries — controversial new bats had been permitted and the bowler was “the victim” in the game. The IPL’s “focus is earning money. Now two new teams have been bought and one of the gentlemen who has bought ... said ‘look this is business, we bought it for business and our job is to earn from it. Cricket is an instrument of business.”‘ He also said IPL should be forced to pay for the police deployed to ensure security at matches in April and May because it was leaving cities “unguarded or less guarded.” The second edition of the IPL was moved to South Africa last year because national security officials were concerned about the schedule conflict with national elections stretching police resources too much. The IPL teams are owned by some of India’s wealthiest business people and celebrities. The league issued a statement last week saying the brand value of the IPL had doubled in the last 12 months to $4.13 billion, citing figures from British-based Brand Finance valuation consultancy. The IPL said the three-year-old IPL brand had a higher value than English Premier League football club Manchester United. The Chennai Super Kings was considered the most valuable club, worth an estimated $48.4 million, while the Kolkata Knight Riders, coowned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, was valued at $46 million. The IPL is administered by a 14member governing council, led by chairman and IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, a BCCI vice president, architect of the league and a member of a wealthy Indian family. The governing council also includes BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who is a prominent lawyer, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, who is a leading industrialist and head of the All India Chess Federation, former BCCI president Inderjit Singh Bindra, BCCI honorary treasurer MP Pandove, and former Indian test captains Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Modi did not respond to a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.—AP

Calzaghe admits to cocaine use

KUWAIT: Asad Baig Tournament Director of the event with Sheikh Dari Fahed.

Kuwait face Singapore in the opening match KUWAIT: Under the Presidentship of Sheikh Dari Fahed Al Ahmad AlSabah, Kuwait Cricket has added another feather in their cap as they are all set to host the ACC trophy Elite 2010 for the first time. Incidentally, the ACC Elite trophy is rated as the biggest tournament in the history of Kuwait cricket so far. Kuwait has the tradition of hosting Gulf Cup in 2004, Middle East trophy 2006, first ever ACC T20 trophy in 2007 and the ACC U19 Elite trophy in 2009. The fixtures have been announced for the ACC Trophy Elite 2010 to be played at KOC grounds, Ahmadi, Kuwait Entertainment City ground & Sulaibiya ground between March 31st and April 9th. The ten-team tournament has Bhutan competing at the senior elite-level for the very firstt time sinince they gained promotion from the 2009 ACC Trophy Challenge. Top ten teams from the non Test

playing nations from the Asian region will be vying for the prestigious trophy as the finalists of this tournament normally qualify for the next Asia Cup along with test playing nations, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. Defending champions of the ACC Trophy Elite, Hong Kong will have to work out hard as they have to face stiff opposition from the UAE team which were unbeaten in the ACC Trophy from 2000 to 2008, however in the last

which recently became the only affiliate member to qualify for the ICC World T20 after they won the qualifier. Afghanistan always have strong support wherever they play and it is expected that the talented Afghanistan team would really be a crowd puller to attract many thousands. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Nepal, Singapore and UAE have been playing regular cricket in ICC tournaments over the past season and surely will have raised their standards. Host Kuwait will face Singapore in the first match of the tournament which will be inaugurated by H.E Frank Baker, Ambassador of United Kingdom. The event is sponsored by Asian Cricket Council (ACC} and co-sponsored by Al-Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Kuwait Radisson SAS, Gulf Bank, Khorafi Business Machine and BKME.

Kuwait to host ACC Trophy Elite tournament Saudi Arabia beat them in the group stage and they surrendered their hold on the event losing the Final to Hong Kong by three wickets. Since then Hong Kong have been joined by Afghanistan, Nepal and Singapore as serious contenders. The star attraction and the crowd favorites will obviously be Afghanistan, the newest ODI nation

LONDON: Former undefeated super-middleweight world boxing champion Joe Calzaghe apologised for using cocaine yesterday after being caught out by a British newspaper. Calzaghe, 38, who retired from boxing a year ago having won all 46 of his professional fights, released a statement on his website ( apologising to fans for his “occasional use of cocaine” since retiring. “I’m not proud to say that I have joined a list of royals, sports and showbiz stars who have been scammed by the News of the World’s notorious Fake Sheikh,” Welshman Calzaghe said, explaining how he had been secretly filmed by the newspaper’s reporters speaking about his drug use. The News of the World, whose leading undercover reporter sometimes poses as a sheikh to befriend celebrities, carried the story on its front page yesterday. “In talking directly to my fans, I would only add that I am deeply sorry if anyone feels let down and I will make sure that nothing like it happens again,” Calzaghe said. His statement added: “I very much regret my occasional use of cocaine in what have sometimes been the long days since my retirement from the ring. “I am fully aware of the bad example it sets to other people and particularly to youngsters and I apologise to my family, friends and fans. “It is not a major problem in my life but it is something which I am actively addressing.” Meanwhile, Thai hard man Pongsaklek Wongjongkam said Japan’s Koki Kameda lacked heart after regaining the WBC flyweight title with a bloody points win. The 32-year-old, who used to employ a teenage Kameda as a sparring partner, rubbed salt into the Japanese fighter’s wounds after ending his brash opponent’s swift reign as champion in Tokyo. “He had bad manners but he had raw fighting spirit,” Pongsaklek told Sunday’s Japanese media. “This time his manners were good but he had no heart.” “I have faith in my technique,” added the Thai, who won a flyweight-division record 17 title defences before a shock defeat by Japan’s Daisuke Naito in July 2007. “I have a lot of experience. I just told myself to keep calm and move forward and I got into my rhythm quickly.” Kameda, who was a pale shadow of the fighter who won the title from Naito last November, left the ring with blood pouring from a gash above his right eye after losing for the first time in 23 professional contests. The 23-year-old refused to talk to reporters but his controversial father and former cornerman Shiro Kameda, who has been banned from training, exploded with rage. “The judges were a joke!” fumed Kameda as a metal chair crashed into the closed door of the locker room as listening reporters huddled outside. “The scoring was ridiculous.” Pongsaklek, who improved his record to 75-3-1, could now accept an offer from Naito, who was ringside on Saturday, for his first title defence. —Reuters



Monday, March 29, 2010

Button wins Australian GP

MELBOURNE: McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain waves to the crowd after winning the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. —AP

F1 standings Formula One standings after the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne yesterday. Drivers Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes GP Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull M Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes GP Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) BMW Sauber Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams Karun Chandhok (India) HRT Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso

37 points 33 31 23 20 18 12 9 8 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin Lucas di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber

0 0 0 0 0 0

ConstructorsPoints Ferrari McLaren - Mercedes Mercedes Renault RedBull - Renault Force India - Mercedes Williams - Cosworth Toro Rosso - Ferrari BMW Sauber - Ferrari Lotus - Cosworth HRT - Cosworth Virgin - Cosworth

70 54 29 18 18 8 5 0 0 0 0 0

KEY BISCAYNE: Mardy Fish of the United States returns a shot from Andy Murray of Great Britain during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament. —AP

Fish gets past Murray KEY BISCAYNE: Unseeded American Mardy Fish earned one of the biggest victories in his 10-year career Saturday at the Sony Ericsson Open with a 6-4, 6-4 upset win over 2009 champion Andy Murray. Murray, the Australian Open runnerup in January, was seeded No. 3 at Key Biscayne but failed to survive his opening match. “He probably didn’t play the way he did in Australia,” Fish said. “But I don’t care.” Murray confirmed he has been struggling the past two months and described the problem as mostly mental. “It’s purely down to me, what goes on inside my head,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how well you practice. You need to be tough in the matches.” Topranked Roger Federer held every service game and won his opening match by beating lucky loser Nicolas Lapentti 6-3, 6-3. Federer, the Key Biscayne champion in 2005-06, has an inviting

path to the final with Murray out. No. 2 Novak Djokovic was eliminated Friday. “I hadn’t even started playing yet, and there are two big names out of the tournament already,” Federer said. “It worries me as well, being the top seed. I’m relieved I’m through the first match.” Rafael Nadal will overtake Murray for the No. 3 spot in the next rankings, while Fish advances to the third round at Key Biscayne for the first time since 2003. “I desperately wanted to play well here,” Fish said. Once a top-20 player, Fish joked that declining fortunes have made him a doubles specialist. It’s true he’s playing doubles at Key Biscayne, but he’s also mounting a comeback from left knee surgery last September. Fish’s ranking of No. 101 will rise thanks to his second career win over a player ranked in the top three. He beat Federer at Indian Wells two years ago. Three-time champion Venus Williams reached the fourth round by beating

Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-4 and is the the only American who reached the final 32 in the women’s draw. She and sister Serena are the lone US women in the top 40. “It’s just definitely strange because of the unbelievable tradition we’ve had with tennis for Americans since the beginning,” Williams said. “That’s what makes it so odd. With Serena and me, the standard has been set pretty high. Hopefully there will be someone coming along soon with the tools and the traits, and who will build that in their game to get there.” Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova beat No. 27 Agnes Szavay 6-2, 6-3. Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic’s recent struggles continued with a loss to No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, 7-5, 7-5. Joining Fish in the third round were No. 5-seeded Robin Soderling and No. 10 Fernando Verdasco. Soderling beat Peter Luczak 7-6 (5), 6-0, and Verdasco eliminated Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-2.— AP

MELBOURNE: Formula One world champion Jenson Button timed his pitstop to perfection to chalk up his first win for McLaren in a rain-affected and entertaining Australian Grand Prix yesterday. The Briton, a winner in Melbourne with Brawn GP last year, took the lead when Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, starting on pole position, was pitched into the gravel midrace by a brake failure. “It feels so good... Guys, amazing job, I think we got that pitstop pretty much perfect,” Button, who went for an early change to slicks that proved crucial, shouted over the team radio after beating Renault’s Robert Kubica by 12.034 seconds. “It was the right time. Fantastic job, this is a great way to start the year.” Poland’s Kubica was comfortably clear of Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa, who nosed out team mate Fernando Alonso for third after the Spaniard had roared back from a first corner spin that left him in last place. With the race starting in wet conditions, Button was the first to pit for slick tyres and seemed to have got it wrong when he immediately skidded off into the gravel. It took only a lap for him to be vindicated, however, as the track dried. “He made the call on his tyres,” said McL aren team boss Martin Whitmarsh after a race full of overtaking to banish fears of more tedium after a dull opener in Bahrain two weeks ago. “We said ‘you make the call’, he got it spot on and that won him the race.” After locking out the front row, Red Bull’s race again unraveled with Vettel crashing out on lap 26 of 58 and Australian Mark Webber colliding with McL aren’s Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap while fighting for fif th place. “I had some sparks coming up from the front left wheel,” Vettel, who had missed out on victory from pole in Bahrain due to a spark plug failure, told television reporters. “We didn’t know what it was, we wanted to pit on that lap. “A couple of corners before I had huge vibrations building up and approaching turn 13... as soon as I touched the brakes the brake disk exploded it felt like.” Webber, who had hoped to become the first Australian to win his home race, ended up ninth in a race he had led briefly before falling back and having to scrap for every position. Hamilton was on Kubica’s tail and might have anchored a McL aren one-two, or even won, before his team called him in for a misguided second change of tyres. “I think I probably had one of the drives of my life,” he told the BBC. “Unfortunately due to the strategy I was put further back and then I got taken out by Mark Webber. “I think I honestly drove my heart out today and I think I deserved better than what I ended up with,” the 25-yearold added. The Briton, embroiled in a lying scandal in Melbourne last year, had qualified 11th after making headlines on Friday when police stopped him and impounded his Mercedes road car for what he described as over-exuberant driving off the track. Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher finished 10th for Mercedes after being effectively ruled out at turn one. Button’s left front tyre hit Alonso’s right at the first corner, causing the Spaniard to spin and collide with Schumacher and break the Mercedes’ front wing to force an unscheduled stop. Only 14 cars finished the race as intermittent showers made tyre selection, and the timing of pitstops, a key factor on the bumpy street circuit. The safety car made an early appearance when BMW Sauber’s Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi rebounded off a barrier at turn six on the first lap, crashing into Williams’s German driver Nico Hulkenberg. The incident also forced Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi out. Double world champion Alonso, who won on his Ferrari debut in Bahrain last week, stayed top of the standings after two races with 37 points to Massa’s 33. Button has 31. —Reuters

HOUSTON: Houston Rockets’ Jermaine Taylor (8) passes around Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom (7) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game. —AP

Lakers defuse Rockets HOUSTON: Pau Gasol scored 30 points as the Los Angeles L akers beat the short-handed Houston Rockets 109-101 on Saturday, getting back on track a night after a terrible outing in Oklahoma City. The Lakers used a 20-0 run in the last 6 minutes of the second quarter to take a commanding lead and didn’t trail after that en route to their eighth win in nine games. Kobe Bryant, who went to the bench with 51/2 minutes left, came up one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Luis Scola led Houston with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Mavericks 111, Warriors 90 At Oakland, Rodrigue Beaubois scored a career-high 40 points as Dallas beat Golden State to end a twogame losing streak. Beaubois made 9 of 11 3-pointers, was 15 of 22 overall from the field and made his only free throw. The 6foot guard from Guadeloupe had 26 points in the first half. Shawn Marion added 18 points for Dallas. Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 21 points, and Anthony Tolliver had a career-high 21 rebounds — 20 in the second half. Jazz 103, Wizards 87 At Washington, Mehmet Okur had 22 points and 11 rebounds as Utah beat Washington, extending the Wizards’ team-record losing streak to 15 games. Deron Williams had 20 points and 12 assists for the Jazz, and Carlos Boozer added 22 points — hitting all eight of his second-half shots — and 10 rebounds. Andray Blatche led Washington with 20 points, and Nick Young had 16. The Wizards haven’t won since Feb. 28. T Blazers 112, Hornets 101 At New Orleans, Brandon Roy scored 28 points as Portland eliminated New Orleans from playoff contention with its 10th win in 12 games. Roy hit 11 of his first 12 shots, only two of them layups. He finished 12 of 14 in 32 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points. Darren Collison had 22 points for New Orleans on 10-of-10 shooting. Bulls 106, Nets 83 At Chicago, Jannero Pargo scored a season-high 27 points, and Taj Gibson had a career-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds for Chicago. Terrence Williams led New Jersey with 16 points. The NBA-worst Nets were coming off consecutive victories. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. Utah 103, Washington 87; Chicago 106, New Jersey 83; Portland 112, New Orleans 101; LA Lakers 109, Houston 101; Dallas 111, Golden State 90. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 47 25 .653 Toronto 35 36 .493 NY Knicks 26 46 .361 Philadelphia 26 47 .356 New Jersey 9 64 .123 Central Division Cleveland 57 16 .781 Milwaukee 39 32 .549 Chicago 34 38 .472 Indiana 27 46 .370 Detroit 23 49 .319 Southeast Division Orlando 51 22 .699 Atlanta 46 26 .639 Miami 39 34 .534 Charlotte 38 34 .528 Washington 21 51 .292 Western Conference Northwest Division Denver 48 25 .658 Utah 48 26 .649 Oklahoma City 44 27 .620 Portland 44 29 .603 Minnesota 14 59 .192 Pacific Division LA Lakers 54 19 .740 Phoenix 46 26 .639 LA Clippers 27 45 .375 Sacramento 24 49 .329 Golden State 20 52 .278 Southwest Division Dallas 48 25 .658 San Antonio 44 28 .606 Memphis 38 34 .528 Houston 36 36 .500 New Orleans 34 40 .459

GB 11.5 21 21.5 38.5 17 22.5 30 33.5 4.5 12 12.5 29.5 .5 3 4 34 7.5 26.5 30 33.5 4 9.5 11.5 14.5

SACRAMENTO: Georgia forward Angel Robinson (right) watches the last minutes of their game against Stanford in the NCAA Sacramento Regional semifinal college basketball game. Stanford won 73-36. —AP

West Virginia shock Kentucky S Y R A C U S E : We s t Vi rg i n i a shocked top seeded Kentucky 7366 on Saturday to join underdog Butler as the first two teams in the NCAA collegiate basketball tournament’s Final Four. The other two teams will be determined late yesterday when D u ke w i l l p l a y B a y l o r f o r t h e S o u t h re g i o n a l t i t l e a n d Tennessee will take on Michigan State for the Midwest champi-

onship. Guard Joe Mazzulla scored 17 points to help second seeded West Virginia eliminate tournament favourite Kentucky in the East regional final. Freshman guard John Wall led the Wildcats with 19 points. B u t l e r, w h o a re b a s e d i n Indianapolis, made their first Final Four with a 63-56 upset of second seeded Kansas State in

the West regional final. G o rd o n H a y w a rd s c o re d 2 2 points to spark fifth-seeded Butler. Denis Clemente had 18 points for Kansas State. We s t Vi rg i n i a w i l l f a c e t h e Duke-Baylor winner, while Butler will meet either Michigan State or Tennessee in the other semifinal. Both games will be on April 3 in Indianapolis, with the NCAA title decider on April 5. —Reuters


Monday, March 29, 2010


Juve keep top-four hopes alive ROME: Juventus brushed off an attack on their team bus by their own fans to beat Atalanta 2-1 at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico yesterday and keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish. It was one of the fans’ betes noires, Brazil defensive midfielder Felipe Melo, who grabbed the winning goal eight minutes from time after coming off the substitutes bench. Melo, who has often borne the brunt of supporters’ frustrations this season, went on the charm offensive after the game. “That was my first goal in Turin and I’m happy that it got us an important victory,” he said. “I want to dedicate it to my family and the fans. I know that against Siena I was wrong to react against them but we were struggling and we needed their support.” It was a rare bright moment for Juve’s players in a trying season and on a troubling day that began with them coming under attack. The team were boarding the bus at the hotel where they stay before home matches when they came under fire from a hail of beer bottles and eggs. Fans, disgruntled at the team’s dire form this season, also tried to prevent the bus from leaving and the police had to intervene to allow Juve’s players to escape unscathed. Before the barrage of missiles, fans had hurled abuse at the team, singling out in particular three players: Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, French full-back Jonathan Zebina and Melo. Sky TV images showed Zebina was slapped on the neck by a man as he went to board the bus. But the day ended well as Juve closed to within three points of fourth-placed Palermo with a crucial victory, a fact not lost on coach Alberto Zaccheroni, particularly after two defeats in a row. “I expected a reaction and I got one. We really wanted this win and now we have a week off to recharge our batteries ahead of our game against Udinese,” he said. “We gave everything we had, maybe even more, and we’ve earned three vital points.” Given that they still have to travel to AC and Inter Milan before the end of the season, Juve know they must win their home games to stand a chance of earning a spot in next season’s Champions League. Evergreen forward Alessandro Del Piero gave them the lead on the half-hour mark with a brilliant trademark free-kick into the topright corner from 25 yards. But on the stroke of halftime former Juve forward Nicola Amoruso equalised after the home side’s defence were caught napping by a ball over the top, allowing Amoruso to slip a shot past goalkeeper Alex Manninger. Melo saved his teammates from more abuse-they had been met by a wall of silence at kick-off and were roundly jeered following the equaliser-when he met Del Piero’s cross at the back post and sent a looping header back across goal and in. Having arrived as a major summer signing from Fiorentina, Melo is widely considered by fans to have been the worst of the team’s flops this season and he was seen to apologise to the home supporters following his goal. Juve are sixth after Napoli beat Catania 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Paolo Cannavaro, Fabio’s younger brother, six minutes into the second period to go fifth. Sampdoria’s 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari left them in seventh, only behind Juve and Napoli on head-to-head records. Milan host Lazio in the day’s late game knowing that victory will take them to within a point of leaders Inter, who lost 2-1 at Roma on Saturday. — AFP Matches on TV (local timings) English Premier League Man City v Wigan ... 22:00 ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2 Spanish League Bilbao v Racing ...... 22:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2

Fans attack team with beer bottles, eggs

TURIN: Juventus’ supporters rally against their team outside the Olympic Stadium during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Atalanta. With 11 losses this season, Juve has matched its worst previous performance in 1956-57. — AP

Italian League results/standings ROME: Italian Serie A results and standings yesterday: Chievo 0 Parma 0; Fiorentina 4 (Vargas 36, Gilardino 55, Santana 68, Jovetic 84) Udinese 1 (Pepe 41); Juventus 2 (Del Piero 30, Felipe Melo 82) Atalanta 1 (Amoruso 45); Livorno 1 (Tavano 85) Bari 1 (Allegretti 24); Napoli 1 (Cannavaro 51) Catania 0; Sampdoria 1 (Guberti

PSG, Rennes climb, Saint-Etienne woes continue

48) Cagliari 1 (Nene 81); Siena 0 Genoa 0. Playing later AC Milan v Lazio Played Saturday AS Roma 2 (De Rossi 17, Toni 72) Inter Milan 1 (Milito 66); Palermo 3 (Miccoli 10, 43-pen, 79) Bologna 1 (Adailton 38).

Italian Serie A table on Saturday (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Inter Milan AS Roma AC Milan Palermo Napoli Juventus Sampdoria Fiorentina Genoa Bari

31 31 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 31

18 18 17 14 12 14 13 13 12 11

9 8 8 9 12 6 9 5 8 10

4 5 5 8 7 11 9 13 11 10

58 56 48 46 41 48 38 43 51 38

28 35 28 38 36 44 37 36 51 37

63 62 59 51 48 48 48 44 44 43

Parma Cagliari Chievo Catania Bologna Lazio Udinese Atalanta Siena Livorno

TURIN: Juventus’ Brazilian midfielder Diego (right) vies for the ball with Atalanta’s Giulio Migliaccio (left) during their Serie A soccer match at the Olympic Stadium. — AP

31 31 31 31 31 30 31 31 31 31

11 11 10 8 9 7 8 7 6 6

9 7 8 11 8 11 8 7 8 7

11 13 13 12 14 12 15 17 17 18

31 48 27 34 34 26 38 29 32 21

38 47 29 36 44 32 49 42 53 47

42 40 38 35 35 32 32 28 26 25

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain put their off-pitch problems to one side to record a 3-0 victory over second-bottom Boulogne at a deserted Parc des Princes stadium. The capital side have been made to play three matches behind closed doors after one of their fans died following clashes between rival PSG supporters last month, while the team have endured a disappointing season on the pitch. The hosts took a 2-0 lead into the break after an Antony Lecointe own goal and a Guillaume Hoarau penalty, while Boulogne had Bakary Soumare sent off in the 28th minute for a lastman foul on Hoarau. Mateja Kezman scored his first goal of the season nine minutes from time to round off a win that lifts PSG to 11th. “I

hope it’s the last match behind closed doors we have to play,” said PSG coach Antoine Kombouare. “We can’t get used to it, it’s horrible. We want to get our great atmosphere back, the feeling with the supporters, the joy.” Saint-Etienne remain 17th, six points above the relegation zone, after the 10time champions lost 4-0 at Lorient, having been knocked out of the French Cup in mid-week by Lens. “It’s a huge disappointment, almost a slap in the face,” said Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier. “We came with high hopes but Lorient made us pay with interest after the French Cup.” Rennes closed the gap on the top six to two points after Jimmy Briand’s second-half brace brought them a 3-1 win at second-bottom Le Mans, while Issiar

Dia netted a hat-trick as Nancy thrashed Lens 5-1. Nice, meanwhile, moved 12 points clear of the bottom three with a 2-0 win at Toulouse, who had Fode Mansare sent off for a bad foul on Chaouki Ben Saada, who had to be taken to hospital with what appeared to be a serious left ankle injury. Second-placed Montpellier was to travel to Lille in yesterday’s late game, seeking a victory that would take them three points clear at the top of the table. Current leaders Bordeaux lost 3-1 to Marseille in Saturday’s League Cup final, as the Mediterranean giants won their first trophy in 17 years. Lyon set themselves up for the visit of Bordeaux in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday by beating bottom club Grenoble 2-0 on Saturday. — AFP

Hamburg’s European hopes suffer setback

FRANCE: Marseille’ Brazilian players Brandao (left) Elinton Andrade (center) and Vitorino Hilton, poses with the French League Cup trophy during a parade in the Old Port of Marseille. — AP

Marseille end long wait with League Cup triumph PARIS: Olympique Marseille ended a 17year wait for a trophy by beating Girondins Bordeaux 3-1 in the French League Cup final on Saturday. Marseille, without silverware since their 1993 Champions League triumph, floored the Ligue 1 champions with three second-half goals at the Stade de France. Defender Souleymane Diawara and substitute Mathieu Valbuena put them 2-0 up before Bordeaux defender Mathieu Chalme deflected a Valbuena free kick into his own net. Bordeaux defender Ludovic Sane then headed a late consolation goal in the 85th minute. Sane’s team, trying to win the League Cup for a record fourth time and hoping for a boost before visiting Olympique Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tomorrow, struggled in a tense, tactical affair. Diawara showed Marseille the way when he headed home a Lucho Gonzalez corner on 61 minutes. Midfielder Valbuena doubled the advantage six minutes later, collecting a fine pass by forward Hatem Ben Arfa to fire home. With his team 2-0 down, Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc switched his focus to the Lyon game and substituted arguably his best two players, France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff and Morocco striker

Marouane Chamakh. The match was rough and marred by a few ugly scenes, notably a nasty tackle on Lucho from Sane who escaped with a booking. By the 15th minute referee Stephane Lannoy had already shown three yellow cards. The first clear chance was for Bordeaux on 22 minutes, a low drive from Gourcuff. The best opportunity before the break fell to Marseille when a curling shot from just inside the box by Brazilian forward Brandao was well punched out by keeper Ulrich Rame. With their fans making a lot more noise than the Bordeaux supporters, Marseille stepped up a gear in the second half, showing more initiative and proving the better side. Marseille came close to ending their trophy wait when they lost French Cup finals in 2006 and 2007 and the UEFA Cup finals of 1999 and 2004. The team from the soccer-mad Mediterranean port city were also stripped of the 1993 French title and demoted to the second division over a bribery scandal. Saturday’s win was a relief for their fans and also set the scene for a thrilling Ligue 1 finale, with Marseille just three points behind Bordeaux. —Reuters

BERLIN: Hamburg’s hopes of qualifying for a European place next season suffered a setback yesterday when they lost 1-0 at mid-table Borussia Moenchengladbach. The defeat at Gladbach leaves Bruno Labbadia’s side sixth in the table and four points adrift of fifthplaced Werder Bremen with six games remaining and only the top five qualifying automatically for Europe. “We were too naive,” said Hamburg captain David Jarolim. “We wanted to get into the top five, but now we have to pay attention we don’t lose sixth place.” In a scrappy game, the winner came in the 43rd minute when Dutch defender Roel Brouwers poked the ball over the line after a goal-mouth scramble to give Gladbach only their third win in the last 10 games. This was Hamburg’s third defeat in their last five league matches and leaves them 14 points behind new league leaders Schalke. Earlier, Freiburg drew 1-1 at Hoffenheim to remain in the drop zone. The guests had looked on course to escape the bottom three with a second consecutive win after Cameroon striker Mohamadou Idrissou stabbed home on 64 minutes following a mix-up in the Hoffenheim defence. But the hosts levelled when Croatian defender Josip Simunic netted in the 79th minute. The result leaves Freiburg third from bottom and if they remain there until the season ends on May 8, they will face a play-off with the third-placed team in the second division for the right to stay in the top flight. On Saturday, a Kevin Kuranyi double put Schalke top following a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, as Bayern Munich lost again in a sizeable setback ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Manchester United. Kuranyi scored both goals in the first half to put Felix Magathcoached Schalke two points clear at the top with six games remaining. The Royal Blues, who are chasing their first German league title since 1958, also saw Kuranyi take over from Leverkusen’s injured Stefan Kiessling as the league’s joint top-scorer with 17 goals alongside Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko. The defeat left Leverkusen third in the table, five points

German League results/standings BERLIN: German league results and standings yesterday: Hoffenheim 1 (Simunic 80) Freiburg 1 (Idrissou 64); Borussia Moenchengladbach 1 (Brouwers 43) Hamburg 0. Played Saturday Mainz 05 0 VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Dzeko 83, 90+1) Bayern Munich 1 (Olic 32) VfB Stuttgart 2 (Traesch 41, Marica 50); Hertha Berlin 0 Borussia Dortmund 0; Hanover 96 1

(Cherundolo 81) Cologne 4 (Tosic 12, 71, Petit 20, Novakovic 28); Werder Bremen 4 (Mertesacker 1, 20, Borowski 36, Fritz 90+3) Nuremberg 2 (Frantz 47, Choupo-Moting 63pen); Bayer Leverkusen 0 Schalke 04 2 (Kuranyi 11, 27). Played Friday VfL Bochum 1 (Holtby 10) Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Russ 29, Caio 64).

