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

40 PAGES

MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010

RABI ALTHANI 27, 1431 AH

NO: 14696

150 FILS

Tourists shaken as bloodshed erupts in Bangkok

Polish president’s coffin returns home to Warsaw

With saw and screwdriver, China doctor gives gift of height

United title hopes hit by draw at Blackburn

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MPs warn of grilling over French jets Panel OKs citizenship for 4,000 • Expat health insurance to cover repatriation of dead body By B Izzak KUWAIT: The Islamist Reform and Development Bloc yesterday threatened it would grill either the prime minister or the defence minister if Kuwait signs a multi-billion-dollar deal to purchase French-made Rafale warplanes. The threat was issued at a press conference held by the bloc which revealed what it

called important documents issued by the army that recommended against the purchase of the planes. Spokesman of the group MP Faisal Al-Mislem explicitly said “inking the deal would mean grilling the official who is responsible for the signing”. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash outlined the group’s objections to the Rafale deal. “Based on the army documents, the

Rafale is technically inferior to some other planes because it belongs to the fourth generation while manufacturers are already into the fifth generation,” he said. The plane is very expensive and so are its spare parts, he said. “The plane also has serious defects that have prevented any country in the world to buy it.” Harbash said the group has no animosity against France, but it is only objecting to

the deal, which will involve “squandering public funds in a massive way”. Mislem, Harbash and Waleed AlTabtabaei, who jointly addressed the press conference, said that they have sent several questions to the minister of defense, who so far has declined to answer. Harbash said that the Audit Bureau, which last November was asked to investigate three arms deals, including

the Rafale one, has written back to the Assembly saying that it cannot conduct the probe because the defense ministry declined to provide it with the necessary documents. Mislem said that there are suspicions of profiteering and corruption in the deal. Commenting on the announcement, spokesman of the Popular Action Bloc MP Musallam Al-Barrak said his bloc will support any grilling over the

Rafale jets. But the visiting chief of staff of the French armed forces, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, defended the Rafale as one of the best warplanes in the world, saying negotiations over the deal are proceeding in complete transparency. “France has proposed that Kuwait replace the old Mirage jets with the advanced Rafale and Continued on Page 14

Keep out of politics, Kuwait warns expats MPs, rights groups slam deportations • Women protest outside Kuwaiti embassy By Khaled Abdullah, Hanan Al-Saadoun and agencies

KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir casts his ballot at the St Francis Christian school turned into a polling station yesterday. — AFP

Sudan votes amid confusion, delays KHARTOUM/JUBA: Confusion, delays and allegations of fraud marked the start yesterday of Sudan’s first multi-party elections in a quartercentury, a vote that will test the fragile unity of Africa’s biggest country. The three-day election will be a key indicator of whether Sudan can fend off renewed conflict and humanitarian crisis as it heads toward a 2011 referendum that could bring independence for the oilproducing south. The results are widely expected to keep Sudan’s two most influential men in power:

President Omar Hassan AlBashir, who faces an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for allegedly planning war crimes in the western Darfur region, and Silva Kiir, who leads largely autonomous south Sudan. In the capital Khartoum and across the country, there were long queues and chaotic scenes outside polling centres. Kiir was forced to wait 20 minutes under a tree for his voting station to open in the southern capital Juba and then spoiled his first ballot by Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Despite strong opposition by Kuwaiti MPs, political blocs, as well as local and international human rights organizations against the arrest and deportation of supporters of leading proreform Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, the Ministry of Interior yesterday issued a statement warning expatriates in the country against taking part in any gatherings. “Legal and administrative measures will be taken against those who violate the laws that bar public gatherings and meetings,” the ministry warned. “Expatriates should abide by the state laws that prohibit them from staging demonstrations,” the ministry said in the statement. The ministry urged foreign communities to adhere to the laws that forbid any for ms of demonstrations, gatherings or political activities that may strain ties between Kuwait and other countries. On Friday Kuwait arrested dozens of people for organizing a small gathering in support of ElBaradei. At least 21 of them were deported to Egypt. Informed sources told Kuwait Times

Hayef alleges coup plot against rulers MP blasts ‘Iran loyalists’ By A Saleh and Khaled Abdullah KUWAIT: With lawmakers doubting government plans to strip the citizenship of Kuwaitis holding the nationalities of other countries, outspoken Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef has allegedly uncovered a coup plot against the ruling regime by a group of Kuwaitis loyal to Iran. “We doubt the government’s seriousness in taking proper measures against dualnationality holders by focusing on one group only,” Hayef said, adding that he has information regarding a coup plot by a group of Kuwaitis who have “double loyalty” by taking part in Iranian elections and accompanying the Iranian leader during his tours. Continued on Page 14

CAIRO: Gamila Ismail (left) activist and ex-wife of Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour, listens to Nabil El-Qat, who said he was the brother of Walid Nasr, one of those detained in Kuwait, next to a line of police preventing opposition activists from getting near the Kuwaiti embassy in the Dokki neighborhood of Cairo yesterday. — AP that security authorities have released four Egyptians who participated in the demonstration af ter they signed pledges not to take part in future gatherings. The four men were released from detention yesterday, the sources added.

Kuwaiti officials said Egypt’s inter nal politics should be kept in Egypt and not exercised abroad. “There are no Egyptian elections at the moment ... and it is unacceptable for nationals to take the internal politics of their countries to the host coun-

try,” Roudhan Al-Roudhan, Kuwait’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs, told Reuters in Cairo. “These Egyptians are here to work not to form groups,” he said. “Kuwait does not interfere into Egypt’s inter nal affairs.” Continued on Page 14

Khamenei slams US ‘nuke threat’

TEHRAN: Iran’s Shahin (Hawk) missiles are seen during a ceremony yesterday. — AFP

nuclear weapons,” state television quoted Khamenei as saying. “These comments are very strange and the world should not ignore them because in the 21st century... the head of a state is threatening a nuclear attack,” said Iran’s spiritual guide. “The US president’s statements are disgraceful. Such comments harm the US and they mean that the US government is wicked and unreliable.” In a policy shift, Washington said on Tuesday it would use atomic weapons only in “extreme circumstances” and would not attack non-nuclear states - but singled out “outliers” Iran and North Korea as exceptions. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in a television Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Agility, the Gulf’s biggest logistics firm, posted a 22 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, and said it could not guarantee to reach a settlement with US government on fraud charges. Agility, formerly Public Warehousing Co KSC (PWC),

is in talks to resolve an indictment accusing it of overcharging the US Army on supply contracts in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. Agility, the principal food supplier to the US military in Kuwait and Iraq, posted a 22 percent rise in Continued on Page 14

Damascus seeking to balance old with new

Iran develops air defense missile TEHRAN: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slammed US President Barack Obama yesterday for threatening a “nuclear attack” even as Defence Secretary Robert Gates said he did not believe Iran had an atomic bomb. Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran will officially complain to the United Nations regarding Obama’s “threats” after 225 members of parliament asked the government to take up the issue. Khamenei, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s armed forces and final decision maker on key policy issues, warned a meeting of the military’s top brass yesterday to be more “alert” about such threats. “He (Obama) has implicitly threatened Iranians with

Agility profit up, talks on with US

DAMASCUS: Tourists sit at the Shahbandar Palace hotel in the Syrian capital on March 29, 2010. — AFP

DAMASCUS: Damascus, arguably the world’s oldest city, is bustling with chic new life as Ottoman-era homes are turned into boutique hotels and trendy restaurants jazz up their traditional Middle Eastern fare. But the slow transformation of Old Damascus - a UNESCO world heritage site that has been inhabited for five thousand years - has also raised hackles with one activist calling it a “cancer”. In recent years some 200 hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars have mushroomed in the narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets of the ancient city. European, American and Arab tourists, but also affluent and hip Syrians, are drawn to what many see as a magical place, steeped in history and Arabic tradition but also increasingly attentive to tourists’ needs. “It’s like a fairy tale,” said Regina, a teacher of French from Switzerland, as she reclined with a book in the sunlight-dappled courtyard of the Beit Al Mamlouka hotel, gentle birdsong and

the soothing trickle of a fountain in the background. “This place is fantastic. It should be preserved forever.” First built in the 16th century in the Christian quarter of Bab Tuma, or Saint Thomas’s Gate, in the walls of the old city, the five-star Beit Al Mamlouka was the first of the old city’s historic houses to be revamped. Opened in 2005 after three years of restoration work, its eight bedrooms are named and decorated to reflect different periods in the region’s history. “People here are beginning to accept the idea of such hotels and they are becoming popular,” said Rula Dudash of the hotel’s management, who says most of its visitors are British. Founded in the third millennium BC, Damascus was the centre of a flourishing craf t industry in the Middle Ages, specialising in swords and lace. According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Continued on Page 14


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Monday, April 12, 2010

Kuwait hosts conference

Pragmatic training methods for disabled By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The government is now devoting more attention towards improving care for the disabled. In the recent past, complaints had risen about the disabled children receiving inadequate education due to the dearth in a lack of specially trained teachers. To address this cause, the Ministry of Education is holding a ‘Preparing Special Education Teachers for Mild/Moderate Disabilities’ Conference from April 11 to 13 at the Courtyard Arraya Ballroom. Doctors and specialists from 13 countries are participating in the conference, which is currently underway, under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. It will include workshops, where participants will present their findings and exchange experiences. Furthermore, an exhibition accompanying the conference will also be held.

KUWAIT: Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer inaugurating the dialysis center in Farwaniya Hospital yesterday. — Photos by KUNA

Dialysis center opens in Farwaniya Hospital KUWAIT: Farwaniya Hospital would be expanded before the end of this year with 1,280 beds, said Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer yesterday. Speaking at the opening of the dialysis center in Farwaniya Hospital, the minister revealed that the accommodation capacity of the new center would be increased. It includes about 55 kidney dialysis units and is equipped with the latest technologies to improve performance and quality of service to patients. With the opening of this center, the capacity of the kidney dialysis units in the country would increase to some 300 units or by 70 percent across the Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Amiri, Adan, Farwaniya hospitals and Al-Nafisi Center. Meanwhile, Undersecretary for the Health Ministry Dr. Ibrahim Abdulhadi revealed that the Ministry is planning to open new dialysis centers in every governorate to make this type of treatment available to all patients, revealing that a dialysis center would be opened in Jahra governorate soon. — KUNA

Egypt, Kuwait jurists convene in Cairo

KUWAIT: Dr Hilal Al-Sayer talking to one of the patients.

Kuwaiti citizens safe in Thailand KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Thailand, Hafeeth Al-Ajmi assured yesterday that all Kuwaiti citizens in Bangkok are safe, and that clashes between anti-government protesters and the army is an internal political matter. Al-Ajmi said during a telephone interview, “The embassy set up an operations room to receive calls round the clock from

The conference is being organized by the Kuwait University’s College of Education. “The College has chosen the topic ‘Preparing Special Education Teachers for Mild/Moderate Disabilities.’ This is one of the main pillars of caring for the disabled children. No matter how the techniques improve or the tools vary, the teacher will always be the corner stone of the education process,” said Dr Moudhi AlHumoud, Minister of Education and Higher Education during the conference’s opening. The Kuwaiti government has pioneered in caring for the disabled, “It began by establishing the Noor Institute in 1955, AlAmal Institute in 1959, and was followed by founding other specialized institutes in the 1960s. This improved the care administered to the disabled in different categories like Autism, those with learning difficulties. Also, the Ministry of Education has opened special classes within regular public schools for some disabilities. In this way, it is preparing the way for the integration process, which will be implemented soon,” she added. “In 1994, a special law was passed to protect those suffering from slow learning. In 1996, the first law for the handicapped

Kuwaiti citizens who are in Bangkok; the embassy has not yet received any request for assistance or complaint from a citizen.” The embassy contacted hotels, resorts and hospitals in Thailand to make sure those Kuwaiti nationals are able to contact the embassy in case of an emergency, Al-Ajmi said. He added that Kuwait Airways flights to Bangkok are on schedule, meanwhile;

called upon citizens to be patient and not to travel to Thailand unless necessary until the situation calms down in the area. Bangkok yesterday witnessed violent clashes between army troops and the opposition, in which hundreds were either killed or injured as tear gas was used and police forces were deployed in many streets within the capital. — KUNA

kuwait digest

Immigration problem

A

bdurrahman Al-Najjar, in his column with Al-Watan yesterday, wrote on how many Arabs attempt to immigrate to the United States or Europe in search of better living conditions. He added that a few immigrate for political reasons, or for reasons regarding human rights violations they suffered in their home countries. ‘On a recent radio show I heard on the BBC, this issue was discussed and several people who immigrated from Arab lands to Europe contributed and made comments,’ he wrote. ‘I noticed that the majority of the callers said they struggled through the immigration process while many claimed to reside illegally in European countries. Some of them explained how they chose to marry native women from the country they wanted access to for the sole purpose of earning permanent residency. The majority of them confessed that they failed to achieve all their dreams for a better life and expressed regret for leaving their home countries,’ he concluded.

CAIRO: The legal and judicial panel of the Kuwaiti-Egyptian Supreme Committee held its 15th meeting here yesterday under the chairmanship of both countries’ undersecretaries of justice. Speaking following the meeting, Acting Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice Mohammed Al-Ansari said the meeting of the panel aims to discuss how to wipe out potential obstacles impeding contractual relations with different Egyptian individuals and institutions. The panel holds a coordinative meeting with Kuwaiti diplomats in Cairo to resolve legal problems facing Kuwaiti students, businessmen and other nationals in Egypt, he added. Since it was established, the joint legal and judicial panel has been shouldering responsibility for removing all legal impediments facing nationals from both sides, Al-Ansari said. He hailed the committee for having adopted a fresh mechanism for following up on the enforcement of a bilateral legal and judicial cooperation agreement by means of setting uniform forms for mutual correspondence with the goal of averting the delay of declaration of judicial documents and verdicts. This mainly aims to shorten the period of litigation, he said, adding that such uniform forms, which were adopted on July 26, 2006, are primarily bearing on most aspects of judicial dealings. The panel has contributed to finding appropriate solutions to many questions and issues facing Kuwaiti citizens and businessmen regarding the registration of properties in Egypt, in collaboration with Egyptian state departments concerned, he said. — KUNA

was issued, and in 2010, a law that regulates different service benefits and rights for the disabled was also issued. In this conference, we would like to highlight their needs and find solutions for their problems,” Al-Humoud concluded. Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Ahmad, Dean of the Education College, Kuwait University also addressed the audience, “This will provide security to improve the education process and develop the abilities of pupils, without decreasing their inner abilities or the challenges they face. This will also help them integrate better with the disabled in the future.” The discussions held during the conference is expected to provide pragmatic and useful ways of working with children with mild/moderate disabilities, “Let me take this opportunity, at the beginning of our deliberations, to suggest a framework within which we can apply these strategies in a way that can contribute towards lifelong learning, include societies and the realization of human rights for the disabled. I should then like to introduce the concept of /possi/ability as an alternative way of seeing /dis/ability. Finally, I will suggest a framework of resilience rather than deficit as an approach to educational practice for

disabled learners,” noted Dr Judith Mckenzie, on behalf of the winner of the 2009 UNESCO/Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah prizes for promoting quality education for people with intellectual disability. The program for the second and third days will also include the following workshops: Program: Developing and Refining a Practicum Component for Special Needs Assistance, The Contribution of College of Education, Preparing Special Education Teachers, Requirements for Preparing Special Education Teacher According to Current International Orientation (Inclusion), Using the Internet in Training Special Education Teachers, Practicum in Special Education, The Kuwaiti Parliament Efforts in the Welfare of Individuals with Special Needs, The Educational Services at the Higher Council for the Handicap, Evaluating Teachers Competencies of Children with Mental Disabilities in Light of CEC Standards, Using Social Stories in Teaching Children with Mild Autism, Special Education Diploma Program and Quality Assurances, Outcomes based Training for Teachers of Mild and Moderate Disabilities in a Non Categorical Approach.

in the news MP inundated with complaints KUWAIT: MP Musallam Al-Barrak has continued to receive numerous complaints from Kuwaiti citizens married to bedoon (stateless) residents who cannot obtain official documentation for their children, after he raised the issue last week. One official told Al-Rai that the number of those affected by the legislation preventing the children of Kuwaiti-bedoon marriages from being officially registered and obtaining the standard documents continued to grow at an alarming rate, with the chances of an imminent confrontation over the issue increasing fast. ‘Insolvency’ amendments KUWAIT: The Cabinet plans to push through a discussion on amending the insolvency fund so that more under privileged citizens can benefit from it. The Minister of Finance, Mustafa AlShamali, said that citizens who are negatively affected by high interest rates charged on consumer loans will benefit the most from the proposed amendments. He further added that citizens who have declared insolvency will be able to take loans again as per the terms according to which the fund was established, reported AlWatan. Al-Shamali also reiterated willingness to receive other proposals from MPs.

American tyre-slasher KUWAIT: An American man used a knife to slash the tires of 17 vehicles parked outside a car rental office on Gulf Road over a money-related dispute with the owner of the business. The office caretaker caught the man, who was in an inebriated condition, carrying out the attack in the early hours of the morning. When he realized that he had been rumbled, the disgruntled American fled on foot, disappearing between some nearby buildings. The caretaker immediately called the business owner to inform him of the incident, with the shop owner in turn calling the police, reported Al-Watan. An investigation is underway and police are searching for the accused man. Iraqi Ambassador’s appointment KUWAIT: The uncertain political situation in Iraq following the recent parliamentary elections there has led to a delay in the expected appointment of Iraqi Ambassador to Kuwait Mohammad Bahrululom, according to a senior diplomatic official. “[Bahrululom] was appointed as the Ambassador for Iraq to Kuwait by the Iraqi foreign ministry,” the official told Al-Watan, explaining that this decision must be ratified by the Iraqi cabinet and parliament before the ambassador can begin his duties, with the uncertainty in the country leading to a delay in the new Iraqi government’s formation.

KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) recently donated a generous contribution to the Khaldiya Cooperative Society’s social activities. Bashar Al-Bader, the manager of CBK’s Khaldiya branch, received Nawaf AlHasainan, a member of the local co-op’s management board, at his office yesterday, with Al-Hasainan expressing his great appreciation and gratitude for the bank’s active role in supporting the various social activities organized by the co-op and wishing the bank further success and prosperity for the future.

Committee fails to amend expat real estate law KUWAIT: A legislative committee sent its report to the National Assembly council regarding the ownership of real estate by nonKuwaitis, reported Al-Anba. The committee considered amending the second paragraph of article 3, law 47 of the year 1979, in order to allow nonKuwaitis to own residential apartments regardless of their nationality. Permission for the amendment could be granted by the Minister of Interior instead of by Amiri decree. However, committee members could not agree on a suggestion so the law remained as it was; an Arab expat has the right to own real estate in Kuwait if an Amiri decree has been issued giving him that right in accordance with conditions defined by the law.


Monday, April 12, 2010

NATIONAL

3 A great achievement: Greenline

Arab environment report to be released this month By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: A first of its kind report assessing the environment and future expectations of the Arab world will be released later this month. The commission of Arab Environment Ministers and the Arab League asked a number of scientific centers in various Arab countries to carry out the

KUWAIT: The Pakistani Embassy Charge d’Affairs Sajjad Ahmad Sahar with some of the guests. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Pakistan Embassy honors sponsors, coordinators By Mohammad Omer

observing Pakistan Day in Kuwait.

KUWAIT: The Pakistani Embassy held a special dinner reception recently in honor of the sponsors and coordinators who helped organize the country’s National Day event. The ceremony began with the recitation of the holy Quran by Hafiz Mohammad Shabir.

Sajjad Ahmad Sahar, Charge d’Affairs from the embassy welcomed the sponsors and coordinators. He assured that the Pakistani Embassy would continue with the tradition of

He said that the celebrations had received the approval of Ambassador Iftikhar Aziz. The sponsors who were awarded mementos during the occasion were Ubaidu-ul-Rehman Ardin, Arif Butt, Hafiz Mohammad Shabir, Malik Ikhlaq, Shahid Iqbal, Mian Mohammad Arshad, Server Inayat, Jehan Zaib Khan and Noor Mohammad Mailk. Also, principals and teachers from different Pakistani schools were awarded certificates of appreciation. A sumptuous dinner was also arranged for guests.

KUWAIT: Deputy Chairman of Al-Khorafi Group, Marzouq Al-Khorafi, receives an award from Sheikh Saleh Kamel on behalf of the GCC Union for Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The award was presented to the group for serving as the best business model in the Gulf region. —KUNA

Gruesome accident By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Egyptian expatriate died when a bout of horseplay with a friend went horribly wrong. The two men, both Egyptian, were apparently play-fighting when one of them pushed the other against a wall, not realizing that a sharp piece of metal was protruding from it. The metal object penetrated the man’s skull and struck his brain, killing him instantly. Police have launched an investigation. Stalker ex A woman lodged a complaint with police against her estranged husband, who she said had been following her everywhere and making obscene gestures at her. An investigation is underway.

Street attack An Egyptian man who stopped in the street to look at the aftermath of an accident there ended up getting more than he bargained for. A Kuwaiti passerby was apparently angered by the Egyptian man’s presence and began yelling at him, demanding to know why he had stopped there. When the Egyptian remonstrated with him, asking his interrogator to calm down, the other man promptly punched him in the face, breaking his nose. An investigation is underway. Junkies brawl Two drug addicts attending a local treatment center got into a fight before being separated by staff there. The two were apparently frustrated at not being allowed to see their families.

Fresh mechanisms to safeguard rights of disabled people KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Supreme Council for Disabled People’s Affairs announced yesterday that new mechanisms are currently being put in place to protect the rights of the country’s disabled population. Under the new system, medical committees will accurately diagnose all individuals seeking disability certification, said the head of the council’s medical body Rashid AlEmeri. They will also monitor and report developments in disability-related issues and carry out periodical assessments of disabled people, he explained. The recently passed disability rights legislation is principally intended to safeguard the rights of disabled people in the country, in compliance with the global development of the concept of disability, he added. Al-Emeri commended the new law as a quantum leap in terms of a modernized state’s commitment towards the fulfillment of disabled people’s civil and political rights in parallel with those of the non-disabled population. As per the current direction in first world countries, which emphasizes harmony with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definitions and classifications of disability, the council accords special attention to strengthening the positive attributes of the disabled in order to fortify their capabilities and integrate them fully in society, he said. The contemporary world pays increasing attention to providing special education services and programs for the disabled to enable them to engage in social activities, Al-Emeri added, revealing that according to recent data from the council, there are over 33,000 disabled people in Kuwait. — KUNA

“We didn’t have a complete evaluation of the environmental situation in the Arab world so this report comes at a time when it is most needed,” AlHajiri said. The chairman of GEG said that after the release the group will make sure the results are available to as many people as possible. “The public will have a better understanding of the environmental challenges the Arab world is faced with,” he added. Scientific centers from Kuwait, Syria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain participated in the study. Statistics were gathered from all Arab countries to compile the possible future environmental challenges this part of the world will face. “The research looks into a number of issues including the atmosphere, water resources, land resources and the possible impact of global warming,” said Thari Al-Ajmi, an expert with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) who took part in the study. He added that the report also analyzed the environment’s effect on social and economic trends in the Arab world. Al-Ajmi shared some of the study’s findings. “The Arab world’s carbon dioxide emissions represent only 4.7 percent of global emissions but

assessment. The announcement was made yesterday morning during a press conference held at the premises of the Kuwait Journalists Association in Shuwaikh. Khaled Al-Hajiri, chairman of the Kuwaiti based Greenline Environmental Group (GEG), said that releasing the report on April 26 in Kuwait will be a great achievement for the whole Arab world.

KUWAIT: The panel of speakers at the seminar, (from left) Thari Al-Ajmi KISR expert, Khaled AlHajiri GEG chairman, and Jasem Al-Shawaf an Environment Adviser in GEG. —Photo by Ahmad Saeid would be heavily affected by any increase of sea level as a result of global warming.” He explained that this is because 50 percent of the Arab world’s population lives at sea level. Al-Ajmi revealed that among the most pressing challenges of the Arab world is its huge population growth and increasing demand on water.

He said that 66 percent of the region’s surface water resources come from outside the Arab world. He added that Arab citizens’ annual share of water dropped from 3,500 cubic meters in the year 1960, to 1,000 cubic meters now. “The current population of the Arab world is 334 million and it is expected to reach 586 mil-

lion by 2050. This increases the urgency to take needed steps toward meeting the future demand of water and electricity, and also to take measures to confront poverty,” he asserted. According to Al-Ajmi, the research also found that agricultural land in the Arab world dropped from 23 percent in the

year 1980 to 5.1 percent today. The study also revealed that the vast majority of Arabs, 90 percent, live in dry or semi-dry areas. The report released a number of recommendations that the committee of Arab Environment Ministers can adopt in order to confront these environmental challenges.


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NATIONAL

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kuwaiti MPs hail European tour

Focus on empowerment of women, gender equality PARIS: Members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) lauded here yesterday the tour organized by the French National Foundation of Political Sciences (Sciences Po) to France and Belgium. MPs Abdulrahman Al-Anjari and Aseel Al-Awadhi asserted in a statement at the close of their tour that it was a successful and fruitful one

as they exchanged views and reviewed issues in various fields, especially on women and finance. Al-Anjari said that this visit to the European Union states was fruitful as he met with a group of officials, who are interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region, as well as some members of the European parliament.

He added that many discussions were held on several issues, especially the economic ones in view of the economic difficulties seen by some member states of the European Union, especially those related to public debt and its proportion to the gross domestic product (GDP). He went on to say that meetings were attended by state officials, parliamentarians, journalists, economists and academicians, and focused on economic and women issues. He also said that this was an opportunity to learn from the time-honored French democracy. On her part, Al-Awadhi affirmed that the visit centered on the role of the Kuwaiti woman in all fields, especially the political one. “We have felt a great interest in the joining of parliament by Kuwaiti women and thrashed out the challenges faced by women inside the parliament and their role in the parlia-

Further, Al-Anjari and Al-Awadhi held a meeting in Paris with officials in the Sciences Po foundation, head of the financial committee in the French parliament Jerome Cahuzac and director of the Middle East and Northern Africa Department in the French Foreign Ministry Patric Paoli. They also met with some officials from the Ministry of Finance and chairperson of the French-GCC parliamentary friendship group Philippe Marini. Additionally, the Kuwaiti members of parliament held a meeting with executive manager of the French Nuclear Group (Areva) Anne Lauvergon, editor-in-chief at Le Monde Diplomatique Alin Gresh, director of the women’s forum Aude de Thuin and members of the FrenchKuwaiti parliamentary friendship committee. Al-Anjari and Al-Awadhi held a press conference at the Arab Press

mentary committees,” Al-Awadhi explained. She also said that stress was put on the empowerment of women and the gender equality as women are an effective element of development, pointing out that she sensed the satisfaction engendered about these discussions. Al-Awadhi went on to say that some questions were posed on the domestic workers law and “we made clear that government is about to submit a bill in this respect that attends to the rights of all members of this category and human rights and we have also explained the new labor law that came in favor of laborers.” She also made clear that she felt an interest in boosting ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states at all levels and an interest in exchanging visits at the level of the members of parliaments from the French and European parliaments.

Society and delivered a lecture at the political sciences university (Sciences Po) titled “Women and Politics in the Gulf, especially in Kuwait”. As for Brussels, Al-Anjari and AlAwadhi held a meeting with director of the Middle East and Western Mediterranean Section in the European Commission Tomas Del Moral, member of the Arab affairs committee in the European parliament Anna Bildt, Vice Speaker of the European Parliament (EP) Rodi Kratsa and some EP members. The tour made by the two members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly came at the invitation of the French National Foundation of Political Sciences (Sciences Po) as part of the “Kuwait Sciences Po” program signed between this French foundation and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).— KUNA

KUWAIT: (Left to right) Sheikha Al-Arfaj, Arona Ladava, Yasmine Shehebar, Narjes Al-Shatti

in the news Salmi ‘Death Road’ KUWAIT: The increasing number of serious road accidents on Salmi Road has led to calls to increase safety measures there, with 10 deaths and over 50 injuries recorded by Taima police since the beginning of the year. The large number of accidents has seen the thoroughfare win the alarming moniker of ‘Death Road,’ reported Al-Watan. The high incidence of accidents has seen the Ministries of Interior and of Public Works coming under pressure to introduce safety measures such as more speed cameras and radars, as well as broadening the thoroughfare by adding another lane. Awqaf training KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA) is to conduct a number of training courses for American imams, to educate them about Islam’s moderate approach. The forthcoming courses are being run as part of a range of projects approved in an agreement signed between the ministry and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In other news, the ministry has achieved great progress in its project to launch a satellite TV channel directed at viewers in the West, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, the MAIA recently received an appeal from the Civil Service Commission reminding them of the importance of reducing the number of expat employees working there under the allowances provision, which costs the country KD 440,000 per month. Assembly priorities KUWAIT: The National Assembly (NA) will hold its first meeting to discuss the Parliament’s priorities today. In the meantime, there is a feeling of discontent among parliamentarians at the Cabinet’s failure to allocate special sessions to discuss certain pivotal issues. On that regard, the concerned committee feels that the flaw in rearranging priorities cannot be discussed unless special sessions are allocated. Meanwhile, the Cabinet has been avoiding the approach so as to avoid forced commitment. This indicates that the Parliament would bear their responsibility, reported AlQabas. In another development, the financial and economic committee of the NA asked the Cabinet to provide an annual plan in order for it to be accepted by the committee.

KUWAIT: Some members of International Women’s Group who participated in the celebration. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

IWG celebrates Easter By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: The International Women’s Group (IWG) held a meeting to celebrate Easter at the Radisson SAS hotel yesterday. Narjes Al-Shatti, IWG’s Public Relation Supervisor said, “The April meeting is a special occasion as most members celebrate Easter,” she said. A lecture was also held on eliminating psychological stress. Sheikha Al-Arfaj and Arona La dava from Raja Yoga Meditation were the main speakers. The

Interior minister gets words of appreciation KUWAIT: The Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber AlKhalid Al-Sabah recently received words of appreciation from a retired army officer. He acknowledged Al-Khalid’s loyalty towards work and his subordinates, as well as his firm stance on violations. In a recent statement, retired Lt. Ibraheem AlNughaimesh urged those who filed interpellation motions against the minister to officially apologize to him as he was found not guilty by a court. Also, Al-Nughaimesh addressed the problem of steel and copper materials being stolen from front gates of homes and water pipes, reported Al-Watan. He urged the General Department of Criminal Investigators to launch investigations to arrest those involved. Also, AlNughaimesh shed light on a trend that was recently noticed in which sirens were being used indiscriminately by police patrol vehicles. He asked for regulations to be put in place to curtail the practice.

women demonstrated some exercises that help rid stress. Also earlier this month, the International Women’s Group (IWG) organized a visit to the Aqua tonic Spa in Crowne Plaza. Members also joined a three-day course on silk painting that is being offered at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s Development Society Centre. At the end of the event, a raffle draw was held for members of the International Women’s Group (IWG).

kuwait digest

Two truck MPs!

‘A

ttack is the best way to use defense in any sport. In volleyball, players are only allowed two passes and the third should be a strike to the opponents’ court. Basketball players have to get rid of the ball within thirty seconds in order to avoid foul play. Striker footballers are the dearest of them all and are worth tens of defenders,’ wrote Saad AlMaatash in his Al-Rai column. He added that in solo games, more points are usually counted for attackers in sporting activities like boxing where boxers are sometime knocked out. ‘In Taekwondo, a player loses after receiving three warnings for passive play or defending all the time,’ he explained. He pointed out that Kuwaiti voters are actually counting the score nowadays for MPs they had elected. ‘Hey loser MPs, we’re watching you and counting the score. We will never forget anything so, be careful to avoid being kicked out of the game during the coming elections!’ he warned. He compared the scenario with MPs arriving at the Parliament in two trucks.

Kuwait, Morocco to strengthen relations RABAT: Chairwoman of Kuwait’s Supreme Committee of the Ideal Mother Award Sheikha Fareeha Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah arrived here Saturday on an official visit to Morocco. This visit comes at the invitation of the chairwoman of the Moroccan Observatory on children’s rights Princess Lalla Meryem, sister of the Moroccan monarch. Sheikha Fareeha expressed her happiness for being in Morocco which has strong ties with Kuwait based on mutual understanding with some reciprocating views on a number of issues of mutual concern. She added that this understanding comes as a result of the directives and patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Moroccan King Mohammad VI. It is important to strengthen such distinctive bilateral relations, particularly in the social

field in order to promote voluntary and charity work for the benefit of women and families in the two countries, Sheikha Fareeha said. She concluded by saying that such promotion of voluntary work will secure the progress of women in both societies and further increase the gains made by them for the well-being of future generations. Moroccan Minister of Social Development, Family and Solidarity Nouzha Skalli said that Sheikha Fareeha’s visit will open up new horizons before bilateral cooperation in the social fields and subsidizing the development projects for the benefit of women and children. Finally, Skalli recalled the official visit paid by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah to Morocco that ushered in a new era of cooperation between the two countries in various fields. — KUNA


Monday, April 12, 2010

NATIONAL

5 New recruits entering using visit visas

Indonesian maids continue arriving in Kuwait despite ban By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Housemaids from Indonesia continue to arrive in Kuwait despite Jakarta’s ban on their coming to the Gulf country to work. Aris Triyano, the spokesman for the Indonesian Ambassador to Kuwait Faisal Ismael, admitted that the embassy cannot do anything to stop the women coming or to implement the unilateral ban on housemaids

KUWAIT: Communist Party of India Marxist Kerala State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Ex-MP Vijayaraghavan, Chairman of Pravasi Kshema Board T.K. Hamsa, Managing Director of Kairali TV John Brittas and Director Kairali TV A.A. Rasheed arrived here yesterday as part of their Gulf tour. They were given a warm reception at the Kuwait International Airport by the Kerala Art Lovers Association members.

local spotlight

The ruling doctrine in the Arab world!! By Muna Al-Fuzai

W

hat is the main doctrine controlling rule in the Arab world? Does a man’s ruling a nation mean that he can be declared ruler for life, with his descendants assuming control after he dies? If this is actually the case, which is usually quietly taken for granted among the people of nations ruled in this dynastic fashion, I can’t see how it could be accepted in countries governed by a republican system of rule and wholly different policies. Does this make democracy and the concepts underpinning the system of rule in Arab countries worth examining? I believe so. Perhaps we should examine how dictatorship is born and why it has lasted in no area outside the Arab world to see how these things develop here. First of all, in dynastically ruled nations there is no set criterion for rule; each case is wholly individual, but all share the com-

mon factor of being a one-man show where everyone must unquestioningly obey the leader’s policies. Such systems have massive selfishness, brutality and repression at their core, eliminating any possibility of attempts at opposition, clearly and repeatedly telling the people living under them to accept this as reality or face jail for life, if not simply death. This is why, in many Arab states, one senses massive frustration and anger among the educated and young, especially in those nations where poverty and unemployment are widespread. These people are angry at seeing their countries unable to move forward due to this kind of repressive system and the disadvantages they face as a result. At the same time, the combination of the ruler’s limitations and flaws with the pressure from hardline conservative Islamist groups, most of whose agendas call for jihad, impels angry, frustrated young people to seek out extreme solutions to their current situation and attempt to escape it through going in a wholly radical direction, even if this means killing

innocent people. Seeking change, even in such destructive ways, could come to be viewed as an acceptable ideology amongst the young living under such repressive ruling systems, and this is the biggest threat not only to themselves but to the world and to their many innocent potential victims. Another point here is that the conditions laid down by such rulers are seen as being fixed and unchangeable, which is wrong. Under such a system, the ruler can live in a fantasy world, believing that he owns everyone and everything and has absolute power, being able to do whatever pleases him and ensures his family’s continued prosperity, with any attempts at public opposition quickly stamped out by any means necessary. So, it comes down to killing and repression; this may be an unfortunately gloomy outlook, but it is wholly real, so change is not easy. Unless there are radical changes in public views and ways of thinking, this style of governance could last for centuries into the future. muna@kuwaittimes.net

“We really don’t know how they are able to get permission to enter Kuwait,” he said. “But as far as the embassy of Indonesia is concerned we are not signing any job orders as yet and the ban is still in place.” The Indonesian Labor Ministry temporarily suspended the deployment of Indonesian housemaids to Kuwait in midSeptember of last year due to increasing unresolved issues of mistreatment and abuse of their maids. The number of runaway domestic helpers reached over 600 during that period, falling significantly since the temporary ban, but the Jakarta government has stopped short of resuming the deployment of maids to Kuwait until a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed between the two countries. “There are issues to be settled, especially on how to protect our workers, before

coming to Kuwait so long as they enter the country using valid visas. “We informed the Kuwaiti government regarding the entry of Indonesian housemaids, but they told us they cannot prevent anybody who possesses valid, legal documents from entering Kuwait,” he said. Triyano admitted that new recruits are hired using visit visas or sometimes using other ports of entry such as Bahrain or Dubai to enter Kuwait.

resuming deployment,” said Triyano. “We are not blaming the host government or the sponsors since we are also partly to be blamed. We share responsibility for our workers because I think one of the reasons they are running away is because they cannot understand their jobs well.” He continued, “Remember that most of the maids who are entering Kuwait are from the remote provinces of Indonesia. They are not properly trained and so we need to train them before they can be allowed to work again in Kuwait, probably with intensive training to understand Kuwaiti culture and maybe to understand Arabic and English would be a great help,” he said. Triyano said that the Indonesian government has been doing all it can to prevent the illegal deployment of Indonesian housemaids in Kuwait until the new MoU is signed.

“The good news is that both parties (Kuwait and Jakarta) have already expressed willingness to sign a new agreement. Of course both have to discuss their countries’ concerns,” he said. Meanwhile, local recruitment agencies in Kuwait denied hiring any Indonesian housemaids and argued that agencies could not easily recruit Indonesians nowadays, especially after Jakarta imposed the ban. “They are very strict concerning the ban issue back in Jakarta,” said an Indonesian secretary of one local recruitment agency asked about the issue. “Yes, there are some Indonesians that can penetrate Kuwait through other way - but we don’t know how.” There are currently around 80,000 Indonesians in Kuwait, of whom approximately 60,000 are engaged in domestic labor.

in the news Illegal companies KUWAIT: According to statistics, at least 1,503 companies have been forced to pull the shutters down. In a recent inspection campaign conducted, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry found that many of these firms were operating illegally in the country. Among them, 277 were shut down for possession of forged bank certificates, while 155 were suspended for the same reason. Furthermore, investigations are still ongoing in 440 other companies that were suspended. In the meantime, mostly owing to widespread misappropriation, the ministry is now mulling restructuring the organization structure of its companies’ department. A few changes including altering the mechanism of work, reshuffling staff members, and introducing new methods will be initiated, reported Al-Qabas. At least 64,912 licenses were issued to companies owned by high-profile individuals. A vast majority of the licenses, at least 15,054 were issued for general trade and contracting companies. Power cuts alert KUWAIT: Ten residential areas are facing brief power cuts of up to four hours each while the Ministry of Electricity and Water’s (MEW) maintenance department carries out maintenance work

on electricity substations. The maintenance work, part of the MEW’s preparations for the summer, began last Saturday and is expected to last until Thursday, reported Al-Qabas. The work, which will be carried out between 7.30 and 11.30 AM may affect households and businesses in Salmiya, Khaitan, Omariya, Surra, Mangaf, Salwa, Farwaniya, Andalus, Ahmadi and Rawdha. Emergency calls KUWAIT: Around nine in ten of the calls made to Kuwait’s 112 emergency services hotline are hoaxes, wrong numbers or children playing games, with only 900 of the 9,000 daily calls reporting genuine emergencies, according to the official in charge of the emergency calls service. Brigadier Jamal AlSayegh, the Ministry of Interior’s new Central Operations director, warned that the department would take legal action against hoax callers. “The emergency number, 112, was specifically allocated for those in genuine distress, such as road accidents, fires and other emergencies, not for chatting,” Brigadier Al-Sayegh told Al-Rai. The emergency services head urged citizens and expatriates to monitor their children’s activities closely and tell their kids about the possible consequences of harassing the security services.


6

NATIONAL

Kuwait-Egypt relations ‘deep-rooted’ CAIRO: Egyptian State Minister for Administrative Development Ahmad Darwish lauded his country’s strong relations with Kuwait in general, and particularly in the field of administrative development. Speaking on the sidelines of the Arab Human Resource Conference, which kicked off here on Saturday evening,

Darwish said that cooperation between the two countries in this area was “fruitful,” adding that meetings were constantly held in relation to e-government applications and offering the best services to citizens, the business community and investors. He added that talks were ongoing between the National Management Institute of Egypt and Kuwait’s Civil

Service Commission over administrative training and raising the efficiency of employees. Darwish underscored the excelling administrative systems in Kuwait, as well as the “prominent” economic and developmental role that the Gulf state played at the Arab level through loans presented by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). — KUNA

Monday, April 12, 2010

Asian commits suicide in Roudhatain

Two Arabs in police net for drunk driving KUWAIT: Two men, one Egyptian and the other Lebanese, were arrested after their car was pulled over when it was discovered that the Egyptian who was driving the car had no driving license and both were drunk. After the driver failed to produce a license, police discovered that the car was registered in his Lebanese friend’s name, reported Al-Watan. The officers also noted the inebriated state of both men, finding a can of beer and a bottle of homemade alcohol during a search of the vehicle. Both men were taken to Daiya police station and are being held in custody pending trial. Man found dead An Asian man committed suicide by hanging himself in his room in Roudhatain, reported Al-Watan. Investigators who responded to the scene found a suicide note left by him before he took his own life. He asked for his dues to be sent to his family in his home country. Weapon cache Police responded to an emergency call regarding a purse left in a parking lot in a suspicious manner in Rai, reported AlWatan. An investigation revealed that the purse contained a handgun and 16 bullets. A case was opened to determine the person responsible for leaving the purse behind.

Red Cross societies carry no religious messages KUWAIT: The Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are the most engaged in providing humanitarian assistance around the world, and many fail to realize that they carry no religious underlying messages, said a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) yesterday. Regional Media and Publishing Director at ICRC’s Office in Kuwait Fuad Bawaba said that the idea for this international organization was born in 1859. A battle was fought in northern Italy between the Austrian and French armies, and in just 16 hours, 40,000 soldiers were killed and injured. Swiss businessman Henry Dunant was on his way to see

Napoleon, and saw the dead and wounded on his way. Moved by this, he recruited the help of nearby villagers and provided care for the victims. All parties agreed that the wounded would be protected from any attack. Dunant was greatly moved by this experience and went on to write about it. From this was born the ICRC in 1863, in Geneva. To honor Dunant, the emblem of the committee was taken from the Swiss flag-the red background and white cross on the flag were switched. Bawaba explained that the emblem of the ICRC “does not represent any religious movement” as some believed, but was in fact chosen in honor of the

Swiss businessman whose idea was behind the committee’s founding. He added that at the time, the ICRC held a conference and 16 countries, including the Ottoman Empire, agreed to use the ICRC’s flag as a sign of protection from 1864-1876. In 1876, the Ottomans went to war with Russia, and suggested that they would be using a crescent on their flags instead of the cross, which was also another switch of the Ottoman flag itself and had no religious connotation. Bawaba said that Switzerland accepted the Ottoman proposal, on a temporary basis, and the Red Crescent and Red Cross flags were used as a sign of protection

for those engaged in humanitarian work. He explained that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement had three main branches: the ICRC which operated during wars and monitored the implementation of international humanitarian laws; the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that worked during natural disasters and coordinated aid efforts; and the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world. As for the ICRC office in Kuwait, he said that it was established after the Gulf War and that it now covers all of the GCC countries. — KUNA

Drugs found Police patrols apprehended an officer working with the Ministry of Interior, after he was found in possession of a bar of hashish and 10 illegal drug pills, reported Al-Watan. The man was arrested on King Fahad Highway after he was spotted by police rolling a cigarette filled with hashish while stopped at a traffic light. An inspection into his identification revealed that he was wanted for several previous cases. He was taken to the proper authorities.

Home robbery A thief broke into a citizen’s home in Naeem and stole a safe from his bedroom containing jewelry worth KD 4,200, reported Al-Watan. The owner of the house informed police as soon as he discovered the theft. The search for the thief is ongoing. In an unrelated incident, a maid was arrested in Salmiya and charged with stealing KD 12,000 worth of jewelry and KD 5,000 in cash from her sponsor’s bedroom, reported Al-Rai. Investigators discovered the stolen items inside her room and brought her to the proper authorities after she confessed to the crime. Traveler passes out An Indian man fell unconscious while waiting for a flight back to his home country, reported Al-Watan. While the man received medical attention, paramedics determined that the man’s circulatory system was troubled because a ring was forcing pressure on his finger and disturbing his blood flow. The ring was successfully cut off and the passenger made his flight on time. Drug overdose A citizen died as a result of a drug overdose in his family’s

home in Rawdha, reported AlQabas. Criminal investigators accompanied by police responded to the scene after receiving an emergency call made by the man’s brother. He reported that he found his brother not breathing and that he had lost his pulse. Citizen stabbed A citizen suffered several stab wounds after he was attacked by a thief attempting to rob his electrical appliance store in Salmiya, reported AlQabas. While the assailant did escape, the shop owner managed to write down his vehicle’s license plate number and gave it to police. The man was taken to the hospital and a search for the assailant is ongoing. Fugitive nabbed A fugitive wanted for 12 criminal cases and sentenced to 15 years in prison was recently caught in Salmiya, reported AlRai. The citizen raised police suspicion while driving and an inspection of his identification revealed his criminal history. He was taken to the proper authorities. Drunks brawl Four individuals under the influence of alcohol fought in a

restaurant in Salmiya, reported Al-Rai. Police discovered that one of the brawlers was a captain in the Kuwait Army. They were all referred to the proper authorities and face charges of public intoxication, fighting and damaging personal property. Gangs fight Four bedoon youngsters were admitted to the Jahra Hospital with stab wounds following a fight between eight young men in South Jahra, reported Al-Anbaa. Police arrested the other four brawlers and investigations revealed that the fight occurred over a previous dispute. Sexual assault An Egyptian woman filed a case with local authorities against her husband for sexually assaulting their 5-year-old daughter, reported Al-Anba. The husband was summoned for an investigation, which is still ongoing. Lawbreakers held Farwaniya police arrested seven residency violators in addition to three people facing charges of absence by their sponsors in Khaitan, reported Al-Seyassah. They were taken to the proper authorities.

Legislations ‘cornerstone of democratic societies’ RIYADH: Legislations are the cornerstone of democratic societies, and form the base from which reform is launched, said Kuwait’s Fatwa and Legislations Department Undersecretary Justice Huda Al-Shayji yesterday. Al-Shayji was speaking on the sidelines of the first meeting of the standing committee of GCC legislative officials, which she chaired. The two-day meeting kicked off earlier yesterday at the GCC Secretariat. On the meeting, the Kuwaiti official said that this was the first standing GCC committee that dealt with legislative matters, terming this “an achievement for the GCC states and a bright star in the council’s track.” Legislations are the means to realizing the demands of the society and its needs, and also present the tools for which to keep up with global developments in the political, economic and social spheres, she explained. Al-Shayji noted that holding these meetings was an idea put forth by Oman, and that Kuwait then proposed that they be held within a standing committee. The aim of the committee is to increase inter-GCC legislative cooperation, exchanging expertise, holding joint seminars, and exchanging visits. It will also serve to coordinate legislative stances between the GCC member states at Arab and international conventions. — KUNA

KFAS seminar in Paris KUWAIT: In cooperation with the French National Foundation of Political Science, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) held a seminar in Paris yesterday entitled, “Dynamics of the European Union...Political, Economic and Cultural union”. The seminar is aimed at clarifying the mechanism of the formation of the European Union and policy frameworks in the institutions of the EU countries, KFAS Director General, Dr Ali Al-Shamlan said in a statement. “The seminar covers the constitutional frameworks, the dynamics of the formation of the European Union and the EU relations with neighboring countries,” Al-Shamlan added. The seminar is also to focus on the success achieved by the EU member countries. — KUNA

KIEV: The Kuwaiti heritage and fashion exhibit. — Photos by KUNA

Arab Culture Day in Kiev KIEV: Kuwait’s Embassy in the Ukraine participated in the Arab culture day which included several cultural and social activities, with a special section highlighting the Kuwaiti heritage. Charge de’ affaires Kholoud Al-Mahroufi supervised the presentation of a Kuwaiti fashion show, an embassy statement said, pointing out

that all participating Arab embassies displayed a host of national dishes. Arab embassies of Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria took part in the event, organized for the first time here. Ukrainian officials, diplomats and the Ukrainian media attended the event. — KUNA


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, April 12, 2010

Iran urges Iraq unity after election stalemate BAGHDAD: Iran on Saturday called on rival factions in Iraq to form a government of national unity following the indecisive outcome of a March 7 general election and rejected accusations of bias. The intervention came more than a month after Iraq’s election frontrunners failed to win near enough seats to form a government on their own, ushering in possibly months of coalition negotiations. “None of the successful lists should be pushed aside,” Iranian ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi told reporters at a press conference in Baghdad. “We wish to say that the government should be formed from these lists,” he said, according to an Arabic translation of his remarks in Farsi. “It is clear that none of the successful lists can form a government on its own and that requires an agreement among the various lists,” he added. The ambassador rejected accusations that Shiite-dominated Iran was trying to influence its neighbor through its influence with Iraq’s Shiite majority community, which won its way to power in the wake of the 2003 overthrow of now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime. “The decision must be an Iraqi one and Iraqis ... will take only advice from others,” the Iranian ambassador said. Since the election, a series of delegations from Shiite and Kurdish factions have travelled to Tehran for discussions. The Iranian ambassador said that next week, representatives of the secular bloc of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi will also visit the Iranian capital. Allawi’s list swept Sunni Arab provinces to take the largest share of the national vote with 91 parliamentary seats against 89 for the bloc of incumbent premier Nuri Al-Maliki in an upset victory. Both men are locked in protracted bargaining with various political parties to try and gain the 163 seats necessary to form a government. Christopher Hill, the US ambassador to Iraq, said Tehran should allow Baghdad to make its own choices. “My suggestion to him would be to leave that up to the Iraqis,” Hill told reporters when asked to comment on the Iranian ambassador’s remarks. “We believe that the government will indeed be made in Iraq. It won’t be made in some neighboring country.” The US ambassador said that although the final outcome remained unclear, it was possible a new government would be in place in around two months. “The timetable will essentially move forward,” he said. “We would expect in the next couple of weeks the certification of the elections. “We would expect a couple of weeks after that the actual seating of the council of representatives and then, after that, it would take about a month-and it may take more-but about a month to put together the government.” Hill urged caution on predictions on who would eventually lead a coalition as prime minister. “It is clear that everybody is talking to everyone and, lo and behold, sometimes people say different things to different people, shocking as that might be,” Hill said. “One has to be a little careful about public pronouncements by various candidates, and even private pronouncements,” he added. “Our sense is that people expect their leaders to get going on this process. I don’t expect this will go on and on and on.” The possible kingmakers in a future coalition, the bloc of anti-US cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who polled well in last month’s election, gaining 39 seats in the new 325-seat parliament, appeared to rule out a deal with Maliki. —AFP

‘Unholy’ disagreement in Jerusalem splits Israelis JERUSALEM: Peace activists who in a party-like atmosphere put on a weekly show of support for evicted Palestinians near homes in annexed east Jerusalem often inspire scorn from fellow Israelis. “They want to show solidarity but they do it for the wrong reasons,” said a 34-year-old man who sells lottery tickets from a kiosk in west Jerusalem, giving his name only as Mickey. “They go to sit at the coffeeshops with the Arabs because it’s a few shekels cheaper over there,” he added derisively. Hundreds of Israelis gather each Friday in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of mainly Arab east Jerusalem to protest against the eviction of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers armed with court orders. Mickey, who wears a stud in one ear and describes himself as “leftwing but not radical like them,” pointed out that there are no similar protests staged against Israeli Arabs buying properties in mostly Jewish cities. “If they bought the land legally, they can live on it, it doesn’t matter if they are Arab or Jew, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. With Jerusalem now a hot button issue in the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a cross-section of a polarized Israeli society including rabbis, university professors and youths turn up for the protests. “This makes a difference for us, this enthusiasm and energy after so many years of the left being paralyzed,” prominent novelist David Grossman told AFP at last Friday’s gathering of some 300 people. He said to the crowd over loudspeaker: “Human rights are not only the concern of the leftwing but of all Israelis.” To the beat of drums and dancing, as a passing car blew its horn, the demonstrators, including two clowns in army uniform, chanted: “Sheikh Jarrah don’t be afraid, the occupation will end.” On sale were T-shirts, in Hebrew, which read: “There is No Holiness in Occupation,” referring to the disputed status of the Holy City, whose eastern sector the Palestinians want as the capital of their promised future state. Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed it in a move not recognized by any other government. It views all of Jerusalem as its “eternal, undivided” capital. Earlier, dozens of the more high-profile activists huddled for a debate in the courtyard of Nabil Al-Kurd, 65, whose family has been evicted from the home he built in 2000, drinking cups of his thick, black Arabic coffee. “It’s not legal for me, it’s legal

for them,” said Kurd, a former civil servant in Kuwait and Jordan, pointing to a cluster of ultra-Orthodox Jewish youths in front of the home which an Israeli court has ordered him to demolish. Over the screams of children playing on swings, he explained that, like many other Palestinians, he had tried but failed to secure an Israeli building permit for the white stone, one-storey building with barricaded windows. “Palestine you are not alone, Scotland supports Palestine,” reads the graffiti on the wall, apparently to show the extent of support. But one of the settlers, Hanuch Shachar, 21, insists the district should be known as Shimon Hatsadik (Simon the Just) after a renowned Jewish priest, a picture of whose millennia-old tomb in the area he showed on an iPhone. The settlers claim ownership of properties in Sheikh Jarrah on the basis of Ottomanera documents. The Palestinians and their Israeli supporters have argued that the same kinds of documents would prove ownership of vast swathes of what is now Israel by the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who became refugees after the 1948 Middle East war that attended Israel’s creation. “The Arabs are just making their own lives even more difficult, and these people are just encouraging them,” Shachar said, referring to his fellow Israelis at the demonstration. The protests often inspire counter-demonstrations by ultra-Orthodox Jews and Jewish settlers, with both sides scuffling with Israeli police backed up by border guards. Several activists have been briefly detained in recent months. Avner Inbar, a regular participant, remains undeterred, blaming the deadlock in US-backed peace efforts on rightwing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hammers home Israel’s official stand on Jerusalem as its indivisible capital. “While the eyes of the entire world are fixed on Jerusalem, the Netanyahu government continues to collaborate with a handful of fanatical settlers trying to ... quash a peace agreement with the Palestinians,” he told the Jerusalem Post. The red-headed activist condemned the modus operandi of the settlers. They place “thugs” in the neighborhood to abuse the locals, “then they turn to the courts and ask to have the Palestinians removed from their homes on the pretext that they are disturbing their Jewish neighbors,” he said. — AFP

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Yemen not going after radical US-born cleric Al-Awlaki on CIA’s list of targets to be killed or captured SAN’A: Yemeni forces are not going after a radical US-born cleric who has reportedly been added to the CIA’s list of targets to be killed or captured, the foreign minister said Saturday. The United States has not handed over evidence to support allegations that Anwar Al-Awlaki is recruiting for Al-Qaeda’s offshoot in the impoverished country on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the minister said. The Obama administration has authorized his killing because it believes he has shifted from encouraging attacks on the US to participating in them, The New York Times reported earlier this week. Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi said Saturday that AlAwlaki is not a terrorist and is not on Yemen’s own wanted list. Yemeni security officials believe he is hiding in an area of the mountainous country that has become a refuge for Islamic militants. “Anwar Al-Awlaki has to us been always looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn’t be looked at as a

terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism,” Al-Qirbi said. Al-Awlaki, a US citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, came to the attention of US officials after being linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, as well as Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, the US Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in November at Fort Hood, Texas. He has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims around the world to kill US troops in Iraq. Yemen has appeared to target Al-Awlaki in the recent past. On Dec. 24, Yemeni warplanes, using US intelligence help, struck a meeting of senior Al-Qaeda figures that Al-Awlaki was also believed to be attending. Thirty militants were killed, according to the government, but the cleric and the Al-Qaeda offshoot’s top leaders are

This SITE Intelligence Group handout photo shows Anwar Al-Awlaki, a former US resident living in Yemen and accused Al-Qaeda supporter. — AFP

thought to have left the meeting hours before the strike. In January, two prominent sheiks from the cleric’s powerful Awalik tribe told The Associated Press that the Yemeni government was negotiating with tribal leaders to try to persuade them to hand AlAwlaki over to authorities. The foreign minister said Saturday that Yemeni authorities had no contacts with Al-Awlaki. Under US pressure and with the help of American aid, training and intelligence, Yemen’s government has battled the AlQaeda militants who have established a base of operations in the country in the past year. But the weak government’s control barely extends beyond the capital, and the militants have found shelter among powerful and sympathetic tribes who are hostile to the government. The cleric’s family and many members of his powerful Awalik tribe deny the 38-year-old is a member of Al-Qaeda, depicting him as a victim of Yemeni and US persecution. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Hungarians expected to oust Socialists in polls BUDAPEST: Hungary voted yesterday in an election that is expected to usher in a centre-right Fidesz government promising growth and jobs after eight years of Socialist rule and the country’s near financial collapse. Fidesz, which last ruled between 1998 and 2002, has campaigned on cutting taxes, creating jobs and supporting local businesses to give a boost to Hungary’s economy which was pounded by a deep economic recession last year. The last opinion polls showed Fidesz had a good chance of winning a two-thirds majority in the next par-

liament, meaning it could push through structural reforms, and that the far-right Jobbik party would get into parliament for the first time. The Socialist government led by technocrat Gordon Bajnai since April 2009 made painful budget cuts to rein in the deficit under a deal led by the International Monetary Fund, which provided emergency financing for Hungary amid a crisis in 2008. The budget cuts have helped stabilize Hungary’s finances and regain investors’ confidence but exacerbated the recession, and opinion polls showed ahead of yesterday’s vote

Hungarians want growth, jobs, fresh start for economy that Hungarians were overwhelmingly in favor of a change in government. “I voted for Fidesz, because to fix the country we need the clearest possible backing for the next government,” said Ilona Glazer, 72, after casting her vote in Budapest. “We need to fix the economy most of all, and health care as well, but there is a lot to make right in people’s souls, too. With tasks this big, it’s good to have a strong leadership.” But there were voters who believed

Hungary needed a left-wing party in parliament, even though the elections were expected to transform the political landscape. “I voted for the Socialists, but I only made up my mind in the last minute. Their corruption and scandals kept me hesitating, but ultimately I thought they would lose big time now, so it’s important to have some sort of Socialist group in Parliament,” said Piroska Szabo, 47, a kindergarten teacher. “Not because these

guys deserve it, but because 4 or 8 years down the line, we will need a viable left-wing alternative again.” Voter turnout at 0900 GMT was 24.78 percent, lower than 27.23 percent recorded at the same time four years ago. Reforms in focus There are some 8 million voters in the central European country. The parliamentary election is held in two rounds, the first yesterday and the second on April 25. The country’s

economy contracted by 6.3 percent last year, while unemployment is running at 11.4 percent-the highest since 1994 — which has further increased public discontent over the past Socialist governments’ spending cuts and tax hikes. Economists say Fidesz will need to implement deep reforms to reduce the local government sector and make the health care and education systems more efficient to put Hungary back on a track of sustainable and strong economic growth. “Two thirds (win by Fidesz) would be very good for the market as the per-

ception is that not only the reform of (public) administration hinges on that, but also the reforms in a range of other fields, the reform of the state,” Gabor Orban analyst at Aegon Securities said. However, analysts also said significant gains by far-right Jobbik at the elections could create unease among investors. Nationalist Jobbik, which has capitalised on public anger over economic hardship and a growing resentment towards a large Roma minority, may end up as the second biggest parliamentary force, some political analysts have said. — Reuters

Kyrgyz president defiant, opposition mulls arrest Says any attempt to kill him will lead to bloodshed JALALABAD REGION/BISHKEK: Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, ousted in an uprising last week, told Reuters yesterday he would not resign and that any attempt to kill him would “drown Kyrgyzstan in blood”. The leader of the new interim government, meanwhile, said Bakiyev could be put on trial for

responsibility for the killings of at least 81 people during the rebellion against him. The April 7 revolt in the Central Asian nation, where the United States operates an important military base, forced Bakiyev to flee to his southern home region, locking him in a standoff with the self-proclaimed government in Bishkek.