German league table after yeterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Schalke 04 Bayern Munich Ba Leverkusen Bor Dortmund Werder Bremen Hamburg VfB Stuttgart Ein Frankfurt VfL Wolfsburg

28 17 2816 28 14 28 14 28 13 28 11 28 11 28 11 28 11

7 8 11 7 9 11 8 8 7

4 4 3 7 6 6 9 9 10

behind the new leaders. Bayern suffered a second consecutive league defeat when they slumped to a 2-1 home loss to Stuttgart. The German giants must now pick themselves up in time to face Manchester United at the Allianz Arena tomorrow in the Champions League quarter-final first leg and are waiting on the

46 55 56 46 58 48 41 37 52

22 26 30 33 35 33 36 40 51

58 56 53 49 48 44 41 41 40

Mainz 05 Hoffenheim Bor M’gladbach Cologne VfL Bochum Nuremberg Freiburg Hanover 96 Hertha Berlin

fitness of star forward Arjen Robben. Bayern took the lead through Croatia striker Ivica Olic, but Stuttgart hit back with goals from Christian Traesch and Ciprian Marica to hand the Munich heavyweights their fourth defeat of the season. After last weekend’s 5-1 win at

28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28

10 9 9 7 6 6 6 6 4

8 7 7 10 9 7 6 5 7

10 12 12 11 13 15 16 17 17

29 35 36 27 30 26 26 30 27

35 32 47 35 51 47 50 54 48

38 34 34 31 27 25 24 23 19

defending champions Wolfsburg, bottom side Hertha Berlin picked up another point when they held fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund to a 0-0 draw. Greek striker Theofanis Gekas, who scored three goals against Wolfsburg, found the net with a second-half header, but the effort was ruled offside. — AFP

GERMANY: Moenchengladbach’s Marcel Meeuwis (left) challenges for the ball with Hamburg’s Mladen Petric (right) during the German First Division Bundesliga soccer match. — AP

Still a three-horse race despite Arsenal stumble

LONDON: The Premier League title race is still too close to call even after thumping wins for Manchester United and Chelsea on Saturday had left Arsenal in the shade given how unpredictable the season has been. United’s 4-0 win at Bolton Wanderers came just two hours after Chelsea slaughtered Aston Villa 7-1 and left Alex Ferguson’s side just a point in front with six games to go. Third-placed Arsenal, written off several times, squandered two points when they conceded a freakish last-gasp equaliser at Birmingham City and fell four

points off top spot but it would be a brave man to bet against further twists and turns. There are so many factors at play which is why the fight to be crowned champions will be so absorbing over the weeks ahead. For starters, Chelsea have the luxury of a full week to prepare for next weekend’s seismic clash with United at Old Trafford-the one positive they gleaned from losing to Inter Milan in the Champions League. United, chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive title and their 19th in

all, visit Bayern Munich in the last eight of the Champions League tomorrow before focusing on Chelsea while Arsenal host Barcelona and Lionel Messi on Wednesday. “It’s still a three-horse race,” United manager Alex Ferguson told the club’s website ( “It was bad for Arsenal conceding to drop points so late in the game. They are now four points behind us but I think everyone will drop points. The name of the game is dropping less than the rest,” he added. Arsenal’s run-in looks easier than that of Chelsea and United but, whereas their

rivals are packed with players who know how to hold it together down the stretch, Arsene Wenger’s side are still novices when it comes to winning silverware. Wenger looked flattened when Kevin Phillips equalised with a freakish goal on Saturday to wipe out Samir Nasri’s beautiful strike and the Frenchman admitted the 1-1 draw could have damaging consequences for his side’s hopes of winning the title for the first time since the 200304 season. “It is a big blow for our title hopes, of course,” Wenger said. “We were in a position where we had to win all our games

and not to win today is a big blow to our chances.” Wenger can only pray that United and Chelsea battle themselves into a stalemate next weekend and his side take full advantage at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chelsea and United were missing key players on Saturday, with Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney not risked by their respective clubs after struggling with niggles. While they got away with it in spectacular style, Ferguson and Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti will keep their fingers crossed that their big guns stay fit for the

rest of the season. Rooney has been so devastating for United this term that his absence on Saturday prompted speculation the England striker is struggling with aching knees. “Wayne’s got a bruise on his foot. If he’d played and got a whack on it, then he would have been doubtful for tomorrow,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got a big week. We have to use our squad in situations like this. I’ve no qualms about that at all. They’ve all done their job well, and I’ll have Rooney and (Rio) Ferdinand available for tomorrow.”—Reuters

Torres stars as Liverpool close gap to fourth place Liverpool 3

Sunderland 0

LONDON: Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (right) reacts with fellow team members after scoring a goal against Sunderland during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield.—AP

Burnley heading towards relegation EPL results/standings

Burnley 0

Blackburn 1 BURNLEY: Blackburn pushed bitter rivals Burnley closer to relegation from the Premier League as David Dunn’s controversial penalty secured a 1-0 win at Turf Moor yesterday. Dunn struck from the spot midway through the first half after referee Mike Dean ruled that Martin Olsson had been fouled by Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen even though there appeared to be minimal contact. That debatable decision settled the first top-flight derby between these two old enemies at Burnley since the 1965-66 season and left Brian Laws’ team still waiting for a first win over Blackburn since 1979. Burnley’s prospects of extending their stay in the topflight beyond a single season look bleak as the second bottom side are three points adrift of safety after their eighth successive match without a win. “When you look at it in the cool light of day it’s clear it’s not even a penalty,” said Laws, who replaced Owen Coyle when the latter left for Bolton earlier this season. “Olsson’s took a dive, he’s conned the referee, the referee’s not in a great position and he’s given the penalty which was very harsh and left us with a mountain to climb. “If the referee thought it was a penalty by the goalkeeper then you either send him off or book him. “I’m not blaming the player, but I’m disappointed because we want to see honesty and we want to see the referee get the correct decisions.” Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce added: “From where I was sitting in the stand it looked as though he had brought him down. “In the end we have won on a penalty and deservedly so, as apart from a couple of incidents they didn’t create a chance.” After beating Burnley 3-2 ear-

Burnley 0 Blackburn 1 (Dunn 20-pen); Liverpool 3 (Torres 3, 60, Johnson 32) Sunderland 0. Played Saturday Birmingham 1 (Phillips 90) Arsenal 1 (Nasri 81); Bolton 0 Man Utd 4 (Samuel 38-og, Berbatov 69, 78, Gibson 82); Chelsea 7 (Lampard 15, 44-pen, 62-pen,

90, Malouda 57, 68, Kalou 83) Aston Villa 1 (Carew 29); Hull 2 (Bullard 16-pen, Fagan 48) Fulham 0; Tottenham 2 (Crouch 27, Kranjcar 41) Portsmouth 0; West Ham 0 Stoke 1 (Fuller 69); Wolves 0 Everton 0. Playing today Man City v Wigan.

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Chelsea Arsenal Tottenham Liverpool Man City Aston Villa Everton Birmingham Blackburn Stoke

32 32 32 31 32 30 31 32 32 32 31

23 22 21 17 16 14 13 13 12 11 9

3 5 5 7 6 11 12 10 9 8 12

6 5 6 7 10 5 6 9 11 13 10

76 82 74 57 53 55 43 50 33 35 30

25 29 34 29 32 39 32 42 37 50 35

72 71 68 58 54 53 51 49 45 41 39

Fulham 31 Sunderland 32 W’hampton 32 Bolton 32 Wigan 31 West Ham 32 Hull 31 Burnley 32 Portsmouth 32 Note: Portsmouth administration

10 8 13 8 11 13 8 8 16 8 8 16 8 7 16 6 9 17 6 9 16 6 6 20 6 4 22 deducted 9

33 36 38 41 50 35 28 50 32 36 60 32 29 59 31 38 55 27 31 64 27 31 65 24 28 60 13 points for entering

LONDON: Blackburn Rovers’ Congolese defender Christopher Samba (right) fights for the ball with Burnley’s English forward Wade Elliott during their English Premier League football match.—AFP lier this season, Rovers were looking to do the double over their neighbours and they made a fast start. Rovers dominated possession in the early stages, with Norwegian midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen firing wide from long range before Jason Roberts was denied by a brave save from Jensen. Blackburn thought they had taken the lead in the 18th minute

but Olsson was ruled offside after controlling and firing past Jensen. There was more controversy as Rovers went ahead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute. Olsson broke into the box and cut inside Jensen, who had rushed out to meet him. There seemed to be little contact between the two players but Olsson tumbled to the turf and Dean pointed to the spot.

Dunn, who was born just a few miles from Blackburn, stepped up to drive the penalty confidently past Jensen for his third goal of the week. Dean’s penalty decision had infuriated the Burnley fans and he made himself even more unpopular in the 39th minute as Christopher Samba brought down Wade Elliott on the edge of the area.—AFP

LIVERPOOL: Fernando Torres was at his lethal best as he scored a sublime double to help Liverpool overwhelm Sunderland 3-0 yesterday and keep alive their challenge for a Champions League place. Rafael Benitez’s side cut the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Tottenham to four points after totally dominating woeful Sunderland at Anfield. Torres opened the scoring early on with a superb strike and, after Glen Johnson’s goal had put the Reds in total control, the Spain forward notched his second with a cleverly taken effort on the hour. Although Liverpool moved above Manchester City into fifth place, they will drop back to sixth if City beat Wigan today, while Tottenham also have a game in hand on Benitez’s team. Benitez said: “I’m confident if we keep working hard and playing as well as this we will be there (in fourth place). The players have confidence, we played very well from the beginning and could have scored three or four goals in the first half. “As a team we were stronger and it was an ideal situation for us. Now we need to keep pushing and it’s good to see the fans happy and the players putting in this performance.” Sunderland boss Steve Bruce added: “Sometimes you are well and truly beaten and in the first half in particular Torres and Steven Gerrard gave a masterclass and sometimes you just have to say ‘well done’.” Starts do not come much better than the one Liverpool had here as Daniel Agger forced Craig Gordon into a good block after just 90 seconds before Torres did what he does best after three minutes. He picked the ball up on the left wing, cut inside and then tried his luck from the edge of the box, curling a wonderful shot right into the top corner for his sixth goal in just four games. Benitez’s men seem to have finally realised that being bold is their best policy at present and that was reflected in the ultraaggressive early play as they completely dominated the visitors. In fact, this encounter could have been over before the 20 minute mark. Torres missed one golden opportunity from less than six yards after great build up play by Steven Gerrard and Maxi Rodriguez. Then Gerrard and Agger failed to hit the target when well positioned as Sunderland simply failed to cope with the home side’s class. Sunderland’s top scorer Darren Bent, whose shot that deflected off a beach ball defeated Liverpool at the Stadium of Light earlier this season, could do little but watch as all the action unfolded at the other end of the field. Liverpool thought they had doubled their lead after 25 minutes and were only prevented from doing so when Gordon pulled off arguably the save of the season. Maxi brilliantly flicked a powerful header goalward and a goal looked a certainty until Gordon somehow got an arm to the effort and deflected over his crossbar. —AFP

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos (left) vies for the ball against Atletico de Madrid’s Jose Antonio Reyes during a Spanish League soccer derby match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.—AP

Real return to the top MADRID: Real Madrid came from behind to defeat neighbours Atletico 3-2 in an enthralling derby at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday and nudge Barcelona off the top of the La Liga table. Jose Antonio Reyes fired Atletico into a 10th minute lead but three goals in 17 minutes turned the game on its head with summer signings Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa proving two unlikely scorers before Gonzalo Higuain bagged his 23rd of the season. Diego Forlan scored a penalty to give the visitors hope five minutes later but Real held on for a 15th consecutive league home win to move back above Barcelona on goal difference. For Atletico their derby jinx continues and they have not beaten Real since a 3-1 win way back in October 1999 when Claudio Ranieri was in charge and lie five points off the top six. Champions Barcelona became only the second team to win at Mallorca on Saturday with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal securing a 1-0 win to take them top of the table although Real have now replaced them with just one game to go before ‘El Clasico’ on the weekend of April 10/11. The Champions League is the next stop for Barcelona, with a tough quarterfinal first leg trip to Arsenal on Wednesday. Real fell behind on 10 minutes as Atletico worked the ball cleverly from left to right and Reyes curled a first time shot into the corner. Reyes used to play for Real and scored two goals on the final day of the 2007 season to help them win the league title with a 3-1 win over Real Mallorca. Atletico looked increasingly dangerous before Real began to pose a threat themselves through Ronaldo and Higuain. Higuain looked destined to score on 38 minutes after circling goalkeeper David de Gea close to the goal-line but Tiago made a fantastic last-ditch block. Forlan then missed a chance for Atletico before Ronaldo wasted a golden opportunity shooting wide on the stroke of half-time. Kings Cup finalists Atletico knew of the goal

potential of the league’s top-scorers Real and sure enough Real were ahead 10 minutes into the second half with two goals in six minutes. On 49 minutes Raul Albiol headed back and Alonso fired in an equaliser before the Spain star turned the architect for the second goal in the 55th minute. Alonso released former Liverpool teammate Arbeloa who controlled well on his chest and slotted past de Gea. Higuain hit the crossbar but a mistake from Tiago let him in on 62 minutes and the Argentine made no mistake. A handball in the penalty area from Alonso allowed Atletico a route back into the game five minutes later with Forlan converting and the Uruguayan had an opportunity late on but fluffed his chance as the game finished 3-2 - the same scoreline as the first derby at the Vicente Calderon. Elsewhere new Sevilla coach Antonio Alvarez had a debut to forget as his side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Villarreal, missing the opportunity to move above Real Mallorca into fourth. Alvarez took over from Manolo Jimenez, sacked on Tuesday, but got off to a horrible start as the visitors fell two goals behind after just 17 minutes and, despite an improved second half, could not find a way back into the match. Brazilian Nilmar created early goals for Giuseppe Rossi in the fourth minute and Joseba Llorente as Villarreal seized control before Robert Pires added an injury-time third. Victory moves Villarreal to within two points of the top six. Sevilla sit two points behind Mallorca, beaten 1-0 by Barcelona on Saturday, in fifth, having failed to win any of their last six league matches and they face a real fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League. It has been a nightmare March for Sevilla with a last-16 exit from the Champions League to CSKA Moscow, no wins in the league and the sacking of Jimenez, who had guided the club to this season’s King’s Cup final. —AFP

Spanish League results/standings Osasuna 1 (Pandiani 20) Almeria 0; Xerez 3 (Sanchez 1, Michel 35, Bermejo 71-pen) Valladolid 0; Espanyol 0 Sporting Gijon 0; Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Riki 71) Getafe 3 (Miku

21, 57, Ze Castro 32-og); Villarreal 3 (Rossi 4, Llorente 17, Pires 90) Sevilla 0; Real Madrid 3 (Alonso 49, Arbeloa 55, Higuain 62) Atletico Madrid 2 (Reyes 10, Forlan 67-pen)

Spanish League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Real Madrid Barcelona Valencia Real Mallorca Sevilla Bilbao Deportivo Villarreal Getafe Atletico

29 29 29 29 29 28 29 29 29 29

24 23 15 14 13 12 12 11 12 10

2 5 8 5 6 6 6 7 4 7

3 1 6 10 10 10 11 11 13 12

81 71 45 45 40 36 32 43 41 44

26 18 32 33 35 34 35 41 39 45

74 74 53 47 45 42 42 40 40 37

Sporting Almeria Osasuna Espanyol Malaga Racing Zaragoza Tenerife Valladolid Xerez

29 29 29 29 29 28 29 29 29 29

9 9 9 8 7 7 7 6 4 5

9 9 7 9 10 10 8 7 12 7

11 11 13 12 12 11 14 16 13 17

31 31 26 21 34 27 35 29 30 24

36 38 32 36 36 38 53 58 51 50

36 36 34 33 31 31 29 25 24 22

BKME maintains distinct position in unstable economic environments


Strikes pose election risk for premier Brown


WTO boss warns EU to sharpen its G20 voice


Monday, March 29, 2010

TORSLANDA: In this image released by Volvo, Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Ltd, and Lewis Booth, CFO Ford Motor Company, sign the Stock Purchase Agreement at the Volvo plant and headquarter in Torslanda, Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday committing the Chinese company to purchase the Swedish car maker from Ford. Standing at rear from left, Peter Zhang, Wang Naipeng, Huang Keqina, Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry, Maud Olofsson, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Energy, Stephen Odell, President & CEO Volvo Car Corporation, and Scott Stewart, Executive Director Corporate Finance, Ford Motor Company. — AP

China’s Geely seals Volvo Cars takeover GOTHENBURG: Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding sealed a 1.8 billion dollar deal yesterday to buy Volvo Cars as the Chinese company revved up global ambitions with what its head called a Swedish “tiger”. Geely chairman Li Shufu said he saw huge untapped potential for Volvo in international markets and especially in China, which has not only the biggest but also one of the fastest growing car markets in the world. “I see Volvo as a tiger. (The) tiger belongs to a forest, it can’t be found in a zoo ... We need to liber-

ate this tiger,” he told a press conference after the deal was inked at Volvo Cars headquarters in Gothenburg, southern Sweden. “The tiger has a heart and it lies in Sweden, (and) in Belgium but it’s power should be projected all over the world. “I see China as one of the markets where Volvo can show it has the opportunity to liberate itself,” he said. In the face of concerns that the Chinese group would slash jobs in Sweden, Geely said that it would keep Volvo Cars plants in Sweden and Belgium and was considering

opening factories in China for the local market. Geely said that it had not only secured financing for the 1.8 billion dollars it was paying Ford

development arrangements between Volvo Cars, Geely and Ford. The deal will bring to an end Ford’s decade-long association

To maintain manufacturing in Sweden, Belgium Motor Co. for Volvo, but was also eager to keep the loss-making Swedish carmaker in operation. It also said that the deal, which Ford initially agreed to in December, included agreements on intellectual property rights as well as supply and research and

with the premium Swedish brand, known for its sturdy, family-friendly cars. For Geely, which started out as a refrigerator parts maker, the deal marks a new chapter in its international expansion after two of its Chinese rivals failed to take over


Stocks and the dollar march on By Ole S Hansen


he Euro fell to a new low for 2010 before a relief rally lifted prices as hopes about a political solution to the Greek debt problem emerged. Before this agreement among euro zone leaders the Dollar index, which comprises a basket of six major currencies versus the dollar, rose to a ten month high, primarily driven by new lows on the Euro. Not helping the situation was news that Fitch, the rating agency, had downgraded Portugal’s sovereign credit rating one notch to AA-. Business sentiment in Germany and the euro zone showed signs of recovery, primarily driven by improved export helped by the weaker euro. The Jefferies CRB index broke down through the February low at 269 and has now lost 5.1% YTD with agricultural commodities the main contributors to the negative return. Sugar, cocoa, soybeans, corn and wheat have all had double digit falls so far this year. Gold moved briefly into negative territory this week at one stage testing USD 1,085. A close below will open up for a potential revisit of the 2010 low at 1,045. The ongoing dollar rally has so far had limited impact but the fact the market keeps making lower highs indicates that a correction is needed before a new attempt to the upside can be established. Short term some of this negative sentiment will be neutralized on a move back above 1,110. One positive sign is a recent pick up in physical demand again

Western brands, Hummer of the United States and Saab of Sweden. The deal had initially caused consternation among unions at Volvo Cars, which employs around

mostly out of China. Crude oil remains stuck near USD 80 with the 83.50 having been rejected three times during March. The speculative long positions as recorded by the CFTC every Friday continues to rise with the latest reading showing a long position of 124,000 lots of WTI Crude futures. The recent record high at 135,000 lots back in January triggered a USD 15 correction in market price. Although the outlook continues to favor the upside the dollar will near term continue to decide the direction. The relief rally in the Euro and subsequent mover higher in Crude highlight the strangle hold the dollar currently have on market direction. Above 83.50 the market will be targeting 85.90 while a break below 78.80 will target 76.30 with a

potential for a deeper correction given the above long speculative position. Demand out of Asia is still driving the recovery with OPEC expected to ship more crude over the next month, primarily to China and emerging market countries. Future expectations drive prices as the chart below clearly shows. Although the front month is trading almost unchanged from end of 2009 the forward price expectations have increased significantly during the past three months. Grain markets ran into new technical selling this week as warmer weather for the Midwest reduced the risk of delayed planting combined with weak export sales due to the strong dollar. Both wheat and corn are down 16% on the year and the wheat outlook is fundamentally bearish due to large world supplies and aggressive competition for export business. The outlook for corn is somewhat more supportive than wheat. Ethanol demand combined with farmers switching acreage towards soybeans should support prices going forward with the strong dollar being the main obstacle. A survey by Farm Futures magazine pegged corn plantings at 87.3 million acres which is lower than previous forecast. On this basis we favor corn over wheat as a ratio trade but will wait for the all important USDA reports about grain stocks and prospective plantings on March 31. Near month Corn broke through the 360 support level this week but still holds above the 2010 low at 347.5 while resistance can be found at 366 followed by 375.

22,000 people worldwide, including 16,000 in Sweden Unions had voiced opposition to the deal on grounds that it was vague on expansion plans and possible layoffs. Three Volvo unions this week pressed for details “on the capital

that will finance Volvo’s daily activities, investment on future projects and the production target of 600,000 vehicles by 2015”. But on Saturday they pronounced themselves satisfied. In addition to preserving Volvo Cars’ factories in Sweden and Belgium, Geely said that the Swedish company would be run as a separate company with its headquarters in Gothenburg. With a workforce of 12,000 people, including 1,600 engineers, the Geely group has grown into one of China’s largest private carmakers since it launched its auto

Nakheel seen offering sukuk to trade creditors DUBAI: Nakheel trade creditors will be offered a large-scale Islamic bond, or sukuk, as part of a debt restructuring plan, a source close to parent firm Dubai World said yesterday, potentially boosting the region’s sukuk market. The Dubai government pleasantly surprised the market on Thursday when it offered to pay off Nakheel’s upcoming Islamic bonds as part of a wider deal with Dubai World creditors, and offer trade creditors repayment through cash and a publicly tradable security. That saved the real estate heavyweight from becoming the third high-profile sukuk borrower to formally default in the region, providing relief that could translate into more liquidity down the road. “A large sukuk issuance will be a positive for the industry, but with Nakheel it’s more an issue of putting this behind us,” said a Gulf-based banker, declining to be identified. “It’s important to see a big sukuk, but for the Islamic finance industry from a psychological point of view avoiding another default is even more important.” Nakheel didn’t elaborate on the form of security that would

be offered, but is expected to make a separate statement regarding the deal soon. The source close to Dubai World told Reuters that a sukuk was planned as it could reach a universe of investors from both conventional and Islamic financial institutions. The size of the bond will depend on the total amount owed to creditors but it is too early to estimate given the difficulty the company and creditors are having in valuing Nakheel’s assets, he said. Discussions between Nakheel and its creditors will likely continue into April and possibly May, making it unlikely to see an issuance before June, the source said. Trade creditors comprise Nakheel’s suppliers of goods and services who were not paid immediately, but agreed to the company paying its bills according to various grace periods. A spokesman for Dubai World declined to comment. “The sukuk is proposed at this time, but other security structures are being considered as we want to ensure that the instrument is as liquid as possible for trade creditors,” a spokeswoman for the Dubai government said on Friday. —Reuters

manufacturing business only in 1997. It operates six car assembly and power-train manufacturing plants across China with a combined production capacity of 300,000 cars per year. The firm also owns nearly 500 dealerships and 600 service stations in the country. Geely has an overseas sales and service network of nearly 300 outlets and runs plants in several foreign countries including Ukraine, Russia and Indonesia. Overseas sales have however totalled less than 200,000 units so far. — AFP



Monday, March 29, 2010

Dubai World offer awaits creditors’ approval Restructuring will have positive impact on banks

Abdulrazaq Alraisi

Maitha Al-Mahrougi

Oman Air offers 12,000 seats this summer SALALAH: Oman Air, the National Carrier of Oman and the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism are linking up with top hoteliers to launch a major tourism campaign across Europe this summer. Branded Now is the Time, the campaign aims at encouraging visitors to Oman, by offering high quality, weeklong accommodation and return flight packages to the Sultanate, over the summer months. The collective promotional drive links Oman Air and The Ministry of Tourism with the IHG Group, Shangri-la, Radisson Blu, Grand Hyatt, Chedi, Al Nadha Resort and Spa and Park Inn. The Now is the Time campaign will target travellers from the UK, France and Germany, who will be able to book the packages through their participating trav-

el agents. Each country is served by Oman Air flights, with daily services to Muscat from London Heathrow, four flights a week from Paris, four from Frankfurt and three weekly from Munich. Prices start from just £599 or £659 per person, including all taxes and charges, and cover seven nights for visitors from the UK and six nights for visitors from France and Germany. Packages can be booked immediately, for travel between 12th April 2010 and 1st October 2010. Abdulrazaq Alraisi, General Manager, Worldwide Sales, at Oman Air, launched the campaign at ITB Berlin, saying: “Oman is a superb destination for European travellers. We offer year-round sun, breathtaking scenery, including an unspoiled coastline, and renowned Omani

hospitality and are delighted to be offering these packages at prices too good to miss.” “This will allow our valued customers to have meetings in Muscat or visit families and friends and continue on the same day or on the following day to Dubai, at competitively priced fares,” said Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Country Manager, Oman. “We have been providing infrequent flights from Salalah to Dubai so far, and we have listened to local residents who asked if we could not offer daily flights and more frequency allowing stopovers in Muscat, which is their preference” Al Mahrouqi added. Under the new offer that starts at the end of March, return fares start from RO 106 from Salalah and Dhs 1265 from Dubai including the taxes, Maitha concluded.