BISHEK: Two Kyrgyz young women react outside the government building yesterday. The number of dead during the unrest, while thousands of protestors clashed with police across the country, grew to 81 yesterday, the Kyrgyz health ministry said in a statement, after two more people died of their wounds overnight. —AP

Homosexual link to Terre’blanche murder probed JOHANNESBURG: South African police are investigating whether there was a link between homosexual sex and the murder of white supremacist Eugene Terre’blanche, police said yesterday. The lawyer for one of the two black farm workers charged with the killing that heightened racial tensions was quoted as saying that Terre’blanche was killed after trying to have sex with at least one of the defendants. A police spokesman confirmed that was among possibilities being investigated. Police had earlier said a pay dispute had led to the killing of Terre’blanche, on the political margins since his efforts to preserve apartheid in the early 1990s. “We are not going to focus on one thing,” said Musa Zondi of the Hawks investigative unit, adding that a sexual link was among the many accusations being made over the case.

“We will investigate all pertinent facts that have a bearing on the matter,” he said. General Jan Mabula, head of the Hawks in the North West Province, told City Press newspaper the suspects’ clothes were to be examined as part of checks into whether there was a sexual link. Zondi did not comment on that. Terre’blanche was hacked and battered to death on April 3 and found with his trousers pulled down after a murder that has showed up the racial strains in the “Rainbow Nation”. “My instructions from my client are that there was some sodomy going on and it sparked the murder of Mr Terre’blanche,” Puna Moroko, attorney for 28-year-old Chris Mahlangu, told the Sunday Times newspaper. The other accused is 15. Terre’blanche’s Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) has rejected any suggestion of a homosexual link to the murder of

its leader, who was one of the most vocal proponents of keeping South Africa’s races apart. Terre’blanche was a prominent figure during the dying years of white minority rule with his khaki-clad paramilitary followers wearing armbands with the party symbol that resembles the Nazi swastika. But he had since lived in relative obscurity, particularly since his release in 2004 after serving a prison sentence for beating a black man nearly to death. Thousands of followers of Terre���blanche in angry mood brandished apartheid-era flags and sang the old South African anthem at his funeral on Friday in his home town of Ventersdorp, 100 km (60 miles) west of Johannesburg. Although political analysts do not expect major unrest, the killing showed up the racial strains in South Africa 16 years after apartheid ended. —Reuters

Silence across Poland for tragic air crash WARSAW: Solemnly standing to attention as sirens wailed, Poles fell silent across the country yesterday as they mourned President Lech Kaczynski and top officials killed in a fiery air crash in Russia. Thousands of people observed the two minutes of silence outside the presidential palace in central Warsaw, in front of a sea of candles and flowers left by griefstricken residents at a mass vigil overnight. Motorists stopped their cars in the capital’s wide boulevards and got out of their vehicles as emergency sirens blared at the stroke of noon, while black-edged television pictures showed people deep in reflection. Earlier on a fog-shrouded morning that eerily echoed the weather conditions in which Kaczynski’s plane came down Saturday, people flocked to churches in towns and cities across the devoutly Roman Catholic nation. “This is yet one more national tragedy in our history. We Poles have had many. The loss of human life is hard to bear but we will cope,” Zofia Szymczyk, 70, told AFP as she arrived for mass at central Warsaw’s Church of the Saviour. But the retired engineer said she was heartened by the international wave of sympathy, especial-

ly in Russia, which has had historically tense relations with Poland. “They’ve declared a day of mourning for us-it’s a very moving, human reaction,” she said. Russia, the European Union, the Czech Republic and Ukraine have all announced national days of mourning while the Brazilian gov-

ernment has declared three days.At the Church of the Saviour yesterday, the faithful had flanked the entrance with flowers and candles for the Kaczynskis and the 94 other Polish dignitaries who perished, including most of the military’s top brass. Pawel Zak questioned the wis-

dom of so many key figures travelling together in an ageing Russian-built aircraft. “How could they have allowed all these people-the president, all the military chiefs of staff, the central bank governor-to fly together in an old plane? It was a tragic mistake,” said Zak, 45. — AFP

WARSAW: People place candles and lay flowers in front of the Presidential Palace. —AP

Citing security concerns, Washington has stopped troops flying to Afghanistan via the air base outside the capital. Speaking in a traditional “yurt” tent in Jalalabad region, Bakiyev, 60, told Reuters he did not recognize the legitimacy of the interim government but was prepared for talks. “I would like to warn those who are now hunting for me: don’t be contract killers, because this will only bring huge tragedy to the country,” he said. “We will drown (Kyrgyzstan) in blood if they opt for physical elimination. If they use force, then those people surrounding me will not let it happen, and this will mean bloodshed.” A mountainous Muslim nation bordering China, Kyrgyzstan’s $4.7 billion economy has attracted little foreign investment since winning independence from the Soviet Union, but the United States and Russia are jostling for influence in Central Asia. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by phone on Saturday with interim government head Roza Otunbayeva, in the first high-level US contact with the new leadership. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to recognize Otunbayeva’s authority, holding a phone conversation just hours after the opposition took power. Once a key Bakiyev ally who helped propel him to power in an earlier revolution in 2005, Otunbayeva told Reuters in an interview she would not use force against Bakiyev but spoke of arresting him to put him on trial for the deaths. “Bakiyev has to understand that he is stuck in a deadlock,” Otunbayeva said yesterday. “When he is arrested then ... it will be possible to carry out an investigation and question him within the framework of law.” She added: “What he did calls for a serious trial”. Otunbayeva has accused Bakiyev’s supporters of stoking violence in the aftermath of the uprising. Violence The self-proclaimed government has said Russia is its key ally and some leading ministers have said the US lease on the base could be shortened, raising speculation that Moscow could try to use the base as a lever in relations with Washington. Pentagon officials say the Manas air base is key to the war against the Taliban, allowing round-theclock flights in and out of Afghanistan. Some 50,000 troops passed through it last month. In the call with Clinton, Otunbayeva pledged to honour agreements on the Manas base. During the night of April 7-8, troops loyal to Bakiyev shot into crowds of thousands of protesters besieging the presidential White House, killing dozens. Many protesters, armed with weapons seized from Bakiyev’s security forces, fought back, and witnesses said some people may have been killed in the ensuing crossfire, witnesses said. Bakiyev said he had not ordered the shootings of protesters and that his troops had retaliated immediately after a sniper shot at him in his office in the presidential White House. “I have not fled (the country) because, first of all, I do not feel any guilt,” he said. He added, however, that he felt regret as president for being unable to prevent the deaths. “I invite an independent, international commission to investigate these tragic events of April 7-8, because there cannot be any trust in all these investigative bodies that have launched criminal proceedings against me.” — Reuters

JUBA: A Sudanese voter dips his index finger in ink before casting his votes at a polling station yesterday. —AFP

‘We need peace oh Lord,’ says churchwoman as Sudanese vote JUBA: The joyous hymns that rang out in the suffocating tropical heat of Juba gave way to heavy silence as a churchwoman took the stand. “There are many things that anger us. What we need, oh Lord, is peace,” Gemma Hellen Pita told the gathering of several hundred people assembled in a large garden in the south Sudan capital late Saturday afternoon. Still haunted by two decades of civil war with the Muslim north that killed two million people and displaced double that number, the Christians of Juba prepared to vote with trepidation in the country’s first multi-party elections since 1986. South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir, a former rebel commander, tried to reassure south Sudanese on the eve of the elections. “The elections will take place in a peaceful atmosphere,” he said in a statement. Kiir, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, led the way yesterday, becoming the first to cast his ballot at a polling station near his office under the watchful eye of international observers. Raising his index finger to show the ink, the leader of the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement spent at least 20 minutes voting. “I have voted and there was no problem. I’ve never voted in my life. I hope it will be the formation for a democratic process in south Sudan,” a smiling Kiir told reporters. Despite Kiir’s reassurances, people are afraid, said Pita, who leads Sudan’s council of churches. Accustomed to war and exile, many in south Sudan have never voted in elections.

“Sudan is known for the war. We must place ourselves under the protection of the Lord,” said Pita, herself a former exile who returned to the south after the 2005 agreement that ended the civil war. One of the men in Saturday’s gathering, Peter Lasu Ladu with the Church of Christ, expressed mixed feelings about the vote as a choir of young Muslim women joined the ecumenical gathering. “There is a risk” of violence, he said, but added: “I am 42 years old, this will my first time. I am very excited.” Some of the results appear to be settled. President Omar al-Beshir, who took power in a military coup in 1989, is expected to stay in his post after several opposition candidates withdrew from the presidential race, saying it was rigged. But many seats in the parliamentary and regional elections will be hotly contested. More than 16 million registered voters were asked to vote in over 10,700 polling stations for their president as well as legislative and local representatives. In the south, Kiir, leader of the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is running against former foreign minister Lam Akol for the leadership of the semi-autonomous government. A young woman at the gathering in Juba balanced a toddler in her lap said she felt obliged to cast her ballot. “It’s my responsibility to vote,” said Stella Rudolph Kondo. She said she had already decided who she was going to vote for but came to the gathering, which was called by the council of churches, to ask for God’s help. “The elected people must be placed between the hands of God,” she said. — AFP

Big week in British polls as leaders face TV debates LONDON: Britain’s too close to call general election is set to come alive this week after a lackluster start, with the three main party leaders going head-to-head in a TV debate and launching their manifestos. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Labor will face Conservative David Cameron, whose party is ahead in opinion polls, and Nick Clegg of the third party Liberal Democrats on Thursday in a one-hour live debate, the first of three. The US-style debates, first of their kind ever to be held in Britain, could make or break the election hopes of each man and particularly Cameron, who is tipped to turn in the strongest performance. “David Cameron will enter the television studios on Thursday with the weight of expectations on his shoulder,” John Curtice, a leading politics expert from Strathclyde University, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. “The Tory leader might need to be seen to have won if he is to achieve his ambition of winning an overall majority”. Opinion polls in yesterday’s papers again suggested the race was too close to call, with three-and-a-half weeks to go until polling day. Although most show the Tories leading Labor by around eight points, that may still not be enough to give Cameron’s party an overall majority. Britain could instead end up with a hung parliament.

The Tories have mostly been ahead of Labor since Brown took over from Tony Blair in 2007 but the gap has narrowed after Britain emerged from recession at the end of last year, promising one of the tightest races in decades. The week kicks off with Labor’s manifesto launch and the formal dissolution of parliament Monday, marking the start of the campaign in earnest. With the country’s finances tight, Labor’s “ambitious but affordable” manifesto will contain no big spending announcements, the centre-left party said. Brown is missing a nuclear security summit in Washington today and tomorrow because he will be out on the campaign trail, although Foreign Secretary David Miliband will attend instead. Meanwhile, the centre-right Conservatives launch their manifesto tomorrow, when Cameron is reportedly set to urge Britons to “join together, act decisively and move forward with optimism”. Cameron pledged to unite the country behind him if elected and govern on behalf of “everyone in Britain” in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. “This election is still very much winnable,” he added. “It is quite possible to win an overall majority. That’s what we’re aiming for, what we’re shooting for.” He added that “five more years of Gordon Brown” would make Britain a “very gloomy and depressing place”. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, April 12, 2010

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‘I’ve made mistakes,’ admits Republican national chairman Steele makes first public appearance over questionable spending

WASHINGTON: In this 1984 file photo, Ambassador Harry Shlaudeman (right) special envoy to Central America, meets with President Reagan in the Oval Office of the White House. —AP

Cable ties Kissinger to Chile controversy WASHINGTON: As secretary of state, Henry Kissinger canceled a US warning against carrying out international political assassinations that was to have gone to Chile and two neighboring nations just days before a former ambassador was killed by Chilean agents on Washington’s Embassy Row in 1976, a newly released State Department cable shows. Whether Kissinger played a role in blocking the delivery of the warning against assassination to the governments of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay has long been a topic of controversy. Discovered in recent weeks by the National Security Archive, a non-profit research organization, the Sept 16, 1976 cable is among tens of thousands of declassified State Department documents recently made available to the public. In 1976, the South American nations of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay were engaged in a program of repression code-named Operation Condor that targeted those governments’ political opponents throughout Latin America, Europe and even the United States. Based on information from the CIA, the US State Department became concerned that Condor included plans for political assassinations around the world. The State Department drafted a plan to deliver a stern message to the three governments not to engage in such murders. In the Sept 16, 1976 cable, the topic of one paragraph is listed as “Operation Condor,” preceded by the words “(KISSINGER, HENRY A) SUBJECT: ACTIONS TAKEN.” The cable states that “secretary declined to approve message to Montevideo” Uruguay “and has instructed that no further action be taken on this matter.” “The Sept 16 cable is the missing piece of the historical puzzle on Kissinger’s role in the action, and inaction, of the US government after learning of Condor assassination plots,” Peter Kornbluh, the National Security Archive’s senior analyst on Chile, said Saturday. Kornbluh is the author of “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.” Jessica LePorin, a spokeswoman for Kissinger, says that the former secretary of state dealt many years ago with questions concerning the cancellation of the warnings to the South American governments and had no further comment on the matter.

Kissinger has dealt with the issue indirectly. Writing in defense of Kissinger in 2004 when the issue arose, William D Rogers, Kissinger’s former assistant secretary of state, said Kissinger “had nothing to do with” a Sept 20, 1976 cable instructing that the warnings to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay be canceled. Rogers died in 2007. “You can instruct” the US ambassadors “to take no further action” on the subject of Operation Condor, said the Sept 20 cable by Harry Shlaudeman, assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs, to Shlaudeman’s deputy. The next day, on Sept 21, 1976, agents of Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet planted a car bomb and exploded it on a Washington, DC, street, killing both former Ambassador Orlando Letelier, and an American colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Letelier was one of the most outspoken critics of the Pinochet government. Nearly a month before the blast, the State Department seemed intent on delivering a strong message to the governments engaged in Operation Condor. An Aug 23, 1976 State Department cable instructs the US embassies in the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay to “seek appointment as soon as possible with highest appropriate official, preferably the chief of state.” The message that was to be conveyed: the US government knows that Operation Condor may “include plans for the assassination of subversives, politicians and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain ... countries and abroad.” “What we are trying to head off is a series of international murders that could do serious damage to the international status and reputation of the countries involved,” Shlaudeman wrote in a memo to Kissinger dated Aug 30, 1976. That memo is referenced in the newly disclosed Sept 16, 1976 cable containing Kissinger’s name. Concerns among the ambassadors may have led to cancellation of the planned warning. In the Aug 30, 1976 memo, Shlaudeman discussed a possibility that the US ambassador in Uruguay might be endangered by delivering a warning against assassination. The US ambassador to Chile said that Pinochet might take as an insult any inference that he was connected with assassination plots. —AP

Brazil searches for dead, for answers as flood toll climbs NITEROI: Rescuers raced against time Saturday amid fading hopes of finding survivors of a huge mudslide, with over 400 people now feared dead in some of the worst flooding to swamp Brazil in decades. Rescuers painstakingly pulled bodies from the thick mound of dirt and debris in the Niteroi shantytown of Morro do Bumba late Friday and Saturday, bringing the death toll to 223. Another 200 people were feared to have been buried alive in the slum, itself precariously perched atop a garbage dump in this city just east of Rio de Janeiro. Some 60 hours after the heaviest rains in half a century unleashed floods and mudslides, rescue workers still were far from having finished the work of recovering bodies from beneath tons of rocks, rubble and earth. The floods tore through the metropolitan area’s precarious hillside slums, or favelas. Niteroi was hardest hit, with at least 141 dead, according to the civil defense authorities. Across the bay, another 63 were found in Rio de Janeiro. The heavy rain forced some 50,000 people to leave their homes, officials said, either because their homes were damaged or because they were ordered to leave due to fear of fresh landslides. Geologist Marcelo Motta, who participated in an investigation of the mudslide, told Globo News television that two cracks in the rocky soil made the mound move and pushed down the hill a huge amount of trash saturated with water that had trapped methane gas. Focus quickly turned on responsibility for the huge death toll and damage. Experts blamed government

“complacency” for allowing the country’s poorest to build housing haphazardly in areas at risk of natural disasters, such as on the sides of steep hills. Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral, who briefly visited Morro do Bumba late Friday, laid blame on “all of society.” “I was criticized in some favelas when I got walls built to prevent them from expanding. In Rocinha, the state compensated 300 families (for relocation). But demagogues criticized us, and sometimes rabble-rousing can be deadly.” Cabral, who called for “strict measures to withdraw” from areas at risk, said he asked the Brazilian military to help in rescue efforts. Another favela also was now reportedly at risk-Morro do Ceu (Heaven Hill) — which could soon be evacuated, local media said. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has adopted a decree to remove “by force,” with the help of police, people living in areas at risk. Firefighters working at the site since Wednesday, however, said there was little chance of finding new survivors after part of the hillside fell away and swallowed everything in its path, including 50 houses, a day-care center and a pizzeria. A handful of people were rescued from the mud in the few hours after the landslide. Cristiane Oliveira, 27, saved her daughters from the mudslide but lost her mother, uncles and cousins and still waited to see their bodies emerge from the piles of earth. “I look and I think, ‘Everyone is under there.’ It’s really sad,” Oliveira told AFP. Labor Minister Carlos Lupi said a 30-year credit line of 567 million dollars, with a three-percent interest rate,

was set up to seed construction of public housing. The federal government released 113 million dollars in aid for municipalities in Rio state affected by the floods and mudslides, Cabral said. After five days of rains, aggravated by numerous floods in the region, the sun was shining Saturday in Rio. —AFP

NEW ORLEANS: In damage control mode, Republican national chairman Conference was Steele’s first public appearance since the disclosure of quesMichael Steele on Saturday sought to quell the furor over his management of tionable spending - including a $2,000 tab at a sex-themed California night the Republican National Committee by acknowledging errors and vowing to club - resulted in top advisers cutting ties with him and North Carolina’s state learn from them. Saturday’s speech to the Southern Republican Leadership party chief calling for his resignation. Don’t worry about 2012 ... We can’t “I’m the first here to admit that wait until 2012 to start taking our I’ve made mistakes and it’s been country back,” Barbour told the incumbent on me to take responsibilcrowd. Despite that message, he ity to shoulder that burden, make the sounded every bit the presidential necessary changes and move on,” candidate and spoke after running a Steele told Republican activists and slick video that promoted his role as party leaders, drawing a standing the chairman of the Republican ovation. Governors Association. Outspoken and brassy, Steele is Barbour also urged unity as the not a traditional buttoned-down GOP Republican Party wrestles with what chairman and he’s been a target of to do about Steele and as the tea parcriticism since he was elected last ty’s emergence highlights divisions year. The complaints reached a fever among Republicans. “The wind is at pitch over the past week, causing our back. How are we going to make both embarrassment and distraction sure it continues to fill up our sails?” for a Republican Party looking to take Barbour said. “We stick together.” advantage of a troubling political He said Republicans should focus on environment for Democrats ahead of the 80 percent of issues that unite this fall’s midterm elections. “The them, not the 20 percent that may one mistake we cannot make this divide them. “We’ve got to let the November is to lose,” he said as the things that unite us be the things that crowd cheered in agreement. guide us,” he said. “We cannot let Normally a bombastic showman, ourselves by torn apart by the idea of Steele struck a contrite tone before purity.” the supportive audience in the halfEarlier, former Sen Rick full hotel ballroom. He did not Santorum, who is looking for a politiaddress the specific complaints. And cal comeback, took on the Republican even though he acknowledged his Party, saying that when Republicans errors, he also blamed others. controlled Congress and the White “We can’t coast into the majority, House before Democrats won connor can we assume it’s a sure thing. trol: “We let America down.” The liberal media are looking for any “Conservatism didn’t fail America, possible alternative narrative to tell,” conservatives failed conservatism,” Steele said. “They are looking for Santorum said, prompting huge those distractions, and Lord knows cheers. “Let’s be honest: we were I’ve provided a few.” He added: “The guilty of more government when we Democrats also know that they have were there.” Seeking to raise his some explaining to do, and they’d national profile, Indiana Rep Mike love nothing more than for us to keep Pence - a darling of the party’s right pointing fingers.” Still, for all the flank - introduced himself as “a angst in the GOP over Steele, it’s Christian, a conservative and a unlikely he will be fired. Ousting a Republican.” And, eying another run chairman is a complicated, messy after his 2008 failed bid, Rep. Ron process that requires votes of twoPaul told activists that “the American thirds of the 168-member RNC. And, people have awoken” because while there are both hard-core Steele Washington won’t address the opponents and fierce Steele allies, nation’s fiscal crisis. several Republican officials at the Still, for all the appearances by New Orleans conference said that likely 2012 candidates and excitemost committee members and party NEW ORLEANS: Republican National Committee chairman ment over the midterms, the RNC’s chairman simply seem to want to move on from the controversy so Michael Steele speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership woes hovered over event. “In life, you realize very quickly that you Republicans can focus on November. Conference, Saturday, April 10, 2010. —AP can’t please everyone. But you can Attended by roughly 3,000 Republican activists and party lead- the results were hardly predictive by a single vote over Texas Rep Ron certainly make them all made at you ers, the three-day conference and meant little. Many Republicans Paul, former Alaska Gov Sarah Palin at the same time,” Steele said. “And wrapped up Saturday with speeches considering a bid were left off the list and former House Speaker Newt that is a lesson well-learned. It is an opportunity as well. Because folks by prominent Republicans consider- while others like Mississippi Gov Gingrich. Those who gave speeches down- have been mad at us in the past and ing running for president in 2012 Haley Barbour asked that their not be included. played talk of the next presidential we have learned from that past, and against President Barack Obama. names Conference attendees voted in a Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney election. “We have got to stay we are now ready to move on to a “straw poll” for their top 2012 choice; didn’t attend the conference but won focused on the election of 2010. brighter future.” —AP

Nuclear twist: When Russia’s old warheads warm US houses WASHINGTON: In a strange twist of Cold War enmity on the melt, uranium from what once were Russian nuclear warheads is used to heat and light American homes, thanks to the Megatons to Megawatts Program-a successful example of nuclear non-proliferation. The 20-year agreement was signed back in 1994 between Russia and the United States. “Megatons to Megawatts is the most successful non-proliferation program in history,” argues Philip Sewell, senior vicepresident at USEC, a private US company that runs the agreement that turns highly enriched uranium into lightly enriched uranium. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, the administration of

George H W Bush started negotiating how to get rid of stocks of nuclear arms dismantled in the former Soviet Union. In 1994, the United States and Russia cut a practical-minded deal to turn 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium, the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads, into weakly enriched uranium that could be used in US nuclear power plants. The deal so far has made it possible to reprocess 15,000 nuclear warheads stockpiled in the Russian federation, Ukraine and Kazakhstan between 1950-1987. When it expires in 2013, the program will have handled 20,000 nuclear warheads, and supplied the United States with about 10 percent of its annual power use, or half of

its nuclear energy. It is no small contribution to cleaning up weaponry, and “this material represents the equivalent amount of energy, or of electricity that would power the world for about six months, the United States for about two years, and France for 15 years,” Sewell explains. And USEC, which does two billion dollars in business annually with 3,200 employees in the uranium enrichment industry, acknowledges making a “small profit” along the way. Over two decades, the operation will have had a total budget of eight billion dollars and will have sent back about 500 million dollars to the Russians, Sewell said. The US company pays for the uranium

to be treated, which is done in Siberia, and the long 1.5 tonne cylinders turned back into fuel are shipped by boat from St. Petersburg to Kentucky where USEC has its conversion facility. USEC then supplies the specially prepared fuel to operators of the 104 US nuclear reactors. With an international summit on nuclear security looming for today and tomorrow in Washington, Sewell is hopeful that the program will get a new lease on life. “Whatever happens, we are fully prepared to support any continuation of the program,” he said. As a counterpoint, he noted that only 700 nuclear warheads are expected to be destroyed under the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) signed Friday in Prague. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Indonesian police arrest 6 suspected terrorists MEDAN: Indonesian police arrested six men yesterday with suspected ties to a new terror group based in the western province of Aceh, including one believed to have been involved in a 2004 bomb attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, police said. The six were arrested in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, after police spotted a sus-

picious vehicle parked near a city landmark in the pre-dawn hours with several men inside, said provincial police chief Maj Gen Oegroseno. The men fled on foot as police attempted to search the van, but one suspect was found inside with signs of a previous gunshot wound to his hand, said Oegroseno, who

like many Indonesians uses only a single name. That man is believed to be 35-year-old Abu Musa, a suspect in the embassy attack who was wounded in his hand during a firefight with police in Aceh last month, said a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Four were later arrested in

raids on several locations near the vehicle’s location, and a sixth was found hiding in a mosque, Oegroseno said. Police were still looking for two others. The other police source said all six were on the government’s militant watchlist. “They were taken into custody for further investigation by counterterrorism police,” said

Oegroseno. “An investigation is still going on to determine if they are part of the terror group in Aceh.” That group calls itself alQaida in Aceh, and police say it is a splinter of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian offshoot of alQaida blamed for deadly bombings in Indonesia in recent years. Police in February raided a training camp

it had set up in a remote part of Aceh, a province about 55 miles (90 kilometers) from Medan that has long been at the heart of a separatist struggle. Police have since killed seven alleged militants in raids in Aceh and on the main Indonesian island of Java. More than 30 others have been arrested. The greatest prize for authori-

ties so far has been Dulmatin, a master bomb maker who was shot dead last month near the capital, Jakarta. He had been wanted for making and priming one of the bombs that killed 202 people in a nightclub strip on Indonesia’s Bali island in 2002 and had been assumed to be hiding in the southern Philippines. —AP

Australian officials seek to protect reef Transport Minister vows to ‘throw book’ at those responsible

QUEENSLAND: This handout photo released by the Queensland Government shows a small amount of oil leaking from the Chinese coal carrier the Shen Neng 1 after the vessel ran aground near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. —AFP

Tourists shaken as bloodshed erupts in Bangkok BANGKOK: “People started running and screaming. We were being shot at,” says 19-year-old Briton Sarah Colvin, one of the many foreign tourists caught up in the political violence sweeping Bangkok. “It shook us up a lot. We needed valium to sleep,” she says, surveying the aftermath of Saturday’s bloody battles just by Khaosan Road, Bangkok’s iconic backpacker strip. “A lot of people we’ve spoken to are getting out of here.” Clashes between anti-government “Red Shirts” and security forces, which left 20 people dead and over 800 injured in the Thai capital, have delivered another severe blow to the country’s vital tourism industry. “I won’t be coming back to Bangkok. Maybe the islands, but not Bangkok. I’m going to leave tonight. Yesterday was really scary,” said Flavia Kupka, 32, a waitress from New Zealand on her first visit to the “Land of Smiles”. The Southeast Asian nation has been beset by repeated demonstrations by rival red- and yellow-clad protest groups, hitting an economy that sank into recession last year for the first time since 2000 amid a severe global economic crisis. One of the most economically damaging protests in late 2008 saw the pro-establishment Yellow

Shirts blockade Bangkok’s two airports for nine days, stranding hordes of angry travellers. But Saturday’s violence, which followed almost a month of rallies by the Reds, was the country’s worst for 18 years and shook visitors as it spread into normally touristfriendly Khaosan Road. “There were bullets coming all over us. Bombs as well, petrol bombs within about 10 feet of us,” said factory worker Tony Doohan from Ireland, standing by debris and pools of blood covered with Thai flags and red roses. “I saw Red Shirts with a gun they must have stolen off the cops. They all had sticks and were throwing glass bottles... anything they could find really,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s a bad time to be here.” Retail and tourism sectors have taken a battering by the Reds’ weeks of protestsespecially since they took over Bangkok’s main commercial hub on April 3, disrupting traffic and causing major shopping centres to close. The Thai Retailers Association said Thursday-a day after a state of emergency was declared-that the protesters’ occupation of that district had caused more than one billion baht (about 31 million dollars) in losses. Further west at the Dang Derm Hotel

on Khaosan Road, receptionist Jaringa Jaiya said Sunday that fearful guests had begun checking out after the violence intensified. “Sure it will be bad for business. I think visitors will be shocked that this happened in Thailand. People want to get out of Bangkok,” she said. April is the month of Songkran, a water festival for the Thai New Year, and usually attracts thousands of tourists. Bookings were already down this year, and now the celebrations are reported to have been cancelled in Khaosan. Hong Kong was one of the countries to step up warnings over the city late Saturday, raising its travel alert for Bangkok to the highest level of “black” meaning that travelers’ safety would be under “severe threat”. But not all visitors were deterred from a return trip to the kingdom, famous for its paradise beaches, fiery cuisine and glittering temples. “We were told they didn’t want to hurt tourists because they live off tourism. It was scary but it wouldn’t put us off coming again,” said Danish backpacker Charlotte Stage, 19. “Both the Reds and the army were really nice to us,” added French tourist Eva Minassian. “They were actually protecting us-both sides-so I don’t think we’re very much in danger”. —AFP

BANGKOK: A “Red Shirt” protester poses for a photograph on top of an armored vehicle stranded on the street after overnight clashes between the army and red-shirt anti-government protesters yesterday. —AFP

SYDNEY: Australia yesterday said a Chinese ship that crashed and leaked oil at the Great Barrier Reef took an illegal route, vowing to “throw the book” at those to blame for the near environmental catastrophe. Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Shen Neng 1, which remains stuck after grounding last Saturday, broke the law after veering 15 nautical miles (30 kilometers) from the shipping lane. “It is quite clear this vessel went on a course that was unlawful,” Albanese told reporters in Brisbane, after an aerial tour of the ship. “We’ll be throwing the book at those responsible.” He said Australia would also seek compensation for the smash, which leaked two tons of oil and threatened a major disaster at one of the world’s foremost and most delicate ecological sites. Workers are pumping nearly 1,000 tons of heavy fuel oil from the ship, which was carrying 68,000 tons of Australian coal to China, after using chemical dispersants to clear up the initial three-kilometer (two-mile) slick. “The Australian government will ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on those responsible,” Albanese said. “And we will also ensure... compensation is paid with regard to the cost of cleaning up.” Australian police also said three men would face charges over another bulk carrier, which strayed through the world heritagelisted marine park last week, as officials pledged to crack down on ships taking short cuts through the reef. One South Korean man and two from Vietnam are facing charges after the Panama-flagged MV Mimosa used an unidentified shipping route without asking permission. The maximum penalty is a fine of 220,000 dollars (205,000 US). “The Great Barrier Reef is an extraordinary natural wonder as well as an important economic driver for Queensland and the nation,” said Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett. “That is why we take very seriously any action which puts at risk the health or the unique values that see it afforded protection on the World Heritage List.” Albanese said work to salvage fuel from the Shen Neng 1 was progressing well and authorities would make the decision whether to refloat the stricken vessel, 230 meters (750 feet) long, as early as today. The ship’s owners have apologized for the accident and pledged to help minimize any environmental damage. Penalties for accidents such as the Shen Neng 1’s can extend to fines of 5.5 million dollars and jail terms of up to three years. Conservationists say the accident highlights the risks to Australia’s natural environment posed by booming exports to Asia which helped the country skirt the global financial crisis. In March last year, a cyclone-hit cargo ship leaked 270,000 liters (70,000 gallons) of oil off northeast Australia, and in August an oil well caught fire off the country’s north, dumping 28,000 barrels of oil into the Timor Sea. —AFP

LIUZHOU: In this photo, Lu Keqian browses his website at his home. When professors in China need to author research papers to get promoted, many turn to people like Lu. —AP

Rampant cheating hurts China’s research dreams LIUZHOU: When professors in China need to author research papers to get promoted, many turn to people like Lu Keqian. Working on his laptop in a cramped spare bedroom, the former schoolteacher ghostwrites for professors, students, government offices - anyone willing to pay his fee, typically about 300 yuan ($45). “My opinion is that writing papers for someone else is not wrong,” he said. “There will always be a time when one needs help from others. Even our great leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping needed help writing.” Ghostwriting, plagiarizing or faking results is so rampant in Chinese academia that some experts worry it could hinder China’s efforts to become a leader in science. The communist government views science as critical to China’s modernization, and the latest calls for government spending on science and technology to grow by 8 percent to 163 billion yuan ($24 billion) this year. State-run media recently exulted over reports that China publishes more papers in international journals than any except the US But not all the research stands up to scrutiny. In December, a British journal retracted 70 papers from a Chinese university, all by the same two lead scientists, saying the work had been fabricated. “Academic fraud, misconduct and ethical violations are very common in China,” said professor Rao Yi, dean of the life sciences school at Peking University in the capital. “It is a big problem.” Critics blame weak penalties and a system that bases faculty

promotions and bonuses on the number, rather than quality, of papers published. Dan BenCanaan is familiar with plagiarism. The professor has been teaching for nine years at Heilongjiang University in the northeastern city of Harbin. A colleague approached him in 2008 for a paper he wrote about the kidnapping and murder of a Jewish musician in Harbin in 1933 during the Japanese occupation. “He had the audacity to present it as his own paper at a conference that I organized,” Ben-Canaan said. “Without any shame!” In a separate case, he gave material he had written to a researcher at the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He said he was shocked to receive a book by the academic that was mostly a copy and translation of the material Ben-Canaan had provided - without any attribution. The pressure to publish has created a ghostwriting boom. Nearly 1 billion yuan (more than $145 million) was spent on academic papers in China last year, up fivefold from 2007, a study by Wuhan University professor Shen Yang showed. One company providing such a service is Lu’s, in Liuzhou, a southern industrial city. His Lu Ke Academic Center boasts a network of 20 to 30 graduate students and professors whose specialties range from computer technology to military affairs. Lu, a 58-year-old Communist Party member, is approached by clients through Internet chat programs. Most are college professors seeking promotions and students seeking help on theses. Once, 10 students from the same college

class put in a collective request for him to write their papers, he said. “Doing everything on your own, independently, should be possible in theory, but in reality it is quite difficult and one will always need some help,” Lu said. “This is how I see it. I don’t know if it is right.” Even in the business of selling research papers, there are cheats. Among the papers bought and sold in 2007, more than 70 percent were plagiarized, the Wuhan study found. Early last year, Internet users found that the deputy principal of Anhui Agricultural University had committed plagiarism in as many as 20 papers. The university removed him from his post but allowed him to continue teaching. In June, the principal of a traditional Chinese medicine university in the city of Guangzhou was accused of plagiarizing at least 40 percent of his doctoral thesis from another paper. And in March, the state-run China Youth Daily reported a 1997 medical paper had been plagiarized repeatedly over the past decade. At least 25 people from 16 organizations copied from the work, and more doctors are expected to be named as the investigation by two students using plagiarism-detecting software continues, the report said. Fang Shimin, an independent investigator of fraud, said he and his volunteers expose about a hundred cases every year, publicizing them on a Web site titled “New Threads.” “The most common ones are plagiarism and exaggerating academic achievement,” Fang said. —AP

in the news Filipino troops battle communist rebels DAVAO: Philippine troops, backed by helicopter gunships, battled communist guerrillas yesterday in a clash that killed three soldiers and three rebels in a mountainous region in the country’s south, officials said. It was the latest flareout in a 41-year communist rebellion that the underfunded military has targeted to crush by the time President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ends her term in June. The rebels have dismissed the military goal as propaganda. Villagers reported the presence of about 40 New People’s Army rebels in the outskirts of Davao City, prompting an army deployment that led to a three-hour clash, army Lt Col Cesar de Mesa said. Two soldiers were killed near the Paquibato farming district and a third was wounded and died while being flown on board a helicopter to a hospital. Three rebels died but troops failed to recover their bodies, de Mesa told The Associated Press, adding troops were hunting down the rest of the rebels in a forest. Rebel spokesman Simon Santiago said in a statement that the clash erupted after the guerrillas attacked an army infantry unit, adding an air force helicopter was damaged by rebel fire and withdrew from the battle scene. Regional military spokesman Maj Randolph Cabangbang disputed Santiago’s claims. On Saturday, the rebels killed an army officer in an ambush in nearby Compostela Valley province. The rebels attacked a rural military outpost in southern North

Cotabato’s Mlang township last month, killing a militiaman and seizing 35 assault weapons, the military said.

8 bodies recovered at China mine BEIJING: Rescuers recovered five more bodies yesterday at a flooded mine in northern China, bringing the death toll to 33 and leaving little hope of finding survivors, state media reported. Authorities continued pumping water from the pit where 115 workers were rescued last week after more than a week trapped underground. The Wangjialing mine flooded March 28 when workers digging tunnels broke into a water-filled abandoned shaft. Of the 153 miners originally trapped, five are still missing, Xinhua News Agency said. It was unlikely anyone could survive nearly two weeks underground. No signs of life have been detected since the dramatic rescues on April 5. The miners who survived ate sawdust, tree bark, paper and even coal, and some strapped themselves to shaft walls with their belts to avoid drowning. A preliminary investigation found the mine’s managers ignored water leaks before the accident. China’s mining industry is the world’s deadliest, where accidents killed 2,631 coal miners last year. That’s down from 6,995 deaths in 2002, the most dangerous year on record.


INTERNATIONAL

Monday, April 12, 2010

11

Karzai tours with McChrystal after US feud KUNDUZ/LASHKAR GAH: Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Taleban “brothers” to lay down their arms, as he appeared with NATO’s commander in a show of solidarity aimed at putting a quarrel with the West behind him. In a sign of the volatility of a once-peaceful northern region, plans for Karzai to address German troops in Kunduz yesterday were called off at the last minute. Residents and German forces said rockets had fallen near the German base there. And in the south, hundreds of people protested against an Italian

charity that operates a hospital where staff have been accused of plotting to assassinate a provincial governor. Karzai and US General Stanley McChrystal met hundreds of elders in Kunduz, which has seen a surge in Taleban attacks and is expected to become a main battle front in coming months. “I call on the Taleban, the Kunduz Taleban: Brothers! Dears!... Come and have your say, but not by the gun,” Karzai said. “You say, ‘Foreigners are here.’ But as long as you fight, they won’t leave.” Scores of German troops assem-

Afghan prez, NATO commander address Kunduz elders bled at their base waiting for Karzai to address them, but an officer announced the stop had been cancelled “due to security reasons and a tight timetable”. LieutenantColonel Paul Weber said rockets had landed near the base. A villager said he had seen two rockets. It was the third time Karzai had met elders with McChrystal recently, in what NATO says is part of McChrystal’s strategy of emphasizing the Afghan government’s role

in military efforts. That strategy has been strained by a row in which the president drew the wrath of the White House by accusing Western embassies of carrying out election fraud. The White House said on Friday it considered the quarrel over. Protest against charity In Lashkar Gah, capital of Afghanistan’s most violent province Helmand, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets

chanting “Death to Emergency!”. Emergency is the name of a Milanbased charity that runs a hospital in the city. Provincial authorities said on Saturday three Italians had been arrested for plotting to kill the governor of the southern province, bringing arms and explosive vests into the hospital. Emergency has called the allegations “grotesque”. Italy says it is studying the case. “Those who brought explosives into the hospital to carry out an

attack must be arrested and tried for their acts,” said protester Khosrawi Jan. US and British forces launched an offensive in Helmand in February, part of McChrystal’s plan to use an extra 30,000 US troops this year to turn the tide against a spreading insurgency and pave the way for troops to begin leaving in 2011. Increasingly that will mean fighting in northern cities like Kunduz, once seen as safer but now hit by the spread of Taleban influence from their main strongholds in the south and the east.

McChrystal is expected to send 2,500 US troops in coming months to beat back Taleban fighters who have seized much of Kunduz despite the presence of German troops. The Germans operate under post-World War Two restrictions on their combat role, which critics say have allowed the Taleban to advance. Germany has the third largest contingent in Afghanistan, numbering more than 4,000, but increasing violence in areas it patrols has made the campaign controversial back home. —Reuters

Pakistani forces kill 23 rebels in Orakzai Three Taleban hideouts destroyed

LAHORE: A man with light bulbs tied to his head and clothing chants slogans during a protest against increasing power load shedding, Saturday, April 10, 2010. Pakistan is experiencing its worst electricity shortages in years, leading to hourslong power cuts nationwide. —AP

Italy charity workers held over Afghanistan ‘assassination plot’ KANDAHAR: Afghan security forces were yesterday questioning nine medical workers, including three Italians, after what officials said was a plot to kill a provincial governor. The men were detained on Saturday after suicide vests, home-made bombs, guns and ammunition were found in a storeroom at a hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, run by the Italian charity Emergency. The three Italians held were said to be Emergency’s medical coordinator in Afghanistan, Matteo Dell’Aira, surgeon Marco Garatti and logistical technician Matteo Pagani, according to Italian media reports. Afghan interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP: “Right now we’re trying to find out how the equipment got into the hospital, why and who is responsible.” Helmand governor Gulab Mangal told reporters on Saturday that the nine were planning attacks in Lashkar Gah

and that “the number one target was myself”. He said the operation was funded by the Afghan Taleban based in Pakistan and that they had been paid 500,000 dollars to carry it out. Two suicide vests, nine hand grenades, five guns and a number of improvised explosive devices were found at the hospital, which provides free medical treatment to civilians in the volatile area. Helmand government spokesman Daud Ahmadi said the facility had been under surveillance for the past month and police swooped after “material” was brought there. About 200 people gathered in Lashkar Gah yesterday, with some shouting: “Death to the Emergency hospital.” But the Milan-based charity said in a statement on its website that the accusation “sounds simply groundless to us and we are absolutely certain that the truth will come forth quickly”. Officials said they were trying to find out why their

colleagues were arrested and speak to them. “The only contact we have been able to make has been through one of the employee’s cell phones answered by someone who identified himself as a British military official,” the statement said.NATO said it was not involved in the arrests. In Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was closely following developments, a foreign ministry spokesman said. “Pending details in this matter, the government reaffirms its strictly rigorous line against any direct or indirect support for terrorism, be it in Afghanistan or elsewhere,” the spokesman added. Taleban and other Islamic militants trying to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul use suicide bomb attacks as a tactic against Afghan and Western troops. —AFP

KABUL: Afghan woman Marzia, who saw her nine-year-old son shot dead during the country’s civil war nearly 20 years ago, shows her disfigured fingers at her home. —AFP

Rights groups urge action over Afghan amnesty law KABUL: The international community is being urged to act against a law protecting Afghan warlords accused of atrocities during the country’s bloody civil war nearly 20 years ago. Human rights groups say the alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity-many of whom now sit in parliamentshould not be given immunity, amid fears that active insurgents could use the law in the future. The United Nations’ former special representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, last month called the legislation a “setback” but few foreign governments have publicly backed his stance. “The international communi-

ty has so far been pretty quiet,” Nader Nadery, a commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, told AFP. “There’s a moral obligation and an obligation under international law that we condemn crimes against humanity. They should come out and say that it goes against Afghanistan’s international commitments.” The case for prosecution has found support in communities most affected by the ethnicbased fighting, which erupted in 1992 when internationally-supported militias turned on one another after ousting Soviet forces three years earlier. Some 80,000 civilians are thought to

have been killed in the capital Kabul alone, which was turned into a cat’s cradle of frontlines and came under daily bombardment from deadly rockets, mortar shells and machinegun fire. “The killers must be imprisoned or hanged, so they can’t do it again,” said Parween, 30, whose husband’s parents, four sisters and four brothers were killed in a rocket attack on their home in Karte-Sakhi. “They destroyed people, not just those they killed. Life can never be the same for those who survived.” Others, though, appeared resigned to never seeing those who ordered or carried out the violence brought to book.—AFP

HANGU: Pakistani soldiers backed by jets and helicopters clashed Khyber region on the Afghan border, killing 45 people, according to with Taleban in the northwestern Orakzai region yesterday, killing militant sources. “Three Taleban hideouts have been destroyed and 12 more than 20 militants, government officials said. The fighting came a militants have been killed in Orakzai,” Khaista Gul, a regional govday after fighter jets bombed a militant stronghold in the neighboring ernment official, told Reuters. Hours later, security forces clashed with militants Lanka to re-poll at near Kalaya, the main town of Orakzai, and killed 11 milviolence-hit booths itants. “The government COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will forces have captured some rerun voting at 18 polling important Taleban positions booths where last week’s in the area,” government parliamentary election was official Sajjad Khan said. affected by violence, offiOrakzai and Khyber are two cials said yesterday. The of Pakistan’s seven semielections department canautonomous ethnic Pashtun celled voting at the booths tribal regions, where miliin two electoral districts tants and their Al-Qaeda after allegations of intimidaallies fighting both the tion and other violence. The Afghan and Pakistani govfinal official results have yet ernments entrenched themto be declared because of selves after US-led forces the delay. “The voting will ousted the Taleban in be conducted on April 20 Afghanistan in late 2001. and those results will be Security forces have announced on the same day stepped up assaults in the so that the new parliament northwest over the past can meet on April 22 as prePESHAWAR: Pakistani Orakzai tribesmen Internally Displaced People (IDP) year, largely clearing miliviously scheduled,” a diswho fled their homes after a military operation against militants, wait for their tants from the Swat valley, trict official said. —AFP turn to register with officials at a registration centre on April 10, 2010. —AFP northwest of Islamabad, and the South Waziristan and Bajaur regions on the Afghan border. Security forces are now focusing on other areas, in particular Orakzai and Khyber, where militants who fled the earlier sweeps have taken refuge. The security forces’ successes have eased fears that nucleararmed Pakistan, a vital ally for the United States as it struggles to stabilize Afghanistan, was sliding into chaos. Optimism Similarly, hopes for an easing of destabilizing political wrangling were raised last week when the National Assembly unanimously passed a set of constitutional reforms curbing the powers of unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari. Optimism has been reflected in Pakistan’s stock market, where the main index is at levels not seen since 2008, supported by foreign buying. Net foreign portfolio inflows were $113 million in March, the the second highest monthly inflow ever. But the militants have shown they are still capable of striking at high profile targets in heavily guarded areas. Militants attacked the US consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Monday last week, killing five people, hours after a suicide bomber killed 48 people at political rally in a nearby district. A militant commander said on Saturday that civilians were also among 45 people killed in attacks in a border area between Orakzai and Khyber but military officials denied it. A senior military official said the jets attacked militants as they were trying to sneak into Orakzai from Khyber to attack a security checkpost. The main route for Western forces’ supplies trucked from Karachi port to landlocked Afghanistan winds through the Khyber Pass and militants have frequently attacked convoys there. Orakzai is a stronghold of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taleban chief who is widely believed to have been killed in a missile strike by pilotless US drone aircraft in South Waziristan in January. —Reuters


OPINION

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Monday, April 12, 2010

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issues

Nuclear nonsense By James J Zogby

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ith the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) signed by the US and Russia, a Nuclear Summit about to begin in Washington, and pressure mounting to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a few troubling issues need to be addressed. In negotiating and then signing a new arms reduction pact with Russia and in announcing a new US posture on the use of nuclear weapons, President Obama has come under withering attacks from the right wing. Accusing the President of unilaterally disarming or weakening the US position in the world is sheer nonsense. What START provides is that both the US and Russia will each dramatically reduce their nuclear weapons arsenal to 1,550. A few decades ago we and the then Soviet Union had a combined total of over 70,000 such weapons, a perfectly bizarre amount. As we all understood, back then, using these weapons was unthinkable since they would result in “mutually assured destruction”. And yet we continued to build and deploy. Unwinding this insanity was the right thing to do and it still is. The president’s vision of a nuclear free world (one he shares with former President Reagan) is the correct stance. START represents movement in the right direction. His critics are dead wrong. The Nuclear Summit is designed to promote the control of nuclear weapons and to secure worldwide buy-in. Israel’s decision to send a low level representative in order to avoid criticism of their nuclear program and US silence on Israel’s stance are both disappointing and dangerous. It is nonsense to assume that Israel can be given a free pass. Despite the efforts of apologists, Israel’s claim of exceptionalism doesn’t hold up to regional scrutiny. As a result of US guarantees, Israel has a conventional military capability that exceeds that of all of its neighbors combined. And they have rather freely used this force in successive wars that have dealt devastating blows to all their neighbors. Despite this, Israelis have not found peace, since peace and security will only come through a negotiated just settlement with the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese. And so of what use is Israel’s nuclear program (or its silence about that program and its refusal to sign the non-proliferation treaty NPT)? Possessing nuclear weapons has not created a deterrent. Nor can Israel use these weapons, if in fact they possess them. Can Israel bomb Gaza or the West Bank or Lebanon, without endangering its own population with the resultant radioactive fallout? And what would be the human and international consequences of Israel’s use of nuclear weapons? It remains unthinkable to use such weapons and therefore

nonsense to stockpile or hide them. In fact the only purpose served by Israel’s stubborn insistence that it maintain silence about its nuclear program, and the US continuing to provide cover for Israel’s behavior in this regard, is to impede progress toward establishing the Middle East as a “nuclear free zone”. When Egypt first raised this idea years ago, its consideration was blocked by Israel and the US. That was a mistake then and it still is now. A further complication of the US giving Israel a pass on nuclear weapons is that it raises the charge of “double standard” - one so clear that even the most hardnosed defenders of Israel cannot deny it. With growing concern over Iran’s nuclear intentions, this “double standard” has become more than an embarrassment, it has become self-defeating and dangerous. Why give Tehran an easy argument to defend their indefensible behavior? When every Arab and Muslim knows that the US is turning a blind eye to Israel’s nukes (and will immediately raise this issue whenever the question of nuclear disarmament is discussed), why continue to ignore the elephant in the room? And finally to Iran. Iran is a regional problem, to be sure. Its meddling in Iraq, the Gulf region, and in Lebanon and Palestine pose real concerns that must be addressed and, one hoped, might have been addressed by President Obama’s early promise to engage the Islamic Republic. Instead of focusing on the broad range of issues that define Iran’s troubling behaviors in the Middle East, the US zeroed in on the nuclear question - the one where we hold a weak hand. In doing so we played into Tehran’s game allowing that government to pose as victim of a double standard (as we argue that they are not in compliance with their obligations under the NPT, which they have signed; while we work with Israel, Pakistan and India who have nuclear programs and are the only three countries in the world who have not signed the NPT - not a strong case, by any measure). Iran is playing a dangerous and nonsensical game of “chicken”. But we have not responded smartly. Surely no one wants to see an Iran with nuclear weapons - weapons they also can never use without insuring that massive devastation be visited upon their country. But the best way to insure that a dangerous arms race does not occur in this region is to move towards a nuclear free Middle East. The way forward is to drop the shield of secrecy that surrounds Israel’s program, insist that Israel join the world community and sign the NPT, and negotiate a comprehensive peace with its neighbors. This is how to end nuclear madness and advance the president’s vision. 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: opinion@kuwaittimes.net or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Army ouster a big step backward for Guinea-Bissau By David Lewis

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sudden shift of power in the leadership of Guinea-Bissau’s military has taken efforts to stabilise the West African state back to square one and underlines the threat it poses to regional security. The April 1 ouster of the military chief by a rival faction of the army and brief detention of the prime minister dashed a quiet mood of progress that had been building after elections last year to replace a slain former leader went smoothly. All sides from President Malam Bacai Sanha down played down the incident as an internal row within the powerful but unruly military rather than a failed coup d’etat. But analysts said it was a blow to international efforts to bring order to a nation, whose role as a transit point for Latin American cocaine headed for Europe is perceived as a growing threat to West Africa’s fragile stability. “Where does this leave the country? It is back to square one,” said International Crisis Group analyst Mohamed Jalloh. “The military has overwhelmed the political institutions, which are not left to function by themselves. When there is blockage, (the military) gets involved.” Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior was facing a rebellion within his own party and survived a vote of no confidence in parliament a week before he was seized by soldiers. The incident is the most serious since the twin assassination last year of late President Joao Bernado Vieira and his army chief by renegade soldiers. New armed forces chief General Antonio Injai has apologised for arresting and threatening to kill the prime minister and his supporters. Sanha has given his prime minister full backing. But Jalloh said the international community needed to move beyond piecemeal solutions and push for structural change to end the cycles of

mutinies, coups and instability that have dogged the nation since independence from Portugal in 1974. “We need to create an atmosphere that (dialogue) can take place in. (But) until the military (problem) is resolved, I don’t see how this can take place,” a Western diplomat said. Some factions of the military are associated with Gomes Junior’s PAIGC party, while others, including leading members of the Balanta ethnic group, are seen to back the rival PRS. Sanha has weaker connections with the soldiers and, as a result, diplomats say he will need strong international backing. “We no longer have anyone to talk to in the army. The current situation is very complicated in terms of cooperation,” said Spanish General Juan Sebastian Verastegui, who is in charge of the European Union’s security sector reform programme. The United Nations, European Union, West Africa’s ECOWAS and Western nations are pushing for wide-sweeping reforms. “We need a bold step. We need to start with a national conference that defines the parameters of the state, and the military,” Jalloh added. Currently, these lines remain blurred due to the legacy of the military’s role in the independence struggle, which soldiers feel has given them the right to intervene in politics. As a result, no president has completed his term in power. This jostling for power has been exacerbated by the multi-billion dollar trade in Latin American cocaine. High-level corruption has long been blamed for blockages in the fight against drugs and the US government this week labelled two military officers as international drug kingpins. A protest by hundreds of people, who took to the streets to demonstrate against the military’s actions, offered a sign that Guinea-Bissau’s population is sick of military meddling. The official economy relies on cashew nut exports, though the country has

unexploited bauxite, phosphate and oil deposits. Military reform has been on the table for over a decade, and civilian leaders have repeatedly complained that soldiers have made the country impossible to govern. Donors want the military reduced to around 3,000 men, down from an official number of 4,500, which military officers say is actually closer to

11,000 as ranks were swelled by veterans from the independence struggle re-enlisting during a 1998-99 war. But in a job-scarce nation where the military has long provided incomes for many, slashing ranks has proved tricky - despite the fact the government is seeking just 32 million in aid to pension off much of its swollen officer corps.