CBK governor to partake in GCC Monetary Council meet KUWAIT: Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz AlSabah is scheduled to lead Kuwait’s delegation to the first board meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Monetary Council, according to CBK in a statement issued here yesterday. The meeting, to be held at the Monetary Council’s headquarters in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, tomorrow, will gather governors of the central banks and chiefs of the

monetary institutions of the four state parties to the GCC Monetary Union Treaty. The treaty, signed by Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saud Arabia in Muscat, capital of Oman, in December, 2008, forms the legal regulatory framework of the monetary union, the statement noted. The treaty took force on February 27, 2010, just one month after lodging the treaty to the GCC Secretariat. Under the provisions of the document, the union’s basic system

came into being on March 27, 2010, the statement pointed out. The union’s organization includes a board of directors - made up of governors of the central banks and chiefs of monetary institutions of the state parties and executive body. It aims to lay the technical and legislative groundwork for the launching of a GCC central bank, coordinate the monetary policies of the member countries and standardize the exchange rates of their currencies. — KUNA

ABU DHABI: Dubai World’s debt restructuring offer surpassed expectations of the United Arab Emirates’ finance ministry and would help the banking sector, a senior ministry official said yesterday. The banking sector in the world’s third-largest oil exporter is heavily exposed to the debt problems of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, which are expected to hamper recovery in the second largest Arab economy this year. “The Dubai World offer is better than what we expected,” Younis Al-Khouri, director general at the UAE finance ministry told reporters. “It will have a positive impact on banks.” Dubai said on Thursday it would spend $9.5 billion to restructure its debt-laden flagship firm in a plan that offered to repay two key bonds and give lenders their money back in up to eight years. Dubai stocks rose to an 11-week high on the proposal. The cost of insuring Dubai debt fell sharply on the day of the proposal, though they began to rise again the following day on doubts about how the Gulf Arab emirate would fund its share of the plan, which still needs to be cleared by creditors. Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank are part of a seven-member committee believed to have most exposure to the debtladen conglomerate. Khouri said earlier this month the UAE banks were strong enough to absorb any shock, even from Dubai World’s restructuring, and no capital injection was needed for now. Estimates of potential exposure of banks to Dubai World has ranged up to $15 billion. The UAE government has, since the onset of the global financial crisis, introduced several measures to shore up local banks’ balance sheets. The UAE still has 20 billion dirhams ($5.45 billion) left from a 70 billion dirham facility set up in 2008 to inject liquidity into the banking system, the ministry has said. — Reuters

in the news Royal Capital launches fund ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi-based, privatelyowned Royal Capital PJSC yesterday said it launched its debut investment fund that targets fixed income markets in the Middle East and North Africa. The open-ended fund is restricted to institutional investors and high networth individuals with a minimum investment required of $250,000. Set up in early 2008, Royal Capital plans to launch several other funds this year, the statement said. HSBC is the global custodian, registrar and administrator of the fund, Royal Capital said. NSGB to pay cash dividends CAIRO: Egypt’s National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), Egypt’s fourth-biggest bank by assets, approved a dividend of 1.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.2) per share, the stock exchange said yesterday. The dividends will be paid start-

ing April 22, the firm’s statement to the stock exchange said. NSGB’s 2009 net profit rose 4.1 percent to 1.18 billion pounds ($215 million). In 2009 the bank paid a dividend of 0.9 pounds. Shares in NSGB were up 1.4 percent at 0947 GMT. L&T w ins Oman contract MUSCAT: Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro has been awarded a 31.5 million rials ($81.8 million) contract to revamp and extend electrical networks in Oman’s Dhahira region, a tender board official said yesterday. “Larsen & Toubro will upgrade and expand the power distribution network in Ibri and Dhank to cater for the growing electrical demand in those towns,” the tender board official told Reuters. Oman has set aside about $18 billion this year to spend on projects to improve its infrastructure and energy sector.

Damas reaches deal with creditors CAIRO: Debt-saddled Middle East jewelry retailer Damas International said yesterday it had reached a “standstill” agreement with most of its creditors and was moving ahead with a restructuring plan. The Dubai-based company did not specify the amount of debt it wanted to delay payments on, but local daily, The National, last week put the figure at about $872 million. “This is a significant, positive announcement, demonstrating the confidence of our bank lenders in the strength of the underlying business model of Damas, the leading retail jewelry company in the Middle East,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “A restructuring plan is currently being developed by the company, which will be implemented at the end of the standstill period,” the company said without providing other details about the agreement or giving an indication about the duration of the standstill. The move offers a glimmer of good news for the family-run business which last week was fined by a Dubai watchdog for improper financial deals and lax corporate oversight. The penalties levied against the company were the most severe to date and came amid Dubai’s efforts to shore up its business and investor-friendly image in the region after the global meltdown dried up credit markets and left a number of companies in the Gulf struggling to repay their debts. The sanctions included fines of $3.7 million, the resignation of the entire board of directors,

voluntary bans on the three brothers who oversaw the business and requires them to make good on an earlier promise to repay nearly $100 million in cash and 4,277 pounds (1,940 kilograms) of gold improperly taken from the firm. Damas has estimated the total amount wrongly taken from the company at about $165 million, with the funds used to pay for real estate and other investments. The image of the emirate, one of seven semiautonomous city-states making up the UAE, took a particularly harsh pounding after Dubai’s chief conglomerate and engine for growth, Dubai World, late last year announced that it was seeking a delay in repaying roughly $26 billion in debts. Dubai authorities last week unveiled a long-awaited restructuring plan for the beleaguered conglomerate, saying they would pump in $9.5 billion into Dubai World with most of the funds going to Nakheel, a key property development unit. The news was warmly welcomed by a market worried about the health of the company and of Dubai itself. The glitzy city-state is estimated to shoulder about $100 billion in debt, including that of its state-owned companies like Dubai World. In a filing posted yesterday on the Nasdaq Dubai Web site, Damas said an extraordinary general meeting for shareholders would be held on April 19 to elect new board members. — AP

Late transactions reduces losses of KSE KUWAIT: The price index of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) was able to check the downward trend shortly before the closure of yesterday trading session mainly as a result of the late transactions, financial analysts said. Yesterday’s losses resulted from technical factors relating to the KSE-listed companies in addition to the financial results of these companies for 2009, Mohammad Al-Hajeri, an analyst, said in statements to KUNA. “The investors are wary about the outlook of the stock market just two days ahead of the deadline specified by KSE for listed companies to post their last year results on March 31 and ahead of finalizing the USD multi-billion deal on Zain Group’s Africa assets with India’s Bharti Airtel. “The traders view the stock market with the utmost caution amidst speculations that many companies would set aside large provisions in their 2010 budgets,

which reflected negatively on the share prices.” Al-Hajeri explained. Earlier in March Zain’s board of directors approved the sale of most of the group’s African assets to Bharti Airtel for USD nine billion. “Despite the generally mixed performance of the stock market, the market is likely to revive as it undergoing a corrective process in synchronization with the endorsement of the development plan. “The plan and the privatization law as well as the other economic and financial reforms are expected to prod economic growth, thus reviving the KSE trading,” he affirmed. Maitham Al-Shakhs, another analyst, agreed that Zain-Bharti Airtel deal and the failure of many companies to announce their financial results added psychological pressures on investors. “This cast doubts on the role of investment portfolios and funds and is likely to impact the financial

results of firms for Q1 2010,” AlShakhs noted. “The traders wait for the finalizing Zain’s deal in order to see through the volatile market,” he said, noting that the wary trading pushed down the share prices of some companies to the minimum levels. The Weighted Index came under mounting pressures, which reflected the sentiment of caution about the deal prevailing among the leading companies. Some of the listed companies which failed to post their financial results for 2009 face the risk of suspension of their shares if they don’t meet the ultimatum of Thursday morning,” Al-Shakhs went on to say. “Up to ten percent of the listed companies will fail to meet the ultimatum, thus getting their shares suspended temporarily, he predicted, adding that the stock market would rebound to the level of 7,500 points in the current trading week.—KUNA

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

.2840000 .2940000 .4270000 .4370000 .384000 .3920000 .2680000 .2770000 .2780000 .2870000 .2580000 .2660000 .0045000 .0075000 .0020000 .0035000 .0782350 .0790210 .7622180 .7698780 .4020000 .4180000 .0750000 .0790000 .7472220 .7547320 .0045000 .0072000 .0500000 .0580000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2882000 .2903000 .4294390 .4324720 .3865460 .3892750 .2705280 .2724440 .2805500 .2825370 .0519420 .0523090 .0397010 .0399820 .2602310 .2623700 .0371240 .0373870 .2052470 .2067010 .0031150 .0031370 .0064040 .0064490 .0025330 .0025510 .0034610 .0034860 .0042220 .0042520 .0785040 .0790050 .7648380 .7697150 .4075910 .4104770 .0768920 .0773820 .7489420 .7537160 .0063680 .0064130 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2903000 .4324720 .2724440 .0773820

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees


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

3.458 2.532 3.995 206.800 37.231 4.180 6.361 8.953 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.280 Qatari Riyal 79.620 Omani Riyal 752.830 Bahraini Dinar 769.630 UAE Dirham 78.920 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 55.750 Egyptian Pound 52.660 Yemen Riyal 1.320 Tunisian Dinar 207.630 Jordanian Dinar 409.210 Lebanese Lira 194.400 Syrian Lier 6.356 Morocco Dirham 35.410 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 289.650 Euro 392.910 Sterling Pound 435.920 Canadian dollar 286.220 Turkish lire 188.400 Swiss Franc 275.900 Australian dollar 261.700 US Dollar Buying 287.500 GOLD 20 Gram 215.000 10 Gram 110.000 5 Gram 57.000

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

SELL CASH 265.800 769.710 4.400 286.000 568.400 15.800 52.900 167.800 55.210

SELL DRAFT 264.300 769.710 4.178 284.500

207.700 52.643

Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

392.800 37.990 6.630 0.035 0.298 0.260 3.230 410.860 0.195 89.150 47.600 4.270 208.200 2.183 49.000 751.860 3.520 6.560 80.050 77.280 207.710 41.490 2.743 436.100 40.900 275.800 6.400 9.300 217.900 78.980 289.900 1.380 GOLD 1,200.450 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 434.100 289.400

391.300 37.840 6.390

409.130 0.194 89.150 3.010 206.700 751.000 3.400 6.355 79.020 77.280 207.710 41.490 2.534 434.100 274.300 9.120 78.980 289.400

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

288.800 287.900 440.640 396.645 272.235 707.865 764.420 78.610 79.305 76.980 407.535 52.629 6.356 3.428

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

2.525 4.180 6.344 3.195 8.917 6.301 3.969

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 289.550 3.460 6.400 2.545 4.190 6.395 78.895 77.380 769.300 52.625 436.800 0.00003195 3.980 1.550 411.100 5.750 394.200 289.200

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 289.200 Euro 391.100 Pound Sterling 434.000 Canadian Dollar 284.300 Japanese Yen 3.205 Indian Rupee 6.385 Egyptian Pound 52.650 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.535 Bangladesh Taka 4.175 Philippines Peso 6.349 Pakistan Rupee 3.455 Bahraini Dinar 770.000 UAE Dirham 78.875 Saudi Riyal 77.170 *Rates are subject to change


Monday, March 29, 2010


Bernanke says economy still in need for help KUWAIT: The debt issue in Greece and the summit held late last week in Brussels to find a solution for the turmoil were the main drivers for the foreign exchange markets for the past week. The US Dollar is benefiting from the situation, with investors and traders fleeing from all risky currencies and betting on the greenback as a safe haven for the time being. The Euro was the most affected currency. It started the week at 1.3530 and reached a low of 1.3268 following Portugal’s credit rating downgrade. The currency managed to recoup some of its losses on Friday to end the week at 1.3410 after the announcement of the Germano-Franc accord to support Greece if need be . The Sterling Pound also weakened last week, dragged by a strengthening US Dollar and all the uncertainty about the upcoming elections. The Pound reached a high of 1.5113 early last week, but broke afterwards to a low of 1.4800 and closed at 1.4897. The Japanese Yen has broken out of

NBK Weekly Money Market Report its recent range, rising above the February high of 92.15 rising to a high of 92.96, and closing the week at 92.52. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that a modest US economic recovery still calls for the low interest rate environment imposed by the Fed, but the Central Bank stands ready to remove any stimulus plan once the recovery looks solid. Bernanke argued that the measures and the stimuli undertaken since the beginning of the crisis have helped improve conditions in the mortgage markets, which were at the center of the financial meltdown. Bernanke added that once the financial markets were healed, the Fed would aim to lower its outstanding credit to the banking system, which currently stands at $2.3 trillion, back to pre-crisis levels beneath $1 tril-

lion. The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance fell sharply last week, boosting hopes that the economy is on the verge of creating jobs. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 442,000. Even though the released report pointed to improvement in the battered labor market, recovery is likely to be too slow to make a huge progress in the country’s 9.7% unemployment rate, and will keep the pressure on president Obama for solutions. The US economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2009, lower than the previously released figure of 5.9%. Nevertheless, the gain was the best in six years, as inventories, exports, consumption, and nonresidential fixed investment surged. Following their meeting last

week, Euro Zone leaders agreed to create a joint financial safety net, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to help the highly indebted Greece and to try to restore confidence in their common currency after weeks of negative sentiment. The joint Euro Zone and IMF bailout program comes with strict conditions, making no money available to Greece - or other financially troubled Euro Zone member - right now. The so-called accord states that the funds could be given only if the troubled country cannot raise funds from financial markets, and would require the unanimous agreement of the 16 countries. The agreement was a clear victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who demanded that a rescue for Greece only come when the country runs out of other options. She also

included that any support must include the IMF. Moreover, after objecting to a possible IMF intrusion on the euro-region economy, the European Central Bank endorsed the package, with president Trichet saying that European governments will remain in control of the process. The Greek Prime Minister was satisfied with the agreement reached, and stated that “Europe has taken a big step in the face of a big challenge”. Portugal’s credit grade was cut by the UK firm Fitch Ratings for the first time. The one-notch downgrade, from AA to AA-, underscored a growing concern about deteriorating public finances, and the fear that Europe’s weakest economies will struggle to meet their debt commitments as finances deteriorate. Furthermore, the ratings agency gave the country a negative outlook,

adding that further economic or fiscal underperformance may lead to another downgrade. On the back of this announcement, the Euro extended its decline and reached a 10-month low against the US Dollar. The United Kingdom’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped more than what markets were expecting in February, as lower cost of items from consumer goods to energy weakened the price pressures in the economy. The CPI rose 3.0% from a year earlier, after an increase of 3.5% in January. Excluding the volatile components that are the food and energy prices, the so-called Core-CPI rose by 2.9%, after a 3.1% rise in January. With the prospect of fiscal tightening after an election due within weeks, the central bank still predicts that slack in the economy could drive inflation below the 2.0% goal.

Dubai World rescue Dubai government announced last week that it will provide $9.5 billion in funding to help the troubled Dubai World conglomerate, which has presented a plan to restructure $23.5 billion in debt to its creditors, including converting $8.9 billion of government debt into equity. Dubai will get access to the $5.7 billion remaining from Abu Dhabi’s initial $10 billion and pay for the rest of the cash injection itself. The initial feedback on the proposal, which must now be approved by the conglomerate’s creditors, was positive. Moreover, credit default swaps linked to Dubai, showing the cost of insuring the debt in case of default, plunged after the announcement by 54 basis points to a level of around 370 basis points, the lowest since November. Kuwait Dinar at 0.28875 The USDKWD opened at 0.28875 yesterday morning.

Gulf economic situation spurs world strategic partnerships KUWAIT: Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Al-Haroun said yesterday the current Gulf economic situation is conducive to world strategic partnerships with diverse economic countries and blocs. Speaking to KUNA, the minister said all world ratings for GCC member states’ economic indexes showcase stupendous potential for cooperation between the Gulf region and other world countries and organizations. He said he had told a recent Gulf-Chinese forum that there were many opportunities for cooperation between the GCC member states and China. Such opportunities should be seized to reach a fruitful economic partnership that could bring benefits to all parties, the

minister said. He expected that the forum would lead to closer Gulf-Sino cooperation given that it had discussed several key economic and trade issues. He quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as predicting oil revenues and prices to go up, thus allowing oilexporting countries to rebuild their international reserves by over USD 100 billion in 2010. The minister quoted the IMF as anticipating Gulf economies to grow by 3.3 percent in 2010, and Gulf gross domestic product (GDP) to hit USD 919.6 billion. “Such indications would enable us to go ahead with building economic relations and strategic partnerships with friendly countries, mainly the

People’s Republic of China, thanks to its international potential, resources and position,” he said. The Kuwaiti minister suggested that China can provide various forms of support for Gulf development programs, especially in the fields of technology, industry and services, given that it could be a mammoth market for Gulf oil, petrochemical and aluminum exports. In 2008, two-way trade exchange hit a total of USD 70 billion, including USD 42 billion in Gulf exports and USD 28 billion in Chinese exports, he pointed out. The three-day forum mainly focused on ways and means of pushing forward Gulf-Sino relations in economic, trade, investment and financial areas.— KUNA

KUWAIT: From left: Bader Al Wazan, Waleed Al-Osimi, Adel Al-Labban, Hamed Al-Marzouq, Hirshil Buset, Osama AlAbduljaleel. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

Banking sector burdened with challenges

BKME maintains distinct position in unstable economic environments By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Within a week the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East (BKME) will be converted into an Islamic bank. The bank has already transferred more than 90 percent of its assets, that are not compatible with Islamic Sharia regulations. “We now have the remaining less than 10 percent to transfer as soon as possible. The turnover of these assets won’t be included in the bank’s profits,” stated Hamad Al-Marzouq, Chairman and Managing Director of BKME during the ordinary and extraordinary general assembly. He made his comments yesterday at the annual report for financial statements for the year ending Dec 31, 2009. The banking sector found 2009 to be burdened with challenges on the local, regional and world scene. “Our Bank, however, maintained its distinct position

KUWAIT: Istanbul, the new destination lauched by Wataniya Airways and (inset) Chairman and Managing Director Abdul Salam Al Bahar.

Wataniya Airways launches new Istanbul destination KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways announced yesterday the arrival of its fifth A320 Airbus aircraft as well as its intention to start a regular service to Istanbul, the commercial-tourist capital of Turkey. According to a press release by Wataniya airways, Abdul Salam Al Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of Wataniya Airways said: “Istanbul is a historic center and a destination for culture through its wealth of arts, cultural diversity and its virtues of civilization. We believe the launch of our new service brings many benefits for both Kuwait and Turkey and will continue to strengthen our long standing trade and tourism links.”

Al-Bahar added that Wataniya Airways is also pleased to receive its fifth aircraft as an addition to its growing fleet, noting “Our aircraft are specifically designed to the highest standards of quality and efficiency that our guests expect from us providing them with a more convenient flights schedule and giving us the opportunity to launch new exciting destinations which will be announced in a timely manner and hope to be attractive to our guests.” Istanbul, the European Capital of Culture, is also the home to art, music, opera, and traditional performances that enthusiasts can also take pleasure from throughout the year. — KUNA

Local real-estate sector recovering KUWAIT: Domestic realestate market “greatly” improved early this year, a ranking official said yesterday. Rashid Al-Tabtabaei, the undersecretary of commerce and industry, said in a statement following inauguration of the 7th “Real-estate world” exhibition, the financial crisis

“has begun to fade away and the property sector has started recovering.” These bullish indications followed the declaration of the state economic and social development strategy, he said. The official said the national real-estate sector is the second in terms of securing

income. This sector witnessed noticeable improvement, particularly with respect of deals in the private housing and chalets, he added. The fair, held by Kuwait Expo Co. for fairs at Sheikha Salwa Al-Sabah Al-Ahmad Hall, proceeds till the end of the month. — KUNA

because of its deliberate vision, conservative approach and realization of our goals during unstable economic environments,” he added. “The efforts made by the bank’s management accounted for the ability to earn a net profit of KD 14.3 million for 2009. The specific, general and additional precautionary provisions taken by the bank amounted to KD 47 million, which reflects the conservative approach of the bank’s provisions. As such, the total operating revenues during 2009 reached KD 85 million while the total assets reached KD 2.261 million. As of Dec 31, 2009 the total shareholders’ equity reached KD 237 million,” Al-Marzouq highlighted. The Bank’s capital adequacy standard, calculated in accordance with Basel II recommendations, reached 16.8%. This reflected the strength of the Bank’s capital structure and its capability to

expand its asset base. In light of these distinguished results, the Board of Directors recommended distributing bonus shares of 10% for the end of 2009 in order to maintain the strong position of the bank’s capital base. “BKME’s management, through our retail banking operations, is devoted to enhance relations with customers and make available distinguished investments and instruments which allow the bank to hold a prominent position in the banking sector. Arrangements are underway to introduce a package of innovative Islamic Shariah compliant banking services,” AlMarzouq pointed out. Despite the repercussions of the global financial crisis, the bank succeeded in increasing the volume of its business and corporate finance to more than KD 173 million. They accomplished this by attracting high net worth corporate

clients and establishing a diversified sources of income and enforcing the bank’s diligent strategy; deliberate control and continued credit analysis while implementing flexible risk management solutions in order to safeguard assets and their values against the impact of the crisis. “The bank’s management kept up with the accelerated developments of information technology and endeavored to upgrade and develop the bank’s technological infrastructure with state-ofthe-art technology applications. We made developed systems and cost effective banking transactions available to our customers,” he stressed. “I take this opportunity to assure our dear shareholders and customers that the commencement of Islamic banking will be based on a strong financial position and a solid client base to which we are loyal,” he concluded.

Targeting top bankers’ pay won’t bridge inequalities WASHINGTON: Cracking down on sky-high executive pay at western banks does little to address growing social inequalities, and it doesn’t change a flush financial sector’s inexorable pull on the best-trained workers. “In this ... finance-dominated economy, unfortunately, a disproportionate share of our most talented youth went into finance, lured by the outsized compensation,” economist Joseph Stiglitz told US lawmakers in January. “The costs to our society of this misallocation are incalculable,” added the 2001 Nobel laureate in economic sciences. Several studies show there is a golden siren song of the financial sector that ends up luring too much talent from other, lower-paying sectors of society. And it doesn’t only happen in western countries. In an interview with The Atlantic monthly in late 2008,

Gao Xiqing, president of the China Investment Corporation, which manages some 200 billion dollars of China’s foreign assets, admitted the call of financial industries “affects our country, too!” “I have to say it: you have to do something about pay in the financial system. People in this field have way too much money. And this is not right,” he added. The Group of 20 Nations’ Financial Stability Board will report next month on worldwide efforts to rein in excessive salaries and bonuses in financial firms-seen as a factor in the last global recession-aiming to set appropriate standards for executive compensation. But some experts believe proposed reforms will not go far enough to resolve underlying concerns that the financial sector takes an unhealthy cut of society’s overall pool of talent. “In earlier decades, our best students went into a variety of

areas-some into medicine, many into research, still others into public service, and some into business,” said Stiglitz, who drew from his experience as a university professor. Lately, he added, “some of America’s most talented young succumbed to the lure of easy money.” A source close to the International Monetary Fund recently said “the real issue is creating value and distributing wealth, and understanding why banks are sitting on such a huge pile of money.” But the G20’s investigation into executive compensation steers clear of the matter. The leaders of the emerging and advanced economies in the G20 in September undertook the comitment “to act together... to implement strong international compensation standards aimed at ending practices that lead to excessive risk-taking.”

Their ultimate aim is “reforming compensation practices to support financial stability,” not to correct social imbalance. Excluding emergency measures taken at the height of the crisis in 2009, Berlin, London, Paris and Washington have introduced reforms to adjust bank compensation-reducing cash and unguaranteed bonuses and making them untransferable for several years. But they did not touch the bankers’ actual regular salaries. While Obama has harsh words for the “fat cats” of Wall Street, he has also been careful to repeat ad nauseam that his government has no business limiting the salaries of private companies. The financial capitalism that boomed in the 1980s went hand in hand with increasing social inequalities in many western nations. According to the US Census

Bureau, between 1980 and 2008, the median per capita income for 95 percent of Americans increased three times more slowly than that of the top five percent. In France, the more wealthy a person was from 2002 to 2007, the faster he got even richer, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), who founded an industrial empire and worked as a financier at the bank which today has become part of JPMorgan Chase, believed the desirable top-to-bottom salary gap in any company should be twenty-to-one. Since JPMorgan’s CEO and chairman, Jamie Dimon, stands to pocket more than 17 million dollars in 2009, that would mean the lowest salary at his bank should be fixed at 850,000 dollars, according to the bank’s founding father. — AFP



Monday, March 29, 2010


KSE index ends trade down 21 KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), Global General Index (GGI) and major indicators ended the first trading session of the week on a negative note backed by declines witnessed in a majority of the market’s sectors. It is worth to mention that more than 35 percent of listed companies didn’t declare their financial statements for the FY2009 until now. These companies will be suspended from trading after March 31, 2010. GGI shed 1.59 points (-0.75 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 211.16 points. In addition, the KSE Price Index decreased by 21.10 points (-0.28 percent) today and closed at 7,468.70 points. Market capitalization was down KD260.02mn today to reach KD34.64bn. During yesterday’s session, 144 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 70 equities retreated versus 43 that advanced. A total of 97 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a negative note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 24.84 percent to reach 322.06mn shares. In addition, value of shares traded dropped by 20.50 percent to stand at KD75.86mn. The Services Sector was both the volume and value leader today, accounting for 38.17 percent of total traded volume and 53.98 percent of total traded value. National Cleaning Company saw 15.73mn shares changing hands, making it the volume leader. Zain was the value leader, with a total traded

Emirates Vacation Club

Interval International signs Emirates Vacation Club

value of KD18.67mn. In terms of top gainers, Strategia Investment Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 14.71 percent and closed at KD0.039. On the other hand, Warba Insurance Company shed 10 percent to close at KD0.180, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they mainly ended the day on a negative note with Global Services Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day with a decline of 1.74 percent backed by heavyweight Zain ending the day down 2.82 percent to close at KD1.380. Furthermore,

heavyweight Agility also contributed to the index’s decline posting a loss of 3.33 percent and closed at KD0.580. Global Non-Kuwaiti Index ended the day with a loss of 1.50 percent, making it the second biggest decliner in the market. The index’s loss was aided by Egypt Kuwait Holding Company ending the day with a decline of 1.54 percent to close at KD0.640. In addition, Ahli United Bank was also a contributing factor in the index’s decline by ending the day down 1.11 percent and closed at KD0.178. On the other side, Global Banking Index was the top gainer in the market. The

index ended today’s trading session with a gain of 0.31 percent backed by Boubyan Bank and Burgan Bank ending the day up 5.43 percent and 1.32 percent, respectively. Regarding Global’s special indices, Global Small Cap Index was the top gainer today. The index posted a 2.28 percent increase backed by Equipment Holding Company ending the day up 7.25 percent. Global Large Cap Index posted a loss of 0.80, making it the biggest decliner backed by Zain and Agility. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at US$77.03 a barrel on Thursday, compared with

US$76.90 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. National Bank of Kuwait, said it has received the approval from the Kuwait Central Bank to acquire up to 60 percent of Boubyan Bank. NBK, which currently has 39.9 percent stake in the bank, has a three month period to finalize the deal, according to a statement posted on the Kuwait bourse web site. Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East announced that it has received the Kuwait Central Bank to change its name from Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East to Ahli United Bank effective April 1, 2010.