Donors are expected to be unwilling to commit any funding while the military still calls the shots and diplomats fear regional instability could grow if Guinea-Bissau’s drugs economy infects nearby states like Guinea, Gambia and Senegal. “It is already a threat to the region but it could get a lot worse,” the senior Western diplomat said. — Reuters

Stereotypes still alive, kicking By Brian Homewood

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ajor clubs like to present themselves as multinational melting pots where Ivorians, Argentines, Brazilians, Germans and the Dutch live in perfect harmony but, as Alex Ferguson’s “typical Germans” remark showed, national stereotypes live on in football. The British still believe that diving and badgering the referee are foreign inventions, judging by the Manchester United manager’s view of the incident which led to his Brazilian fullback Rafael being sent off in Wednesday’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich. “Young boy, bit of inexperience. They got him sent off,” he said, apparently forgetting the number of times under his stewardship that United players have run into media criticism at home for seemingly bullying referees. “Everyone sprinted towards the referee - typical Germans. You cannot dispute that, they are like that.” The Germans may have been the victims of stereotyping this time - Ferguson having overlooked that Bayern’s line-up included an Argentine, Frenchman, Croatian and two Dutchman - but last month, they were dishing out similar comments. Germany captain Michael Ballack made no secret of what he thought of Argentine players the day before the two countries met in a friendly in Munich. “They know all the tricks and secrets,” he said. “Together with their quality, it’s the way they understand football. They have the full repertoire. “In character, we’re very different from the South Americans and that’s no secret. Perhaps it’s something they learn from their childhood, it’s part of the game and you have to take it into account when you play them.” Last month also saw Gerardo Pelusso, coach of Universidad de Chile, label the Brazilians as schemers. “They know when to laugh, when to give a little kiss to the cameras, how to make your life impossible when you play in

Brazil, how to make themselves out as the nice guys and how to be afraid when it suits them,” he told Chilean media. It was all prompted by Brazilian club Flamengo’s reluctance to visit his team for a Libertadores Cup match in Santiago, three weeks after the massive earthquake that shook southern Chile, killing hundreds. Pelusso felt Flamengo were trying to use the situation to their advantage and get the game switched to a neutral venue. Pelusso is Uruguayan - a country whose players still have to live with a reputation for being hatchet men and injury-feigners thanks mainly to the antics of their team in the World Cup 24 years ago. The Brazilian media, in particular, openly talk about Uruguayan “catimba” - a combination of gamesmanship, time-wasting and provocation all rolled into the same word - whenever the two sides meet. Yet if the same tactics are employed by Brazilian teams, which they often are, the more complimentary term “malandragem” or “cunning” is used. The British media also like to take the moral high ground, even today harping on about Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal from the 1986 World Cup and portraying Scotland as victims of Uruguayan savagery at the same event. Yet they overlook the brutal treatment Maradona received during the tournament, including the England match, when he was frequently stopped in his tracks by ferocious and ruthless tackling. Scottish memories seem to somehow stop at a point in time nine years before the Uruguay match with their team qualifying for the 1978 World Cup with the help of a handball which was arguably even more blatant than Maradona’s. Replays clearly showed Scotland forward Joe Jordan punching the ball in the opponents’ penalty area during their decisive qualifier against Wales, yet the Scots were awarded a penalty which they converted and set them up for a 2-0 win. Unlike Maradona, Jordan, who kissed his fist as the referee pointed to the spot, escaped with almost no criticism. — Reuters

Tale of gossip and spies hurts Sarkozy By Sophie Hardach

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dubious piece of Internet gossip has turned into a political debacle for President Nicolas Sarkozy, with a row over his private life taking up energy and goodwill badly needed for difficult economic reforms. French media mostly stayed quiet when the rumour of problems in Sarkozy’s third marriage surfaced on the Internet last month. But the presidential office’s mishandling of it has become the talk of the town, at a time when his approval ratings are at all-time lows and public debt forecasts at record highs. Initially dismissive of the story, presidential aides fanned the flames this week by suggesting Sarkozy was the victim of a “plot” to destabilise him. A police investigation was launched into the rumour, immediately giving new legs to the story. He now faces discontent from hard-pressed members of his UMP party fed up with using air time to defend

the presidential couple instead of explaining reforms, including a politically sensitive overhaul of the costly pension system. “The UMP members of parliament are annoyed, they really didn’t need this right now,” Jean-Francois Cope, the party’s parliamentary leader, was quoted as saying by newspaper Le Monde. “They are exasperated by this latest outpouring.” The hooplah comes two weeks after the centreright UMP suffered a drubbing in regional elections from voters concerned about issues ranging from crime and security to jobs and a bloated budget deficit that threatens cuts in public services. Sarkozy has barely com-

mented, but his wife, modelturned-singer Carla BruniSarkozy, tried to calm the waves by dismissing the whole story, which she said had reached “ridiculous proportions”. “These rumours are insignificant for us,” she told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday. “I do not consider that we are the victims of any plot.” Celine Bracq, deputy director at the BVA polling institute, said Bruni-Sarkozy’s strategy of downplaying the story was good, but should have been adopted right from the beginning. “Hers is the right reaction, saying ‘the president is busy with important questions, with crucial issues for France, we’re in a period of economic crisis’,” Bracq said. “But it’s a bit late... launching an investigation for something like that, which means spending money, spending time, that can only have a negative effect on public opinion.” The highbrow Le Monde made bungling at the presidential palace its top story on

Thursday with the headline: “Cacophony at the Elysee, between rumours and denials.” Police at one point even brought in the intelligence services, Bernard Squarcini, head of the DCRI domestic intelligence service told news website Mediapart. He said his service had been asked by the chief of police in March to “find out whether the rumours about the presidential couple were part of an attempt at political destabilisation”. Whatever the origin of the rumour, the fallout has revived an old portrayal of Sarkozy as a “bling-bling” president with a monarchical style, who is obsessed with his image rather than the country’s problems. Using police and spies to track down Web-based tittle-tattle was widely seen as heavy-handed and petty. Former Justice Minister Rachida Dati, once a Sarkozy protege who has fallen from favour, denied media reports linking her to the rumours. Sarkozy’s chief-ofstaff was quoted as saying she was unwelcome at the presi-

dential palace. But Bruni-Sarkozy brushed off any talk of animosity and said they were still friends. “Conspiracy theories will lead to nothing,” wrote weekly magazine Le Point. “Why not simply laugh off this silliness?” Voters would prefer the president to focus on bigger issues. In a poll published in newspaper La Tribune on Thursday, 70 percent said they did not believe Sarkozy would improve the public deficit during his mandate, which runs out in 2012. France weathered the economic crisis better than most of its neighbours, but the government has earned little credit. Sarkozy’s approval ratings crashed below 30 percent for the first time in March. And he has not enjoyed any sympathy boost as a result of the Internet rumours. “Nicolas Sarkozy has the image of someone powerful and very active, so playing the victim doesn’t work well,” said Bracq at pollster BVA. “In fact, it often has the opposite effect.” — Reuters


ANALYSIS

Monday, April 12, 2010

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Polish plane crash boosts PM Tusk By Gareth Jones

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he plane crash that killed Poland’s president and leading opposition politicians has removed at one stroke key opponents of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his ruling centrist Civic Platform (PO). While a shocking blow to Poland’s body politic, analysts say constitutional mechanisms will ensure there is no power vacuum and there will not be any long-term impact on stability. The crash will reinforce Tusk’s already considerable dominance of Polish politics and analysts say it may have relatively muted long-term consequences, though they also stress it is too early to predict the full impact of such an unprecedented accident on the national psychology. President Lech Kaczynski, his top aides, the central bank governor and seven lawmakers from the main opposition Law and Justice Party (PiS) were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed in thick fog near Smolensk in western Russia. “Today’s plane crash will raise concerns about (Polish) political stability and relations with Russia, but the outlook is reassuring regarding the institutional transition for the presidency and the central bank,” said Preston Keat, an analyst for Eurasia Group, a Londonbased political risk consultancy. “The leading political and policy actors will move quickly to stabilise the situation.” Kaczynski, 60, and his twin brother Jaroslaw, who heads PiS and was not

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) hugs his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk as they visit the site of a Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crash near Smolensk airport on Saturday. – AFP aboard the plane, have spearheaded opposition to Tusk’s pro-market economic policies, his embrace of the European Union and his push for early adoption of the euro. Lech Kaczynski, known for his combative nationalism,

his devout Roman Catholicism and deep distrust of both the EU and of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, had been expected to seek a fresh five-year mandate in a presidential election due this autumn.

Under Polish law, parliamentary speaker Bronislaw Komorowski is now acting president and the election will take place by the end of June. Komorowski, 58, is the candidate of Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) and opinion polls have shown him winning the post. The candidate of the small leftist opposition SLD, Jerzy Szmajdzinski, also died in Saturday’s crash. In Poland, the government holds most power but the president has a say in foreign policy and can veto laws. Kaczynski irked Tusk’s government by blocking media, health and pension reforms. “When all the dust has settled, I don’t think this tragedy will fundamentally change Poland’s situation economically or in any other way,” one government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. “There are a lot of uncertainties at the moment. People are very upset, but the risks seem relatively limited. Poland’s democracy should prove its resilience. The constitution states clearly what must happen,” he said. “The presidential election campaign will be difficult, but I expect people will show restraint in these circumstances,” the government official said. Many expect an upsurge of sympathy for Jaroslaw Kaczynski and PiS, a populist right-wing party, in coming weeks but it is far from clear whether this will translate into votes. PiS has been trailing Tusk’s PO in opinion polls, with about 25 percent support against 50 percent for the ruling party. Poland is due to hold a national election

next year. “The point is that (Lech) Kaczynski was set to be voted out later this year and all the aides who died with him would have been out of power too,” said Krzysztof Bobinski, head of the Unia & Polska Foundation, a pro-EU think-tank. “This disaster could provoke a generational change in PiS as Jaroslaw will be shattered. He was very close to his brother. He has completely dominated PiS but this could now be an opportunity for younger party members to come forward.” The devastating blow to PiS is not confined to party politics. Among those killed in Saturday’s crash were Kaczynski allies such as central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek and Janusz Kurtyka, head of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN), which supervises Poland’s communist-era archives. Both Skrzypek and Kurtyka had both been thorns in the Tusk government’s side, on economic issues and on Poland’s communist past respectively. Internationally, Kaczynski’s death is unlikely to have much impact. After a long delay, Kaczynski had been forced to sign the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which was strongly backed by the Tusk government. The treaty revamps the bloc’s institutions. Kaczynski, a staunch defender of Ukraine and Georgia against what he called Russia’s “new imperialism”, also found himself largely sidelined by the Tusk government as it worked to build better economic and political relations with Moscow. — Reuters

Katyn touches another Polish generation By Matt Moore

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e died en route to the most sensitive mission possible - a visit to the place that has driven a wedge between Poles and Russians for three generations. The death of Lech Kaczynski, Poland’s president and dozens of his high-level countrymen in a plane crash, and the purpose behind the journey, laid bare the deep divisions that remain between two nations still struggling to be more than uneasy neighbors who watch each other with skepticism and suspicion. Saturday’s planned visit to the Katyn forest was somber in purpose but underscored his suspicious eye of the massive neighbor and former taskmaster to the east. The memorial service was to mark the 70th anniversary of the killing of thousands of Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviet secret security during World War II. Katyn. The site of the massacre of Polish military officers, priests, shopkeepers. Men shot in the back of the head by Josef Stalin’s NKVD, the precursor of the KGB. “It is an accursed place,” former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski told TVN24 after the crash. Janusz Bugajski of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that Saturday’s crash has put Katyn at the center of Polish-Russian relations. “It brought to the forefront again an event that Moscow would like to forget or, if not to forget, to sideline,” he said, noting that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took a significant step by attending the Katyn commemorations last Wednesday with Polish counterpart Donald Tusk. The ancient city of Smolensk has long played a significant and somewhat symbolic role in Russian-Polish relations. Russian and Polish rulers fiercely fought over it for centuries, as well as over other contested territories in today’s Ukraine and Belarus, and the

Russian takeover of the city in the mid17th century preceded Moscow’s takeover of eastern Polish lands. Earlier this week, Poles took deep satisfaction in Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s presence at the memorial for the 22,000 killed there. Putin was the first Russian leader to commemorate the Katyn massacres with a Polish leader and noted that both nations’ “fates had been inexorably joined” by the atrocities that saw 22,000 Polish officers, prisoners and intellectuals massacred by Stalin’s secret police in 1940 in and around Katyn, a village near Russia’s border with Belarus. “In our country there has been a clear political, legal and moral judgment made of the evil acts of this totalitarian regime, and this judgment cannot be revised,” he said, but he did not apologize or call it a war crime. Listening to the remarks was the Polish prime minister, Tusk, not Kaczynski who, as president, was not invited to the event. “It was a step forward. He could have not shown up, he could have not invited Tusk,” Bugajski said. Instead Kaczynski, along with others, made their own trip Saturday for Polish-only commemorations. “I think in a way this is a God-given opportunity to really talk honestly about Katyn and what led to Katyn,” Bugajski said. “We know who killed these people.” For half a century, Soviet officials claimed that the mass executions had been carried out by Nazi occupiers during the Second World War. But the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev’s rule admitted in 1990 that the crimes had been committed by Stalin’s NKVD secret police. “Without a doubt, there is evident symbolism in this tragedy that we cannot even grasp now,” Slawomir Debski, the head of Poland’s Institute of International Affairs, said. “At a time when it seemed we were reaching a conclusion of the Katyn issue between

Poland and Russia, after the ceremonies and good gestures, we have another tragedy.” Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, said Kaczynski’s death could fuel anti-Russian sentiments among some Poles. “There will be certain people who’ll say ‘It was Russians who organized the whole thing,”’ Lukyanov

was quoted by the gazeta.ru news portal as saying. He said only an open investigation by the Russian authorities could put to rest any suspicion but there was optimism, too. “But we may also look for a grain of hope in that it can mend our relations because it is such a tragedy that we may see a kind of catharsis,” Anna

Materska-Sosnowska, a political scientist with Warsaw University. Russia and Poland have always kept a wary eye on each other. Poland, after communism’s collapse, eagerly embraced the west, joining the European Union and NATO, partly to anchor itself in Europe and give itself a security blanket against Russia. — AP

Political impact limited By Mary Sibierski

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oland faces a period of national trauma after the shock deaths of its president and many top officials, but the NATO and EU member’s long-term stability is not at risk, analysts say. The nation was left reeling after a plane crash in Russia on Saturday killed President Lech Kaczynski, lawmakers, the military top brass and the central bank governor as they headed to a memorial for Poles killed in a World War II massacre. But while Poles are deep in shock, analysts said the robust development of the country’s institutions since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989 means that it is likely to ride out the storm without serious upheaval. “On the face of it, it’s a dramatic, traumatic and fluid situation which is changing from hour to hour and day to day, but it is absolutely certain that Poland’s institutional stability is assured by fixed constitutional procedures,” Warsaw-based political analyst Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski told AFP. Those procedures have already swung into action, with parliamentary speaker Bronislaw Komorowski assuming the duties of acting head of state and having to set the date of a presidential election in the next two weeks. Poles will then have to head to the ballot box before the end of June. A regularly scheduled presidential ballot was due in any case by this autumn, in which Komorowski, a liberal, was widely expected to run against the conservative Kaczynski, who had been expected to seek a second term. Before the accident, Poland’s political landscape was already divided, with Kaczynski caught up in long wrangles with liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk over who drives the policy agenda, notably in foreign relations. Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1999. But the deaths in the crash of senior members of the opposition conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party - led by president Kaczynski’s twin brother

Jaroslaw - would have a longer-term impact, analysts said. “The real problem will be in parliament,” said WnukLipinski. “The conservative opposition has been decimated by this tragedy and its impact on next year’s parliamentary elections remains to be seen.” The high-pitched political rivalry between the conservatives and Tusk’s liberal Civic Platform (PO) government has often proven divisive in Poland. “I hope this tragedy will bring an approach in Polish politics that puts more emphasis on issues of merit rather than negative, emotional party politics,” Wnuk-Lipinski added. The economic impact of the crash will also be limited, despite the death of bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek, analysts said. “It’s a very dramatic situation but not an outright crisis” for Poland from the economic standpoint, said Andrzej Sadowski, an economist with Poland’s Adam Smith liberal economic think-tank. “Poland’s macro-economic situation is stable - it isn’t anywhere near the current situation in Greece,” he insisted. Poland has weathered the global economic crisis remarkably well and was the only state in the 27-member EU to have recorded GDP growth - tallying at 1.7 percent - in 2009. Sadowski nevertheless insisted quick action to fill the void left by Skrzypek, combined with a continued focus on reforming public finances to curb a bloated deficit, was necessary to keep the economy on track. Meanwhile Poland’s military faces a “generational shift” after the country’s four top commanders were killed in the crash, effectively decapitating the NATO state’s armed forces. Poland’s chief of staff General Franciszek Gagor, the head of operational forces, as well as the heads of land and air forces and a navy vice admiral perished in the crash. An immediate transfer to secondtier commanders took place, pending formal appointments. “There will be a generational shift in the Polish army. It’s a process which has already begun but this twist of fate will accelerate it,” said Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobinska, a Warsaw-based political analyst. — AFP

No easy way out for divided Thailand By Didier Lauras

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hailand’s worst political clashes in 18 years have underscored a deep divide between its rich and poor and left its embattled premier with no easy way out of the crisis, analysts said. The rift between the urban elite - centred around the royal palace, the judiciary and the bureaucracy and rural and working class Thais seems to be widening, they said, after weeks of antigovernment rallies turned bloody. Thai society “does not address substantive issues: the two-tier justice, the balance of power, the role of Bangkok and the provinces. So the country is not moving,” said Arnaud Leveau of the Bangkok-based Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia. At least 20 people died and more than 800 were wounded in battles Saturday between the security forces and the anti-government “Red Shirt” movement, born from the rural poor but increasingly joined by urban dwellers. The Red mainly support fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in

A young anti-government protester listens to speeches yesterday at a camp in a main commercial shopping district that has beeen occupied for more than a week in Bangkok. – AP 2006. They hail telecoms tycoon-turned-politician for his policies for the masses such as cheap healthcare, but Bangkok’s powerful elite sees him as corrupt and a threat to the monarchy. The demonstrations had

remained largely peaceful and at times carnival-like until Saturday’s descent into bloodshed. Despite the deadly conflicts, the Reds vowed to continue their campaign in the capital until they bring down Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva,

accusing his government of being illegitimate and elitist. The violence “is a wake-up call to halt the slide towards anarchy,” said an editorial from the English-language Nation newspaper. “Even optimists cannot believe that an actual healing

process can really start anytime soon”. Abhisit remains in an unenviable position, keen to avoid looking weak in the face of protests that have paralysed key areas of the teeming capital, but also facing criticism if further crackdowns cause more fatalities. “Two days ago, I would have said Abhisit would not step down. Now, there is a chance his allies say there is no point staying. He might call for elections but no one can tell,” said Thai academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun. “It’s a loselose situation. Even for the Reds, this has been counterproductive. They said they would organise non-violent demonstrations and look what happened,” said the visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. The military also constantly looms in the background of Thailand, which has seen 18 coups since 1932. The army remained in charge for a year after the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin, until polls in Dec 2007. The military’s current leadership has so far backed Abhisit but had to retreat Saturday

evening after their crackdown on the Reds left many dead and injured, including soldiers. And there is the figure of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan called for the monarch to intervene in the crisis, saying it was the “way to prevent further dead”. “Did anybody inform the king that his children were killed in the middle of the road without justice?” he proclaimed. The 82-year-old king, who has widely been seen as the only unifying figure in times of difficulty during his nearly 64 years on the throne, has not commented publicly on the protests, and has been in hospital since September. The king has no official political role but during the 1992 uprising he chastised both the military and protest leaders, effectively bringing an end to the violence. But Jatuporn “is not expecting anything in reality,” said academic Pavin. “The king would only offer a sort of compromise and Jatuporn does not want any compromise. He wants to show the Reds are not fighting against the monarchy but against the Bangkok elite,” Pavin said. — AFP

focus

Nike ad ignites debate on taste I By Ben Klayman

s using the voice of Tiger Woods’s deceased father in a TV commercial a piece of genius marketing or just plain creepy? Nike Inc is going to find out, courtesy of a controversial new TV spot it is running that features Woods staring silently at the screen as the voice of his father Earl plays in the background. It ends with the image of a Nike swoosh. The 30-second ad, which began airing on Wednesday, stars Woods in his first commercial since a sex scandal prompted some sponsors to distance themselves from the world’s No. 1 golfer and onetime most marketable athlete. The spot is already generating intense interest - nearly 1,700,000 people had viewed it online by early yesterday - and a wide mix of reactions. “Well, that will make you want to buy shoes, won’t it? What the hell?” late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday after showing the ad to viewers. “I guess you have to admire their chutzpah.” A poll by Yahoo showed 63 percent of almost 166,000 voters said they liked it, while a separate poll at celebrity website TMZ found 77 percent of roughly 91,000 readers thought the spot was “PR BS.” Some advertising executives say the commercial is a good strategy to move the story beyond Woods’s extra-marital affairs, which have dominated media coverage for months. “It’s a worthwhile gamble to take,” said Kevin Connelly, senior manager with Greenlight, a licensing, talent and rights agency owned by photo archive company Corbis. Nike is not a client. “It is a little strange and creepy one way if you look at it, but we live in a world of YouTube and Twitter. People are pouring their confessions out right and left,” he added. But many experts and commentators were put off by the black-and-white spot from agency Wieden+Kennedy, featuring an older recording of Woods’s late father. “I want to find out what your thinking was; I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn

anything?” his father asks. The athletic shoe and clothing maker declined further comment on the commercial beyond its Wednesday statement that Nike supports Woods and that the ad addresses his time away from golf using the words of his father. Dave Zirin, The Nation’s sports correspondent, suggested that the spot represents a “cultural rock bottom.” Its broadcast this week coincides with Woods’s first appearance back on a golf course since the scandal broke, at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. “The idea that Tiger and Nike would see the incredible turmoil that has engulfed Tiger’s life as an opportunity to rebrand Tiger and sell us more swoosh-laden crap is simply sickening,” Zirin wrote in the leftwing magazine. Michael Fanuele, chief strategy officer with Euro RSCG New York, part of advertising services company Havas SA, said the ad could damage Nike’s brand and won’t help Woods much either. Nike is not a client of his firm. “Nike is a brand that has always championed virtue, the strength, the heroism of athletes, and I think this is a contradiction of that legacy,” he said. “You might say it’s off brand.” He added, “They’ve created the best brand in the world, so I don’t think this is lethal to Nike by a long shot. I just think it’s strange.” Nike has been one of Woods’s strongest backers, while other sponsors, such as Accenture Plc, AT&T Inc and PepsiCo Inc’s Gatorade dumped him as a spokesman. Before the scandal, Woods earned $100 million a year in endorsements. One point is certain, advertising executives said - the advertisement won’t be ignored, as so many are these days. Brad Adgate, senior vice president at ad buying firm Horizon Media, which does not count Nike as a client, said the Web viewing numbers prove the spot is already a success in marketing terms. “That’s free advertising,” he said. “Marketers are all concerned about people avoiding ads. Here people are seeking it out. That’s not bad.” — Reuters

Hurdles could delay Senate START action By Susan Cornwell

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ack of outright Senate opposition, so far, to the new arms reduction treaty that President Barack Obama is to sign with Russia last week does not guarantee quick approval - or even that approval will happen at all. Supporters, though, are confident that the treaty will ultimately win approval in the Senate where Obama’s Democrats have the majority, but not the required 67 - or twothirds - vote. “I’m pretty confident that if we can get this treaty to a final vote, not only will the treaty pass, but it will pass with a very large majority,” said John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet in Prague on Thursday to sign the successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The new START commits the ex-Cold War foes to cut arsenals of deployed nuclear warheads by about 30 percent. The White House hopes that by the end of 2010, the Senate as well as Russia’s parliament, the Duma, will have approved the deal. Senate committee hearings could begin this spring, as soon as the treaty and annexes are sent to Capitol Hill. No action is required in the House of Representatives. Analysts say potential obstacles to the Senate’s consent lie not so much in what is in the new treaty, but concerns that some Republicans have raised about related matters: US missile defense programs and the modernization of the US nuclear arsenal. US politics and procedural rules could also delay Senate action and indirectly, that of Russia’s Duma. Russian officials say they want to “synchronize” ratification, suggesting they may not be willing to vote until the Senate does. But Senate Republicans

soured by the recent healthcare battle with Obama may be in no rush to hand him a foreign policy victory ahead of November congressional elections. “There is a danger that it (the new START) will have difficulty overcoming the intense partisan obstructionism in that body,” analysts Max Bergmann and Samuel Charap of the Center for American Progress wrote this week. On the merits, there has been little criticism of the new START so far. Many lawmakers in both US political parties favor nuclear arms reductions, as well as keeping some level of cooperation going with the Russians. Many are also likely to think that some means of verifying Russia’s nuclear arsenal is better than none. The old START treaty expired last December, although both sides pledged to uphold the spirit of the deal while seeking a replacement. If things do get tricky in the Senate debate, “it’s because the debate becomes broader, rather than just the narrow debate about the provisions of the treaty,” said Tom Donnelly, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. Republicans are looking for evidence that Obama will keep the remaining US arsenal up-todate, he said. US missile defense programs are not limited by the treaty, but they are another potential source of trouble in the ratification process. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow will withdraw from the new START treaty if US missile defense threatens Russia, although he suggested this was unlikely to happen in the near future. Stephen Rademaker, a former head of the State Department’s arms control bureau, said some US senators might wonder why they should vote for the treaty if the Russians intend to use it as leverage to stop missile defense policies that Obama already has declared. — Reuters


NEWS

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President’s body flown to grief-stricken Poland WARSAW: The body of Poland’s president Lech Kaczynski arrived back home yesterday as his stunned nation mourned the elite victims of a jet crash in Russia that has left intense focus on the pilots’ last actions. After observing a nationwide two-minute silence for the 96 dead, tens of thousands lined the route taken by the hearse from Warsaw airport to the presidential palace. Draped in a red and white Polish flag, the coffin was met at the airport by a guard of honour and the president’s identical twin brother Jaroslaw, a former prime minister. The national anthem echoed across the tarmac and senior Catholic leaders said prayers for the victims who included top military, religious and state officials. Like many Poles, Kaczynski was deeply religious. Kaczynski’s adult daughter Marta knelt before her father’s coffin. His twin then placed his hand briefly on the casket before making the sign of the cross. Alongside them stood Kaczynski’s longtime rival Prime Minister Donald Tusk and parliamentary speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, now interim head of state. The coffin was then placed in a hearse as a military orchestra played the funeral march by Franco-Polish composer Frederic Chopin and driven slowly to the presidential palace past the huge crowds of mourners. Poles had observed a two-minute silence on the stroke of midday. Motorists in Warsaw pulled up in the streets to stand in solemn attention while churches were packed at the start of a week-long national mourning.

In Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was among those who attended a ceremony at the site of the crash near the western city of Smolensk before he watched the body of Kaczynski being placed on a Warsaw-bound plane. As the Polish anthem was played, Putin laid red roses at the base of the stand bearing the coffin. A military bugle player sounded Taps, the solemn tune often played at state and military funerals, as Putin bowed his head. All 96 people aboard the Tupolev Tu-154 jet were killed when it crashed into a forest and caught fire during thick fog on Saturday. Putin is leading an official investigation into the crash, but Russian officials have already said the Polish pilots ignored air traffic control warnings that they were flying too low. “The recordings that we have confirm that there were no technical problems with the plane,” chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin told Putin at the crash site. Fragments of the fuselage, air traffic control recordings and the plane’s “black boxes” are being studied, Russia’s investigative committee said. The Russian-built jet was taking the delegation to a memorial service for 22,000 Poles massacred by Soviet troops in World War II when it hit tree tops in fog while approaching Smolensk airport. The symbolism of the president’s mission to a country which has long been a rival of Poland only added to the trauma. Kaczynski’s populist nationalism often made him a divisive figure at home and in Europe. But the nation united in grief.

“Regardless of whether one agreed with his politics, or his views - and I didn’t - he was our president, and he died tragically,” Andrzej Gerula, a computer programmer, said as he joined the throng lining the streets. Besides the 60-year-old head of state, the crash killed his wife Maria, Poland’s military chief of staff and the heads of the main services, its central bank governor, an archbishop and members of parliament. Although the body of the first lady was to have been flown home with the president, the presidential spokesman said it yet to be identified. Relatives of other victims flew from Warsaw to Moscow, where most of the bodies have been taken, after Russian authorities waived visa regulations. The crash was only a few kilometers from the Katyn Forest where the delegation was to have attended a memorial service for the Polish officers and troops killed in 1940 by Soviet troops acting on orders from Josef Stalin. The service was intended to help reconciliation between Poland and Russia, two decades after the end of the Cold War and the ensuing demise of communism. Russia ordered a day of national mourning for Monday as hundreds of people showed their grief in Moscow by laying flowers outside the Polish embassy. Polish communities around the world held their own special church services while global leaders expressed condolences, including US President Barack Obama who remembered “a distinguished statesman... dedicated to advancing freedom”. — AFP

Keep out of politics, Kuwait warns expats Continued from Page 1 Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch called on Kuwaiti authorities yesterday to stop arresting and deporting supporters of ElBaradei, now a leading champion of reform in Egypt. “Kuwait’s state security forces should stop arresting and deporting expatriate supporters” of ElBaradei, the New York-based human rights watchdog said in a statement. A spokesmen for ElBaradei’s National Association for Change said 34 Egyptians were ar rested. “Kuwait should immediately release all remaining Egyptian detainees and allow those deported to return to their homes in Kuwait,” the HRW statement said. The watchdog’s Middle East and Nor th Africa director, Sarah Leah Whitson, war ned that Kuwait was “enabling Egypt’s repression by harassing ElBaradei supporters”. But Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah told HRW those arrested and deported broke the state’s laws on public gatherings and slander by criticising Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. “They are visitors in Kuwait, and we look at them as visitors in Kuwait. When somebody breaks the law, he has to go back to his country,” the interior minister told HRW. “We don’t allow demonstrations in this country.” Kuwait’s Public Gatherings Law prohibits non-Kuwaitis from participating in processions, demonstrations or public gatherings. Citizens can organize such rallies without a permit. More than 400,000 Egyptians live in Kuwait. “This makes the response of the Kuwaiti authorities even more concerning,” said Heba Morayef of HRW. “(They) want to send a strong signal that they won’t allow any meetings of this kind.” The arrests and deportations sparked off a protest outside the Kuwaiti embassy in Cairo, where a protest by about 30 women supporters of ElBaradei was immediately surrounded by riot

police. “We want to express our protest at what Egyptians were subjected to in Kuwait,” said television anchor and activist Gamila Ismail. Police prevented a brother of one the Egyptians still under ar rest from approaching the embassy. The man, Nabil El-Qat, said his brother was arrested at Friday’s gathering. “We still don’t know where he is being detained, all we know is the Kuwaiti state security services arrested him and others.” The wife of one of the depor ted Egyptian residents, Mohammed Al-Farghally told HRW that her husband did not return after attending a small meeting of ElBaradei suppor ters at a local cafe. Amira AlFarghally said later that evening four men in civilian dress escorted her handcuffed husband home, where they seized T-shir ts picturing ElBaradei and Egyptian flags. He was sent back to Egypt. ElBaradei’s group denounced the arrests and said it believed the move was made in coordination with security services in Egypt. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters Egypt had no role in the affair and that he had no further comment, the official news agency MENA repor ted. He added, when asked about a similar gathering allowed in Qatar, that “each country has to look at the effects such matters have on its ties with Egypt”. MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei opposed the Interior Ministry’s deportation decision, saying that those who have been deported might be arrested immediately on setting foot in Egypt. The MP urged the Interior Ministry to retract its decision, saying that the Egyptians who took part in the demonstration did not consider it a violation of the Kuwaiti laws. Tabtabaei added that the Kuwaiti authorities could have taken pledges from the detainees not to take part in such demonstrations in the future. He acknowledged the good relations between the people of the two

countries, but asserted that the protection of relationships between the two governments should not be maintained at the expense of human rights. The Kuwait Human Rights Society also issued a statement denouncing the arrest and deportation of the Egyptians. “The society has exerted efforts before the relevant authorities to end this problem in a friendly manner without avail,” the society said in a statement yesterday. The society affirmed that the measures taken by Kuwaiti authorities against those who took part in the demonstration is a “blunt” violation against the simplest principles of human rights. Also yesterday, Kuwait Democratic Forum blasted the security measures against Egyptian demonstrators, saying that such measures were irrational and suppressive. The forum affirmed that both citizens and expatriates reserve the right to express their ideas freely . The deportees were among 33 Egyptians in Kuwait who belonged to a pro-ElBaradei group on the social networking site Facebook and who were detained by Kuwaiti authorities on Friday, the head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights and Information said. “There is no legal reason given or proof of indictment of these Egyptian nationals,” ANHRI’s head Gamal Eid told Reuters. “These Egyptians have lost their livelihood because they wanted to express support to ElBaradei’s National Coalition.” “Egyptians in Kuwait formed the Kuwaiti branch of the National Coalition for Change to support ElBaradei’s campaign for reform,” Hamdi Qandil, a leading member of the coalition told Reuters. “They were going to meet for the first time on Thursday but were prevented.” Eid from ANHRI said the deportations were politically motivated. “These deportations are the Kuwaiti government’s favour to the current Egyptian government,” he said.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Damascus seeking to balance old with new Continued from Page 1 Organisation it is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East and is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. It boasts some 125 monuments including the eighth-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads. Also in Bab Tuma, not far from the spectacular mosque, is a 400-year-old house that was once owned by Abdelrahman Shahbandar, a prominent nationalist during the French Mandate over Syria and Lebanon in the early 20th century. It is now the Shahbandar Palace, another trendy hotel with restaurant. “We renovated the entire hotel, which has 11 rooms including royal suites, without affecting its original shape or artefacts like mosaics which date back hundreds of years,” operations manager Lina Al-Yassini told AFP. “The competition is tough,” she said, adding that such restoration projects costs millions of dollars. “When I first saw the hotel and its rooms, I thought of the Arabian Nights” folk tales, said Hala, a visitor from Jordan. Today Syria is injecting a lot of effort into developing tourism. Investment in the

sector came to $6.2 billion last year, against $86 million in 2004, according to the tourism ministry. But even as the government and investors tout development they say is vital for the Syrian economy, critics are crying foul. “These projects have distorted the oldest city in the world. They are spreading like cancer - it���s a crisis,” said journalist and activist Waad Mhanna. Mhanna runs a society called “Heart of Damascus” which seeks to protect the old city from badly-planned development. “They have increased property prices in an unbelievable way. Residents have found themselves forced to sell up and leave the old city because they can’t afford renovations,” he charged. Others are leaving the old city to escape the pollution and noise caused by the restaurants and hotels, he said. “It’s very difficult now to fix all this mess, but the remaining parts of the old city should be protected and residents should be given loans to renovate their houses and stay there,” Mhanna said. According to independent estimates, the population in the 127-hectare old city has fallen by around 50 percent in just over a decade, from about 60,000 people. “The old city is losing its authenticity and identity in

the absence of effective laws to regulate such businesses and protect our heritage,” Mhanna charged. “There is no mechanism to treat waste water there, not to mention electricity and pollution problems.” He wants the Damascus authorities to protect the old city, but they are staunchly behind its development. “It’s a successful experience that is very important for tourism and we encourage it,” Feisal Najati, who heads the city’s tourism department, told AFP. “A special commission carefully studies each project and makes sure renovations meet the required specifications and standards in order to preserve old Damascus, its historical buildings and unique character.” The tourism department head says he is still being sent applications to create boutique hotels, and that these are being examined. Mhanna says he appreciates the economic importance of tourism and accepts that some development of Old Damascus is inevitable. “But residents of the old city should be consulted and their opinions about their own environment should be considered because it matters,” he says. “What’s the point of development if it’s not going to improve their lives?” — AFP

Khamenei slams US ‘nuke threat’ Continued from Page 1 interview yesterday that Washington was making exceptions of Tehran and Pyongyang because they had defied repeated UN Security Council ultimatums over their nuclear programs. “Well, because they’re not in compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. So for them all bets are off. All the options are on table,” Gates said. After a year of attempting diplomatic initiatives, Obama has in recent weeks ratcheted up pressure for fresh UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, which Washington suspects is masking a weapons drive. Khamenei dismissed Washington’s policy as passing “tornados.” “After 30 years, the Iranian nation has shown that it is more resilient and strong and has the ability to stand against any kind of threat,” the cleric said. “Our armed forces must also be alert towards such threats and take their training seriously.” Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that Tehran would in the coming months begin mass-producing centrifuges capable of enriching uranium three times faster than existing systems. On Friday, Iran unveiled a third-generation centrifuge it said can enrich uranium six times faster than the IR-1 system currently installed at its plant in the central city of Natanz. The Natanz facility has a capacity of 60,000 centrifuges, and Iran has been steadily enriching uranium there for years in defiance of three sets of UN sanctions and the threat of a fourth. Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of Western concerns over Iran’s nuclear program as the sensitive process can produce fuel for a reactor or, in highly extended form, the fissile core

of an atomic bomb. Salehi also justified Tehran’s pursuit of advanced centrifuges, saying “Americans are using advanced centrifuges” too. He dismissed Western claims Iran lacked the know-how to make the fuel pellets required to power a reactor, such as its Tehran research facility. “They said: you can’t make pellets. But now I can say with certainty that we have the technical knowledge to make fuel pellets,” Salehi said. Iran has defiantly started producing the fuel itself, but France says Tehran lacks the technology to convert the material into the fuel pellets needed for the facility which makes medical isotopes. Salehi said Iran was close to mastering the fuel pellet technology and on Friday the Islamic republic unveiled what it claimed was a “virtual” model of the pellets using copper. “We are going slowly. In the next stage instead of copper as virtual fuel we will use a material close to uranium and in the following stage we will use uranium itself,” he said, adding the pellet manufacturing facility was also nearly ready. “If the Western countries had not created problems, we would have been able to export radioisotopes” by now from the Tehran reactor, he said. Salehi said to prevent such obstacles, Iran was building the 40 MW heavy water reactor in the central city of Arak. “It will be online in three to four years,” he said. The US defence secretary said yesterday that Washington did not believe that Tehran yet had a nuclear weapons capability. “It’s going slower... than they anticipated. But they are moving in that direction,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “I’d just say, and it’s our judgment here, they are

not nuclear capable,” Gates added. “Not yet.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared along with Gates on television political talk shows, argued that Washington’s “patience” had helped build international support for sanctions against Iran. Clinton told NBC that “what we have found over the last months, because of our strategic patience, and our willingness to keep on this issue, is that countries are finally saying, ‘You know, I kind of get it... they’re the ones who shut the door, and now we have to do something.’” Separately, Iran announced the development of a new, more advanced, anti-aircraft system, the defense minister said yesterday on national television. Ahmad Vahidi said the new Mersad, or Ambush, air defense system would be able to hit modern aircraft at low and medium altitudes. Based on a photo released by Iran’s Defense Ministry, the Mersad will launch Iran’s Shahin missiles, a local version of the 1970s-era US-manufactured Hawk missile. The Hawk missile has a range 24 km with a 119-pound warhead and was sold Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran has been looking to upgrade its air defenses, especially as Israel has refused to rule out an airstrike over concerns that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons - a charge it denies. Iran ordered Russia’s advanced S-300 air defense system in 2007 but none have been delivered, allegedly due to technical glitches, though many believe the delay stems from international opposition to the sale. The S-300 missiles are capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at ranges of over 145 km and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet. — Agencies

Agility profit up, talks on with US Continued from Page 1 fourth-quarter net profit, it said in a statement yesterday. Net income in the three months to Dec 31 came in at KD 40.9 million ($141.7 million), up from KD 33.6 million in the yearearlier period, Agility said. The firm’s fullyear net profit came in at KD 156.4 million, or 40.6 fils earnings per share, compared with 141 million dinars, or 33.6 fils earnings per share in 2008, Agility said. Agility’s board recommended a cash dividend of 40 fils per share for 2009. The recommendation needs the approval of the firm’s shareholders. “Due to the inherent uncertainty surrounding the US Department of Justice lawsuit against the group, no provision is

considered in the accompanying consolidated numbers,” the company said. The firm’s net debt stood at KD 39 million at the end of Dec 2009, the statement said. Agility said that discussions with the US government to settle fraud charges were still ongoing, but “there is no guarantee that the parties can reach a mutually agreeable settlement”. The firm was indicted by a US grand jury in Atlanta in November for overcharging the US Army over 41 months on $8.5 billion in contracts to provide food to soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. Prosecutors have said that, if convicted of violations under the False Claims Act, the company faces probation and a fine of up to twice the gain it realized or twice the loss to the United States.

“Agility is facing a number of challenges, including the slower-thanexpected recovery from the global economic recession, the troop drawdown in Iraq, and the ongoing legal issues,” the firm’s Chairman Tarek Sultan said in the statement. He added, “our path forward will be focused on improving our return on capital and managing the balance sheet... by growing revenue organically, reducing our costs prudently, and maximizing yields on core operating assets,” he said. Trading in Agility’s shares on the Kuwaiti bourse has been halted since April 1, as it delayed the release of its 2009 financial results pending clarity on its negotiations with US authorities over fraud charges. Agility’s shares are expected to begin trading today. — Reuters

Sudan votes amid confusion, delays Hayef alleges coup plot against rulers Continued from Page 1 This led to Shiite MP Hussein AlQallaf to request Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to provide details on the alleged plot. He asked the minister to specif y measures taken against such a group, if Hayef’s claims were true. Hayef made the claims during a large gathering at the diwaniya of MP Dhaifallah Buramia in Andalus on Saturday. Saud Al-Asfour, a columnist of Al-Aan e-newspaper, warned against what he described the eruption of a tribal volcano. He said that Kuwaiti tribal members feel

that they are being targeted by official and non-official sides. “The situation among tribes is boiling... they believe there are organized campaigns against their loyalty to Kuwait. Any government campaign against dual-nationality holders should equally deal with all groups rather than just tribe members,” Asfour said in his column yesterday. Also yesterday, parliamentary sources said that veteran MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun will submit to the National Assembly a proposal to amend some article of the Kuwaiti Constitution regarding the government’s participation in parliament sessions. Sources said one of the main

Continued from Page 1 aspects of Saadoun’s proposed amendment is that the government should not vote on bills but attend sessions in the capacity of an observer. In another development, MPs Hayef, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Ali Al-Omair, Mohammad Al-Mutair and Jamaan AlHarbash yesterday submitted a draft law that calls for the establishment of a supportive women’s apparatus at the Ministry of Interior to act based on laws and in line with “feminine nature”. The Islamist lawmakers said in their proposal that female workers affiliated with the ministry should comply with the Islamic dress code.

MPs warn of grilling over French jets Continued from Page 1 the Kuwaiti government asked to study the offer,” Guillaud was quoted as saying by the official KUNA news agency. Guillaud said Kuwait has sent experts to France for a close assessment of the jets, adding that Paris will also make a proposal to sell the plane to the United Arab Emirates. In another development, the legal and legislative committee yesterday approved a draft law stipulating to naturalize up to 4,000 people in 2010, Tabtabaei said. He added that the committee made some amendments to the proposal. Originally, the proposal stated that all the 4,000 must be bedoons, or stateless Arabs, and at least half of them should be servicemen. But the committee made the naturalization open to all those who fulfill the condi-

tions, Tabtabaei said. The panel also approved a draft law allowing citizens to build diwaniyas at their homes against paying fees and within certain regulations. The committee also approved an amendment to the health insurance bill for expatriates, stating that the insurance will cover the cost of repatriating the dead body of the insured to their home country. Meanwhile, MP Barrak yesterday responded to criticism by Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi over claims made by Barrak that the speaker had once misquoted the Amir. The controversy erupted last week when Barrak and other members of the Popular Action Bloc boycotted an informal meeting of MPs called by Khorafi to convey a message from HH the Amir. Barrak said that conveying messages is not part of Khorafi’s constitutional powers, adding

that he once misquoted the Amir when he hinted that the Amir wanted to dissolve parliament unconstitutionally. Khorafi rebuked Barrak saying that he had never made that statement, even to MPs at an informal meeting. But Barrak yesterday reiterated his claims and challenged Khorafi to order transcribing the recording of that informal meeting to settle the argument. He recalled that following a meeting between Khorafi and editors of the local dailies, he ordered his office staff to transcribe the meeting details and send it to the newspapers. Barrak said that later, Khorafi’s office staff called the newspapers and asked them to delete a sentence in which Khorafi said that “the power of unconstitutional dissolution is in the hands of the Amir only”. Al-Jarida newspaper refused and published the original text, he said.

putting it in the wrong box. “I have never voted in my life. This is my first time to vote and it is a good feeling that Sudan is going back to democracy,” Kiir said. Would-be voters lined up in the morning in Khartoum, where police were out in force on unusually quiet streets. Many voters were hindered by delays in getting ballots to polling places, ballot mix-ups and names missing from voters’ lists. But by yesterday afternoon, no major unrest was reported as people voted to choose a national president, a leader of south Sudan, national and local parliaments, and governors of all but one of the country’s 25 states. Yet the elections’ credibility took a blow even before voting started, as leading opposition parties pulled out candidates and blamed the government for widespread vote-rigging and intimidation. Election officials, trying to plan a complex election for the first time in a generation, denied the charges. “It’s not going to be a perfect election. There are no such things,” former US President Jimmy Carter told reporters as he joined observers from his Carter Center in Khartoum. “But if we feel that in the elections the will of the voters has been expressed adequately then that would be the primary judgment we will make.” In Khartoum, voters stood or sat in the searing heat for more than three hours, many of them voting for the first time in a complex polling process. In northern Sudan, electors got eight voting forms; in the south, they must grapple with a dozen. Men and women waited in separate lines, dipping a finger in indelible

green ink before voting at cardboard booths. El-Fatih Khidr, a 55-year-old pilot who came to vote in Khartoum’s Riyadh district, complained that authorities should have opened more voting centres to cope with the crowds. “There are a lot of crowds and there should have been more information because there is a whole new generation that have never voted,” he said. Amal Saleh, a housewife in her 30s voting in Khartoum, said she expects Bashir’s party to win. “I am not a ruling party member, but I think it will win,” she said. “We know them better than others.” Despite the boycotts, more than 14,000 candidates from 73 different parties were competing. And many of Sudan’s 16 million registered voters, especially in the south, had never taken part in multiparty elections before. “I’m so excited because it’s the first time in my life to vote. ... It’s very, very important,” Odama Stephen Moro Dominic, 26, said as he stood in line to cast his ballot. He said he hoped the election will lead to better schools and roads. Up to 300 women in bright clothes and other voters waited patiently for more than an hour in the southern town of Malakal as officials tried to find a vehicle to deliver voting forms, a Reuters witness reported. When Bashir, a military man who took power in a coup in 1989, turned up to vote at a school near Sudan’s army headquarters, he shouted “God is greatest” to supporters. He then took ten minutes to cast his vote while voters from the army and security services waited outside. In the south, where most follow Christianity or traditional beliefs, there was a palpable sense of excitement as

people took part in polls they see as a prelude to the 2011 referendum that could give them independence from the mainly Muslim north. Both votes were promised under a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of north-south civil war. After voting, Kiir called the vote “a good beginning” for Sudan. “I hope it will be a foundation for future democracy.” But that promising start could go awry if Bashir blocks the plebiscite. The south could try to secede by force or fiat - which would likely mean a renewal of Africa’s longest civil war. Foreign aid workers and Sudanese were bracing themselves for problems in western Darfur, the scene of a seven-year conflict between government militias and rebels. Aid groups moved staff out of remote areas to cities in case of unrest. “We’re not expecting widespread violence, only things that might blow up in pockets,” an aid official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Anti-government rebels called for a boycott of the election in Darfur because the western region is under a state of emergency and sporadic fighting continues. Election posters lined the few paved roads of the regional capital of Al-Fasher, showing pictures of Bashir, the “strong and honest leader,” and inciting voters to choose the “powerful party.” Essam Mohamed, a 28-year-old from Al-Fasher, said he is still waiting to see how peaceful the process is before going to cast his vote. He said mainly women who are not working have turned up to vote. “I think these elections are important because we want to change local officials. But we are uncertain if that is possible. It is like a watermelon. We won’t know until we open it.” — Agencies


SPORTS

Monday, April 12, 2010

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NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. Boston 4, Carolina 2; Edmonton 4, Los Angeles 3 (So); Toronto 4, Montreal 3 (OT); Buffalo 5, Ottawa 2; New Jersey 7, NY Islanders 1; Atlanta 1, Pittsburgh 0; Tampa Bay 4, Florida 3 (So); Nashville 2, St. Louis 1 (SO); Dallas 4, Minnesota 3 (So); Vancouver 7, Calgary 3; San Jose 3, Phoenix 2 (So). (OT indicates overtime win; SO denotes shootout win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS New Jersey 47 27 7 220 190 101 Pittsburgh 46 28 7 251 232 99 Philadelphia 40 35 6 234 224 86 NY Rangers 38 33 10 221 216 86 NY Islanders 34 37 10 217 258 78 Northeast Division Buffalo 45 26 10 234 205 100 Ottawa 44 32 6 225 238 94 Boston 38 30 13 202 197 89 Montreal 39 33 10 217 223 88 Toronto 30 38 14 214 267 74 Southeast Division Washington 54 15 12 315 229 120 Atlanta 35 34 13 234 256 83 Carolina 35 37 10 230 256 80 Tampa Bay 33 36 12 214 259 78 Florida 32 36 13 207 241 77 Western Conference Central Division Chicago 52 22 7 269 206 111 Detroit 43 24 14 226 214 100 Nashville 47 29 6 225 225 100 St. Louis 40 32 10 225 223 90 Columbus 32 35 15 216 259 79 Northwest Division Vancouver 49 28 5 272 222 103 Colorado 43 30 8 243 231 94 Calgary 40 32 10 204 210 90 Minnesota 38 36 8 219 246 84 Edmonton 27 46 8 212 277 62 Pacific Division San Jose 51 20 11 264 215 113 Phoenix 50 25 7 225 202 107 Los Angeles 45 27 9 239 218 99 Dallas 37 31 14 237 254 88 Anaheim 38 32 11 231 249 87 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

WASHINGTON: Jason Chimera No. 25 of the Washington Capitals is pushed into Tim Thomas No. 30 of the Boston Bruins by Jeffrey Penner No. 62 at the Verizon Center. —AFP

Sharks beat Coyotes, Sabres down Senators SAN JOSE: The San Jose Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 after a shootout Saturday, keeping alive their chances of taking the top seed in the NHL Western Conference playoffs. The Sharks were unable to protect a 2-1 lead in regulation, but Logan Couture converted on his first career shootout attempt to give San Jose a crucial two points. That gave the Sharks 113 points, two more than Chicago for the most in the West. The Blackhawks have one game remaining and can clinch the top seed in the playoffs by winning at home Sunday against Detroit. Sabres 5, Senators 2 In Ottawa, Thomas Vanek scored four goals as Buffalo snapped a nine-game losing streak to Ottawa. The Sabres spoiled the celebration for Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who recently played his 1,000th NHL game. Vanek stole the show in his first game after sitting out six through injury. Derek Roy also scored for the Sabres, who play at New Jersey on Sunday with a chance to claim the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Chris Neil and Shean Donovan scored for the Senators, who will be the fifth-seeded

team in the East and face Pittsburgh in the first round of the postseason. Canucks 7, Flames 3 In Vancouver, Henrik Sedin regained the NHL scoring lead with four assists, including three on twin brother Daniel’s hat trick, as Vancouver beat Calgary. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa ended a long offensive drought with two goals, while Rick Rypien and Ryan Kesler also scored as the Canucks ended the regular season by matching a franchise record with 49 wins. Niklas Hagman had two goals, and Rene Bourque also scored for Calgary, which lost its final four and missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Predators 2, Blues 1 In Nashville, Tennesse, Martin Erat scored the lone goal of the shootout as Nashville beat St. Louis. The Predators finished the regular season by reaching 100 points. They have a chance to finish as high as fifth in the Western Conference. Jason Arnott scored the regulation goal for Nashville, which won the season series with St. Louis 5-1. Erat, skating second, beat Ty Conklin’s glove for the win, giving

the Predators six wins from the past seven games past regulation. David Backes scored St. Louis’ lone goal. Thrashers 1, Penguins 0 In Atlanta, the home team ruined Pittsburgh’s hopes of claiming the Atlantic Division title. Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion, will finish second in the Atlantic behind the New Jersey Devils. The Thrashers also prevented Sidney Crosby from scoring his 50th goal of the season. The Penguins captain will have one more game — late yesterday at the New York Islanders — to try to reach the milestone for the first time. Bryan Little scored the sole goal and Johan Hedberg made 33 saves in a shutout for the Thrashers, which had been eliminated from postseason contention and had lost five straight. Devils 7, Islanders 1 In Newark, New Jersey, New Jersey clinched a second straight Atlantic Division title with victory over New York. Travis Zajac matched his career-high with three assists and Patrik Elias scored twice. Dainius Zubrus, Zach Parise and

Dean McAmmond scored in the first period to ignite the Devils’ highest score and largest victory margin of the season. Brian Rolston and Ilya Kovalchuk also netted for New Jersey. The Islanders late goal came from Matt Moulson. Stars 4, Wild 3 In St. Paul, Minnesota, Jamie Benn scored in the shootout, giving Dallas victory over Minnesota to wrap up the regular season. Brendan Morrow had a power-play goal, and Steve Ott scored twice for the Stars, tying the game 3-3 in the third period. Mikko Koivu scored twice and rookie Casey Wellman got his first career goal for the Wild. Dallas’ Mike Modano drew a standing ovation when a video of highlights from his days with the Minnesota North Stars was shown during a first-period break. Bruins 4, Hurricanes 2 In Boston, the hosts clinched a playoff berth by scoring three short-handed goals in 64 seconds, beating Carolina. Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin netted in the same penalty period in the second to

make it 3-0, and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter. The outburst was unexpected from the Bruins, who had only scored three shorthanded goals all season before Saturday. The Hurricanes missed the playoffs a year after reaching the Eastern Conference finals. Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 3 In Montreal, the hosts clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite losing to Toronto. Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf netted the winning goal in overtime, but a point was enough for the Canadiens to clinch their place in the playoffs. Andrei Markov had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens, who failed to hold three one-goal leads and will be the No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the East. Christian Hanson scored his first two goals of the season for Toronto. Oilers 4, Kings 3 In Los Angeles, rookie Devan Dubnyk made 52 saves and denied the Kings’ last two shootout attempts, leading NHL-worst Edmonton past playoff-bound Los Angeles. Tom Gilbert had a short-handed goal and

Bulls back on top WELLINGTON: South Africa’s Bulls reclaimed first place in Super 14 rugby after weekend matches, while Canterbury remained the only New Zealand team in semifinal contention after a poor ninth round for Kiwi sides. The Bulls bounced back from their first loss of the season to beat the Waikato Chiefs 33-19 on Friday in a reprise of last year’s final. The win allowed the defending champions to overtake the New South Wales Waratahs, who started the round in first place. Canterbury’s 20-13 win over the Waratahs on Saturday and the Stormers’ 33-21 win over the Auckland Blues completed a reshuffle of the topfour placings. The Bulls ended the round four points clear at the top of the table ahead of the Crusaders, who

Super 14 lead NSW on points differential, while the Stormers are now fourth. Only five points separate the first four teams. The Queensland Reds, who beat the Lions 4126, and the ACT Brumbies, who defeated the Cheetahs 61-15, remain in strong playoff contention, in fifth and sixth places respectively with 26 points each. Waikato’s first-ever loss to the Bulls on their home ground at Hamilton dropped them back to seventh place on 21 points and left them the second-best place of the five New Zealand teams. Auckland finished the round in eighth place and the Wellington Hurricanes, after a ninth-round bye, are now ninth. The Otago Highlanders were beaten 41-27 by the Western Force in the South Island tourist city of Queenstown and are well out of the playoffs race in 11th place, ahead of the Force, Cheetahs and Lions. The Bulls opened their season with six straight wins but their mantle as the tournament’s No. 1 side seemed to be slipping when they were beaten in round eight by Auckland.

“For us it’s pleasing, we really dug deep this week. We had a great preparation. We had some good lessons from the Blues game we took into this one,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said. The match was tight and the lead changed hands six times in the first 55 minutes before the Bulls asserted control and sealed their win with tries in the final quarter to Gary Botha and Dewald Potgeiter. The Stormers, who were also coming off a loss — to the Western Force — also quickly recovered their winning form, outplaying the Blues at Auckland. Flyhalf Peter Grant kicked seven goals from seven attempts as the Stormers posted their sixth win from eight games, retaining their record as the best defensive team in the tournament. The Stormers dashed to a 20-0 lead with tries to center Jaque Fourie and halfback Dewalt Duvenage, forcing the Blues to play a catch-up game which led to errors. “We got off to a terrible start and made it hard on ourselves because we couldn’t hold onto the ball,” Auckland coach Pat Lam said. Queensland Reds made a strong start in its match against the winless Lions, scoring four tries in 18 minutes to lead 24-0. The ACT Brumbies ran in nine tries, six in the second half, in their 6115 win over the Cheetahs. “We had a lot of possession in that first half without much luck,” ACT captain Stephen Hoiles said. “We played with a little more patience in the second half and it paid off.” Yesterday, Cheetahs No. 8 Kabamba Floors was suspended for five matches after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Julian Huxley. The Brumbies fullback was making his first Super 14 start since returning from the removal of a brain tumor, and emerged unhurt from the tackle. Flyhalf Daniel Carter kicked five penalties to lead the Crusaders. The Western Force posted their secondstraight win, continuing a midseason revival after losing their first six games. Their match with Otago was scrappy and ill-tempered — three players received yellow cards — in keeping with their 11th and 13th places in the standings. — AP

two assists for the Oilers, who have won three straight. Edmonton blew a three-goal lead in the third period, but Ryan Potulny and Shawn Horcoff scored in the shootout. Mike Comrie scored two early goals for the Oilers, who spoiled the Kings’ home finale and snapped a 10-game winless streak on the road. Michal Handzus scored the tying goal in regulation and connected again in the shootout for the Kings. Captain Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll also scored thirdperiod goals for Los Angeles, which took a season-high 55 shots. Lightning 4, Panthers 3 In Tampa, Florida, Steven Stamkos scored twice to became the third-youngest player to reach 50 goals in a season and then netted the only goal in the shootout to lead Tampa Bay over Florida. At 20 years, 2 months and 3 days, only Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson had 50goal seasons earlier than Stamkos — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Michael Frolik scored for Florida, while Nathan Horton had a goal and two assists. —AP

Richards stars as Wigan beat Salford

JOHANNESBURG: Van Humphries of the Reds is tackled by Heinke Van Der Merwe of the Lions during their Super 14 rugby match. — AP

LONDON: Pat Richards was the star of the show as Wigan cemented their spot at the top of the Super League table with an 18-4 win over Salford yesterday. Their victory — and Warrington’ 3616 defeat at Hull KR — put Wigan four points clear at the top of the table and there was no doubt as to who was the standout performer. Former Wests Tigers star Richards ran in two tries and kicked three goals as the league pace setters made light work of the Reds. But while the Warriors were marching to their tenth victory from 11 Super League games Hull KR put a huge dent in high-flying Warrington’s season. Peter Fox scored two of the Robins’ six tries with Michael Dobson kicking six goals as the Wolves - on the back of three games in eight days - struggled to cope with the home side. Former Gold Coast Titans fullback Richie Mathers and former Melbourne Storm star Matt King crossed for the Wolves but it was not enough. While Wigan went clear at the top reigning champions Leeds’ return to top form continued with a comfortable 46-30 win over Hull FC. The reigning Super League champions’ victory against Catalans Dragons last week was their first in five after a dismal start to the season from the Rhinos. But that inconsistency looked like ancient history as Brian McClennan’s side made light work of the Black and Whites at Headingley. Keith Senior and Ryan Hall both scored twice as the Rhinos ran in eight tries and despite rookie Hull wing Tom Briscoe’s one-man battle to keep his side in touch the Rhinos were too strong. Briscoe crossed four times but tries

from former New Zealand Warriors second-row Ali Lauitiiti, Rob Burrow, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Danny McGuire saw Leeds home comfortably. Elsewhere, former Wales rugby union international Gareth Thomas was among the scorers as Crusaders beat Wakefield Wildcats 20-10. St Helens’ surge towards the top of Super League continued as they ran in five tries against rock-bottom Harlequins in a 32-24 victory at the Stoop. Ben Jones-Bishop scored the first of four tries for Quins but Andrew Dixon ensured the scores were level at 6-6 at the break. Kyle Eastmond fired Saints ahead after the interval and seconds later Dixon crossed to seemingly secure the win for Mick Potter’s men Quins debutant Kevin Penny and exManly second row Luke Williamson levelled it before Roby crossed twice to seal the win rendering a Tony Clubb try a mere consolation. Wing Rikki Sheriffe scored a hat-trick for Bradford as they piled more misery on Catalans Dragons with a 36-14 win in France. Bradford dominated the first half with ex-Cronulla half-back Brett Kearney one of three try scorers for the Bulls. The Dragons fought back well after the interval and former Melbourne centre Steven Bell and Greg Mounis crossing for tries. But Steve Menzies got his name on the scoresheet and Sheriffe completed his treble. David Hodgson scored three tries for Huddersfield as they comfortably beat Castleford 24-0 at the Galpharm Stadium. Jamahl Lolesi was the Giants’ other try scorer while ex-Wests full-back Brett Hodgson kicked four goals to sink the Tigers. — AFP


SPORTS

16

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ryan Newman

PHOENIX: Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Tornados Chevrolet, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway.—AFP

Newman makes late charge to win at Phoenix AVONDALE: Ryan Newman broke a 77-race NASCAR Sprint Cup winless streak, taking the lead after a late caution and holding off Jeff Gordon in a twolap shootout on Saturday. Kyle Busch was cruising to victory when a caution flag came out with three laps remaining. When the lead-lap cars pitted, Busch took four tires and came out eighth — behind six cars that took only two tires and Jimmie Johnson, who also took four and was seventh out of the pits. Gordon beat everybody out of the

pits, but spun his tires on the restart. Newman charged inside and took the lead, and held on for his first victory since the 2008 Daytona 500. “It’s been a long time coming for me to get to Victory Lane,” Newman said. “I’m gracious to be here. This is the most emotional victory I’ve ever had in my entire career just because it’s been so long.” Newman, driving the No. 39 Chevrolet owned by Tony Stewart, had led only two laps before the final two. That came during the first caution only

21 laps into what became a 378-lap race — instead of the scheduled 375, already 63 more than last spring. “I couldn’t believe it. I saw the white flag and I was like I don’t have that far to go,” Newman said. “Every restart, I had been on the inside and I couldn’t get going. ... I held my line and got a good shot off Turn 2. That’s all we needed.” It was Newman’s 14th career victory in 303 starts, but the first time a No. 39 car has been to Victory Lane (286 races). Johnson, who had won four of the previous five races at Phoenix, finished

third and increased his series points lead — from 14 to 36 over Matt Kenseth. Greg Biffle had been second in points before finishing 22nd on Saturday, the first time this season he wasn’t in the top 10. Denny Hamlin, racing only 10 days after surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, drove the entire race and finished 30th, two laps off the pace. He had moved up to 13th before an extended pit stop to repair damage from being hit and to address an electrical problem. Newman snapped Hendrick Motorsports’ string of six consecutive

victories at Phoenix, and gave Chevrolet its 10th straight win at the track. Chevy drivers had the top five spots, with Mark Martin fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya fifth. Matt Kenseth was sixth and Carl Edwards seventh in Fords, while Busch finished eighth in his No. 18 Toyota. Busch had taken the lead from Johnson on a restart on lap 263, then stayed in front and was seemingly on way to his first Cup victory of the season. But the caution came when Scott Riggs blew a right front tire — while

Braves inflict first defeat on Giants

running just ahead of Busch — and ran into the wall. Before Busch took the lead, Johnson had led 66 consecutive laps and had built a 11/2-second lead over Montoya until David Ruetimann’s accident brought out the seventh of nine cautions. On that restart, Busch went ahead while Johnson and Montoya were bumping each other behind him. The race, which featured 20 lead changes among 13 drivers, was slowed by 59 caution laps. Busch and Johnson both led 113 laps, and Montoya led 104.—AP

Sabathia steers Yankees past Rays

SAN FRANCISCO: The Atlanta Braves inflicted San Francisco’s first defeat of the season, beating the Giants 72 in the National Legue on Saturday. Jason Heyward hit a solo home run in the sixth inning and added an RBI single to cap a four-run seventh. Braves starter Derek Lowe scattered four hits over six innings, taking a win despite issuing a career-worst seven walks. The Giants were charged with four wild pitches, tying the most in San Francisco history. They entered as the only unbeaten team in the majors but failed to take advantage of nine walks by Braves pitching.