DUBAI: Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc., has announced the affiliation of Emirates Vacation Club, a private residence club in the heart of Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Emirates Vacation Club’s first phase consists of 32 luxury units located within the 48storey Emirates Grand Hotel. Already a landmark on the skyline of a city renowned for its innovative architecture, the hotel’s Suites Tower has a rotating glass entrance and intricate, hand-crafted wooden wall panels in its soaring lobby. The studio, one- and two-bedroom units feature fully equipped kitchen and dining areas, along with modern conveniences such as highspeed Internet connection, LCD TV, DVD player, and IDD telephone. Most have breathtaking views from their floor- to-ceiling windows. “Interval International is excited to welcome Emirates Vacation Club to our network of resorts,” said David Clifton,

Interval’s managing director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. “This stunning urban property is the flagship resort of Emirates Grand, a hotel ownership and management company formed by Dr. Khalid M. Kadfoor Al-Mehairi, a well-respected attorney and resident of the UAE. We look forward to building on our close relationship with the company, as it adds highquality properties in destinations throughout the Middle East to its portfolio.” Purchasers of fractional interests or single weeks will enjoy a spectacular range of amenities, including a rooftop swimming pool with panoramic views and an exclusive spa on the 45th floor. Guests can also enjoy a 3,100 square foot (290 square metre) gymnasium, tennis court, and two restaurants and lounges. In addition to offering a full slate of recreational facilities on site, the resort is located within a two-minute walk of the new Metro train system and only a short train ride away from Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest.

Considered the crown jewel in a city known as the “shopping capital of the Middle East,” The Dubai Mall features more than 1,200 stores and a host of world-class attractions. “Our vision is to provide an outstanding level of luxury at affordable prices that appeal to consumers from around the world. Our initial primary markets include the Middle East, Europe, and Asia,” said Ashraf El Zarqa, chief operating officer for Emirates Grand. “We chose to affiliate with Interval International because of the quality resorts they offer and the great membership benefits they provide our owners. I have been involved in the shared ownership industry for many years and have had the opportunity to work with Interval International for more than a decade. The quality of their exchange network and the consistent high level of the service they provide to both members and to developers made them the obvious choice to be our strategic long term exchange and member benefit partner.”


Monday, March 29, 2010


Malaysia bids for investments with ‘new economic model’ KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will this week unveil a “new economic model” aimed at luring foreign investors who analysts say have been alienated by corruption, political brawling and uncompetitive policies. Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will announce the reforms Tuesday, must strike a balance between the demands of investors and those of voters who handed the coalition its worst ever results in 2008 elections. “We realise, whatever we do must be market-friendly and have the support of the people,” he said at the weekend, according to state media. Economists said the plan, aimed at attracting much-needed foreign funds to

boost economic growth and create employment, will include the privatisation of government assets and the rolling back of an affirmative action program. The policy, introduced in the 1970s to close the wealth gap between the minority Chinese community and majority Muslim Malays and indigenous groups, known as “bumiputras”, is criticised as outdated and uncompetitive. Foreign investment in Malaysia plummeted last year as a result of the global financial crisis, while its economy contracted by 1.7 percent as the crucial exports sector dried up. Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, recorded 32.6 billion ringgit worth

(9.9 billion dollars) of investments in 2009, down from 62 billion ringgit in 2008. Economists said that as the region emerges from recession, competition for investment has become fierce, with Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam eroding Malaysia’s attractiveness. Manokaran Mottain, a senior economist with AmResearch, said Malaysia urgently needs to transform itself into a high-value economy, and not remain stuck as a middleincome nation. Najib is likely to introduce strategies to promote a quality workforce, to develop more competitive markets, and introduce incentives to encourage private investment

in Malaysia, he told AFP. Yeah Kim Leng, group chief economist with RAM Holdings, said Malaysia only had to look south to tiny Singapore to see how billion-dollar investments are won thanks to efficient government and a big pool of talented labour. “In Malaysia, corruption, lack of skilled human resources, the affirmative policy and red-tape are among the impediments to woo investors,” he said. Yeah said Malaysia’s image abroad has been hammered by recent incidents including the caning of three Muslim women for having sex out of wedlock-a first for the nation-as well as conflict within the ruling coalition and an unprecedented challenge from the opposi-

tion. “It has created a negative perception among international investors who are concerned about the future political stability of the country,” he said. Najib’s new model, however, has excited Yeah who said the premier is “pressing hard on the accelerator of a locomotive”. He said he expected government-linked companies to divest their holdings in the utility, banking and services sector to boost liquidity in the stock market. Najib will also identify ways to cut red tape and boost poorly rated public sector services, he said. Yeah said he also expected the new model to include a rethink of the affirmative action plan introduced by Najib’s

father Abdul Razak, the country’s second prime minister, after deadly race riots. “We will not see a 100 percent roll back in the affirmative action plan but we will see some market-based policies to woo investments,” he said. Despite concerns the policy has bred an over-reliance among Malays and improperly benefited the elites, it has been fiercely guarded by the coalition which has ruled since independence in 1957. The multiracial coalition was deserted by ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities in the 2008 polls and now risks losing the support of Malays, who have long been its bedrock, to the resurgent opposition. — AFP

Investors on alert as Portugal starts tough budget battle LISBON: Portugal’s minority government is bracing for a tough battle over its planned austerity reforms after a parliamentary vote this week failed to gather support from opposition parties. The non-binding resolution on measures including a public sector salary freeze and social welfare cuts was passed by the parliament on Thursday but only after the main opposition party, the PSD, abstained. Other opposition parties voted against the draconian measures. “The debate is only just beginning,” said the newspaper Diario Economico. “What will we say to the international community on Monday? Who will vote for the austerity measures in parliament? Who will pass the budget?” The political wrangling came after Fitch Ratings agency downgraded Portugal’s credit rating on Wednesday, a move that set off alarm bells among investors in Europe worried about a possible repeat of Greece’s debt crisis. International attention has shifted to eurozone countries like Portugal after a financial fix in the Greek drama was unveiled on Thursday in Brussels. Analysts have warned that Portugal and other heavily indebted economies are also at risk, while officials have rushed to reassure investors. “I really believe that the situations are not in the least comparable and that the markets realise that, and will realise that in the coming days,” European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said this week. “The problem is completely different for Portugal,” he said. Douglas Renwick, associate director of Fitch’s sovereign team, said on Wednesday that Portugal’s downgrade had been prompted by “a sizeable fiscal shock”-a reference to the explosion of the country’s public deficit in 2009. The deficit ballooned to 9.3 percent of output last year, up 6.6 percentage points from the 2008 figure and exceeding the eurozone limit of three percent by more than three times though still below Greece’s 12.7 percent. The government has promised to cut the deficit to the eurozone limit by 2013 but Standard & Poor’s, another ratings agency, said on Friday that it would fail to meet this deadline because of political challenges. “This is because we believe

that some implementation risk remains... particularly given that the minority government will need opposition support to pass necessary legislation,” the agency said in a statement. It warned that Portugal’s credit outlook remained constrained “by structurally weak public finances and by anemic economic growth prospects, which we believe stem from a sluggish private sector.” The agency also affirmed Portugal’s sovereign credit ratings, a move that helped bring down Portugal’s 10-year bond yieldsthe rate the government has to pay to borrow money on financial markets. The yield fell to 4.267 percent late Friday from 4.357 percent on Thursday. But Standard & Poor’s analyst Kai Stukenbrock warned that the ratings agency could still downgrade Portugal’s creditworthiness “should the government be unable to garner opposition support as expected.” Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has called for “a broad consensus” to implement austerity measures but the Social Democrats (PSD), the largest opposition party, are not planning to make it easy on the government. “We have nothing to do with this programme, we have nothing to do with the measures proposed, which are the responsibility of the government alone,” PSD leader Manuela Ferreira Leite said during Thursday’s stormy parliament debate. She said the PSD had decided not to vote against the austerity plan only for the “national interest,” adding: “It was essential for the country.” To make matters even more complicated, a front-runner in upcoming PSD leadership elections, Pedro Passos Cuelho, said he “didn’t feel bound” to Thursday’s stance and would not hesitate to block austerity measures. Political analyst Antonio Costa Pinto said the deadlock will likely continue “at least until the next presidential election” in January of next year. Meanwhile there was further pressure on the government on Friday after hundreds of young people rallied in the capital Lisbon against austerity. Valter Loios, a youth leader of the CGTP trade union, said: “Millions of workers are demanding stability, a real increase in wages and a future.” — AFP

Estonia’s drive to meet euro criteria TALLINN: Under the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that created European economic and monetary union, countries must meet certain conditions in order to adopt the euro. They mainly concern limits on inflation, public finances, debt, and exchange rate stability. Inflation hampered Estonia’s first attempt to adopt the euro in 2007, as the economy overheated, but it has fallen below the hurdle as demand withered and commodity prices slumped. The Maastricht measure is annual average inflation, which hit 10.6 percent in Estonia in 2008 but fell to 0.2 percent last year. Across 2010, the finance ministry forecasts, it is likely to be 0.4 percent, well below the current benchmark of around 1.8 percent. Would-be eurozone members must keep their public deficits-the shortfall between revenues and spending by the central government and local authorities-under 3.0 percent of gross domestic product. Doing so in an economic crisis usually means slashing spending, a step Estonia’s centre-right coalition government took before tax revenues unexpectedly rebounded late last year. As a result, Estonia’s 2009 deficit was 1.7 per-

cent, a far cry from the double-digit levels being racked up by some EU nations. Estonia’s fiscal stance is traditionally conservative, and the country posted surpluses in 2002 to 2007. The Maastricht government-debt limit, meanwhile, is 60 percent of output. Over the past decade, Estonia has had a prudent borrowing policy. At 7.2 percent, its government 2009 debt was by far the lowest in the EU. Estonia meets the exchange-rate stability hurdle because its kroon, created in 1992 to replace the Soviet ruble, has been pegged tightly from the outset. It was hooked to the euro in 2002 at a rate of 15.6466 kroons to one euro and the rate has never changed. Before that it was likewise tied to the German mark. The European Central Bank and the European Commission-the latter is the European Union’s executive bodyare to publish a report in May saying whether Estonia has made the grade. A formal decision is expected in July at a meeting of EU economy and finance ministers. Estonia plans to introduce the euro on January 1, 2011, with the kroon being withdrawn from circulation after two weeks of parallel circulation. — AFP

TOKYO: A model shows off Can-Am Spyder Roadstar RS SE-5 a 998-cc three wheeler during the Tokyo Motorcycle show 2010 in Tokyo yesterday. More than 100 companies participated in the exhibition to introduce their recent motorcycle productions. — AFP

‘Cuts this year could damage fragile economic recovery’

UK deficit cuts would be limited in 2010: Cameron LONDON: Britain’s opposition Conservative leader David Cameron said yesterday there would be a limit to what the party could do this year to tackle the country’s deficit if it wins the upcoming election. Cameron has said his party would make faster and deeper cuts than the ruling Labour Party to trim the “Well as I said, we can make a start,” Cameron told BBC television. “I’m not going to give you a figure today, I’m not going to do that but we can make a start. I’ve said it can’t be, you cannot do a huge amount in 2010.” The Conservatives have said they will carry out an emergency budget within 50 days, if they end 13 years of Labour rule. But polls have shown the Conservative’s once commanding lead tighten in recent weeks to single digits. Labour, which has said it will halve the deficit in four years, warns any cuts this year could damage the fragile economic recovery, preferring to wait until

2011. “Soon we will say what we think needs to happen early on in terms of some of these savings but ... there’s a limit to what you can do in a budget in 2010, for the year 2010, not least because we have an election in May for instance, we have a budget in June,” Cameron added. “You’re already quite a way through that 2010 year but you can make a start.” He repeated his warning that unless Britain took action to maintain global confidence and low interest rates, it risked the same fate as crisis-stricken Greece. When asked if his party would recog-

record budget deficit, expected to be 167 billion pounds ($247.8 billion) this year. The two main parties have put the economy at the centre of their campaigns ahead of an election expected on May 6. But he has toned down his comments after his “age of austerity” message seemed to put off voters earlier this year. nise marriage in the tax system, Cameron said: “We’re in real financial trouble and so it’s not easy to set out a lot of tax promises and I will be doing it during the election campaign but I think it’s been right actually not to make a lot of tax commitments before the election, rather to actually wait and see how difficult the financial situation is and then try and explain.” He also said the party would have to wait before making an announcement on whether to scrap the government’s planned rise in national insurance, saying it would have to be able to show where public spending savings could be made to

pay for it. Cameron could take comfort from voters’ reaction to the government’s budget last week. A Mail on Sunday/BPIX poll found only 16 percent of the 800 people quizzed between March 25 and 26 believed it was designed to combat the economic crisis, while nearly two out of three said it was a cynical exercise in putting off tough decisions until after polling day. The Conservatives are set to launch a new poster campaign on Monday, attacking Gordon Brown’s record as prime minister. One will say: “I doubled the national debt. Vote for me”. — Reuters

Opportunities for new customers to become ‘Doha Millionaire’

NEW DELHI: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GMR group, Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, P.S. Nair (2nd L) and Indian Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor (2nd R) pose after being presented with a Kingfisher Airlines aircraft scale model during a ceremony for the inaugural Kingfisher flight from New Delhi to London at Delhi’s International airport yesterday. Kingfisher Airlines, India’s only five-star airline rated by Skytrax, flagged off its first flight on the Delhi-London route. — AFP

KUWAIT: With the commencement of the significant campaign that was launched in 2010 exclusively for Kuwait Customers, “Doha Bank’ one of the leading banks in Qatar, for offering exquisite services in Kuwait, announces the winners of the 100,000 Qatari Riyals and the 10,000 Qatari Riyals in the monthly draw taking place on 14th March. The bank announced the winners at a large Gala event that was attended by prominent bank officials and an extensive number of bank customers, as well as representatives from the department of consumer protection. The winners of the 1st draw of the 100,000 Qatari Riyals cash prize are Murtadah Mohammad Hussein and Ruman Othman. The nine other customers won cash prizes worth 10,000 Qatari Riyals were, Jameela Malek Akram, Himshandrad, Hassan Hamad Khalifa, Mohammad Jawad Ali, Shehab AlDeen Morkin, Mohammad Al-Sharfi, Anaba Ridi Fiyajya, Sheikha Ahmed Abd-Al-Hay and Brakash Jejanasan. All “Doha Bank” customers in Kuwait are included in the draw, with cash prizes ranging from 10,000 Qatari Riyals to 1 million Qatari Riyals, in which customers holding bank accounts above 100 Kuwaiti Dinars will be part of the monthly draw. Additionally, and as further benefits from “Doha Bank”, the bank has decided to grant all it’s outstanding customers a doubled chance of winning, by including customers holding accounts worth of 500 Kuwaiti Dinars for a period of six months, twice for each 100

Kuwaiti Dinars deposited in their accounts, and three chances for winning for customers holding an account worth of 500 Kuwaiti Dinars for a time period of 12 months consecutively. On a further note regarding the launch of the new Doha Bank Campaign for 2010 / 2011, the Chief Counter Manager of the Kuwait Branch, Mr. Ahmed Al Mehza stated that the bank pays great attention to customer services for both individual customers and corporate customers, through offering excellent services, as well as giving outstanding customers the opportunity to win cash prizes starting from 100,000 Qatari Riyals and reaching an amount of 1 million Riyals. “This year’s campaign has been launched exclusively for Kuwait branch customers, and that is to enhance the chances for its customers to win cash prizes throughout the year. Concluding that there is yet the opportunity to win the 1 million Qatari Riyal prize, in the upcoming “Doha Millionaire” draw next month,” said Ahmed Al-Mehza, Chief Country Manager of the Kuwait Branch. Moreover, Al- Mehza concluded, “The bank is always eager to enhance its position within Kuwait, as well as continuously offering excellent and up to date financial services to its customers, through presenting various different methods and choices of accounts and services, including one’s such as the current deposit account, the fixed deposit account, the savings account and the account upon demand which suits different daily needs and demands”.



Monday, March 29, 2010

Wealth and boredom at epicentre of Australia’s mining boom CAPE PRESTON: Eyes narrowed through a plume of cigarette smoke, mine worker Anthony Saccoccio stares out across the vast baked plains of Australia’s economic powerhouse. A film of iron-rich red dust lends a tinge of rust to the buildings and cars and there’s little reprieve from the punishing desert heat. Posters in English and Chinese remind workers to drink often, and much-up to 10 litres (two-and-a-half gallons) a shift-while cyclone warning signs are a constant reminder of the Pilbara coast’s exposure to Mother Nature’s worst. “Some people bitch, but this is not the Hilton, it’s a mining camp,” says Texas-born Saccoccio, a senior engineer at Citic Pacific Mining’s Sino Iron project. “I’ve worked in the Middle East, Russia. I’ve worked in war zones. Compared to some other jobs this is pretty good.” Saccoccio is among thousands of ‘fly in, fly out’, or FIFO, workers who converge on

the rugged Pilbara region to work in Western Australia’s lucrative oil, gas and mining projects. For two out of every three weeks he calls an air-conditioned shipping container known as a “donga” home, 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) from his family in Perth. “I come up here to get away from her!” he jokes about his distant wife, offering a resigned shrug. “She’s used to it.” Four cyclones have hit the region in as many months, and summer temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122 F). Pilbara comes from the local Panyjima tribe’s name for the area, bilybara, which means “dry”. Western Australia is the engine room of the country’s economic “wonder from Down Under”. A resource-rich province 4,000 times the size of Singapore but 70 percent desert, it produces more than one-third of Australia’s total exports. About 15 percent of the world’s total iron ore exports come from the remote and rugged Pilbara region alone, which accounts

for 35 percent of the global seaborne iron ore trade-crucial to the booming Chinese economy. Most workers are lured to the mines by the money, with salaries starting at 100,000 dollars (92,000 US) per year. But Saccoccio works long shifts, 12 hours a stretch, and though the mining companies endeavour to provide all the creature comforts — cable television, tennis courts, a pool-boredom and depression come with the territory. “If the Pilbara is the heart of the economy then the workers are its soul, and the conditions are tough,” explains Brad Upton, from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. “It’s hot, humid and isolated. There would be no ships full of iron ore, gas or other metals without huge sacrifices made by the workers.” Prohibitive living costs, including weekly rents in excess of 2,000 Australian dollars make it impossible for most families to live

in the Pilbara, with social disconnection and family breakdowns common due to long periods of separation, Upton said. “Development of new housing to reduce rent and cost pressures in the area is vastly restricted because so much land is situated on flood plains and the coastal area is the most cyclone-prone region in Australia,” he added. Houses with swimming pools, yachts and flat-screen televisions are a common sight in the town of Karratha, established some 50 years ago as a mining centre by Anglo-Australian resources giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The palpable wealth jars with the landscape of red dirt and salt flats, but there are vast amounts of disposable income ringing through the tills of the local home electronics store and the town’s alcohol stores and pubs. Hundreds of grimy workers pack into the Karratha Tavern to drink their earnings every night, a sea of dusty coveralls and

steel-capped boots gathering to bet on horseracing and joke with the bikini-clad bar staff. WA premier Colin Barnett says life in these transient, male-dominated towns is “unusual” and social problems are not uncommon, but rejects descriptions of it as the “Wild West”. “It’s not the mining towns of the Gold Rush days and that sort of romantic image. People up there are highly trained, very skilled, and work long hours long days,” Barnett said. “They simply work, eat and sleep and then they fly back.” The influx of workers is set to explode in the next 12 months as construction begins on a series of massive projects in the region-notably the 37 billion US dollar Gorgon offshore gas plant, which will require 6,000 workers for the first phase alone. “That project will be one of the largest projects anywhere in the world,” explains

Anne Nolan, director-general of the office of state development. On the most conservative modelling, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy estimates the state will need another 27,000 workers by 2014, and warns the number could be as high as 36,000. Labour pressures and the housing crisis have serious impacts on the provision of services in mining towns, with a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers who, quite simply, have nowhere to live. It’s a situation set only to intensify as the global slowdown recedes and the sector returns to boom times, with the Reserve Bank of Australia predicting stellar growth which could run for at least 20 years. “Our capacity to achieve that is a major challenge,” said Nolan. For workers like Saccoccio, however, the money will always talk. “The heat’s not so bad once you’ve got a breeze,” he said, stubbing out his cigarette. — AFP

Strikes pose election risk for premier Brown Cabin crew threaten more strikes LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is facing a wave of strikes that threaten to hurt his chances at an upcoming election, including a second round of walkouts by British Airways staff this weekend. The bitter BA dis-

pute, alongside strike calls by railway workers and civil servants, have prompted the opposition Conservatives to make comparisons with the bitter industrial battles that rocked Britain in the 1970s.

LONDON: A British Airways plane flies over striking British Airways (BA) cabin crew members at Heathrow Airport on the second day of a four-day strike yesterday, bringing further travel disruption with no end in sight for a dispute that has become increasingly political. The Unite trade union, which represents 12,000 BA cabin crew, is staging its second walkout in a week and says there are likely to be more ahead unless BA makes them an acceptable offer. — AFP

World energy producers, consumers set for forum LONDON: The world’s largest forum of energy producers and consumers meet in Mexico this week for talks on tackling major industry concerns including oilprice volatility and the outlook for supply and demand. The International Energy Forum (IEF), which groups together energy producing and consuming countries accounting for more than 90 percent of global oil and gas supply, holds its latest biennial conference in the beach resort of Cancun. The two-day ministerial conference beginning Tuesday will build on the 11th IEF in Rome in 2008 and two ad hoc meetings in Jeddah and London in the second half of that year when oil prices spiked to record highs before plunging. A ministerial declaration expected to touch on the issue of oil price volatility is due to be published at the conclusion of the IEF on Wednesday. Crude oil futures endured a roller-coaster ride in the second half of 2008, when they hit record highs of above 147 dollars a barrel on supply concerns before tumbling to 32 dollars due to the severe global economic downturn. Prices have since recovered to trade between 70 and 80 dollars a range which is pleasing both producers and consumers. However the risk of volatility remains owing to an uncertain economic recovery and unrest in major oil producers such as Iran, Iraq and Nigeria. Ahead of the IEF, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali alNuaimi said that while it was impossible to “eliminate” market volatility, producers, consumers and investors could “lessen the

amplitude of the swings” through dialogue. Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Georgina Kessel Martinez said the forum also needed to look at “uncertainties affecting future supply and demand outlooks (and) unlocking the barriers holding back investment.” The energy sector was also concerned with “encouraging increased cooperation and partnership among national and international companies, broadening energy access, and advancing clean technologies,” said Martinez, whose country is cohosting the IEF with Germany and Kuwait. Running alongside the IEF in Cancun will be the 4th International Energy Business Forum (IEBF), to be attended by 36 companies, including bosses of oil majors China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. A total 64 countries are expected to send ministers to the 12th IEF and will be joined by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — whose member countries together pump about 40 percent of the world’s crude. Also attending will be Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) — the energy-monitoring arm of the OECD grouping of the world’s 30 leading industrialised nations. High on the agenda in Cancun will be the issue of energy security. “When consumer countries talk about energy security it’s always about: ‘Are they going to be supplied with enough energy at affordable prices?’” said Noe van

Hulst, secretary general of the IEF. “The other side of the coin for producer countries is: ‘Will there be security of demand for the energy they are producing?’” He also told AFP the forum would be asking whether producers and consumers can have greater convergence over how the use of biofuels and other renewable energy was impacting demand for oil and gas now and in the future. The forum will also look at the issues of energy poverty and moves to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. “Energy poverty is still as big a problem as it was many years ago,” said van Hulst. “We should be looking at why

is this still such a stubborn problem and why is the world community not able to tackle it more effectively. I think that most people would agree that having billions of people without access to modern energy is not something that is acceptable in the long run. “If those billions of people would have more access to modern energy, yes there would be an impact perhaps on emissions but it could be negligible in terms of the bigger picture.” However van Hulst conceded that as fossil fuels “will remain dominant for decades and decades to come” the world needed to make the production and consumption of such energy more environmentally-friendly. — AFP

NEW DELHI: In this file picture taken on November 8, 2009, Bharti Telecommunication Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal attends the World Economic Forum’s 25th India Economic Summit in New Delhi. Indian telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal is on the cusp of achieving his dream of building a presence in Africa with a planned 10.7 billion dollar buy-out of assets from Kuwait-based Zain. — AFP

They have dubbed this the “spring of discontent,” akin to the 1978-9 “winter of discontent” where bodies were left unburied and rubbish rotting in streets as workers stayed at home. The then Labour government fell shortly afterwards. Brown has condemned the wave of strikes but is vulnerable to accusations of being soft on the unions because they provide a large chunk of the funding for his Labour party-in particular Unite, which is involved in the BA dispute. BA claims to have kept passengers moving during walkouts by thousands of cabin crew, but further transport chaos is expected when railway signal and maintenance workers strike for four days from April 6. Staff at utilities firm British Gas and technology giant Hewlett Packard have also voted for strikes. And in the public sector, civil servants have staged several walkouts in recent months, including a 24-hour strike last Wednesday to coincide with Brown’s government’s annual budget statement. Although they differ on timing, all the main political parties agree that public spending must be slashed to tackle Britain’s deficit as it emerges from recession-and public servants are next in line for a squeeze. “It does feel like it’s back to the bad old days,” said Conservative transport spokeswoman Theresa Villiers. “In the dying days of the last Labour government, militant unions brought this country to a standstill and, if this rail strike goes ahead... then we could be seeing some of these scenes on the streets of modern Britain.” Several right-leaning newspapers have taken up the Conservatives’ line, including The Sun, which last week urged voters to take their “revenge” for their “miserable spring” on May 6 — the expected date of the general election. Brown said the action at BA and on the privatised railways is “in nobody’s interest” and urged all parties to return to the negotiating table. Amid mounting pressure to condemn the strikes, however, he said last Friday: “Let me be absolutely clear, it is the public who come first. “It is the citizens and consumers of this country who we work for and who demand, rightly so, that their needs are paramount. “We cannot tolerate largescale industrial disputes in this country, particularly at this time as the economy comes out of recession.” His finance minister, Alistair Darling, has also promised “deeper and tougher” cuts in spending than those implemented by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative administration in the 1980s-which sparked huge public outcry. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times last weekend found 35 percent believed Brown should have taken a tougher line on the BA strikers, and a BBC poll at the same time found 60 percent believed the walkout was “unjustified”. The unions themselves are aware of the political damageUnite joint leader Tony Woodley told The Guardian newspaper this week: “I have not forgotten where I have come from.” But he said he must support his members. — AFP

BRUSSELS: Prince Philippe of Belgium attends the Brussels forum meeting “the committee to save the World? The G20 and the future of global economic governance” yesterday, in Brussels. — AFP

WTO boss warns EU to sharpen its G20 voice BRUSSELS: WTO chief Pascal Lamy yesterday told EU participants to sort out first who will argue for what at June’s G20 summit in Toronto, otherwise “nobody” will listen. “The frank reality is that it does not make sense,” the former EU trade commissioner said of seven European Union seats at the summit, after the bloc’s new president Herman Van Rompuy also secured his ticket at last week’s EU summit. “If one European takes the floor, and then another European... nobody listens,” the World Trade Organization boss told a Brussels conference. He said the “right solution, if I may, is to at least make sure they speak with one mouth-not one voice-on each topic on the agenda.” Lamy, who occupies the WTO’s own seat in the G20, said he was “sure that’s what Van Rompuy is trying to get to,” but warned that “if it doesn’t translate into one mouth, it doesn’t work.” Britain, France, Germany and Italy are each members of the Group of 20 major and developing economies seen as the forum for deciding how the world acts to avert repeat economic crises.

Spain, as rotating EU presidency, will also attend the Toronto summit, where leaders will try to agree how to regulate the finance industry and examine ideas such as whether a global levy on financial transactions could deliver insurance against future recessions. The European Commission meanwhile has a seat in the name of the 27-nation EU, which is a member in its own right, and now Van Rompuy has managed to obtain a place at the top table as well as the bloc’s appointed chair. The issue of how much weight Europe’s collective voice should be given has stirred debate among countries struggling to be heard at G20 level, although national interests often collide with EU perspectives, for instance where Britain’s financial sector is concerned. Robert Hormats, US under-secretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs, while stressing that representation was for the Europeans to sort out themselves, nevertheless gave his opinion that on trade matters, saying Europe is “more effective” because it “does speak with one voice”. — AFP

GM recalls 5,000 heavy duty vans DETROIT: General Motors Co said it would recall about 5,000 heavy duty vans built in February and March and halt production and sale because of a risk of engine fires due to a suspected faulty alternator. GM said in a notice on Friday it was still determining how to fix the issue, which affects heavy-duty 2010 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana passenger and cargo vans. Owners should stop driving the vans, park them away from buildings and other vehicles and disconnect both battery cables, GM said. The vans cannot be rented by fleet customers or sold by dealers until a fix is found, GM said. It did not give any indication as to when it would determine a fix for the issue. GM said relatively few of the vans had gone to retail customers and about 1,300 had gone to fleet customers when it issued the order to stop their sale

and production. Light duty Express and Savana vans use a different alternator and were not under a production halt, GM said. GM said the last eight digits of the vehicle identification numbers for the heavy duty Express 2500 and 3500 series vans recalled are A1129327 through A1142523. The GMC Savana 2500 and 3500 series ID numbers run from A1128784 through A1901915. About 1,400 AC Delco replacement alternators are also being recalled and may have been installed in vehicles in February and March, GM said. The recalled replacement alternators are numbered 15200110, 15288861, 15263859 and 15847291, GM said. GM said those replacement heavy duty alternators could have been used in 2005 to 2010 model year Express or Savana heavy duty vans or other 2005 to 2009 GM trucks or SUVs. — Reuters

Monday, March 29, 2010



Health system rolls inexorably toward digital records KANSAS: Federal stimulus money and the promise of incentive payments are pushing health care providers toward digital information. Just as moving from ledgers to computers changed banking, going to electronic medical records is expected to change health care, proponents say. But going digital is also expensive. Hillside Medical Office in Wichita, Kan., which has seven physicians and one nurse practitioner, recently signed a contract for a system. Administrator Dave Gordon said it’s “the largest investment this office has ever made, other than the building. ... It’s six figures.” Beginning next year, health care providers can recoup some of their costs from incentives that were part of the stimulus package. Those making “meaningful use” of electronic records are eligible for as much as $18,000 in fiscal 2011, and lesser amounts in the four years following, to an estimated total of $40,000 or more. Hospitals can get more than $2 million a year for four years.

“That sort of money hanging out there is like fresh meat,” Robert St. Peter of the Kansas Health Institute said in Topeka, Kan., earlier this year. He is a member of the state’s e-Health Advisory Council. “It’s really lit a fire,” he said. “This is like a big deal now. There’s a lot of money involved.” Proponents say the benefits are as enticing as the funds. Record-keeping will become more efficient. Tests and Xrays won’t need to be repeated, and staff time won’t have to be spent pulling or filing paper charts. Information will be mined in ways that can improve health care, by showing which treatments are most effective, for example. And mistakes can be reduced, such as those that can come from misinterpreted handwriting. Many health care providers can’t afford to go fully digital right away, said Joe Davison, a physician at West Wichita Family Physicians and president of the Kansas Medical Society. At his office, “We are in a combination stage,” he said,

with the ability to share lab results or digital X-rays but not all information with other providers. The ability to have health care providers’ computer systems “talk” to each other has accounted for some of the delay in the adoption of electronic records , and is pushing it forward now. Electronic medical records on their own are useful within a practice or hospital, just as computer systems are at a business. But when they are part of a health exchange, they become more like the health equivalent of banking online or at ATMs, in which information can be accessed by authorized users regardless of location. The potential to improve health care rests with those exchanges. Davison said the most valuable exchanges will be at the local level , between a local physician and a local hospital, for example. But for health information to be valuable on a broader level , for research and analysis, the federal government is pushing for

wider exchanges of information. States and others still are grappling with the issues raised by health exchanges, St. Peter said. Those include who should own the data, whether employers and insurance companies should be able to access it, and whether it should be run by the state, a private entity or a hybrid of the two. For smaller-scale groups such as the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, Kan., the challenge is to develop a local health exchange. “We have gained a lot of insights in terms of the statewide plan and how that’s going to work,” said Executive Directo Jon Rosell, who also is a member of the state advisory committee. A nationwide exchange is “years down the road,” Davison said. But the journey has begun. Gordon said, “The government is almost forcing people’s hands, between their carrots and their sticks.” And at some point in the future, he said, a health care provider still using paper charts will be as rare as a bank pulling out a ledger.— MCT

Decision to halt censorship met with fairly muted response

Google goes it alone in China censorship fight KANSAS: Dr Joe Davison, MD carries a computer tablet that he uses when he visits his patients at West Wichita Family Physicians, March 11, 2010, in Wichita, Kansas. —MCT

Web of intelligence gets more complex WASHINGTON: Last weekend, the Washington Post reported that in 2008 the US department of defence closed down a “honeypot” website created by the CIA and the Saudi government to attract and monitor Islamist extremists in Saudi Arabia. Military officials decided that the intelligence value of the site was less important than their belief that extremists were using it to plan attacks on American forces in Iraq. Much backroom wrangling ensued but the Pentagon, citing operational security and backed by the National Security Agency (NSA), won out. Later that year, the site was attacked by US military operators, to the chagrin of the Saudis and the CIA, and of countries like Germany whose internet assets became accidental collateral damage from the takedown. Because US Central Command (CentCom) decided this was an operational military matter, the decision effectively escaped congressional oversight also. Experts have long argued about the relative worth of keeping the enemy where they can see him in cyberspace, against more aggressive policies of denying him operational space whenever possible. By keeping online jihadists corralled, agencies can generate intelligence from their activities, to be operationalised as required. Rather this than chasing jihadists around the internet, goes the argument, especially if they just set up again within one or two days of taking a particular site offline. The ethics of governments creating specific honeypot sites are far more debatable, and might fall foul of statutory limitations on entrapment were they to be carried out domestically. In the foreign context, a 2008 department of defence report obtained during a recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit states that a US Air Force honeypot operation “targeting non-US

persons” was not only a “potential questionable activity”, but possibly unlawful. One wonders how similar reasoning might apply to the present case, if it turns out to be true. The laws of armed conflict require that actions in war satisfy the principle of military necessity and we may never discover how the US reached its judgment on al-Hesbah, which experts think is the forum under the spotlight here. The Pentagon was likely concerned about the exchange of information on US troop locations and movements, and this alone can be interpreted as a threat to US forces in theatre. Internet use features prominently in the biographies of terrorists attacking western targets, and forums like al-Hesbah are often described as loci of Islamist radicalisation and recruitment. As sources of propagandist video and literature they may indeed contribute to people’s transitions to violence but there is little evidence they are places where terrorist acts are actually planned. Not least, this is due to a high level of paranoia among forum users about surveillance by intelligence agencies, a possibility that is hard to discount, even if facts are hard to come by. All parties involved have declined to comment, so it may be a while until a clearer picture emerges. We do know one thing, however: by the end of 2008, al-Hesbah and most of the other major forums had gone offline in somewhat mysterious circumstances. At the time, experts suggested that the demise of al-Hesbah was very likely the work of US intelligence agencies, and illegal to boot. The current revelations may help explain these events. Or they may not, such is the murkiness of intelligence and counterintelligence - not to mention the stories told about them in the media.— Guardian

TOKYO: A dental patient robot named Hanako Showa lies on a chair of the Showa University Dentistry School’s dental clinic in Tokyo on Thursday. Few people would want to be guinea pigs for aspiring dentists but Japan has found an always-willing patient — a robot. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a major speech on Internet freedom two months ago, called on US technology firms not to support online censorship. “I hope that refusal to support politically motivated censorship will become a trademark characteristic of American technology companies,” Clinton said. “It should be part of our national brand.” Amid a host of trade disputes with China, however, Google’s decision last week to halt censorship there met with only a fairly muted response from the State Department-and virtual silence from other US technology giants. Go Daddy, the world’s largest registrar of Web domain names, did announce that it was no longer registering names in China because of what it called “chilling” new identification requirements imposed by the Chinese authorities. And another domain name registrar, Network Solutions, told AFP it had stopped offering the .cn domain names in December because of the “intrusive nature” of the new Chinese policies for those seeking Web addresses. But no other US companies indicated they were

prepared to follow Google’s lead and run the risk of being shut out of the world’s largest online market. Microsoft, Yahoo!, Cisco and previously Google are among the US firms which have been accused by members of the US Congress and human rights groups of abetting the Web censorship machine dubbed the “Great Firewall of China.” Yahoo! did not reply to a request for comment on Google’s move but chief executive Carol Bartz said last year: “It’s not our job to fix the Chinese government. “We will respect human rights but not take on every government in the world-that’s not our mandate,” Bartz said. Microsoft for its part last week reiterated the position the software giant expressed in January when Google revealed that it and other companies had been the target of cyberattacks originating in China. “We appreciate that different companies may make different decisions about where and how they operate their business based on their own experiences and views,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We remain committed to advancing free expression, and we currently are

engaged actively in doing business in over 100 countries, even as we comply with the laws in every country in which we operate.” Google co-founder Sergey Brin, in an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, said he was “disappointed” with Microsoft and that its stance was “against freedom of speech and human rights.” While praising Google, Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, said Microsoft “need to get with the program and join with the side of human rights rather than enabling tyranny.” Google’s decision to stand up to the Chinese authorities also won plaudits from human rights groups but it was not universally lauded and Microsoft and Yahoo! also had their defenders. Michael Arrington, founder of US technology blog TechCrunch, condemned what he called Google’s “certain level of hypocrisy” for abandoning a search market they were “failing in” while leaving behind “assets that have more promise.” Deriding Go Daddy’s move a “publicity stunt,” Arrington said “whatever China is or isn’t, we are all very much in busi-

ness with them.” “What I can’t sit and watch is Microsoft being raked over the coals by a government that does nothing to fight the evil that they say exists in China,” he said. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! are all founding members of the Global Network Initiative, which brings together Internet and telecom companies, human rights groups, academics and investors to protect freedom of expression and privacy. Rebecca MacKinnon, a member of GNI’s board of directors, noted to AFP that Yahoo! had largely disengaged from China and said Microsoft’s continued presence there is not at odds with its participation in the initiative. “The point is to try and be practical with the idea that engagement is the ideal situation if they can figure out a way to do it responsibly,” MacKinnon said. “We try to get beyond the alternative of in or out. “It would be unhelpful to say that the Chinese do a lot of bad things therefore the technology sector should disengage,” she said. “Because then they should disengage from half the countries in the world.”— AFP

Use of surgical robots on rise in operating rooms MIAMI: The da Vinci Surgical System. Three robots, no waiting. It could be the slogan of South Miami Hospital, where 19 surgeons are on track to perform more than 1,000 robotic surgeries this year. Since its program began in 2007, hospital executives say it has become one of the world’s busiest centers for surgeries using the robots, formally called da Vinci Surgical Systems. They say the hospital ranks fifth in the combined total of gynecologic, prostate, thoracic, bariatric, colorectal and heart surgeries performed with robots. “This is the future,” says Wayne Brackin, chief operating officer of Baptist Health South Florida, South Miami Hospital’s parent company, who helped set South Miami’s course when he was CEO there. “We don’t want to be left behind.” Other hospitals are busy too. Surgical robots won FDA approval in 2000, and there are now 1,395 of them in 860 hospitals worldwide, performing more than 200,000 operations a year. Officials at Intuitive Surgical, the robot’s manufacturer, say 70 percent of all prostatectomies in the United States now are done by robot. Advocates say robots do surgery with greater precision, reducing pain and blood loss, shortening hospital stays and getting patients back to work more quickly. But critics say that despite its meteoric growth, or maybe because of it, robotic surgery lacks an adequate body of solid scientific studies demonstrating that it is better than traditional open surgery or regular laparoscopic surgery. To a layperson, and clearly to many surgeons, the surgical robot is dazzling. The human surgeon sits at a computer console peering into a monitor that gives him or her a view inside the patient’s body that is fullcolor, three-dimensional and magnified 10 times. Across the room, the robot’s four massive arms wield delicate surgical

MIAMI: Dr Mark Dylewski, a thoracic surgeon, is shown at the controls of a da Vinci Surgical System, March 1, 2010, in an operating room at South Miami Hospital. — MCT instruments inside the patient, carrying out the surgeon’s instructions with space-age precision. “The robot is better,” says Dr. Ricardo Estape, a gynecological surgeon at South Miami Hospital who helped start its robotic program. “You can see what you’re doing so much better than even with open surgery. You can’t stick your head in somebody’s pelvis with open surgery when you’re doing a radical hysterectomy.” He says the California-based company that makes the da Vinci system robot and is the world’s only manufacturer of surgical robots, has told him that he and his partner are the third-busiest robotic gynecological surgeons in the world. Intuitive Surgical doesn’t challenge the numbers quoted by South Miami Hospital

and Estape, but it won’t confirm the claim. “It only aggravates the other hospitals,” says spokeswoman Alexis Morgan. “The robot is amazing,” says Dr. Lynn Seto, a cardiac surgeon who performed 450 robotic heart surgeries at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio before South Miami recruited her to help start its robotic heart program. “The view is so good you actually think you’re inside the body.” By the traditional method, open-heart surgery requires a 12-inch incision, cracking the breastbone and spreading the ribs, resulting in a weeklong hospital stay. The same operation by robot is done through five to seven incisions , smaller in diameter than a pencil , between the ribs. The patient can go home in a day or two. Dr Mark Dylewski, who does

robotic thoracic surgery at South Miami, argues that it is safer, especially for older, sicker patients. He has developed a robotic technique to remove a cancerous esophagus and attach a part of the stomach to the throat to replace it. He has trained 200 other surgeons how to do it. “You don’t have the trauma of cutting through the sternum. The risk of pneumonia from a long hospital stay is reduced,” he says. Morgan, the Intuitive spokeswoman, cites a study released this month at Wake Forest University. It followed a single surgeon who did kidney surgery on 30 patients using laparoscopy and 30 using the robot, and concluded that robotic surgery was faster, involved less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay. Both methods were equally effective in cancer care. But critics say such samesurgeon comparisons only demonstrate how a doctor’s skill can grow with practice. They want studies comparing outcomes of many operations by many doctors. Dr Michael J. Barry, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the General Medicine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, is one of those critics. “The best kind of study would randomly assign patients who are equally willing to have all three kinds of surgery , open, laparoscopic and robotic, using a mix of surgeons and institutions,” he says. “That would be the most generalizable to what the average patient would get at the average facility.” Morgan also cites a 2009 study of thousands of hospital prostate surgery records by Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. It found little difference in patient death rates, loss of urinary control and erectile dysfunction among the three major surgical procedures , open surgery, traditional laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery. But it said its own conclusions were weakened by a

paucity of apples-and-apples data. The Massachusetts General study also said robotic prostate surgery costs $2,000 to $3,000 more than traditional open prostate surgery, but that the same lack of good data makes it unclear whether those costs are balanced by the shorter hospital stays of robotic surgery. Barry says the fast growth of robotic surgery is “marketing pressure.” “People assume that more technology makes things better,” he says. “And if one hospital gets one, there’s an incentive for others to get one in the medical arms race we have in the U.S.” Robots can be pricey. The latest-model da Vinci robots cost $1.4 million, with annual maintenance costs of $140,000. Brackin, the Baptist Health CEO, says Medicare will not pay any more for a robotic operation than for a traditional open procedure, meaning the hospital must absorb the difference. “In the operating room the robot is more expensive,” he says. “In the overall picture, considering length of stay and associated complications or lack of them, we think it’s pretty comparable.” He goes on: “Frequently, technology gets ahead of the payments for it. In robotic surgery that’s the case right now. We make investment decisions despite the short term financial situation if they create better outcomes for the patient. Historically, reimbursement has caught up.” Other hospitals seem to agree, as robotic surgery continues to grow. In Florida, 49 hospitals have 67 robots doing surgery. In Miami, nine hospitals have 12 robots; in Fort Lauderdale, six hospitals have eight robots. In Miami-Dade County, the University of Miami Hospital has one surgical robot, with 11 surgeons doing about 250 operations a year in urology and gynecology. It plans to expand that to include cardiac, colorectal and head and neck cancer surgery. — MCT



Monday, March 29, 2010

Junkies and junk-food addicts have same craving mechanism Research shows that addiction stems from over stimulus of key mechanism in brain PARIS: The same molecular pathways that steer people into drug addiction also lie behind the craving to overeat, driving individuals into obesity, a study published yesterday suggests. The research, based on lab animals, bolsters long-standing suspicions that addiction to pleasure stems from over stimulus

of a key reward mechanism in the brain, its authors say. Publishing online in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida fed rats high-fat, high-calorie treats-bacon, sausage, cheesecake and so on-and watched the rodents bulk out dramatically.

Losing breast not always best for cancer patients BARCELONA: New research suggests that women with gene mutations that predispose them to breast cancer might not pay a huge price in survival if they choose to preserve their breast instead of having it removed. In a small study that observed women with BRCA gene mutations and different types of cancer and treatments, patients had two to four times greater risk of a cancer recurrence if they had only the cancerous lump removed instead of the whole breast. However, their survival rates after 15 years appeared roughly similar, although this type of study cannot prove that one treatment is as good as another. Results were presented Friday at a breast cancer conference in Barcelona. Large studies have established that having a lumpectomy followed by radiation

may be as effective as a mastectomy for women with early-stage breast cancers. However, it’s not known if this is true for women with genes that predispose them to cancer. Lumpectomies also are sometimes followed by chemotherapy and hormone treatment such as tamoxifen depending on the size, type and spread of the cancer. Dr Lori Pierce, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan, and her colleagues observed 655 breast cancer patients in Australia, Israel, Spain and the United States, all of whom had genetic mutations that gave them a much higher chance of getting the disease. After 15 years, women who had a breast removed had about a 6 percent chance of a cancer relapse, compared with 24 percent of women who kept their breasts. If the latter group

added chemotherapy, their risk dropped to about 12 percent. The survival difference appeared much smaller: 87 percent of those who kept their breasts and 89 percent of those who had the more drastic surgery were alive after 15 years. The difference was not statistically significant, but so few deaths occurred in a study this size that it’s hard to know if that would change with bigger or more rigorous research. “Breast conservation therapy ... with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy is a very reasonable alternative,” Pierce said. Doctors said Pierce’s findings should buy some recently diagnosed breast cancer patients a bit of breathing room. “These are convincing data that show women can keep their breast and not be worse off,” said Dr. Alain

Fourquet, head of radiation and oncology at the Institut Curie in Paris. Fourquet is the chair of the European breast cancer conference and was not linked to Pierce’s study. Fourquet said being genetically predisposed to breast cancer may be less important in determining a course of action once women actually get the disease, and that decisions to remove a breast should not be based on genes. Maria Leadbeater, a clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, a British charity, said the findings should change the discussions doctors have with breast cancer patients. “Surgeons may be able to give more weight to patients’ thoughts and wishes,” she said. “If both options are equally effective, then what the patient wants may become more important.” —AP

The junk-food rats gobbled down twice as many calories as “control” rodents fed on normal chow. “When we removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet-what we called the ‘salad bar option’they simply refused to eat,” said Paul Kenny, an associate professor. “The change in their diet preference was so great that they basically starved themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food.” Even when the scientists threatened the rats with an electric shock, the animals continued to overeat, a clear sign of uncontrolled behavior. Having shown that obese rats were addicted, the next step was to explore how this happened in the brain. Kenny and graduate student Paul Johnson focused on a docking point, or receptor, on the surface of neurons that binds to a “feel-good” brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is released by pleasurable experiences such as sex, food and narcotics. Previous research found that among cocaine users, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine and overstimulates the socalled dopamine 2 receptors (D2Rs). The overstimulation causes the body to adapt by decreasing the activity of the D2Rs. As a result, there is a progressively worsening “reward response,” or uptake of the pleasure-giving chemical in brain cells. The cocaine user needs more and more frequent stimulation from the drug to avoid entering into a persistent state of negative reward-in other words, he quickly goes on the slippery slope from casual to compulsive drug-taking. Similar changes in the D2Rs occur in the food-addicted lab rats, the study found. “These findings confirm what we and many others have suspected, that overconsumption of highly pleasurable food triggers addiction-like, neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuitries, driving the development of compulsive eating,” says Kenny. “Common mechanisms may therefore underlie obesity and drug addiction.” The research has yet to be conducted among humans, but when it was unveiled in its early stages at a conference last October, it prompted nods of agreement from obese people who said they had always argued that bingeing on sweet or fatty foods was an addiction. — AFP

ARIZONA: This undated photo released by the Phoenix Zoo, shows Duchess, a Bornean orangutan. Duchess celebrated her 50th birthday at the Phoenix Zoo on Saturday during a party complete with cake and gifts. — AP

Early antibiotic use slashes death HIV toll in African trial PARIS: Preventive use of a cheap, commonly-prescribed antibiotic dramatically reduced the death toll among African patients whose immune systems had been ravaged by the AIDS virus, says a paper appearing today. The drug, co-trimoxazole, marketed as Septrim, Bactrim and other brands, is widely used to combat pneumonia and ear and urinary tract infections and has also been found to have some antimalarial properties. The investigation covered 3,179 people in Uganda and Zimbabwe who were started on a course of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and whose counts of CD4 immune cells were lower than 200 cells per microlitre. Among those given co-trimoxazole along-

side the anti-HIV drugs, the risk of dying during the first three months fell by 59 percent compared to those who were not on the antibiotic. At the 72-week stage, the reduced risk of mortality still persisted, although it evened out to 35 percent overall. In addition, co-trimoxazole cut frequency of malaria by 26 percent. These benefits, together with the very low side effects, suggest doctors in Africa should also prescribe co-trimoxazole at the early stage of treatment for HIV, says the paper, published online by The Lancet. “Co-trimoxazole prophylaxis (combined with antiHIV treatment) is cost-effective and has a substantial public health effect,” says

the study. “Our results reinforce WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines and provide strong motivation for provision of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for at least 72 weeks to all adults starting combination ART in Africa.” The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) penetrates and destroys key cells in the immune system, paving the way to AIDS, when the body becomes vulnerable to a host of opportunistic diseases. Sub-Saharan Africa had 22.4 million people living with HIV or AIDS, amounting to two-thirds of the world total of 33.4 million, according to estimates for the end of 2008 released by the UN agency UNAIDS last November. — AFP

HAMBURG: A zoo keeper feeds elephant baby Rani while it is measured at an animal park in northern Germany on March 25, 2010. All the animals of the park are measured, weighed and counted for the inventory. — AFP

Cancer question complicates 9/11 compensation deal NEW YORK: Of all the illnesses people fear might be caused by toxic dust from the World Trade Center, nothing scares people as much as cancer. Hundreds of people are suing New York City over cancer diagnoses they received after working at ground zero. A judge last week rejected a $575 million legal settlement for thousands of sick 9/11 responders in part because he thought it should contain more money for cancer victims. Yet, statistics show that cancer rates among those who worked in the trade center rubble are in line with rates among the general public. The three major research efforts tracking the health of ground zero responders have so far failed to turn up evidence linking any type of cancer to the dust. Many of the cancers now afflicting ground zero workers are common. There are plenty of theories as to how the dust might cause cancer, but little proof. Even the scientists most concerned about a potential link say the length of time it takes for many cancers to develop means it could be years before cases related to 9/11 begin to emerge. That lack of evidence has complicated efforts to craft a compensation package for sick workers. With as many as 10,000 workers claiming illnesses, the lawyers trying to hammer out a settlement and lawmakers working on a 9/11 health bill in Washington have faced a tough question: Do they dedicate the bulk of money to people with ailments where there has been stronger evidence of a tie to ground zero, like asthma and other respiratory diseases? Or, do they set aside more for people with deadly, but common, cancers that may or may not be related to the attacks?