ST. PETERSBURG: New York pitcher CC Sabathia came close to a no-hitter as he steered the Yankees to a 10-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League on Saturday. Sabathia had not yielded a hit for 7 2-3 innings when his former batterymate Kelly Shoppach got a hit. There was no visible reaction from the exhausted Yankees ace. Manager Joe Girardi immediately removed Sabathia, who struck out five. The left-hander threw 69 of his 111 pitches for strikes and benefitted from some spectacular defensive plays in the field.

Cardinals 7, Brewers 1 In Milwaukee, Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer to boost St. Louis over Milwaukee. Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo struggled in his first outing since signing a big contract extension with the Brewers, giving up six runs in five innings. Jaime Garcia was sharp in his debut as the Cardinals’ No. 5 starter, giving up one run in six innings.

Pirates 6, D’backs 3

Twins 2, White Sox 1

In Phoenix, Akinori Iwamura and Jeff Clement homered in Pittsburgh’s victory against Arizona. The Pirates pair went long off Arizona ace Dan Haren, who was off his game from the start, allowing five runs in four innings. By contrast, Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke limited the Diamondbacks to four hits in seven innings. Duke threw six scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer. Duke, whose start was moved up a day so he could face Haren, baffled Arizona’s batters into groundouts and popouts.

In Chicago, Jason Kubel’s two-run homer in the seventh inning was enough for Minnesota to edge Chicago. Twins starter Scott Baker pitched seven sharp innings, having struggled on opening day. He allowed just one run, striking out three. Jesse Crain got two outs in the eighth and stranded Chicago’s Mark Teahen at second, and Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save.

Marlins 7, Dodgers 6 In Miami, Jorge Cantu’s sacrifice fly capped Florida’s three-run rally in the ninth inning against Los Angeles. With the Marlins trailing 6-4, Gaby Sanchez singled to start the ninth. Dodgers reliever George Sherrill came on and struck Wes Helms. Chris Coghlan walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, and pinch hitter Ronny Paulino hit a two-run double to tie the game. Cantu hit a fly to medium center, and Matt Kemp’s throw home was wide of the plate as Coghlan slid home headfirst for the winner.

Tigers 4, Indians 2 In Detroit, Jeremy Bonderman gave up one hit in five innings to guide Detroit past Cleveland. Bonderman retired the first 11 he faced, then allowed a run on a wild pitch, single and two walks. He started for the first time at home in nearly two years since having surgery to break up a blood clot in his throwing shoulder. Magglio Ordonez had a two-run homer for the Tigers.

Nationals 4, Mets 3 In New York, Willie Harris made a game-ending diving catch to yet again thwart a Mets rally as Washington edged New York. Well-traveled Willy Taveras drove in a careerhigh four runs, hitting a single and a triple in his first start for the Nationals, who signed him to a minor league contract. Nationals closer Matt Capps made the ninth inning an adventure, giving up a leadoff single to Jose Reyes and eventually loading the bases on a pair of walks. Rod Barajas lined a hard shot to left, but Willie Harris made a diving grab to end the game.

Angels 4, Athletics 3 In Anaheim, California, Hideki Matsui singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning, giving Los Angeles victory over Oakland. The three-time defending AL West champs tightened up after giving up 10 runs in each of the previous two games. Bobby Abreu started the winning rally with the Angels’ sixth

Cubs 4, Reds 3 In Cincinnati, Carlos Zambrano recovered from his horrific opening day start by pitching seven solid innings to steer Chicago past Cincinnati. Zambrano managed only four outs during the Cubs’ 16-5 opening-day drubbing in Atlanta, but he held the Reds to six hits and struck out nine. Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning off Reds reliever Arthur Rhodes — Chicago’s third homer of the game.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0 In Baltimore, Dana Eveland pitched brilliantly into the eighth inning in his Toronto debut, directing the Blue Jays past Baltimore. Eveland pitched 7 1-3 scoreless innings, walking only two. The Blue Jays got two RBIs from No. 9 hitter Jose Molina, while Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and scored twice for Toronto, which has won four straight.

Mariners 4, Rangers 3 In Arlington, Texas, Franklin Gutierrez drove in the go-ahead run to cap a three-run ninth inning that lifted Seattle over Texas. Rangers closer Frank Francisco blew his second save opportunity in three days, allowing three runs and three hits while retiring only one batter. Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr. and Gutierrez had consecutive RBI singles in the ninth for Seattle.

Red Sox 8, Royals 3 In Kansas City, Missouri, Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek homered on consecutive pitches to help Boston down Kansas City. Varitek added a second homer and Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia also went over the fence for the Red Sox, who punished Royals ace Zack Greinke. Boston starter Josh Beckett, in his first game since signing a four-year, $68 million contract extension, allowed three runs in seven innings to beat the Royals for the fifth straight start. Greinke had a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Hermida hit a leadoff homer, and Varitek then slammed the next pitch into the Royals bullpen. It was the first time Greinke had allowed homers on consecutive pitches.—AP

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday. Minnesota 2, Chicago White Sox 1; Detroit 4, Cleveland 2; Washington 4, NY Mets 3; Chicago Cubs 4, Cincinnati 3; Seattle 4, Texas 3; St. Louis 7, Milwaukee 1; NY Yankees 10, Tampa Bay 0; Philadelphia 9, Houston 6; Toronto 3, Baltimore 0; Florida 7, LA Dodgers 6;

Phillies 9, Astros 6 In Houston, Philadelphia condemned winless Houston to its worst start in 27 years. Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth drove in three runs apiece for the Phillies, who finished with 11 hits and have reached double digits in hits in their first five games for the first time since 1926. Philadelphia leads the majors with 41 runs. The Astros are 0-5 for the first time since the 1983 team lost its first nine games. The Phillies trailed 5-4, but regained the lead in the seventh on Howard’s two-run shot.

Padres 5, Rockies 4 In Denver, Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI double in the 14th inning, sending San Diego to a victory over Colorado in the first extra-inning game for both teams this season. David Eckstein, hitless in six previous at-bats, began the 14th with bloop single off Rockies pitcher Manuel Corpas. Gonzalez followed with a double that rolled to the right-field wall, allowing Eckstein to score. The game lasted 4 hours, 27 minutes. —AP

double of the game. A’s pitcher Craig Breslow intentionally walked Torii Hunter, then Matsui lined the next pitch just inside the right-field line for his first game-ending hit with the Angels.

ANAHEIM: Jon Rauch No. 60 of the Minnesota Twins closes the baseball game against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium. Twins won, 4-2.—AFP

American League Eastern Division W L PCT Toronto 4 1 .800 NY Yankees 3 2 .600 Tampa Bay 3 2 .600 Boston 2 3 .400 Baltimore 1 4 .200 Central Division Minnesota 5 1 .833 Detroit 4 1 .800 Cleveland 2 3 .400 Kansas City 2 3 .400 Chicago White Sox1 4 .200 Western Division Oakland 4 2 .667 Texas 2 3 .400 LA Angels 2 4 .333 Seattle 2 4 .333

GB 1 1 2 3 .5 2.5 2.5 3.5 1.5 2 2

National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 4 1 .800 Florida 3 2 .600 Atlanta 3 2 .600 NY Mets 2 3 .400 Washington 2 3 .400 Central Division St. Louis 4 1 .800 Pittsburgh 3 2 .600 Chicago Cubs 2 3 .400 Cincinnati 2 3 .400 Milwaukee 2 3 .400 Houston 0 5 0 Western Division San Francisco 4 1 .800 Arizona 3 2 .600 Colorado 2 3 .400 LA Dodgers 2 3 .400 San Diego 2 3 .400

1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 4 1 2 2 2


SPORTS

Monday, April 12, 2010

17

Tiger in title hunt

FLORIDA: Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, hits a backhand return during the third set of her semifinal match against Elena Vesnina, of Russia, at the MPS Group Championships tennis tournament. —AP

Caroline, Olga in final PONTE VEDRA: After winning only one game in the first set and trailing 5-3 in the second, Caroline Wozniacki was pondering elimination from the MPS Group Championships before a fightback Saturday that put her into the final. The top-seeded Dane dug deep to beat fourth-seeded Elena Vesnina 1-6, 7-6 (4), 64 in their semifinal. “I thought I was out already,” Wozniacki said. “I said ‘keep fighting, do what you can,’ but it didn’t look like my day at the office.” Wozniacki, the top seed and defending champion, was to face Belarus’ Olga Govortsova in late yesterday’s final.

Govortsova defeated third-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 7-5 in the other semi. After the first set drubbing, Vesnina used pin-point placement to build the second set lead and was serving for the match when Wozniacki broke and started her climb back. “That’s when I felt like I had a chance,” Wozniacki said. “I was just missing everything by one, two inches and once I said ‘OK, I’m back in the rally’ she killed the shot so I didn’t feel like I could do anything. It has to turn around at some point. I need to get the chance at some point but it just didn’t look like it until

5-3.” Vesnina blamed her loss on a lack of aggressive play. “At 5-3, I became too passive,” she said. “I started to wait for mistakes from Caroline. She’s a good fighter. She’s like a wall.” Govortsova, playing without a coach this week, rallied from a 4-2 deficit to win the first set. She then fought off Cibulkova to take a second set that was highlighted by a 20-point eighth game. “Sometimes it’s good for you to be alone,” Govortsova said. Her coach, Eddie Jakes, had other duties to attend to. Cibulkova, playing with a heavily taped right groin, said the injury will force her to withdraw from next week’s event. —AP

Lendl beaten by Wilander ATLANTIC CITY: In his first match since retiring 16 years ago, Ivan Lendl looked nearly as fit as the man who dominated tennis in the 1980s, but his game wasn’t as sharp. Lendl committed numerous unforced errors and fell to former rival Mats Wilander, 6-3, in a one-set exhibition match in the Caesars Tennis Classic on Saturday. “It was fun playing, but a bit frustrating,” Lendl said. “I was seeing the shot but couldn’t make myself hit it properly.” An eight-time grand slam champion who was ranked No. 1 in the world for 157 straight weeks from 1985-88, Lendl disappeared from the tennis scene

after retirement. With his back healthier, Lendl began playing more seriously recently, saying he “put a lot of training” into preparing for Saturday’s match. Asked if his performance was what he expected, the 50year-old Lendl said, “Pretty much, unfortunately. My heart was telling me it’s not going to be like this, but my mind was telling me yes it could and most likely would.” Lendl and Wilander came out in typical style with both playing from behind the baseline, just as they did in two marathon US Open finals in 1987 and ‘88, which they split. Wilander’s five-set victory over Lendl in ‘88 took 4 hours, 55

minutes, setting a record for longest US Open men’s singles final. After a long rally on the game’s second point, Lendl jokingly asked the 47-year-old Wilander, “Are you tired yet?” The laughter subsided midway through the set, and both competitors appeared to turn serious. Wilander took control in the fifth game when Lendl committed four unforced errors, giving Wilander the match’s first break and a 3-2 lead. Wilander held serve for a 42 lead and went ahead 5-2 with another break when Lendl netted a forehand on the clinching point. The match ended, fittingly, when Lendl hit a forehand

volley into the net. “It was fun playing,” Lendl said. “It was nice to have a good crowd. I wish I could have hit more good shots, but unfortunately that won’t come all at once.” While he wouldn’t commit to more exhibition matches or a comeback to the Champions Tour, Lendl said his back was feeling better and alluded to playing again competitively. “I enjoy practicing and I didn’t enjoy it before because of my back,” he said. “Now I’m fine.” In another match, Marat Safin defeated Pete Sampras 64. Andy Roddick also beat Sampras 6-4 before topping Safin 6-4. —AP

ATLANTIC CITY: Mats Wilander plays Ivan Lendl in the first match of the evening at Caesars Tennis Classic in Atlantic City. —AP

Pennetta bags WTA singles title MADRID: Italian Flavia Pennetta claimed her ninth WTA singles title here yesterday as she defeated Carla Suarez of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. The 28-year-old second-seeded Italian ranked 16 in the world - took just over two hours to dispose of her doughty 21-yearold Spanish opponent, who was seeded eight. Pennetta - a two-time US Open quarter-

finalist and a top class doubles player having reached the 2005 US Open final - bested her opponent especially on her first service, converting 72 percent of her first serves into points compared to just 52 percent for Suarez. Pennetta, who won her first title back in 2004 on clay in Sopot, Poland, was also the better on saving break points, getting out of trouble on nine of the 13 occasions she

was a break point down while Suarez only managed to save herself on four of the 11 occasions. The Italian was the only one of the top three seeds to more than justify her seeding as third seed Kim Clijsters - fresh from her victory in Miami - crashed out in the second round and top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus withdrew during her quarter-final. —AFP

AUGUSTA: Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson three of the world’s four top golfers - were poised to provide a championship drama yesterday at the Masters on one of the game’s grandest stages. Stunning shotmaking on Saturday, including back-toback eagles and nearly a third in a row from Mickelson, created classic roars from spectators at Augusta National Golf Club and raised expectations for a thrilling finish. “That’s what major championships are all about,” said Westwood, who seeks his first such crown. “They are tough ones to win because great players do great things.” Westwood, trying to become the first Englishman to win a major since Nick Faldo rallied from six strokes down on the final day to beat Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters, led the field at 12-under par 204, one stroke ahead of Mickelson. World number one Woods, in his first event after a fivemonth hiatus since his secret sex affairs were revealed to the world, shared third on 208 with South Korean K.J. Choi, one stroke ahead of 50-year-old US star Fred Couples. “The guys on the leaderboard are great players. They are going to do something,” Westwood said. “You have to expect the unexpected at times.” Westwood, whose nearmiss majors include third at last year’s British Open and PGA Championship and the 2008 US Open, might need something unprecedented. No one has fired four rounds in the 60s at any Masters, something Westwood is poised to accomplish. He plan is simple — keep his focus on his game as he has all week “What Phil is doing is of no importance to my game,” Westwood said. “What Phil Mickelson does is really out of my control. The only thing I can control is what I do, where I hit it.” Tricky pin placements will test the world’s best, especially at Amen Corner, the perilous par-4 11th, par-3 12th and par5 13th holes winding around Rae’s Creek, where dreams of glory vanish as misfired balls splash into the water. “I think it’s going to be an exciting Sunday,” Mickelson said. “I think the course is going to be set up similarly in that you can make some birdies and challenge some pins.” Westwood, who leads the field with 43 of 54 greens in regulation, will duel with Mickelson, a three-time major winner and two-time Masters champion, in the final last-day pairing, which has produced 18 of the past 19 Masters champion. “We’re going to have some excitement, a real shootout,” Mickelson said. More history is against Woods in his quest for a 15th major title and fifth Masters green jacket. Woods has never won a major when he was not leading after 54 holes. “I’m only four back. I’m in good shape,” Woods said. “You never know.” A first-ever comeback major victory would move him closer to the record 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus heading into the US Open at Pebble Beach and British Open at St. Andrews, majors at places where Woods has won prior majors. A victory rally would complete a storybook comeback for Woods, who began the week uncertain how he would be received by spectators at Augusta National after more than a dozen women claimed sexual affairs with the married father of two. Woods received applause and a generally warm welcome, although the numbered badges of Masters patrons allow for future credential removal for hecklers, meaning Woods might not be out of the woods when it comes to PGA Tour events. “After what has transpired, to have that support out there is fantastic,” Woods said. Couples is trying to turn back the clock and become the oldest champion in major golf history while Choi is quietly contending for Asia’s second major win in a row, after countryman Yang Yong-Eun in last year’s PGA Championship, while playing alongside Woods all four days. —AFP

AUGUSTA: In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, an oak tree shades spectators along the first fairway during the final round of the Masters golf tournament. —AP

Els has had enough of Masters misery AUGUSTA: Another year at the Masters, another flop, and Ernie Els says he has had enough. “I tell you it’s killing me,” he said after a third round of 75 quashed any remaining hopes he had for this year. Making it all the more galling this time around is the fact that the big South African, six months into his fourth decade, came into Augusta as one of the hottest players in the tour. In what signalled a distinct revival in his fortunes, Els won back-to-back tournaments in the buildup to the year’s first major at the World Golf Championship CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It all started well on Thursday as Els moved up the leaderboard early on, but a double-bogey six at the 18th took the wind out of his sails. Thereafter, he was never a factor and by the end of Saturday’s third round, when he shot four over 39 on the back nine, he was a distant 15 shots behind leader Lee Westwood. “That first day double-bogey on 18,” said Els shaking his head. “I played beautifully ... but to finish like that. It all started going down to script until the 18th hole Thursday.” The story line has seldom gone to plan for Els at Augusta, where he first teed off in 1994, the year he joined the US PGA Tour. While he won US Opens in 1994 and 1997 as well as the 2002 British Open, Els has come up short at the Masters year after year. It’s not that he was never in contention, having

finished second twice behind Tiger Woods in 2000 and Phil Mickelson four years later despite a closing round of 67. Since then he has struggled, missing the cut for the last three years and then this time around seeing all his bright hopes fail to materialize. It has left the normally easy-going Els morbidly fatalistic about his chances of ever winning a Masters green jacket. “If it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “What can you do? I’m just beating my head against the wall every time. I’ve had a good attitude and the game was there (this year). Everything was there. We just don’t gel. “It has done it to a bunch of people and I’m probably one of them. I mean, go down the list (Tom) Weiskopf, (Greg) Norman, (Johnny) Miller and many, many others. “It’ll be something that’s a huge void in my career, but if I’m not going to do it, I can’t worry about this anymore. I’m killing myself and I don’t want to do it anymore.” Els said he would limit his ambitions to bettering par in yesterday’s final round, after which he would spend a few weeks taking stock of things before moving onto the US Open at Pebble Beach and the British Open at St Andrews - two courses he believes can be kinder to him than Augusta National. “I’ve had a great start and I could win four, five or six tournaments this year and that’s what I’m looking forward to,” he said. —AFP

Cancellara clinches rare classic double ROUBAIX: Swiss Olympic time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara won the ParisRoubaix one day classic cycling race yesterday to complete a rare double of the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix in the same season. The 29-year-old - also the world time-trial champion and winning this event for the second time - is only the 10th rider to achieve the double and first since Belgian Tom Boonen in 2005. Cancellara eased home on his own. Norwegian Thor Hushovd beat Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha for the runners-up spot in a sprint finish. Cancellara took command of the race with a little under 50 km remaining with a surprise, but ultimately decisive acceleration as defending champion and main rival Boonen was finishing feeding. The big Swiss soon reeled in a lead group of four riders on the 10th from last cobblestoned sector at Mons-en-Pevele, leaving Boonen in his wake among a group of contenders who, crucially, were doing little to help the Belgian. Cancellara emerged from Mons-en-Pevele, one of the most difficult of the race’s 27 cobblestone sectors, with a 20-sec lead on Boonen, who he humbled in spectacular fashion on his way to victory in last week’s Tour of Flanders. With over 45km to race into a headwind the big Saxo Bank rider’s victory appeared far from guaranteed. However his bid was

given a helping hand by the disastrous tactics being deployed behind him. Boonen was left in a seven-man chase group which notably contained Hushovd, Filippo Pozzato, Leif Hoste and Flecha however their pursuit of Cancellara was hampered by their failure to collaborate. And by the time Cancellara had emerged from the seventh from last cobbled sector at Templeuve, his lead had grown to nearly a minute and a half. With 25km to race Team Sky’s main hope Flecha, the runner-up to Stuart O’Grady in 2007, decided to break from the chase group and went off in pursuit of Cancellara on the sixth from last sector at Wannehain.

However his late bid to catch up with Cancellara was soon countered by Boonen’s group, which in doing so left Pozzato momentarily in its wake. From then on, theirs was a battle for the runner-up places, as Cancellara surged solo, for the second week in a row, to another major oneday classic victory. Last week Cancellara became the first Swiss since Heiri Suter in 1923 to win at Flanders, and his Tour of Flanders/ParisRoubaix double is Switzerland’s first since Suter’s double. To date, Cancellara now has four major one-day classic wins - Milan-SanRemo in 2006, two at ParisRoubaix (2006 and 2010) and the Tour of Flanders (2010). — AFP

FRANCE: Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara of Team Saxo Bank kisses the trophy on the podium after winning the 108th edition of the ParisRoubaix cycling classic race. —AP


SPORTS

18

Monday, April 12, 2010

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. Charlotte 99, Detroit 95; Indiana 115, New Jersey 102; Atlanta 105, Washington 95; Philadelphia 120, Memphis 101; Boston 105, Milwaukee 90; San Antonio 104, Denver 85; Dallas 126, Sacramento 108; LA Clippers 107, Golden State 104.

LOS ANGELES: Golden State Warriors forward Reggie Williams (right) puts up a shot as Los Angeles Clippers guard Rasual Butler defends during the second half of their NBA basketball game. —AP

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 50 30 .625 Toronto 38 41 .481 NY Knicks 28 51 .354 Philadelphia 27 53 .338 New Jersey 12 68 .150 Central Division Cleveland 61 19 .763 Milwaukee 45 35 .563 Chicago 38 41 .481 Indiana 32 48 .400 Detroit 26 54 .325 Southeast Division Orlando 56 23 .709 Atlanta 51 29 .638 Miami 44 35 .557 Charlotte 43 37 .538 Washington 25 55 .313 Western Conference Northwest Division Denver 52 28 .650 Utah 52 28 .650 Oklahoma City 49 30 .620 Portland 48 31 .608 Minnesota 15 64 .190 Pacific Division LA Lakers 56 23 .709 Phoenix 51 28 .646 LA Clippers 28 52 .350 Sacramento 25 55 .313 Golden State 24 55 .304 Southwest Division Dallas 53 27 .663 San Antonio 49 31 .613 Houston 41 38 .519 Memphis 40 40 .500 New Orleans 35 45 .438

GB 11.5 21.5 23 38 16 22.5 29 35 5.5 12 13.5 31.5

2.5 3.5 36.5 5 28.5 31.5 32 4 11.5 13 18

Spurs pound Nuggets, Celtics strangle Bucks DENVER: The San Antonio Spurs won 104-85 to strip Denver of the Northwest Division lead and threaten the Nuggets’ chances of starting the NBA playoffs with home advantage. Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili each added 15 points for the Spurs, who climbed up to seventh in the Western Conference standings. Chauncey Billups scored 27 points for Denver, which fell into a tie with Utah for the Division lead and gave up its share of second in the West. Kenyon Martin was back in the Nuggets starting lineup after missing 18 games because of patellar tendini-

tis in his left knee. Celtics 105, Bucks 90 In Milwaukee, Paul Pierce scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half as Boston rested Kevin Garnett and still beat Milwaukee. After a rough game in Milwaukee last month, this one featured more pushing and shoving late and could be a sign of things to come in a firstround matchup in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bucks coach Scott Skiles was ejected, Celtics forward Glen Davis squared off with Kurt Thomas, and Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings was inadvertently kicked between the

legs in the fourth quarter. John Salmons overcame his stomach bug to score 21 points for the Bucks. Mavericks 126, Kings 108 In Sacramento, California, Dirk Nowitzki scored 39 points to help Dallas rout struggling Sacramento. The victory, combined with Denver’s loss to San Antonio, moved the Mavericks into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference playoff race. Dallas is one game ahead of Denver with two games remaining for both teams. The Mavericks can finish no worse than the fourth seed. Jason Kidd had his second triple-

double of the season and the 105th of his career, finishing 11 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for Dallas, which has won three straight. Carl Landry scored 30 points for Sacramento, which has lost nine of 10. Hawks 105, Wizards 95 In Washington, Atlanta maintained third place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference by snapping their road woes and beating Washington. Jamal Crawford scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half and Joe Johnson added 20 points as the Hawks won their first road game in seven attempts and beat the Wizards for the ninth straight time. Andray

Blatche scored Washington.

24

points

for

Bobcats 99, Pistons 95 In Charlotte, North Carolina, DJ Augustin hit the go-ahead jump shot with just over a minute left to lift Charlotte over Detroit. Larry Hughes scored 18 points and Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson added 14 apiece for the Bobcats, who kept their slim hopes alive for overtaking Miami for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and thus avoiding a first-round playoff matchup with Orlando. Ben Gordon scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half for Detroit.