NEW YORK: In this Oct 11, 2001 file photo, firefighters make their way over the ruins of the World Trade Center through clouds of dust and smoke at ground zero in New York. — AP US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein noted the dilemma last week when he shot down a settlement that would have resolved nearly 10,000 lawsuits over post-9/11 illnesses. “Cancer is a very difficult injury,” he said. “Who can really say how a cancer is caused?” In the end, the judge suggested he was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the sick. “The people who went in to 9/11

did not make calculations on cancers and whether they would get or wouldn’t get cancer. ... They responded,” he said. He said a part of the settlement that capped payments at $100,000 for people who develop the disease in the future was inadequate. “I think there is more money to pay for the cancers, given all the issues, given all the problems with it,” the judge said. There is no doubt that cancer has claimed the lives of many

responders. New York’s state health department, which tracked fatalities for several years among the roughly 40,000 ground zero workers, confirmed at least 250 cancer-related deaths though June 2009. Analysis of other deaths is ongoing. Many other police, firefighters and construction workers who worked with the dust have fallen ill. Candiace Baker, a retired New York

City police detective, said at a court hearing last week that she was diagnosed with breast cancer after spending many days sifting rubble at a Staten Island landfill. She said she wore a particle-filtering respirator, but is convinced the dust gave her cancer anyway. “It is not a coincidence,” she said. Doctors note, however, that cancer causes nearly one of every four deaths in the US and is a frequent

killer even among people in their 40s and 50s. And a woman’s average lifetime risk for breast cancer is one in eight. “In any population of 40,000 people over an 8 1/2-year span, there is going to be cancer. That is a known fact,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, who oversees the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, one of the three major efforts to study the health of the workers. Mount Sinai has found no notable spike yet in cancers among the 27,000 ground zero workers it has been tracking, Landrigan said. Top doctors for the Fire Department, who are conducting a second big study involving 15,000 firefighters, have said they also found no clear increase in cancers. The third and biggest effort, being conducted by the city’s health department also hasn’t found elevated cancer rates among 71,000 Lower Manhattan residents. That doesn’t mean there is no danger, Landrigan said. “We know full well that there were carcinogens at ground zero. There was asbestos. There was benzene. There were other things,” Landrigan said. He said he and other researchers had “big concerns” that cancer clusters will emerge as the years go by. Scientists think environmental toxins cause cancer by damaging cells, which then go through a series of mutations before becoming malignant. That mutation process usually takes place very slowly. Malignant mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos, for example, can take 30 years to manifest, which means that if trade center dust does indeed cause cancer, it would likely not start appearing

until after the present court cases are resolved. All of those uncertainties had been reflected in the court fight. An analysis performed by two court-appointed officials in September said that of the 802 plaintiffs then involved in the case who claimed to have cancer, 188 said they had skin cancer, 107 said they had lung cancer, 95 said they had lymphoma, 68 had prostate cancer and 66 had liver cancer. Those five types of cancer are all common. One defendant in the case, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, had asked the judge to order the plaintiffs to provide more proof of a link between cancer and the trade center dust. “Even if WTC debris were potentially carcinogenic, it is unlikely , indeed, without compelling evidence, scientifically impossible , that numerous cancers would have already arisen from the plaintiffs’ relatively recent and short-term exposures to WTC debris,” lawyers for the agency wrote. Before the settlement was announced, a dozen cases were set to go to trial, starting in May. One involved a firefighter who died of esophageal cancer in 2007 at age 47. His lawyers were prepared to argue that ingested dust from the trade center gave him acid reflux, which in turn damaged the cells in his throat, which then caused his cancer. A number of studies have documented high rates of acid reflux disease among ground zero responders. Those trials are now on hold, as is the settlement, while the lawyers on each side decide what to do next. — AP



Monday, March 29, 2010

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. 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.

Regency Hotel hosts GCC youth & sport ministers, Olympic committees officials


he Regency hotel welcomed GCC youth & sport Ministries and Olympic Committee’s officials on their 24th meeting which held on March for 4 consecutive days starting from 19 till 22. Renato Moretto, The General Manager & Michael Poux the EAM of Regency hotel sided by the PR & Marketing team gave a warm Welcome to the elite guests wishing them a pleasant stay and success in many other endeavors to come. The GCC Ministries and their delegates with the presence of Faisal Al Jazzaf , the

president of the Public Authority of youth & sport discussed several issues related to the youth & sports activities and programs .They highlighted the strategies that improve the performance targeting to achieve GCC’s long aspired goals on both continental & global levels. Honoring GCC delegates , a lavish gala banquet was specially organized at “ Maha” Ballroom with the presence of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs , state Minister for housing , state Minister for Development affairs & Chairman of

Kuwaiti’s Olympic Committee “sheikh Ahmed Fahed Al Ahmed Al Subah”. GCC delegates and guests expressed their great content for the Regency’s authentic hospitality and acknowledged the efforts exerted by the hotel’s different divisions such as Front office , Rooms, Banquets , Food & beverage ,and sales which mainly contributed to the event’s success . Delegates officials showed major concern to recommend the Regency Hotel as their preferred address for any future meeting.

Islamic Youth Awakening (Sahwah) campaign 71

BSK students attend UK conference


ecently the British Council announced that they would be holding a student competition entitled “I’m a Global Citizen.” The competition, themed Global Citizenship, was open to students between the ages of 1114 and could be entered in any one of 4 categories: poster, song or poem, visual presentation and newspaper or magazine article. Four of my classmates and myself worked hard in order to produce a newspaper article which went on to win the competition and the phenomenal prize: an all expenses paid, 5-day trip to the UK. The five of us, Ankita Handa, Dario Gelevski, Fenna Hasche, Ishita Handa and Simon Jensen are all currently studying in Year 9 at The British School of Kuwait. We were eager to participate in this competition as we believe that as global citizens, it is our duty

to make people aware of the problems the world is facing today and what the consequences of these problems are. We produced a 500-word newspaper article discussing the various issues affecting the world today including global warming, the health crisis, world hunger and rasicm. In the end, we came up with a message conveying that each and every person on this planet is part of a bigger family we know as the human race and has the duty to take care of our planet and its inhabitants, and make the world a better place, not just for us, but for the many generations to come. During the course of the 5 days in the UK, we attended a 1-day workshop on the theme of ‘intercultural dialogue’ in London during which we discussed issues such as global warming, the food crisis and water shortages. These are some of the

issues we believe impact the world and must be dealt with by our generation, the younger generation, as we are the future of the world. A further 4 days were spent in our UK partner school, Ratton School, Eastbourne, in which we took part in lessons and spent time experiencing life as a student at the school. We were met by a group of students who were smart, friendly, outgoing and fun, and truly made our trip a memorable, educational and enjoyable experience. The most striking thing about our visit was to learn how similar our lives are despite the fact that we are thousands and thousands of miles apart: we study the same course, listen to the same music, eat similar food and buy similar brands. We truly are all connected in many ways and live in a world which we are proud to describe as a global village.

Please remember that Monday is our Islamic Youth Awakening day. 1. Glorious Quran on Good Manners: Take care of ● The needy, ● The disabled ● Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs ● And those whose businesses have stalled ● And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36] 2. Words of Wisdom from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH): “Strive always to excel in virtue and truth.” (Bukhari) 3. Muhammad (PBUH), The Best Man Ever Lived: Is Humility the Essence of Greatness? A Muslim Reflects on the Prophet’s Conduct, Sariya Islam 4. Videos Of Prophet Muhammad: Prophet Muhammad - Revelation Part 3 5. Great Muslims who Changed History, Most of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were Youth: Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (10 years old), Talhah ibn Ubaydullah (14 years old), Said ibn Zayd ( 15 years Old), Sad ibn Abi Waqqas (17 years old), Umar Ibn Al Khattab (26 years old) AbdurRahman ibn Awf (30 years), Othman Ibn Affan (34 years old), Abu Bakr (37 years old) Talhah ibn Ubaydullah, The living martyr who accepted Islam when he was 14 years old. Thabit ibn Qays The Prophet said “you will be among the people of Paradise.” Ubayy ibn Kab “O Ubayy ibn Kab! I have been commanded to show or lay open the Quran to you.” Yes you can be strong Muslim, please sign the petition : Muslim Youth Code of Honor Required a million signature each year Until that last Muslim Youth sign in. Please circulate this posting to your brothers and sisters, Jazakum Allah Khairan. Please note that this posting is for adults too. ( h.htm)

Greetings Happy birthday to

Maryam from your brothers Dhulkifl, Hudaifah and Zaid and your whole family. “May Allah bestow you in this world and hereafter”.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Many happy returns of the day to our son on his

1st birthday from mom, dad, Grandma and relatives. Emesh Sankalp turns one on March 31st, 2010. ‘May God shower upon him the choicest of blessings on this day’.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sniha Santhosh celebrates her first birthday today. Best wishes from her father Santhosh and her mother Sreejisha.

IMA Youth Wing: Delegate making campaign


s a part of its Upcoming Conference “From Darkness to light”, Indian Muslim Association YOUTH WING is conducting a Delegate Making Campaign, with an aim to reach out to thousands of Muslim youth from different parts of Kuwait. This Delegate Making Campaign is open to all the Indian Muslim Youth in Kuwait and the interested candidates are requested to download the form by visiting the below link and follow the instructions in it. Come let’s be a part of the movement “From Darkness to light”. Additionally, you can contact our PR Team at 65083213. (


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.

IEI to hold 16th annual general meeting today


Quran classes PC-Rawdah is inviting non-Arab ladies to join a new course in memorizing Quran and Islamic Creed in French language. The course will be every Sunday from 5 - 8 pm starting on April 4, 2010. Register your name now! Al-Rawdah - Blk. 3 St. 30 - House 12 - opp. 4th Ring Road. Tel: 22512257 - 97290278.

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday.

X-CITE Electronics celebrates Bangladesh’s national day -Cite by Alghanim Electronics celebrated Bangladesh’s National Day at its Al-Rai showroom with a cake cutting ceremony attended by Syed Shahed Reza, the Ambassador of Bangladesh, as well as key dignitaries from the Bangladeshi community in Kuwait. As the leading electronics retail-


er in Kuwait, X-Cite by Alghanim Electronics launched its “World of Xcite” program that welcomes customers from all nationalities to its various outlets spread across Kuwait. Syed Shahed Reza commented on the occasion, stating, “X-Cite by Alghanim Electronics has shown great commit-

ment and innovation in honoring the needs of its customers. We are honored to participate in this joint effort and commend the positive attitude of the team at X-Cite.” X-cite by Alghanim Electronics continues to be the one-stop shop where technology meets excitement. This cele-

bration is one more step in that direction in that it brings its customer closer to Xcite. The tremendous response from its customers is a clear validation of the efforts by X-cite to provide the best products, prices, and top-notch customer service for electronics and home appliances in Kuwait.

he Institution of Engineers (India), IEI Kuwait Chapter is pleased to announce that 16th Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) for the year 2010 shall be held today at Holiday Inn, Downtown, Kuwait. To encourage more participation we have organized a Technical Seminar on the topic of “Current Trends of Control System in High Rise Green Building” delivered by Pugazendhi, a well renowned Engineer and expert in his field. The AGM will be preceded by this Seminar. The seminar will start at 6.30pm sharp. The registration shall start at 6.00pm. The AGM proceedings shall begin at 7: 30pm followed by the election of the new executive committee for the year 2010 - 2011. All the members are kindly requested to attend the AGM. All those who are interested to contest the elections for the Executive Committee can obtain the nomination form from IEI, Kuwait Chapter Office located at KSE premises. For further information please contact IEI, Kuwait Chapter Office between 5:30 pm To 8: 30 pm Sunday through Thursday by tel. 22445588 ext 314 OR by email For any further details kindly contact Engr Joseph Panicker(99413279), Engr Sushant Chakravarty (65987313) or Engr.Abby Chandy (97214290)

Monday, March 29, 2010



Green Lens photography exhibition T

Al-Sheikha Sheikha cutting the green ribbon.

Al-Sheikha Sheikha with first place winner Isha Sharma.

Al-Sheikha with dresses designed by BSK students.

Partial view of the crowd.

Gulf Bank joins Earth Hour 2010 in Kuwait


ulf Bank took part in a global initiative to raise awareness of climate change at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 27th when it switched off all unnecessary lights, lowered all A/C units and turned off all non-essential electrical devices throughout its offices and branches in recognition of Earth Hour. Earth Hour is an initiative led by the World Wildlife Fund and is celebrated across the world, with businesses and consumers joining in the great switch off. Gulf Bank is committed to using its energy resources sensibly and in a sustainable manner, and proactively encourages its staff and suppliers to do the same.

he Green Lens photography exhibition was opened Thursday by AlSheikha Sheikha Al-Sabah at The Lowry Gallery at The British School of Kuwait. The theme of the exhibition was climate change through the eyes of the next generation. The exhibition featured 108 photographs that convey the effects of climate change. The photographs were taken by over 40 photographers whose ages range 18-19, and come from a variety of different schools and universities across Kuwait. The photographs exhibited had been entered into the Green Initiative’s photography competition, which was judged by David de Rothschild, founder of Adventure Ecology, and the mastermind behind The Plastiki, a boat made of 12,000 plastic bottles, which set sail from San Francisco to Sydney last week. The event was organised by The Green Initiative, one of the British Councils Global Changemakers’ community action programs. The Green Initiative raises awareness about climate change through education and innovation Ten wining photographers were presented vouchers from Al-Shaya’a. AlSheikha Sheikha Al-Sabah and Denise Waddingham, assistant director of British Council Kuwait, presented the awards to the winners. First Prize winners were Isha Sharma, Naomi Alphonso, and Reham AlAwadhi Rakaan Al-Huneidi, one of the participating photographers stated that his interest in climate change is “fuelled by the knowledge that it affects each and every one of us; the implications of mankind are huge, and something must be done now to tackle the problem before it’s too late to event act, and future generations have to pay” The exhibition also featured 6 dresses made entirely from recycled material, as part of BSK’s textiles course. The Green Initiative, operating since March 2009, has helped seven schools take the green initiative, the first of which was The British School of Kuwait. The Green Initiative has also introduced recycling programs to four government schools. The event was hailed a success by the attendees, who were given the opportunity to choose their favourite frame by placing a green star on it.

KES celebrates annual French Day


uwait English School celebrated its annual French Day on Thursday. This is held to coincide with the “Journee Internationale de la Francophonie”, an international event to celebrate French language and culture all over the world. Over the preceding week, students took part in various quizzes and competitions and the French classrooms and corridor were bedecked with French flags and posters illustrating facts about the many francophone countries in the world. On the actual day itself, students were invited to dress in French mufti (ie red, white and blue), croissants were sold during the morning break and a French Show was held during the second break.

The French Show was a sell-out performance and present were Mesdames Rula and Naela, representing the school’s High Management, Rhoda Mahmoud, the School Director and Janet Carew, the Senior School Principal. The school was also honored by the presence of Madame Farida Omar, the Deputy Cultural Attache from the French Embassy. All the monies raised from the croissant sale and the show go to supporting the French charity “Medecins sans Frontieres”, which sends doctors, nurses and medical aid to needy countries all over the world. Photos show students participating in the quizzes, wearing French mufti and taking part in the French Show.

BKM executive meeting


harathi Kalai Mandram (BKM) Kuwait - executive committee meeting held at Banana leaf Restaurant, Salmiya on 14-03-2010 7pm Sunday. The new executive committee has take over charges for the year of 2010. In the above meeting committee discussed about the coming festival, Tamil New Year’s

day which falls on 14-04-2010. Also BKM executive committee welcomes the women’s bill recently passed in Raja Saba. The new executive committee office bearers are listed below Sivakumar Arumugam President, Kavisae Sekar Vice President, Ramamoorthy General Secretary, Balasubramanian Joint

Secretary, Nanehil M. Sam Treasurer, Thankaraj Joint Treasurer. BKM expects nominations for the committee members from it’s esteemed members. Those who are interested in the nominations kindly contacts the following Mobile Nos. 99055387, 97805042, 97277896, 67611760, 97864904, 97864324.

Nandamuri fans felicitate Koti


elugu Film Music Director Koti was felicitated by Nandamuri Fans Association last Friday. Koti visited to attend Ugadi Carnival and ‘Sangeeta Vibhavari’ Music Night in Midan Hawally organized by Kalanjali, Kuwait. On this occasion, Kuwait Nadamuri fans also grandly felicitated and garlanded in the presence a of huge crowd. Koti appreciated Telugu people who live in Kuwait and Kalanjali President Murali Manohar’s efforts in his speech. Gulf Wide Nandamuri fans Association officials Darla Srinivasa Achari, Vegi Venkatesh Naidu, Daruri Balaram Naidu, Tummala Venkataratnam, Midamalli Srinu, Polineni Santa Ram Naidu, Potturi Partha Saradhi, Malepati Suresh Babu Naidu, Laxmipati, Nagendra, Daruri Kishore Chowdari, Nanda, Reddimasi Subbaiah participated in this function.



Monday, March 29, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

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

00:40 Ths 01:30 E!es 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Ths 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:25 Bank Of Hollywood 10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:50 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 13:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 13:40 50 Most Shocking Celebrity Confessions 15:25 Behind The Scenes 15:50 Behind The Scenes 16:15 Ths 17:10 Kendra 17:35 Kendra 18:00 E! News 18:50 Streets Of Hollywood 19:15 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 19:40 Ths 20:30 Ths 21:20 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 21:45 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 22:10 E! News 23:00 Dr 90210

ER The Unusuals Life Murdoch Mysteries The Unusuals Supernatural Demons ER Criminal Minds Cold Case Life Murdoch Mysteries Demons Supernatural Life The Unusuals Criminal Minds Cold Case ER Demons Big Love Saving Grace Supernatural The Tudors

00:15 Animal Witness 00:45 Whale Wars 01:40 Untamed And Uncut 02:35 Untamed And Uncut 03:30 Animal Cops Miami 04:25 Night 04:50 Night 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 Rspca: On The Frontline 06:35 Dolphin Days 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Great Ocean Adventures 08:45 Corwin’s Quest Specials 09:40 Beverly Hills Groomer 10:05 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:55 Going Ape 11:20 Planet Wild 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Phoenix 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 Aussie Animal Rescue 15:30 Great Ocean Adventures 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Beverly Hills Groomer 17:45 Deep Into The Wild With Nick Baker 18:15 I’m Alive 19:10 Return Of The Prime Predators 20:10 Animal Cops Phoenix 21:05 Untamed And Uncut 22:00 I’m Alive 22:55 Animal Cops Phoenix 23:50 Return Of The Prime Predators

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

Hustle Hustle The Life Of Mammals Casualty Casualty Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Balamory Fimbles The Roly Mo Show Tikkabilla Yoho Ahoy Little Robots Balamory Fimbles The Roly Mo Show Tikkabilla Yoho Ahoy Little Robots Bargain Hunt Egypt The Miracles Of Jesus The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Red Dwarf Red Dwarf The Weakest Link Doctors Cash In The Attic Robin Hood Antiques Roadshow The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby Blue Holby City

00:15 00:35 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:45 05:05 05:25 05:45 06:10 06:30 07:10

Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen Masterchef Goes Large Masterchef Goes Large Masterchef Goes Large Living In The Sun Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Cash In The Attic Usa Antiques Roadshow

Clubbed on Show Movies 08:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 08:25 Hidden Potential 09:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 09:30 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 10:30 Living In The Sun 11:20 Antiques Roadshow 12:15 What Not To Wear 13:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 13:50 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 14:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 15:05 Daily Cooks Challenge 15:30 Cash In The Attic Usa 15:45 Hidden Potential 16:15 Living In The Sun 17:00 What Not To Wear 17:50 Antiques Roadshow 18:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:15 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:05 Saturday Kitchen 20:35 Saturday Kitchen 21:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 21:20 Cash In The Attic Usa 21:40 Cash In The Attic Usa 22:00 Coleen’s Real Women 22:45 Sweet Baby James 23:05 Sweet Baby James 23:30 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes

01:00 03:15 05:15 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:45 15:15 17:00 18:45 21:00 23:00

Rosemary’s Baby-PG15 High Roller-PG15 The Dying Gaul-PG15 Xanadu-PG Unspoken Love-PG15 An American Rhapsody-PG The Firm-PG15 Last Orders-PG Napoleon Part 4-PG The Apostle-PG15 Primo Basilio-PG15 The Hi-Lo Country-18

00:00 Ross Kemp - Return To Afghanistan 01:00 Destroyed In Seconds 01:30 Destroyed In Seconds 02:00 Smash Lab 02:55 Fifth Gear 03:20 Fifth Gear 03:50 American Chopper 04:45 How Stuff’s Made 05:10 Destroyed In Seconds 05:40 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 Extreme Explosions 07:00 China’s Man Made Marvels 07:55 Ultimate Biker Challenge 08:20 Ultimate Biker Challenge 08:50 Street Customs 09:45 How Do They Do It? 10:10 Mythbusters 11:05 Ultimate Survival 12:00 Swamp Loggers 12:55 How Do They Do It? 13:25 How Stuff’s Made 13:50 American Chopper 14:45 Miami Ink 15:40 Mythbusters 16:35 Dirty Jobs 17:30 Verminators 18:30 Street Customs 2008 19:30 Destroyed In Seconds 20:00 How Do They Do It? 20:30 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Twist The Throttle 22:00 Extreme Fishing 23:00 Ultimate Survival

00:05 00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00

Sci-Fi Science The Future Of... Future Weapons Future Weapons Sci-Fi Science

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

Sci-Fi Science The Future Of... What’s That About? Patent Bending Engineered Junkyard Wars Sci-Fi Saved My Life Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Cool Stuff And How It Works Stunt Junkies The Colony Green Wheels One Step Beyond Sci-Fi Saved My Life Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Nextworld Cool Stuff And How It Works Junkyard Wars Brainiac The Greatest Ever Nyc: Inside Out Mega Builders How It’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters Nyc: Inside Out Mega Builders The Greatest Ever

00:00 Suite Life On Deck 00:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:45 Phineas & Ferb 01:10 Fairly Odd Parents 01:35 Replacements 02:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 02:25 Little Einsteins 02:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 03:10 Handy Manny 03:35 Lazytown 04:00 Jonas 04:25 Suite Life On Deck 04:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place New Episodes 05:10 Hannah Montana 05:40 Sonny With A Chance 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 My Friends Tigger And Pooh 06:35 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:20 Imagination Movers 07:45 Lazytown 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 Hannah Montana 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 American Dragon 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 I Got A Rocket 14:05 Fairly Odd Parents 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:55 Replacements 15:15 I Got A Rocket 15:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Jonas 19:25 Suite Life On Deck 19:50 Sonny With A Chance 20:15 Hannah Montana 20:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 American Dragon 22:25 Kim Possible 22:50 I Got A Rocket 23:15 Fairly Odd Parents 23:35 Phineas & Ferb

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

01:20 03:00 04:50 06:20 07:55 10:35 11:55 13:35 15:20 16:55 18:50 20:20 22:00 23:35

Undercover Murder Shift Serial Killers Deadly Women Undercover Black Museum Fbi Files Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Mystery Er The Prosecutors Extreme Forensics Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Mystery Er The Prosecutors Extreme Forensics Forensic Justice Dr G: Medical Examiner Dr G: Medical Examiner

The Pope Must Die Hawks Virgin High A Woman’s Tale Hawaii Napoleon Defiance Cooley High Kid Galahad Death Rides a Horse Women Vs. Men The House On Carroll Street Livin’ Large Supernova

00:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 00:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 01:30 Jailed Abroad 02:30 Jailed Abroad 03:30 Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall 04:00 Finding Genghis 04:30 Lonely Planet 05:30 Bondi Rescue 06:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 06:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 07:30 Jailed Abroad 08:30 Jailed Abroad 09:30 Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall 10:00 Treks In A Wild World 10:30 Madventures 11:00 Chasing Time 11:30 Word Travels 12:00 Word Travels 12:30 Pressure Cook 13:00 Pressure Cook 13:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 14:30 Bondi Rescue - Bali 15:00 Destination Extreme 15:30 Surfer’s Journal 16:00 Treks In A Wild World 16:30 Madventures 17:00 Chasing Time 17:30 Word Travels 18:00 Word Travels 18:30 Pressure Cook 19:00 Pressure Cook 19:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 20:30 Bondi Rescue - Bali 21:00 Destination Extreme 21:30 Surfer’s Journal 22:00 Treks In A Wild World 22:30 Madventures 23:00 Chasing Time 23:30 Word Travels

00:00 Better Off Ted 00:30 Will and Grace 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:30 Life & Times of Tim 05:00 Better Off Ted 05:30 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 07:00 The Nannyt 07:30 Malcolm in the Middle 08:00 Yes dear 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 Just Shoot me 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 Best of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 13:00 Will and Grace 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 The Nannyt 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 Yes dear 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Eight Simple Rules 18:30 Just Shoot me 19:00 Billable Hours

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me S2 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 04:30 Fresh 05:00 GMA Weekend (repeat) 06:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 07:00 Parenting 07:30 Job Club 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 09:30 Fresh 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 Downsize Me S2 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 Ahead of The Curve 16:30 Nature’s Edge 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 18:00 Turn Back Your Body Clock 18:30 10 Years younger S3 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show

00:00 Clubbed-18 01:45 Across The Universe-PG15 04:00 Not Easily Broken-PG15 06:00 And When Did You Last See Your Father-PG15 08:00 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins-PG15 10:00 All She Wants For ChristmasPG15 12:00 Baby Mama-PG 13:45 Brideshead Revisited-PG15 16:00 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins-PG15 18:00 Vantage Point-PG15 20:00 Stevie-PG15 22:00 Watchmen-18

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

Living Hell-18 The Darkroom-PG15 Chocolate-PG15 Player 5150-PG15 Smokey And The Bandit-PG Enough-PG15 Road Of No Return-PG15 Smokey And The Bandit-PG Monster Ark-18 Walking Tall 3: Lone Justice Along Came A Spider-PG15 Tailor Of Panama-18

00:00 Dream For An InsomniacPG15 02:00 How High-18 04:00 I Me Wed-PG15 06:00 Committed-PG15 08:00 Taking A Chance On LovePG15 10:00 Be Kind Rewind-PG15 12:00 The Utopian Society-PG15 14:00 Twins-PG 16:00 Dream For An InsomniacPG15 18:00 Sixteen Candles-PG15 20:00 National Lampoon’s: Electric Apricot-PG15

00:00 Little Hercules In 3-D-PG15 02:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium-FAM

04:00 Mighty Joe Young-PG 06:00 Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster-FAM 10:00 Mighty Joe Young-PG 12:00 Laura’s Stern-FAM 14:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium-FAM 16:00 Hey Arnold! The Movie-PG 18:00 Never Ending Story 2: The Next Chapter-FAM 20:00 Flintstones: I Yabba Dabba Do!-FAM 22:00 Laura’s Stern-FAM

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

The Ex-list C.S.I: Miami Sex and the City Sex and the City Smallville Law & Order Frasier Coach Emmerdale Coronation Street “24” Frasier Coach Smallville (TBA) Law & Order Emmerdale Coronation Street Frasier Coach The Ex-list C.S.I: Miami “24” Smallville Emmerdale Coronation Street Ugly Betty Desperate Housewives Law & Order “24” Sex and the City Sex and the City

01:00 Premier League 11:00 Portuguese Liga 13:00 Premier League 17:00 Futbol Mundial 17:30 Premier League World 18:00 Premier League Classics 18:30 Premier League 20:30 Live Barclays Premier League Review 21:45 Live Toshiba Monday Night Football 22:00 Live Premier League

00:00 NRL Premiership 02:00 NRL Premiership 04:00 Guinness Premiership 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 Mobil 1 07:00 Futbol Mundial 07:30 NRL Premiership 09:30 Mobil 1 10:00 Futbol Mundial 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 Live NRL Premiership 13:00 Scottish Premier League 15:00 Super 14 17:00 ICC Cricket World 17:30 NRL Premiership 19:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 20:30 Goals On Monday 21:45 Toshiba Monday Night Football 22:00 Premier League

01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 07:00 12:30 12:30 14:30 15:00 19:00 19:30 20:00

ICC Cricket World Mobil 1 Futbol Mundial Premier League Darts PGA European Tour Guinness Premiership Weber Cup Bowling Futbol Mundial Premier League Darts Futbol Mundial Mobil 1 AFL Premiership

01:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 11:30 12:00 13:00 15:00 17:00

UFC Vera vs. Jones WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline UAE National Race Day FIM World Cup British Triathlon Series V8 Supercars UAE National Race Day WWE Bottomline Red Bull Air Race WWE SmackDown WWE NXT

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

The Invasion-PG15 Impact 1-PG15 Impact 2-PG15 Son Of The Mask-PG Dan In Real Life-PG15 Genghis Khan-PG15 All Hat-PG15 Mama I Want To Sing-PG Momma’s Man-PG Familiar Strangers-PG A Number-PG15 Race To Witch Mountain-PG15

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

The Invasion-PG15 Impact 1-PG15 Impact 2-PG15 Son Of The Mask-PG Dan In Real Life-PG15 Genghis Khan-PG15 All Hat-PG15 Mama I Want To Sing-PG Momma’s Man-PG Familiar Strangers-PG A Number-PG15 Race To Witch Mountain-PG15

01:00 Chuck Jones: Memories Of Childhood 01:30 Hannibal Brooks 03:10 White Heat 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Lost Angels 07:30 The Screening Room 08:00 Boys’ Night Out 09:50 I’ll Take Sweden 11:25 Hearts Of The West 13:05 Echoes Of A Summer 14:45 Caveman 16:20 Born Free 17:55 Ben-hur 21:20 Forbidden Planet 23:00 Skyjacked

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

Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Engineering Disasters Lost Worlds Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Engineering Disasters Lost Worlds Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Engineering Disasters Lost Worlds Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Engineering Disasters

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 05:30 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00

What I Hate About Me My Celebrity Home How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Area How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous My Celebrity Home Style Star Dress My Nest Peter Perfect Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Ruby Giuliana And Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Dress My Nest How Do I Look? Split Ends

17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00

Dallas Divas And Daughters Style Her Famous Running In Heels Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Split Ends Clean House Giuliana And Bill Dallas Divas And Daughters What I Hate About Me Clean House

01:04 01:45 02:00 02:45 08:04 08:45 13:04 13:50 16:04 16:45 18:00 18:45 20:04 21:00

Africa Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Sound System Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Latina Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Hit US Playlist

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey 02:00 Intrepid Journeys 03:00 Distant Shores 03:30 Wild At Heart 04:00 Angry Planet 04:30 Photoxplorers 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Globe Trekker 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Essential 09:30 Dream Destinations 10:00 Distant Shores 10:30 Distant Shores 11:00 Chef Abroad 11:30 Entrada 12:00 Planet Food 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Chef Abroad 14:30 The Thirsty Traveler 15:00 Sophie Grigson In The Souk 15:30 Entrada 16:00 Angry Planet 16:30 Photoxplorers 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Travel Today 18:30 Hollywood And Vines 19:00 Chef Abroad 19:30 The Thirsty Traveler 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Planet Food 22:00 Floyd Uncorked 22:30 Travel Today 23:00 Essential

00:00 Sunday Soul 01:00 Zane Meets Oasis 02:00 Vh1 Rocks 03:00 Vh1 Music 09:00 Vh1 Hits 11:00 Vh1 Music 13:00 Aerobic 14:00 Top 10 Rock Of New Millenium 15:00 Music For The Masses 16:00 Vh1 Pop Chart 17:00 Vh1 Music 19:00 Music For The Masses 20:00 Vh1 Music 21:00 Vh1 Viewer’s Jukebox 22:00 Vh1 Viewer’s Jukebox 23:00 Top 10 Rock Of New Millenium

Familiar Strangers on Super Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:25 No Bad Days 23:00 Day Watch 01:10 Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger 03:00 La Linea 04:50 No Bad Days 06:25 Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger 08:15 Conan The Barbarian 10:20 La Linea 12:15 The Merry Gentleman 13:50 I’m Reed Fish 15:25 Moulin Rouge 17:30 Overboard 19:20 The Transporter STAR World 20:00 90210 20:50 Married With Children 21:50 Different Strokes 22:50 Married With Children 23:00 Criminal Minds 23:50 Married With Children 00:50 Different Strokes 01:50 Married With Children 02:00 90210 03:00 [V] Tunes 04:00 [V] Tunes 05:00 [V] Tunes

06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:50 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:50 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:50 15:00 15:50 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30

7th Heaven Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim Criminal Minds Married With Children Grey’s Anatomy Different Strokes 90210 Married With Children Married With Children The King Of Queens The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven Different Strokes Grey’s Anatomy Married With Children [V] Tunes Criminal Minds Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim

Granada TV 20:00 Rough Diamond (Series 2) 21:30 Shampoo

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

Cosmetic Surgery From Hell Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) The Jeremy Kyle Show Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) Crime Monday: Rough Diamond (Series 2) Shampoo Total Emergency Emmerdale Coronation Street The Jeremy Kyle Show Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) Crime Monday: Rough Diamond (Series 2) Shampoo Young, Posh And Loaded The Sunshine Girls Emmerdale Coronation Street The Jeremy Kyle Show Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 2) Crime Monday: Rough Diamond (Series 2) Shampoo Emmerdale Coronation Street The Jeremy Kyle Show Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 2)

Channel [V] 21:30 Love Net Ep 01

21:50 22:00 22:50 23:00 23:50 00:00 01:00 03:50 04:00 06:00 06:50 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 12:50 13:00 13:30 13:50 14:00 14:40 14:50 15:00 15:30 15:50 16:00 16:50 17:00

Music Campus Top 10 Ep 4 Music [V] Zabardast Hits Music Latenight [V] Latenight [V] Fresh [V] Deo Latenight [V] [V] Zabardast Hits Fresh [V] Deo [V] Mindblasting Mornings [V] Mindblasting Mornings [V] Zabardast Hits [V] Double Shot Lola Night School Ep 33 Love Net Ep 01 Deadly Dus Ep 02 Campus Blog Ep 46 [V] Zabardast Hits Fresh [V] Deo Bollywood Busters Ep 11 Bollywood Nonsensex Ep 07 [V] R Family Ep 02 Music [V] Zabardast Hits Lola Talkies Ep 33 [V] Nach Le

17:40 17:50 18:00 18:50 19:00 19:50 20:00 20:40 20:50 21:00

Fresh [V] Deo Bollywood Busters Ep 11 [V] Zabardast Hits Music Campus Top 10 Ep 4 Music [V] Zabardast Hits Fresh [V] Deo Campus Blog Ep 46 [V] Zabardast Hits

Fox News 20:00 America’s News HQ 21:00 America’s News HQ host Shannon Bream 23:00 Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 00:00 The O’Reilly Factor(repeat) 01:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Julie Banderas 03:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 04:00 FOX Report Sunday host Julie Banderas 05:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 06:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 07:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 08:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 09:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 10:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera

11:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 12:00 War Stories with Oliver North 13:00 Bulls and Bears (repeat) 13:30 Cavuto On Business (repeat) 14:00 FORBES on FOX (repeat) 14:30 Cashin’ In (repeat) 15:00 FOX & Friends First Live 16:00 FOX & Friends Live 18:00 America’s Newsroom 19:00 America’s Newsroom National Geographic Channel 20:00 Mega Factories -Audi 21:00 Theme Week -Is It Real? : Nostradamus Effect S2 22:00 Theme Week -Secret Bible : Apocalypse 3 23:00 Theme Week -2012: The Final Prophecy 00:00 Air Crash Investigation -Phantom Strike S5 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -Inside : Ice Vegas 02:00 Locked Up Abroad -Conned In Quito 03:00 Dangerous Encounters -Dangerous Encounters With Brad : Countdown Crocs 04:00 The Living Edens -Madagascar: A World Apart 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -Inside : Ice Vegas 06:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -

Monday, March 29, 2010


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for a Christian bachelor at Abbassiya near Neethi store from 1st April. Rent KD 25. Contact: 66063182. (C 2065) Sharing available for one or two Indian bachelors in a furnished big mulhaq room at Abrak Khaitan close to bus stop and Jamiya (kitchen and bathroom attached). Rent KD 95. Call: 66036893. (C 2059) Sharing accommodation in Abbassiya for working ladies or couple. Contact: 97501647. (C 2060) Salmiya furnished accommodation available for a single executive bachelor in a window air conditioned flat to share with a small family, hailing from Kerala, next to Salmiya church, behind Woodlands restaurant (from 1 April 2010). Contact: 99754537 or 25657681. (C 2063) 29-3-2010 Sharing accommodation available for working ladies, couple, or small family, next to new Al Mulla Exchange building Abbassiya with Keralite family in 2 bedroom 2 bathroom CA/C flat. Contact: 66877073. (C 2054) Accommodation available for bachelors/couple (Indian Christian) in a central A/C double bedroom flat near Carmel School, Khaitan. Contact: 99281142. (C 2057) 28-3-2010

In Abu Halifa sector 1 police station road sharing accommodation available for a decent Muslim person in a central A/C 2 BR flat with kitchen and tel facilities. Contact: 97910678. (C 20494) Sharing accommodation available for single working ladies, couple or executive bachelor in a 2 bedroom, 2 toilet CAC apartment new building in Farwaniya behind Metro cinema, only for Indian from Bombay, Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa. Contact: 66625901, 24716975. (C 20497) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya only for Keralite couples or ladies semi-furnished, centralized A/C flat. Contact: 97134824. (C 2052) 25-3-2010 Sharing accommodation available for one bachelor at Abbassiya near Unique store No. 2 from 1st April with kitchen facilities. Contact: 66110593 or 24313908. (C 20495) Sharing accommodation available from 1st April with Keralite family near Neethi store building in Abbassiya share with couples or bachelors (only for Keralite peoples), furnished double bedroom flat with mini split A/C. Contact: 66944127. (C 20496) 24-3-2010

FOR SALE Pajero model 98, grey color, price KD 1250. Contact: 67613250. (C 2064)

29-3-2010 Pentium 4, Intel, 40 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, sound card, speakers, 17� CRT monitor, ready for internet, KD 30. P4, Intel, 3 GHz, 80GB, 512 MB, DVD combo with 17� CRT monitor, KD 45. Contact: 66244192. (C 2061) Laptop Dell & IBM Centrino with basic specifications in excellent condition, for details call: 99322585. (C 2062) 28-3-2010 Mitsubishi L300 van, model 2009, very low mileage, very good condition, installment remaining 137 KD x 24 months, owner needs cash 500 KD. Contact: 22465365/66019580. 27-3-2010

SITUATION WANTED Indian female (MBA in HR), 10 years experience in HR/Administration, specializing in recruitments, PMS, MIS reports & overall Admin functions. Proficient in MS Office. Good communication skills. Please contact: 66634322. (C 2049) 29-3-2010 Indian male pharmacy graduate passed license exam MOH, seeking immediate placement in companies or pharmacies or hospitals. Please call 66076805, 66038171. (C 2058) 28-3-2010 MBA finance, B.Com, 6+ years of experience, seeks suitable employment. Con-

tact: 99919274, 99175928. (C 2053) Available experienced, decent Srilankan girl (31 years) for household/ babysitting (full/part-time) with American/ European/ Indian family only (not bachelors) in Mangaf/ Fahaheel/Abu Halifa. Call: 99292581, 66870113.

MISCELLANEOUS Required diesel generator 40 KVA, 45 KVA or 60 KVA, used or new ones US, UK, or Japan made. Please contact: 97424362, 99165971, 23719684, email: (C 2055) 28-3-2010

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 29/03/2010 Airlines Flt Route Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 435 Mashad Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Jazeera 267 Beirut DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa/Bahrain Jazeera 503 Luxor Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 637 Aleppo Jazeera 527 Alexandria Jazeeras 529 Assiut Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok British 157 London Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 352 Cochin Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Middle East 404 Beirut Jazeera 165 Dubai Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Iran Aseman 6521 Lamerd Jazeera 171 Dubai Egypt Air 610 Cairo Kuwait 672 Dubai Oman Air 645 Muscat Jazeera 525 Alexandria Royal Jordanian 800 Amman United A/L 982 Washington Dc Dulles Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 422 Amman

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

Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Bahrain Air Etihad Emirates Jazeera Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Srilankan Kuwait Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Indian Middle East Jet A/L KLM Wataniya Airways Jazeera DHL Gulf Air Emirates Qatari Jazeera Jazeera Tunis Air Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Pakistan Jazeera

500 552 745 134 548 546 678 118 344 303 857 693 215 402 217 510 493 239 367 125 227 104 304 106 542 502 786 618 177 744 614 674 774 575 402 572 0445 404 459 372 217 859 136 429 185 327 636 108 239 263

Jeddah Damascus Jeddah Doha Luxor Alexandria Muscat/Abu Dhabi New York Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Shiraz Bahrain Beirut Isfahan Riyadh Jeddah Amman Deirezzor Sharjah Colombo/Dubai London Cairo Dubai Cairo Beirut Jeddah Doha Dubai Dammam Bahrain Dubai Riyadh Chennai/Goa Beirut Mumbai Amsterdam Beirut Damascus Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Doha Bahrain Dubai Tunis Frankfurt Dubai Sialkot Beirut

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

Departure Flights on Monday 29/03/2009 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Indian 982 Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai Pakistan 206 Peshawar/Lahore Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul Safi A/L 216 Kabul DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 524 Alexandria Jazeera 164 Dubai Jazeera 422 Bahrain Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 256 Beirut Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Jazeera 170 Dubai Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 547 Luxor Arabia 122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Middle East 405 Beirut Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 492 Jeddah Jazeera 366 Deirezzor Kuwait 103 London Jazeera 238 Amman Iran Aseman 6522 Lamerd Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jazeera 682 Shiraz


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

Jazeera Oman Air Wataniya Airways Royal Jordanian Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Nas Air Jazeera Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Bahrain Air Etihad Gulf Air Emirates Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeeera Arabia Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeea Srilankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Middle East Jet A/L Wataniya Airways KLM Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Emirates Falcon Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait United A/L

216 646 105 801 176 403 673 617 501 746 458 773 135 613 743 345 304 216 858 305 544 543 262 126 511 184 428 228 107 283 331 403 571 187 0445 218 373 675 860 102 381 137 301 205 480 526 502 636 411 981

Isfahan Muscat Dubai Amman Dubai Beirut Dubai Doha Jeddah Jeddah Damascus Riyadh Doha Bahrain Dammam Bahrain Abu Dhabi Bahrain Dubai Cairo Cairo Cairo Beirut Sharjah Riyadh Dubai Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Dubai Dhaka Trivandrum Beirut Mumbai Bahrain Bahrain/Amsterdam Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Dubai Bahrain Delhi Doha Mumbai Islamabad Sabiha Alexandria Luxor Aleppo Bangkok/Manila Washington Dc Dulles

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



Monday, March 29, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You may want to discuss long-distant travel plans with your loved ones. If you ever had a day to make a great first impression—this is it. If you are up for a job where you will be working today, this is the day to apply. Additionally, this is a great day for working with others whether you are in a place of business, lecturing, performing or some other interesting activity. Your warmth can build confidence and helps solve problems. If anyone is watching, they could be favorably impressed. Spend more time this afternoon in making your relationship last. You have a lot to gain from a long-term commitment. You may need a big push to help this relationship meld together into one. This is not the best time to go looking for someone new. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Mental stimulation via

two-way communication should be a great deal of fun today. You will have fun with any kind of repartee. You will feel especially close to a loved one, or any other kind of partner. You will find it easy to get something off your chest that may have been difficult before. Romance can make you a bit nervous. Come to think of it, romance can make us all nervous! You may discover the advantage of romance. You are ending a difficult time and a renewed love relationship can be a delightful way to become otherwise absorbed. It is amazing how the problems are very much thinned when a loved one is available for hugs and kind conversation. Things may not be as bad as you think.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Liquid containing proteins and electrolytes including the liquid in blood plasma and interstitial fluid. 4. A master's degree in library science. 8. The basic unit of electric current adopted under the System International d'Unites. 11. An affirmative. 12. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 13. Fish eggs or egg-filled ovary. 14. Electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field. 15. English monk and scholar (672-735). 16. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 17. Fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm. 19. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 21. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 22. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 25. A set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents. 26. Characteristic of or relating to winter. 27. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 29. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms. 30. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 33. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 36. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 38. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 42. In bed. 45. Avatar of Vishnu. 46. A cord fastened around the neck with an ornamental clasp and worn as a necktie. 47. Used of a single unit or thing. 49. A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school. 50. Someone who copies the words or behavior of another. 51. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 52. (Hawaiian) A small guitar having four strings. 53. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. DOWN 1. An unfledged or nestling hawk. 2. Wrap us in a cerecloth, as of a corpse. 3. The face or front of a building. 4. Characteristic of a mob. 5. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 6. Having leadership guidance. 7. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 8. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 9. (from a combination of MOdulate and DEModulate) Electronic equipment consisting of a device used to connect computers by a telephone line. 10. Of or relating to the feet. 18. Capital and largest city and economic center of Peru. 20. 30 to 300 gigahertz. 23. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 24. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 28. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 31. An early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940). 32. A poplar that is widely cultivated in the United States. 34. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 35. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 37. The sixth month of the civil year. 38. A Russian river. 39. Radioactive iodine test that measures the amount of radioactive iodine taken up by the thyroid gland. 40. A city in the Asian part of Russia. 41. A language unit by which a person or thing is known. 43. A close friend who accompanies his buddies in their activities. 44. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 45. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 48. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) There could be a disagreement concerning travel or home this morning, however, by this evening there will be compromises that make you happy. You could seek advice on any subject in question today and tomorrow. You can handle many subjects at once. Be wise however, in not extending your energies too far. You restrict your perspectives to areas of examination or study instead of action and you have a tendency to observe situations rather than actually doing anything about them. This opens you up to wonderful opportunities in some form of counseling. Success is available. Medicine, scientific research, psychology and psychiatry or electronics are good vocations for you to consider. Tonight you could consider adding to your music collection.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Creative visualization is one of the most positive ways to deal with change and you could teach others to learn some of your techniques. Energy-follows-thought is one of the Universal Rules. Use your creative visualization when you want to create a better life or when you need to adapt to changes. This positive thinking could also be used to help you find ways to increase your income. You have plans to enlarge the area in which you live and it might involve a spa or a sun room or some other light and enjoyable place. A friend or relative may lend a helping hand. You have a natural sense for communicating with others, especially those younger than yourself. Clear thoughts about the past may also be flowing in today. Leo (July 23-August 22) Close relationships have a big impact on your life. A partner has a mesmerizing impact on you . . . very compelling. Encourage your partner to express their talents. You might be looking for ways to help a parent or loved one in an important way, or doing any number of wise and helpful things for others that eventually feel very, very good. After your responsibilities have been met and completed today, it is likely that you will seek some fun activity that will include friends. You work and play hard and seem to go at a fast speed in whatever you choose to become involved. If you slow yourself just a bit, you will find loads of fun just waiting to happen. If you are married, it would be smart to invite your main squeeze along for the fun.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is another day that you will accomplish much; whether you are alone or with others. You are logical and can convince others of anything—almost. Strong-minded people are attracted to you because you are a winner in whatever you choose. You are very curious and enjoy challenges—today is a good day for new discoveries and new possibilities. This could mean travel, technical discoveries, hobby or entertainment; like magic or theater. Until the year 2012, your influence on others will be phenomenal—a bit of a responsibility! You work as hard as you play and you can be angry as strongly as you are happy. Be wise now in your actions, as you are leading many. Careful, it would be easy to become impatient. Look for fun ways to relax. Libra (September 23-October 22) You may decide to take a break from your chores today to enjoy the great outdoors. Perhaps you would enjoy a short trip? If you feel inclined to spend lots of money, don’t. Wait a while longer before splurging—there are some forgotten or unexpected bills. You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in speech. Take care when interacting with your friends. If you are slow to judge you will go far. The situation is a natural for self-expression, allowing your particular thoughts and ideas to blossom. A good conversation with those you love is possible. You show a great deal of interest in all family matters, particularly concerning your living environment. You may be encouraged to refinish some piece of furniture or to paint.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This easy, calm day

should find everything running in a smooth manner. Interaction with an older person may occur today. Creating helpful activities for this young-at-heart individual is a wise contribution to their needs. You are at the end of a major, long-term cycle in your life and could be heading into some changes while still clinging onto past memories. Faith and love will steer you through this time. Your completeness genuinely depends upon somebody else and you do not want to be alone. You will find the perfect marriage when you set aside the games of youth. If you want to be taken seriously, express yourself outwardly and show a grateful heart. Keep a low profile on your extra expenses. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Others value you for your ability to make practical decisions, which means if you do not want to be volunteered to do something unpleasant, volunteer for something you will enjoy. Perhaps there are not enough teachers in your religious circle and you find yourself volunteering to help out today. Clear decisions affecting others could be made now. Your emotions or the feelings of those around you may be very clear—a nice time. You could find that you are appreciated or valued for your feelings or your ability to act and get things done. You may be moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and in those around you. A new romantic possibility is around the corner— perhaps today. Enjoy the company of friends tonight.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

emotional orientation is in working with people. Your expertise may put you in a bracket of your own. You have been busy in the work place this last week. One would think you would want to take a day off from all the problem-solving. You, however, seem as busy as ever—helping family members or friends or your favorite group to make money—charity perhaps. This may involve a food drive, or garage sale or any other number of ways to earn money in fun ways. The end results are successful. Try to keep an open mind with others. If your mind becomes totally preoccupied with one particular thought, try to shake it loose by reading the phone book out loud or singing one of your favorite tunes. Where you are is where you need to be. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) There is wonderful news out there for you today. Be sure to put your best foot forward, including a great attitude. If you are looking for a relationship, this just could be the time. If you are looking to heal a relationship, be honest and clear. If you are not ready for things to get serious, you had better say so now. Otherwise, you may blow an opportunity that could make you very happy. Strive to be as open as possible and forget harmony for now. The way you handle things today could be important to your future. As you take time to fine-tune your craft, you may find it quite satisfying. This can be for stress-relief or just for the pure enjoyment of having a creative activity that is presentable to others. Perhaps you are learning a new skill? Pisces (February 19-March 20) A light heart begins the day and others may find you especially witty and eccentric. You may have insights or breakthroughs with regard to your living situation or life circumstances. You may have heard the perfect jokes recently and just can’t wait to try them out on others—you expect laughter to happen. Be willing to adjust to changes and offer to help your lover. There may be more to your romance than you know right now. The wait could be worth the time. This should be an amorous time, with a genuine desire to both give and receive. Neither of you will feel whole without the other. There could be a temptation, however, to make too much or too little of the relationship—keep a perspective and be patient.


Monday, March 29, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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


Amiri Hospital


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Abdullah Salim




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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


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24575518 24566622


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22436184 24833967


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Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Wood attacked by girlfriend

he singer and actress - who is best known for her role in Disney TV show ‘Hannah Montana’ - believes it is normal to make mistakes and tries to learn from any wrong decisions she makes in her work. She said: “Every career thing I do can’t be perfect, and sometimes my decisions are wrong. I always say the minute I stop making mistakes is the minute I stop learning, and I’ve definitely learned a lot.” The 17-year-old actress recently appeared in drama movie ‘The Last Song’, where she met her boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. Miley is convinced she will need to book herself in for acting classes once she has watched the final version of the film. She explained to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “I’ve not taken like acting lessons or anything, but it doesn’t mean I don’t need to because I’m sure I do. Once I watch this film in the theatre, I’m probably going to go book an acting coach. “I’m kind of bi-polar in my acting choices because I just want to do a little bit of everything. One day I’m telling my mom I want to do an action movie and then I was to be doing comedy and then all different types of things. I get a little bored so hopefully I’ll get a chance to do a little bit of everything.”


onnie Wood’s girlfriend has reportedly given him a black eye. The Rolling Stones rocker who had been sober since entering a rehab clinic in January - infuriated Ana Araujo, 30, when she found him drinking last week, prompting her to rip up two of his paintings before hitting him, also injuring his mouth. A source said: “Ana had been keeping him off the bottle. She rumbled him on Wednesday having a drink and an argument escalated quickly. “He was calling her all sorts of


isn’t perfect

Miley Cyrus

Monday, March 29, 2010

names for criticizing his drinking and she just snapped. “Two of his prized paintings, which he had hoped to sell, are ruined. She ripped them to shreds. “He crossed the wrong woman.” The shocked 62-year-old musician then rang ex-wife Jo Wood - who he left in July 2008 after embarking on a romance with Ekaterina Ivanova, 20 - “in a state” but failed to get the sympathy he was looking for. The source added to The Sun newspaper: “She’s sick of his nonsense and told him to get a grip. He’s become a sad old man.” Friends have previously credited Ronnie’s relationship with Ana as helping him stay sober and even predicted the pair will marry. A source said recently: “Ronnie thinks Ana could be the woman to make a life with. She’s such a positive influence on him and they’ve very relaxed in each other’s company. They’re happy enjoying the simple things in life like staying in, making meals and watching films. “He couldn’t be happier and there’s already talk of them getting married as early as this summer.”

indsay Lohan’s father has hired a security team to look after her. Worried Michael Lohan - who is estranged from his actress daughter and regularly talks about her to the media claims he has bodyguards on standby in case the 23-year-old actress comes to any harm. He said: “I am saying this once and mark my words. If the people and paparazzi cause any harm to my daughter, heart attack or not, I am on the next plane and they are going to deal with me and my security team. “If you doubt me, contact ‘Tako’ at and ask him or Lindsay. He has already been called and is waiting to leave. Hell may not have the fury of a woman’s scorn, but it can’t compare to the love and sacrifice a father has for his kids and family.” This news comes just days after Lindsay was allegedly pushed into a plant by a paparazzi photographer, although it has been reported the actress had been drinking. Defending his daughter, Michael - who recently suffered a heart attack - told Hollyscoop: “It’s really easy to speculate and rely on sources, as to what people say or do, and believe me, from my own experience, most of the time it’s twisted or wrong. Put yourself in Lindsay’s shoes. If you were being badgered by paparazzi, trying to avoid them, while wearing high heels and shielding your face, what would you do? Do you think you might fall? Give me a break. Have a heart! When Lindsay is wrong, she is wrong, and I say it! But when she is right I will stand up for her.”


icole Kidman and Keith Urban leave each other love notes. The Oscar-winning actress and the country singer - who have a 20-month-old daughter, Sunday Rose, together are keen to keep the romance in their marriage alive so write heartfelt messages and leave them in secret places for the other to find. A source said: “Keith has left notes for Nicole under the pillow and in the shower but the most unique time was when he wrote, ‘I Love You’, on a skin of orange in the fridge. “She’s not as creative and usually hides them in Keith’s pockets, music equipment and even his underwear.” Keith has previously shown


arah Harding could never live in America. The Girls Aloud singer insists she is happy flying out to the US for short work-related breaks but could never relocate there permanently the way her bandmate Nadine Coyle - who has several businesses in Los Angeles - has done because it is “too fake”. She said: “I’d never live in Los Angeles because it’s too fake for me. I would only ever go over for work but that’s it, so no, I won’t be following in Nadine’s footsteps. I’m a country girl really.” Sarah is so focused on her career right now, she has no intention of marrying her long-term boyfriend, DJ Tom Crane. She revealed: “I’m not going to think about getting married until I’ve made it as an actress and a solo singer. I’m really happy though!” The ‘Biology’ singer recently admitted she barely speaks to Nadine and didn’t even know she was in London when she came over earlier this month. Speaking about pictures of Nadine looking shockingly thin, Sarah said: “I was a bit worried when I saw those photos of her. But to be honest, I didn’t even now she was in London - I only found out when I saw the paper. Because she’s in Los Angeles, I don’t really talk to her.”


Harding’s happy at home

Lohanʼs dad hires protection

Kidman and Urban leave love notes his romantic side by writing a song for Nicole. The 42-year-old musician and his writing partner Rick Nowels penned the heartfelt track ‘Thank You’ which includes the lyrics ‘I thank God for grace and mercy, and that you became my wife’ - and revealed Nicole was thrilled when she first heard it. Keith said: “Rick’s music pulled this story out of me, which became quite a confessional - much more intimate than I might have written had I intended to write about her. It was very instinctual and very much from the heart. We did a quick recording of it, and I took it home and played it for her that night. I think she was very touched.”

merica Ferrera always wanted to be “as good as” a boy. The ‘Ugly Betty’ actress says she can relate to Astrid, the character she voices in new animated adventure ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ because she was always interested in proving herself to the males in her life. She said: “I was always the girl who, when I was younger, played baseball with the boys. I did not play softball. I did not want to play softball. I wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted to play baseball with the guys and I wanted


to be as good as them.” The 25-yearold actress also felt that working on the movie was like “doing yoga” because it left her so relaxed at the end of filming each day. She added: “I just had fun with it. I always came back from the sessions feeling so relaxed, like I had done yoga or something. The last thing that they always asked me to do, before the session was over, was scream. They were like, ‘Just give us five different kinds of screaming,’ because I do a lot of screaming in this movie.”

Cowell to receive Emmy imon Cowell is to get a special Emmy prize for his TV work. The media mogul, who is behind shows including ‘The X Factor’ and ‘American Idol’, will be presented with the International Emmy Founders Award in the US - one of the highest TV accolades awarded to a TV star - for having “reshaped 21st century television and music around the world”. President of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Bruce Paisner, said of the star: “He is an entrepreneur and a per-


former in equal measure. “Simon Cowell has built an international empire and has changed the face of TV around the world.” Simon, 50, is said to be thrilled with the accolade recognizing his TV shows which are estimated to be worth £1 billion worldwide. He said: “I’ve been very lucky to be able to make shows I love.” Previous winners of the same prize include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Al Gore and Sir David Frost Simon will receive the gong at the 38th International Emmy Awards on November 22. —Bang Showbiz


Monday, March 29, 2010



Acting for top directors a joy, education for Damon his month, at the ripe old age of 39, Matt Damon received the 24th American Cinematheque Award for his work in film-and the timing couldn’t be better: His action-thriller “Green Zone” opened March 12 and he has four other movies slated for this year: The Coen brothers’ remake of “True Grit,” the Philip K. Dick adaptation “The Adjustment Bureau,” Clint Eastwood’s unearthly “Hereaf ter” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion.” And, as he told The Hollywood Reporter, he almost made “Avatar,” too.


The Hollywood Reporter: How do you expect working with the Coens on “True Grit” to compare with Clint Eastwood? Damon: Well, I know from talking to people that their styles are very different. The Coen brothers actually give you their storyboards. If you go on a movie set, normally you get the day’s sides: The lines will be broken down onto miniature sheets of paper, so you can see what work is being shot that day. The Coen brothers give you those, but they give you storyboards as well, so you can look and go, “OK, I’m in the second shot, I’m in the fourth and fifth shots.” And they stay, from what I’m told, pretty closely to the storyboards. They’ve basically planned it all out long before they ever get there. THR: Is it a coincidence that you’re doing two Eastwood films back to back, “Invictus” and “Hereaf ter,” which you’ve just wrapped? Damon: I was really lucky that there were two roles I could do in a Clint movie. The thing about Clint is, he keeps the same people together. The department where there’s turnover is the acting department, because different movies require different casts. Every actor is always desperate to work with him again, and I just got really lucky. But I’m dying to work with him (again). I told him I’m totally, unabashedly just lobbying for work from him every time I see him, cause it’s just really a great experience. THR: Did he go about the two movies differently? Damon: No, the process was the same. He’s extremely fluent in the language of filmmaking, so he knows exactly how he wants to tell the story. It’s a very streamlined process. THR: Do you have a favorite director? Damon: I have a bunch of guys I’ve worked with again and again. Paul Greengrass, Clint, (Steven) Soderbergh, Gus (Van Sant) and Francis (Ford Coppola) would be the people that leap to mind. THR: What other directors do you still want to work with? Damon: Jim Cameron. I almost did “Avatar”I just couldn’t do it schedule-wise. And I really wanted to see him direct, because I thought I’d learn so much. THR: There was talk that you’d work with filmmaker Gary Ross on a Bobby Kennedy project. Is that happening? Damon: Evan Thomas did a biography of RFK that Gary had, and he sent it to me six months ago. We’ve been talking about it, and they’re writing a script that’s going to be done in about a month, so hopefully it’s great and then I’ll know where I’m working this fall.

Preserving black history, with Smithsonian help Honoree actor Matt Damon and actor Ben Affleck speak onstage. —AFP

Cannes Lions 2010 announces jury C

annes Lions are pleased to announce the members of the radio, media and outdoor Lions juries. Commenting on the juries, Terry Savage, Chairman of the festival said, “Cannes Lions is a truly global event attracting thousands of entries of the highest creative caliber. The industry experts that we have picked to deliberate over and award the entries in the radio, media and outdoor juries are a true reflection of this, bringing together respected and acclaimed creative from all corners of the world. It will be an honor to work with these teams.” Outdoor Lions jury Singapore, Tay Guan Hin, Regional Executive Creative Director, JWT Asia -Jury President Argentina, Maxi Itzkoff, Executive Creative Director, Del Campo/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, Rocky Ranallo, Creative Director, Belgiovane Williams Mackay Brazil, Marco Versolato, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R Brazil France, Olivier Apers, Creative Director, BETC Euro RSCG Germany, Sebastian Hardieck, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO D¸sseldorf India, Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder and Creative Chairman, Creativeland Asia Japan, Toru Fujii, Creative Director, ADK Tokyo South Africa, Damon Stapleton, Executive Creative Director, TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris Johannesburg Spain, Leandro Raposo, General Creative Director, McCann Erikson Madrid Turkey, Karpat Polat, President & Creative Director, DDB&Co Istanbul UK, Jon Williams, Chief Digital Officer, EMEA, Grey USA, Kathy Delaney, Chief Creative Officer and President, SapientNitro Media Lions jury Global, Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group - Jury President

Argentina, Sebastian Civit, Chief Executive Officer, MediaCom Argentina Australia, Peter Horgan, Managing Director, OMD Australia Austria, Xavier Reynaud, Chief Executive Officer, Initiative Austria Belgium, Francois Chaudoir, Chief Executive Officer, Space Brazil, Monica de Carvalho, Media Vice President, DDB Brazil Canada, Fred Forster, President & Chief Executive Officer, PHD Canada Chile, Esteban Calvo, Chief Executive Officer, Andean Region, Havas Media Colombia, Paulina Parra Contreras, President, Andean Region, Initiative France, SÈbastien Danet, Chief Executive Officer, ZenithOptimedia Francenbsp; Germany, Jens Erichsen, Managing Director, Carat India, Ravi Kiran, CEO - South Asia & Emerging Market Leader - Specialist Solutions, Starcom MediaVest Group Italy, Alessandro Mandelli, Chief Executive Officer and Country Manager, Havas Media Japan, Hideo Rai, Media Director, Dentsu New Zealand, Barry Williamson, Media Director, Mediaedge:cia Russia, Dmitri Nasalski, Managing Director, UM Russia South Africa, Anne van Rensburg, Media Director, The Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town Spain, Beatriz Delgado, Chief Executive Officer, Mindshare Spain Sweden, Fredrik Svensson, Partner, Naked Sweden Switzerland, Sekan Kee, Managing Director, Vizeum Switzerland UK, Steve Williams, Chief Executive Officer, OMD Global, Mike Cooper, Worldwide Chief Executive Officer, PHD

USA, Joshua Spanier, Director of Communication Strategy, Goodby Silverstein & Partners USA, Matt Seiler, Chief Executive Officer, UM Radio Lions jury Global, Paul Lavoie, Chairman, TAXI - Jury President Argentina, Riki Saul, Director, RAYA Productions Australia, Grant Rutherford, Executive Creative Director, DDB Belgium, Raf Debraekeleer , Creative Director/Producer, Cobra Radio Brewery Brazil, Alvaro Rodrigues, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, AgÍncia3 Canada, Jane Murray, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy Chile, Tony Sarroca, Executive Creative Director, Prolam Y&R Germany, Tom Hauser , Creative Director, Grabarz&Partner India, Manohar Nayak, Managing Director, Lingo India New Zealand, Chris Schofield, Creative Director, DraftFCB Norway, Andre Koot, Partner and Art Director, Shnel & Melnychuck & Forsman & Bodenfors South Africa, Ivan Johnson, Executive Creative Director, Network BBDO Cape Town Spain, Breno Cotta, Chief Creative Officer, Ruiz Nicoli Lineas The Philippines, Raoul Panes, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett Manila UK, Tony Hertz, owner and Creative Director, Hertz:Radio USA, David Gerbosi, Recording Engineer and Sound Designer. Another country judging will take place in Cannes during the festival week, with the winners of the radio, media and outdoor categories being announced at the evening awards ceremony on Tuesday 22 June 2010. Entries can be submitted online at

ʻHow to Train Your Dragonʼ stokes up box office

THR: You and Ben Affleck seem to be ramping up your production efforts with a new deal at Warners. How long is the deal? Damon: I actually don’t even know. These things, they take so long to get hammered out. I was high-fiving the Warners brass months ago, because we’d agreed-and I think the deal just got finalized. Hopefully we’ve found a home for a while. THR: What kind of projects do you want to do there? Damon: Both our careers have been pretty eclectic, so it’ll be more of the same. As directors, what interests us are the “Good Will Hunting”-type stories, movies about people. But that’s not to say we’re not going to want to go make a big sci-fi movie or something like that. Over the long haul, we’ll hopefully build a pretty eclectic successful library for them. THR: You’ve said for a long time that you want to direct. When are you going to? Damon: I’m just dying to do it, but I keep getting these jobs with these great directors. I’ll learn more as a director watching the Coen brothers than I would making my own movie. Maybe at some point I’ll just say, “Don’t send me any scripts, I’m gonna go direct,” but for now I’m really enjoying these roles. It’s one of the unfair (things) about Hollywood, that for men, right now is where the roles start getting great, right when I’m about to turn 40 and all the way to 50. THR: Do you want to write, still? Damon: Yes, I do. When you’re making a movie, there’s so much collaboration; you’re constantly making suggestions. And so I don’t feel like I haven’t written in a long time. I feel that part of me gets satisfied having my input, even though I’m not sitting down at a computer and actually writing dialogue. THR: Has marriage changed you? Damon: Yeah, I think so. Somebody said to me recently, “Wow, you really love marriage,” and I said, “No, I think marriage is ridiculous; I think it’s a totally ridiculous idea.” I love being married to my wife-she’s the best thing that ever happened to me, but if she ever left me, I wouldn’t do it again. Because it’s crazyto spend your life with one person and not be totally driven crazy. —Reuters

ow to Train Your Dragon” has breathed a bit of box-office fire with a $43.3 million opening weekend and a No 1 debut. Yet the DreamWorks Animation adventure came in well behind the studio’s last cartoon comedy, “Monsters vs Aliens,” which opened with $59.3 million over the same weekend last year. Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which had been No 1 the previous three weekends, slipped to second place with $17.3 million. It raised its domestic total to $293.1 million. John Cusack’s raunchy comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” had a lukewarm No 3 debut of $13.7 million.—AP


In this film publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Astrid, voiced by America Ferrera, center, is shown from ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ —AP

Bolshoi to re-open in October 2011 ussia’s famed Bolshoi Theatre is due to reopen its doors after a controversial major restoration in October 2011, the Interfax news agency reported Saturday quoting a top official of the theatre. “We are assuming that the Bolshoi Theatre’s historic building will be opened on October 2, 2011,” deputy general director Anton Getman said as quoted by the agency. “I will not risk naming an earlier date, but we must do all that is in our power to let the public in on October 2, and we will,” Getman said, adding that the troupe might get access to the historic stage as early as June or July. The legendary music and ballet theatre in the Russian capital shut its doors in 2005 for a major restoration that was originally supposed to have been completed in 2008. The reconstruction has proved a major embarrassment for Russia’s cultural authorities and Russian investigators are already probing allegations that millions of dollars have been embezzled. The Bolshoi stage, built between 1821 and 1825, had long been in need of major repairs when it closed, with visible cracks on the facade and performers hampered by a lack of backstage space. The company has been performing on its smaller “New Stage” nearby but artists have complained this limits the scope of big productions. —AFP


Colombian singer Shakira performs during the German game show ‘Wetten Dass’ (Bet it...?) in Salzburg, Austria, on Saturday evening. Wetten Dass is one of the most popular Saturday night programs in Germany and Austria. —AP

ike so many black Americans before him, Marvin Greer figured slavery and migration had hopelessly scattered the heirlooms of his family’s past. Now he’s found some of them, but and he’s not sure how to keep them intact. The 23year-old history buff looked on anxiously recently as a Smithsonian Institution worker catalogued and inspected his personal trove of portraits and military discharge papers, part of a museum-led push to help families like his save their history. Years after author Alex Haley first encouraged blacks to research their roots, many are digging into attics and garages to find the rest of their history-captured in letters, portraits, beloved dolls and other long-forgotten heirlooms. And historians are trying to help: Smithsonian officials hope the “Save Our African-American Treasures” series also will turn up items for a national museum of black American culture, set to open on the National Mall, in Washington, by 2015. The February Atlanta stop was the sixth in the crosscountry, history gathering trek, which has included events in Chicago, Los Angeles, and parts of South Carolina. “There is a continuing, growing appreciation that the history of black America is a history that deserves to be preserved,” said Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian’s planned National Museum of African American History and Culture and organizer of the museum’s innovative Treasures series. He estimates the series has documented, and helped families preserve hundreds of items, among them, a rare Pullman Porter’s cap, and agricultural tools believed to have been used on a rice plantation. Experts say more families are seeking ways to preserve items once thought to be junk, spurred by increased emphasis on black Americana and its role in painting a fuller picture of America’s past. In Atlanta, some came seeking tips for preserving everything from the modern-a beloved Michael Jackson album-to the ancient, including a massive chronicle of slavery’s history dating back to 1859 likely, belonging to a Quaker, according to museum officials. Ninety-nine-year-old Amelia Boynton-Robinson knew the background of the wooden, four-legged sewing kit she toted from Tuskegee, Alabama: It was a gift from the wife of Tuskegee University founder and black scholar Booker T. Washington, crafted by students around 1900. “At that time, dress makers were very important and very popular because you didn’t have factories,” Boynton-Robinson explained to a museum worker, as she learned despite a missing hinge, the rustic box


only needed some dusting and cleaning to keep it sturdy for years to come. Greer was sent away with tips on investing in acid-free storage boxes and heavy plastic covers. “Anything that’s on your hands (then) on the document will further deterioration,” said Alice Carver Kubik, a professional reviewer under contract to Treasures. None of the Atlanta collectors struck it rich, learning great-grandmother’s dog-eared photos or a handful of old coins was worth millions. But experts say monetary value is secondary among black families with a growing interest in how their ancestors lived. They point to the influence of Haley, whose 1976 book “Roots” both detailed his own painstaking effort to trace his family back to Africa, and encouraged blacks across the country to begin digging into family history many had assumed was lost forever. Years later, Smithsonian experts credit programs like the popular public broadcasting series “Antiques Roadshow” with encouraging blacks to take things to the next level. It’s tough to quantify exactly how many black Americans are researching historic documents or digging up old family belongings to map their past. But the Internet, with its ever-expanding library of historic records, is the latest thing driving interest, according to Sharon Leslie Morgan, author and operator of Since its March 2007 launch, the Web site, which offers tips to beginning family research, has gone from less than 100 to almost 3,000 unique site visits per month. “Genealogy is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking, which is probably why a lot of people never really get into it. However, modern technology has made research so much easier,” said Morgan. “There are so many more records available to African American researchers that didn’t use to be accessible at all.” For Lynn Brown, discovering heirlooms has helped make real the things she’s found on sites like She spent seven years rooting around on the Web site and eventually looking in the Atlanta archives for details about her family. But it wasn’t until one day, in the North Carolina home of a long lost cousin, that she found the most valuable pieces of her family’s puzzle _ pages of a handwritten family tree and pictures of her relatives dating back to 1880. She thinks many blacks have tossed items from their past — “They think it’s not worth anything because, for a long time, it was not,” she said. But for her, having links to her family’s past that she can hold in her hands is invaluable. “I can just feel and see my ancestors,” she said, smiling. — AP



Monday, March 29, 2010


Top spring trends:

Blue colors, tribal patterns

hope it doesn’t have anything to do with our collective mood, but the color of the coming spring season, according to Neiman Marcus, is blue. “It is all shades of blue, all hues of blue, all depths of blue, and you can mix your blues,” said Michael Hall, public relations director. Taking its cues from the runway, Neiman Marcus at Fashion Island in Orange County, Calif, hosted a presentation of Spring 2010 trends last week. The other major trend of the season, Hall said, is “tribal,” or multicultural pat-


terns and embellishments (pictured). Major fall trends, such as leopard print and metallics, are staying put, too. Here are other top spring trends, which can be mixed and matched: •Feminine draping: Dresses, tops and even foldover pants feature this soft detail. •Arm candy: Feel free to load up the bracelets from your wrist to your elbow. •Relaxed pants: Harem or cargo pants fit this category. •Nude shoes: Try a light beige or neutral snakeskin pattern.

•Shorts: Go super short or try a longer city style. Variations include tan leather shorts by 3.1 Phillip Lim or a pair with a cummerbund waist. •Wedge shoes: Find a nude pair and you’ve got two trends on your feet. •White shirts: Look for great cuts, pleats and embellishments. •Denim dressing: The hardy cotton twill shows up in dresses and jackets, not just jeans, this season. •Novel T-shirts: Some of these decorated T-shirts have necklaces built in, too. —MCT

Tom Ford recruits for womenswear om Ford has recruited staff for his highly-anticipated womenswear line. The designer - who has yet to confirm when the collection will be launched - has hired Caroline Tixier from

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week


Givenchy and Pablo Coppola at Alexander McQueen to head up the range, with sources predicting it will be ready late next year. Tixier is a women’s ready-to-wear

designer at Givenchy while Coppola has made his name as an accessories designer at Alexander McQueen. The launch of the womenswear collection will be a return to the ladies clothing market for former Gucci

designer Ford although it’s his first foray into the area under his own name. Ford confirmed his intentions to move back toward womenswear last year, saying in October: “Financing is extremely expensive

right now, so if we find financing in the right situation we’ll be able to start a women’s collection soon. If we don’t, we may have to wait a while.” He warned, however, the project would take over a year to complete,

Models present creations by Indian designers Rabani and Rakha at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2010 in New Delhi, India yesterday. —AP photos

Siddharth Tytler

adding: “It will take me 18 months when I start, because I have to hire the team, find the factories, put everything together and then get the stores ready so there’s a place for these clothes.” —Bang Showbiz

Monday, March 29, 2010




China Fashion Week

Models present creations by Chinese fashion house BIFT & Taiwan USC Graduates Show during the China Fashion Week in Beijing. The bi-annual fashion event highlights the latest designs by domestic and international designers. —AFP photos

Imbruglia swaps with Moss

ate Moss and Natalie Imbruglia swapped dresses in the toilets at a charity event. The supermodel and the Australian singer were at the Mummy Rocks fundraiser at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom on Wednesday night and were both wearing similar black dresses. While Kate’s corset outfit was by Dolce and Gabanna, Natalie’s creation - which came complete with a stunning black ruffled cloak - was by up-and-coming designer SARO and Kate was keen to try on the garments as she hadn’t heard of him before. So the pair went to the bathroom to swap looks but Kate loved Natalie’s dress so much, she didn’t want to

K Models present outfits by Greek designer Dimitris Dassios during the Athens fashion week. —AFP photos

give it back. A source told BANG Showbiz: “Both women looked stunning but everyone was taken with Natalie’s outfit as it had this beautiful ruffled cloak. So when Kate and Natalie were in the toilets, they decided to exchange outfits. “Kate was so impressed with Natalie’s dress, especially the cloak, she didn’t want to swap back and begged her to let her stay in it. However, Natalie declined the offer and they soon went back to wearing what they arrived in.” Other stars at the event - which was raising money for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital - included Sadie Frost, Sharleen Spiteri and Rhys Ifans. —Bang Showbiz

Taylor Lautner accepts the award for favorite movie actor at Nickelodeon’s 23rd Annual Kids’ Choice Awards. (Right) Miley Cyrus accepts the award for favorite movie actress as presenters Katy Perry, left, and Jonah Hill look on. —AP photos

Lautner, Miley Cyrus win Kids’ Choice Awards

Host Kevin James, front center, and Adam Sandler, background are seen on stage. eam Jacob was triumphant at the Kids’ Choice Awards. “Twilight” star Taylor L autner picked up two orange, blimp-shaped trophies at Saturday’s 23rd annual shenanigan-packed Nickelodeon spectacle inside UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. Lautner snared the favorite actor honor for his “New Moon” role as hunky werewolf Jacob Black as well as the inaugural cutest couple award with his “Twilight” co-star Kristin Stewart. “I have to admit I have always dreamt of winning one of these orange blimps,” said Lautner. The fan-favorite ceremony’s host, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” actorcomedian Kevin James, kicked off the show by performing a hip-hop dance routine as Adam Sandler ser-


Professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler accepts the favorite male athlete award.

Selena Gomez accepts the TV actress award. Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” for movie, “Up” for animated movie, Jim Carrey for voice from an animated movie for “A Christmas Carol,” “Mario Kart” for video game, “iCarly” for TV show, “American Idol” for reality show,

enaded him from above while dressed as an angel and fountains of green slime spontaneously gushed on the first few rows of the audience. James said more than 115 million votes were received this year. Katy Perry, wearing a bright blue wig and skintight flowery dress, was blasted with slime when presenting the favorite movie actress trophy to Miley Cyrus. The gooey “I Kissed a Girl” singer chased the “Hannah Montana” actress around the stage, but co-presenter Jonah Hill grabbed Perry before she could embrace the 17-year-old singeractress with a slimy hug. “I can’t see anything,” complained Perry. “Why does it taste like boogers?” Other favorites included “Alvin and The

Host Kevin James, center, gets slimed. “SpongeBob SquarePants” for cartoon, Dylan Sprouse for TV actor and Selena Gomez for TV actress. “I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world,” said Gomez. In the music categories, the winners were Black Eyed Peas for music group, Jay-Z for male singer and Taylor

Swift for female singer and song for “You Belong With Me.” Favorites in the sports categories were twotime Olympic gold medalist volleyball player Misty May Treanor for female athlete and 20-year-old skateboarder Ryan Sheckler for male athlete. “This goes right in the trophy case,” Sheckler said holding up his blimp. First lady Michelle Obama won the ceremony’s “Big Help” award for her “Let’s Move” campaign to cut down on childhood obesity. The honor is part of Nick’s own “Millions on the Move” campaign. Over the next few months, the network will feature public service announcements to encourage kids to stay active and promote activities that help the environment. —AP

Rihanna performs on stage.

Singer Katy Perry onstage gets slimed.

Actor Dylan Sprouse accepts the Favorite TV Actor award.

Jackie Chan,left, and Jaden Smith

Jesse McCartney

First Lady Michelle Obama accepts the Big Help award.

Miranda Cosgrove, left and Keke Palmer

Zoe Saldana, left, and Robert Downey Jr are seen on stage as they present the favorite movie award.

Miranda Cosgrove accepts the award for favorite TV show for ‘Carly’.

(From left) Actress Lily Collins, comedian/actor Chris Rock, and actor David Spade

29th Mar  

First English Daily in Arabian Gulf