76ers 120, Grizzlies 101 In Memphis, Tennessee, Philadelphia matched a franchise record with 14 3-pointers in the win over Memphis. Marreese Speights scored 22 points, while Jason Kapono and Andre Iguodala added 15 each as the 76ers snapped a six-game losing streak. The 76ers were 14 of 26 from 3point range and shot 57 percent overall. Mike Conley led Memphis with 23 points. Clippers 107, Warriors 104 In Los Angeles, the hosts snapped a seven-game losing streak with a tight win over Golden State. Chris Kaman had 27 points and 10 rebounds and

Steve Nowak hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:46 to play as the Clippers rallied from a six-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter. Rookie Stephen Curry scored 29 points for the Warriors. Pacers 115, Nets 102 In Indianapolis, Troy Murphy had 25 points and nine rebounds to lead streaking Indiana over New Jersey. Danny Granger scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half for the Pacers, who won their fourth straight game to continue a late-season surge. Brook Lopez had 20 points for New Jersey, which is an NBA-worst 12-68. —AP

Ethiopian duo wrap up Paris marathon

LAS VEGAS: Evander Holyfield (left) and Francois Botha battle in the fifth round of their heavyweight bout at the Thomas & Mack Center. —AFP

47-year-old Holyfield stops Botha LAS VEGAS: Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is using George Foreman’s comeback more than 15 years ago as inspiration after notching his latest victory Saturday. The 47-year-old Holyfield (43-10-2, 28 KOs) won by TKO against 41-year-old Frans Botha with 2:05 left in the eighth round. Holyfield had knocked down the South African 31 seconds earlier with a right to the chin. Botha (47-5-3) beat referee Russell Mora’s count, but Mora then stopped the fight with the South African backed into a corner, giving Holyfield the lightly regarded World Boxing Federaton heavyweight title. “I’m going to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Holyfield said. Two judges, Jerry Roth and Glenn Feldman, had Botha ahead 67-66 when the

fight was stopped. The other judge, Herb Santee, had it 69-64 for Holyfield. “I’m happy Botha gave me an opportunity,” Holyfield said. “When people talk about you, it’s who I fought. I fought the best.” There were only 3,127 people at the Thomas & Mack Center, most rooting for Holyfield in his first fight since Dec. 20, 2008, when he lost a majority decision to Nikolay Valuev. “George Foreman said, ‘It’s not about my age,”‘ Holyfield referred to what the former champ said back in the 1990s. “He became heavyweight champion of the world.” In the second round, Holyfield briefly lost his balance, stumbling into a corner after a right from Botha with 2:04 left. “(Holyfield has) got the skills. He’s got the determination,” Botha said. “He landed his shots. He’s a true

warrior. I didn’t feel ashamed losing to a great champion like him.” At the post-fight press conference, it was mentioned Holyfield would like to fight one of the Klitschko brothers, who hold three of the four major heavyweight belts. Wladimir Klitschko holds two titles, while Vitali holds one. Early on, Botha was warned by the referee twice in the first three rounds for hitting behind the head. Botha also was warned in the first round for a double hit to the head during a clinch. This was Holyfield’s first fight in Las Vegas since 2003, when he lost to James Toney at Mandalay Bay. Before Saturday, Holyfield was only 10-6 in Las Vegas, including the infamous earbiting incident against Mike Tyson in 1997, when he won by disqualification. —AP

PARIS: Ethiopians Tadesse Tola and Atsede Baysa won the 34th Paris marathon yesterday. In just his second marathon, the 22-year-old Tola was the first male runner home in 2hr 06.41min, finishing ahead of Kenyans Alfred Kering and Wilson Kipsang. Tola left the chasing pack behind four kilometres from the finish line in the race run around the streets of central Paris. “It’s really satisfying for my second marathon,” said Tola, whose previous outing saw him finish in ninth spot in 2:15.48 in last year’s Chicago marathon. “From the 38km mark, I felt great and I knew I could win it.” His time was almost a minute off the course record of 2:05.47 set last year by Kenyan Vincent Kiprop. There was a new course record set in the women’s race, however, Baysa clocking 2:22.03 to smash the previous best of 2:23.05 set by Belgian Marlee Renders in 2002. Second-placed Christelle Daunay also set a new French record, running 2:24.22 to break up an otherwise allEthiopian top five. Results Men 1. Tadesse Tola (ETH) 2hr 06min 41sec, 2. Alfred Kering (KEN) 2:07.11, 3. Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:07.13, 4. Benjamin Kiptoo (KEN) 2:08.01, 5. Daniel Kiprugut (KEN) 2:08.29 Women 1. Atsede Baysa (ETH) 2:22.04, 2. Christelle Daunay (FRA) 2:24.22, 3. Beyene Tsegaye Tirfi (ETH) 2:24.51, 4. Azalech Woldeselasse (ETH) 2:25.34, 5. Gurmu Workitu Ayanu (ETH) 2:29.25. —AFP

ABU DHABI: Demian Maia of Brazil (left) in action against Anderson Silva (right) of Brazil during their Middleweight fight at the Ultimate Fighting Championship 112 event at the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island, near Abu Dhabi. —AP

Berto stops Quintana SUNRISE: American Andre Berto retained his WBC welterweight title with a stoppage of Carlos Quintana on Saturday, boosting his chances of a bout against the premier fighters in the weight class. Berto stopped Puerto Rico’s Quintana in the eighth round for his fifth successful defense of the WBC crown. Berto (26-0, 20 KOs) did heavy damage from the third round through the eighth. He finally stopped Quintana, a former WBO champion, with a succession of hard rights before referee Tommy Kimmons ended the bout at the 2:16 mark. Now, the question is how long it will take before Berto, 26, gets a shot at the high-profile welterweights such as WBO champion Manny Pacquiao, WBA champion Shane Mosley or former champion Floyd Mayweather. “My knockout was pretty vicious,” Berto said. “It may open up their eyes a little bit. But then again they have to look at I’ve been off for a long time so it’s only

going get better from here.” Promoter Lou DiBella, who handles Berto, said he’d like a fight against Pacquiao but he also admitted Berto, who had an 11-month layoff, might need another bout or two before taking on the best. Quintana (27-3) had Berto looking tentative in the first two rounds. Berto sustained a right biceps injury sometime in the opening two rounds, but he finally found his comfort zone and began teeing off on the Puerto Rican. Berto began landing combinations and had Quintana against the ropes in the third round. In the fifth round, he rocked Quintana again, this time with a straight right. Berto landed a couple big rights in the sixth and seventh rounds. Both fighters complained about their opponents’ tactics during the fight. Early, Berto claimed Quintana was hitting him in the back of the head, and Quintana eventually had a point deducted. But Quintana also had a complaint. “The ref let Berto hit

me in the back and it took me out of my rhythm,” he said. Part of the proceeds of the fight will benefit the Haitian earthquake relief fund. Berto’s parents were born in Haiti. After the Jan. 12 earthquake, Berto canceled his Jan. 30 fight against Shane Mosley and went to Haiti to aid the relief effort. Part of his job there was holding down semi-conscious people while they had limbs amputated because there wasn’t enough anaesthetic to go round. On the undercard, Panama’s Celestino Caballlero (34-2, 23 KO) defeated Indonesia’s Daud Cino Yordan (25-1) by unanimous decision to claim the WBA interim featherweight title to go alongside his IBF and WBC belts. Caballero dominated the fight although Yordan managed to score regularly. “It wasn’t an easy fight,” Caballero said, “but when it comes to the world championship, if they want my belt they have to be prepared.”—AP


SPORTS

Monday, April 12, 2010

19

Roma break Inter’s stranglehold

SPAIN: Espanyol’s Jose Callejon (right) duels for the ball against Atletico Madrid’s Antonio Lopez, during a Spanish League soccer match.—AP

Bilbao keep up European push MADRID: Athletic Bilbao surged back into the La Liga top six with a resounding 4-0 win over Almeria yesterday to move two points ahead of Villarreal as the race for Europe intensified. It was a 10th home victory of the season for Bilbao who were four goals up after just 51 minutes with Javi Martinez grabbing a brace while Igor Gabilondo and Fernando Llorente were also on the scoresheet. Spanish international Llorente also missed a penalty as Bilbao ran riot and Almeria only had a consolation goal from Argentine Pablo Piatti to show for their efforts. Deportivo La Coruna fell five points behind Bilbao with a frustrating 1-1 home draw against struggling Racing Santander. Ivan Riki scored in the first minute for Deportivo, who travel to Barcelona on Wednesday, but substitute Toni Moral levelled on 83 minutes to secure a valuable point for Racing. Racing climbed up to 15th, six points above the drop zone while Deportivo’s European hopes are fading fast after just one point from the last 15. Barcelona moved three points clear at the summit following a 2-0 win at Real Madrid on Saturday in ‘El Clasico’ at the Santiago Bernabeu. It was a fourth successive Clasico win for Barcelona who stayed on course for a league and Champions League double after ending Real’s perfect home record of 15 wins “No team had won at the Bernabeu so it is a real achievement,” said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. “However, the next two games are fundamental and on Wednesday (against Depor) we will see how we recover and then there is the Espanyol game.” The league is Real’s only hope of silverware

this season and the defeat leaves them chasing Barcelona with just seven games left and the calls for coach Manuel Pellegrini’s head have become louder. Pellegrini took over in the summer but after an outlay of over 250 million euros his Real side have crashed out of the Kings Cup to Alcorcon, lost to Lyon in the last 16 of the Champions League and now trail Barcelona by three points in the title race. “We were beaten by a side better than we were,” said Pellegrini. “There are still 21 points to play for and Madrid are not going to hold their hands up. We will fight until the end, to make Barcelona win every game and to fail if they do not.” Fifth-placed Real Mallorca host third-placed Valencia later on Sunday in a tussle for the Champions League places. Mallorca are fifth, three points behind Sevilla, and have won 12 out of 14 league games at home with Barcelona and Sevilla the only two sides to win at the Ono Stadium. “We have to be ambitious and not let fourth place slip from our grasp,” said Mallorca midfielder Josep Marti. Valencia are a comfortable third five points ahead of Sevilla and aim to get Thursday’s painful Europa League loss to Atletico Madrid out of their system. Atletico Madrid are were Espanyol later yesterday as they look to take their European form into the league where they are down in 10th spot. Atletico set up a Europa League semi-final against Liverpool after edging out rivals Valencia on Thursday and are also in the Kings Cup final against Sevilla. -AFP

Spanish League results/standings Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Riki 1) Racing Santander 1 (Moral 83); Athletic Bilbao 4 (Martinez 13, 49, Gabilondo 32, Llorente 51) Almeria 1 (Piatti 71); Osasuna 2 (Aranda 2, Vadocz 90) Real Zaragoza 0. Playing later Espanyol v Atletico Madrid (1700 GMT), Real

Mallorca v Valencia Played Saturday Malaga 1 (Caicedo 16) Sevilla 2 (Cala 65, Lolo 84); Tenerife 0 Valladolid 0; Villarreal 1 (Godin 16) Sporting Gijon 0; Xerez 0 Getafe 1 (Rafa 60); Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 2 (Messi 32, Pedro 55).

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

31 31 30 31 30 31 31 31 31 30

25 25 16 15 14 14 13 13 12 11

5 2 8 6 6 6 7 5 7 7

1 4 6 10 10 11 11 13 12 12

77 83 48 45 46 45 46 43 33 47

19 28 32 36 34 42 41 40 39 45

80 77 56 51 48 48 46 44 43 40

Sporting Gijon Osasuna Almeria Espanyol Racing Santander Real Zaragoza Malaga Tenerife Valladolid Xerez

31 31 31 30 31 31 31 31 31 31

9 10 9 8 7 8 7 6 4 5

10 7 10 10 11 8 10 8 13 8

12 14 12 12 13 15 14 17 14 18

33 28 33 22 31 37 35 29 30 26

39 35 43 37 45 55 40 61 53 53

37 37 37 34 32 32 31 26 25 23

Magath: Schalke ‘too soft’ to be crowned champions BERLIN: Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath all but conceded the German title race yesterday, claiming his team were “too soft” to win the Bundesliga. Magath was speaking 24 hours after watching his players’ tame capitulation in a 4-2 loss to relegation-threatened Hanover, a defeat that left them two points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich who drew 1-1 with Bayer Leverksuen. “We’re not too bad to be crowned champions, we’re simply too soft,” Magath told Sport1 television. He added: “We haven’t shown the required winning mentality. We lost confidence in ourselves after the defeat to Bayern (last week).” Appointed last June Magath denied that his comments were designed as a disingenous ploy to lull Bayern into believing their nearest rivals had given up the chase. He had employed similar tactics last campaign before guiding his then club Wolfsburg to the 2009/10 title. With a smile the former Bayern coach continued: “We don’t want to spoil Bayern’s party. With Schalke 04 we’ve enjoyed a superb season and we can finish it in style.” In yesterday’s action Ruud van Nistelrooy grabbed the late winner in Hamburg’s come-frombehind 2-1 win at Vfl Bochum.

Slovenian striker Zlatko Dedic fired the hosts into a two minute lead, with Robert Tesche levelling before the break with former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker van Nistelrooy saving the day for the hosts of the Europa League final two minutes from time. Hamburg are sitting sixth, on 48 points, 12 off the top, with Bochum hovering one point off the relegation zone in fourth from bottom. In Sunday’s second game Wolfsburg picked themselves up after being knocked out of the Europa League by Fulham with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg, the goals coming in the second half from Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko and Brazilian Grafite. The win pushed them up a place to eighth, two points below Hamburg with Nuremburg level with Bochum on 28 points but boasting a superior goal difference. On Saturday Bayern’s seven matches in 21 days, including their epic Champions League win over Manchester United, caught up with them as they laboured to their 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. Louis van Gaal’s Munich side also have a sixpoint lead over third-placed Leverkusen and remain on course for a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble. —AFP

ROME: Inter Milan’s six-month stranglehold on the Serie A title race was broken yesterday when Roma deposed them as league leaders. Roma snatched pole position with a 2-1 win over a stubborn Atalanta, which opened a onepoint lead over Jose Mourinho’s Inter with five matches left. First-half goals from Mirko Vucinic and Marco Cassetti gave Roma a 2-0 lead, but they were made to sweat after a Simone Tiribocchi strike in the 53rd minute. AC Milan were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Catania and now trail Roma by four points, having come back from 2-0 down thanks to a Marco Borriello brace in the second half. “We were dominating but instead of closing out the match we made life difficult for ourselves by gifting them a goal,” said Roma coach Claudio Ranieri, whose side come up against Lazio in the Rome derby next weekend when Inter host Juventus. “Before, winning the scudetto depended on others but now it’s in our own hands. We are coming up against an in-form Lazio-it’s going to be a cracker.” Following Ranieri’s call to seize the day after Inter’s 2-2 draw at Fiorentina on Saturday, Roma took command from the opening whistle at the Stadio Olimpico against an Atalanta side fighting for Serie A survival. The Bergamo side, thirdfrom-bottom, gifted Roma the lead on 12 minutes when goalkeeper Andrea Consigli allowed Vucinic’s 25-yard effort to squirm through his grasp. A quarter of an hour later the Giallorossi doubled their lead when Francesco Totti sent over an inviting centre and right-back Cassetti, who had sprinted into the box seconds earlier, buried a header from six yards. Ranieri sent Luca Toni on for the impressive Vucinic at half-time but the home side seemed to relax and within eight minutes of the restart Tiribocchi was left in space on the edge of the box and the striker calmly placed his finish into the far corner to halve the deficit. Toni spooned Totti’s pass over the bar on 70 minutes, but Jaime Valdes was causing Roma all sorts of problems as Atalanta pressed for an equaliser. Julio Sergio had to save bravely from Tiribocchi after another fine run and pass from Valdes as Roma clung on for the three potentially crucial points. Catania shocked Milan at the San Siro with an enterprising first-half display. Argentine Maxi Lopez shot home on 12 minutes before crossing for Adrian Ricchiuti to head home two minutes from the interval. Borriello led the fightback with a 48th-minute header from a Clarence Seedorf centre and a fine turn-and-shot on 80 minutes but a point may not be enough for Milan in the final reckoning. “I’m not conceding anything. After that second half I’m even more optimistic,” said Brazilian coach Leonardo. “We certainly won’t be giving up after that fightback. I’m very happy with my players.” Palermo stay fourth, 10 points behind Milan, after coming from a goal down to defeat Chievo 2-1, with Fabrizio Miccoli weighing in with a brace. Giorgio Chiellini’s first-half header gave Juventus a 1-0 win over Cagliari that sent them fifth, three points adrift of the Champions League places, ahead of the night’s Genoa derby between Genoa and Sampdoria. In the battle to stay clear of the drop zone, Lazio came back from two goals down to defeat Bologna 3-2, while Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale notched goal number 23 in Udinese’s 2-0 victory at bottom club Livorno. Siena’s 3-2 win at home to Bari brings them to six points from safety. On Saturday Inter, who had been top since October 3, dropped two precious points in a 2-2 draw at Fiorentina. A goal eight minutes from time from Per Kroldrup earned the Viola a deserved point after Inter had come from behind to snatch the lead in the second half. “After going ahead we gifted Fiorentina a second goal but these things happen in footballyou’re often most vulnerable after scoring,” said Inter sporting director Marco Branca, who spoke as coach Jose Mourinho is boycotting the Italian press.—AFP

ITALY: AS Roma players celebrate at the end of the Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Atalanta, in Rome’s Olympic stadium. AS Roma won the match 2-1.—AP

Italian League results/standings Juventus 1 (Chiellini 35) Cagliari 0; Roma 2 (Vucinic 12, Cassetti 27) Atalanta 1 (Tiribocchi 53); AC Milan 2 (Borriello 48, 81) Catania 2 (Maxi Lopez 12, Ricchiuti 43); Bologna 2 (Guana 12, Portanova 16) Lazio 3 (Mauri 44, Dias 63, Rocchi 68); Palermo 3 (Pastore 28, Miccoli 39-pen, 53) Chievo 1 (Marcos 18); Siena 3 (Ghezzal 19, 62, Rosi 66) Bari 2 (Rivas 13, Castillo 22); Livorno 0 Udinese 2 (SanchÈz 8, Di Natale 35).

Playing later Sampdoria v Genoa Played Saturday Napoli 2 (Quagliarella 3, Hamsik 78) Parma 3 (Antonelli 63, Lucarelli 68, Jimenez 87); Fiorentina 2 (Keirrison 11, Kroldrup 83) Inter Milan 2 (Milito 75, Eto’o 81).

Italian League table after yesterday’s afternoon matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Roma Inter Milan AC Milan Palermo Juventus Sampdoria Napoli Fiorentina Parma Genoa

33 33 33 33 33 32 33 33 33 32

20 19 18 15 15 14 12 13 12 12

8 10 10 9 6 9 13 7 10 9

5 4 5 9 12 9 8 13 11 11

59 63 54 49 49 40 44 46 35 52

36 30 33 41 47 38 40 39 41 52

68 67 64 54 51 51 49 46 46 45

Bari Cagliari Catania Chievo Udinese Lazio Bologna Atalanta Siena Livorno

33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33

11 11 9 10 10 8 9 8 7 6

10 7 12 8 8 13 8 7 8 8

12 15 12 15 15 12 16 18 18 19

40 50 38 29 43 31 36 32 35 22

41 51 38 34 49 36 50 44 57 50

43 40 39 38 38 37 35 31 29 26


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United suffer title setback Blackburn 0

Man United 0

LONDON: Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani (left) vies for the ball against Fulham’s Danny Murphy during their English Premier League soccer match.—AP

Liverpool’s Champions League hopes fade after Fulham draw Liverpool 0

Fulham 0 LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered another substantial blow as Fulham earned a 0-0 draw at Anfield yesterday. Rafael Benitez’s side knew a victory over the Cottagers was vital if they were to keep alive their already fading dreams of overhauling Manchester City and Tottenham in the race for fourth place in the Premier League. However, in a strangely subdued encounter between two sides who could meet in the Europa League final next month should they win their respective semi-finals, Liverpool could not break down the resilient London side, who had Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to thank for a string of fine saves. The pre-match discussion at

Anfield was mainly concerned with the news that Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the bank, are being drafted in by Liverpool to help the club find new owners. It is the first move in what is likely to be a protracted affair but it is the strongest indicator yet that the club’s unpopular American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are finally getting ready to sell the club. On the field, Liverpool also had to contest this encounter without Fernando Torres who picked up a knee injury during his sublime display against Benfica in Liverpool’s 4-1 Europa League victory on Thursday. The Spanish forward had scored nine goals in his last seven appearances for Liverpool and 18 in just 22 Premier League encounters this season and his absence certainly affected the Reds’ attacking threat. David Ngog replaced Torres as the lone striker but he lacked his team-mate’s cutting edge, shooting wide twice early on well placed. In terms of possession,

Liverpool were by far the better side but in the opening 20 minutes they did little with it. Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard linked up well several times on the right wing but the final killer ball was absent as Liverpool failed to shine. After 22 minutes, Alberto Aquilani has one ambitious overhead kick comfortably stopped by Schwarzer just 60 seconds before the Australian was called into action again as he brilliantly blocked a Maxi Rodriguez effort to keep the scores level. Schwarzer was impressive again after half an hour as he clawed away a Javier Mascherano effort from outside the box that would have sneaked into the top corner. Fulham were then given a letoff by referee Andre Marriner who allowed Jonathan Greening to remain on the pitch when he should have been dismissed. He was booked early in the game for dissent and then chopped Johnson to the ground as the Liverpool defender tried to get forward in attack.—AFP

Pompey rock Spurs, reach FA Cup final LONDON: Crisis club Portsmouth stunned Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-0 extra-time win as they reached their second FA Cup final in three years at Wembley here yesterday, just a day after being relegated from the Premier League. Portsmouth, the 2008 FA Cup winners when now Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was their manager, will face double chasers Chelsea — the team Pompey boss Avram Grant managed when they lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United — in the May 15 final at Wembley. Frederic Piquionne, on-loan from French club Lyon, scored from close range in the ninth minute of extra-time following former Spurs player KevinPrince Boateng’s header on from a Mark Wilson freekick as Tottenham defender Michael Dawson slipped on the much criticised Wembley pitch. Spurs thought they’d equalised two minutes later but former Pompey striker Peter Crouch’s effort was ruled out by referee Alan Wiley for a foul by Niko Kranjcar, another ex-Portsmouth player, on England goalkeeper David James. Pompey’s win was sealed when Boateng scored from the penalty spot with four minutes of extra-time left after striker Aruna Dindane was brought down by Wilson Palacios. “It’s superb, we deserved the win,” Porstmouth keeper James told ITV. “We played very well throughout the team. “Look what it means to Pompey, it’s fantastic. “We were eight- or nine-to-one (against) to win beforehand but we have proved people wrong.” Redknapp couldn’t understand why Crouch’s ‘goal’ was chalked off but praised his former club. “It wasn’t our day,” he told reporters. “That’s We had a good goal disallowed but full credit to Portsmouth. They always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and it was always going to be hard when they’ve got their full side out. “We had good chances, a lot of possession and good opportunities.” Redknapp though slammed the state of the Wembley playing surface. “The pitch is a disgrace. I’m not using it as an

LONDON: Portsmouth’s coach Avram Grant reacts on the final whistle.—AP excuse, it’s the same for both sides. But how can you play on a pitch you can’t stand up on? It’s farcical, unreal.” Tottenham may be fifth in the table and chasing Champions League football but there was little evidence of a gap in class between the Londoners and their south coast opponents. Portsmouth, bottom of the Premier League and with acknowledged debts of more than 76 million pounds (117 million dollars), kicked-off knowing West Ham’s win over Sunderland on Saturday meant they’d been relegated. Arguably, Portsmouth’s current financial crisis was sparked when they won the FA Cup at Wembley two years ago - their first major trophy since 1950 by beating second-tier Cardiff in the final.—AFP

BLACKBURN: Manchester United’s crumbling season took another turn for the worse at Blackburn yesterday as the champions were held to a 0-0 draw which left Chelsea in pole position to take the title. Just four days after crashing out of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side gave a toothless display which left them one point behind leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand against Bolton on Tuesday. Just two weeks ago United looked strong contenders to win a treble, but now they may have to settle for just the League Cup they lifted in February. Without the injured Wayne Rooney, United never looked likely to break down a rocksolid Blackburn defence as Dimitar Berbatov and Federico Macheda laboured to fill the void left by the England striker’s absence with an ankle problem. United’s best chance fell to Antonio Valencia moments before the interval but with just Paul Robinson to beat he saw his shot well saved by the England international. The inclusion of Macheda was one of six changes made by Ferguson, who recalled the experienced trio of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, while John O’Shea made his first start for five months. This promised to be a stern test for United, however, considering Rovers had lost just two league fixtures at Ewood Park this season and held Chelsea to a draw recently. Rovers boss Sam Allardyce might be close friends with Ferguson, to such an extent that the pair spent a day’s racing at Aintree last week when the latter’s horse won, but he was in no mood to do United and their manager any favours here. United were lacklustre from the start. Berbatov offered little movement in attack while Macheda struggled to get into the game. Nani appeared to have the beating of the ageing Michel Salgado on the left flank yet United were struggling to get the ball to him. Berbatov’s body language somehow personified United’s woes. The Bulgarian forward was a picture of frustration, with himself, his colleagues, the game and even the referee. It was Blackburn who threatened first when Australia’s Vince Grella curled a delightful cross to Christopher Samba, but his downward header was well saved by Edwin Van der Sar at his right hand post. It took United until the 24th minute to muster a strike on goal and provide Robinson with something to do. Valencia burst into space on the right but his angled drive was well blocked by the legs of the England international. Moments later Nani tried his luck from long range but was hopelessly off-target as the visitors’ lethargy continued. When Berbatov decided to exert himself he created a wonderful chance for Valencia in the 43rd minute but the Ecuador international shot too close to Robinson and wasted a glorious opportunity to hand United a priceless lead. Whatever Ferguson said at half time seemed to fall on deaf ears. United continued to struggle to find a way through Blackburn’s stubborn and well organised defence and when a slight opening did present itself Ferguson’s men wasted it. Nani failed to find the unmarked Macheda with noone between him and Robinson’s goal and the Portugal winger then blazed a free kick off target on the hour mark. When Berbatov slipped and then lost his boot with just four minutes remaining he looked a beaten man and summed up United’s end to the season.—AFP

LONDON: Manchester United’s Paul Scholes (center) vies for the ball with Blackburn Rovers’ Morten Gamst Pedersen (right) during their English Premier League soccer match at Ewood Park Stadium.—AP

Wolves edge closer to safety Wolves 0

Stoke 0 LONDON: Wolves edged closer to Premier League survival after grinding out a dour 0-0 draw against Stoke at Molineux yesterday. Mick McCarthy’s team are now six points clear of the relegation zone with four matches left to play and look set to beat the drop in their first season up from the Championship. Wolves were without captain Karl Henry as the midfielder started a three-game ban for his sending-off at Arsenal last weekend, so Jody Craddock took the skipper’s armband on his 500th career league appearance. As usual Stoke were keen to launch long throws from Rory Delap into the Wolves penalty area whenever possible and Abdoulaye Faye had a free header from one but sent his effort wide of the post. Stoke who enjoyed most of the early pressure and a header from Robert Huth flew straight at Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann before Dean Whitehead headed wide from Matthew Etherington’s cross. Senegal defender Faye wasted another good chance to put Stoke in front in the 23rd minute. Glenn Whelan hooked a cross into the area and Faye climbed above the home defence, only to send his header wide from close range. Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen was called into action for the first time to keep out a David Edwards header. But it wasn’t long before Delap’s latest bullet throw found Faye again, but once more he was unable to hit the target from a good position. There was no change to the pattern of the game in the second half and Delap remained the chief creator as his throw was flicked by Huth straight at Hahnemann. Mamady Sidibe wasted a good chance to put Stoke ahead after 54 minutes when he slashed Danny Higginbotham’s shot wildly over the bar. In a rare moment of danger for Stoke, Sorensen had to save a powerful Zubar header from Craddock’s cross. But it was Stoke who finished stronger as Whelan flashed a fierce drive just over, then curled wide from long-range.—AFP

LONDON; Stoke City’s Danny Higginbottom (right) competes for the ball with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ George Elokobi during their English Premier League soccer match.—AP

City demolish Birmingham Man City 5

Birmingham 1 MANCHESTER: Manchester City consolidated fourth place in the Premier League as two goals apiece from Nedum Onuoha and Emmanuel Adebayor inspired a 51 demolition of Birmingham here yesterday. Roberto Mancini’s side are now four points clear of fifthplaced Tottenham, who still have to travel to Eastlands, thanks to a devastating spell of three goals in five minutes at the end of the first half. Carlos Tevez’s penalty put City in front and Onuoha added a second, with Adebayor touching in a third after Cameron Jerome had pulled one back. Onuoha scored a fourth midway through the second half before Adebayor complete the hammering with a fifth goal late on for City, who host bitter rivals Manchester United next week-

end. There was early disruption for City, with French midfielder Patrick Vieira picking up a knee injury in the warm up and having to be replaced by Nigel De Jong. But the hosts were quickly into their stride as De Jong lifted a shot well over the bar and Adebayor hit the side-netting after he was sent clear by Tevez. Tevez combined with Adebayor once again but fired his shot well off target before Adebayor dragged just wide after latching on to Gareth Barry’s header. City had the visitors pinned in their own half for long stages without working Maik Taylor, who took the place of on-loan City goalkeeper Joe Hart in the Birmingham goal. But in the 38th minute, City were given a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. Adam Johnson’s pass picked out Adebayor and the Togo striker burst into the area, beating Roger Johnson before going down under Scott Dann’s tackle. Johnson was booked for his protests but Tevez made no mistake, sending Taylor the wrong way with a powerful penalty. Just a couple of minutes later,

City doubled their advantage when Adam Johnson whipped over a corner from the left and Onuoha shrugged off Lee Bowyer’s challenge to score with a diving header. Three minutes before the interval, Birmingham hit back with a well-worked goal of their own. Liam Ridgewell picked out James McFadden and the Scotland forward clipped into the area for Jerome to head in, although the Birmingham striker looked to have been in an offside position. A minute after that City restored their lead with a wonderful passing move. Javier Garrido sent Craig Bellamy clear and, with Taylor advancing, the Welshman squared the ball for Adeabyor to touch it over the line.

Tevez could have scored a fourth for City when he raced onto Bellamy’s charge-down only to be denied by Taylor. City goalkeeper Shay Given was forced into a good save hen he pulled off a low block from Kevin Fahey.—AFP

EPL results/standings Blackburn 0 Man Utd 0; Liverpool 0 Fulham 0; Man City 5 (Tevez 38-pen, Onuoha 40, 74, Adebayor 43, 88) Birmingham 1 (Jerome 42); Wolves 0 Stoke 0.

Played Saturday Hull 1 (Kilbane 3) Burnley 4 (Paterson 35, Alexander 64-pen, 70-pen, Elliott 90); West Ham 1 (Ilan 51) Sunderland 0.

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

33 34 33 33 32 34 32 33 34 33 34

23 23 22 17 17 16 14 13 12 10 11

5 4 5 11 7 8 12 11 10 13 10

5 7 6 5 8 10 6 9 12 10 13

84 77 75 69 58 54 44 52 35 32 35

30 27 34 41 32 33 32 44 43 35 50

74 73 71 62 58 56 54 50 46 43 43

Fulham 33 11 9 Sunderland 34 9 11 Wolverhampton 34 8 9 Bolton 33 8 8 West Ham 34 7 10 Wigan 33 8 7 Burnley 34 7 6 Hull 33 6 9 Portsmouth 33 6 5 Note: Portsmouth deducted 9 administration

13 35 37 42 14 44 52 38 17 28 51 33 17 36 61 32 17 41 57 31 18 30 64 31 21 36 72 27 18 32 70 27 22 28 60 14 points for entering


VIVA Kuwait taking part in ACK job fair

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KFH to invest in alternative power: Al-Subeih

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Challenges ahead for visions of an ASEAN community

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Monday, April 12, 2010

www.kuwaittimes.net

Euro-zone tosses 30bn-euro lifeline to Greece Greek finance minister hails ‘very important’ EU debt deal BRUSSELS: Greece’s European partners tossed a financial lifeline yesterday to Greece, offering 30 billion euros in loans this year to help ease a debt crisis that has hiked the countr y’s bor rowing costs and slammed Europe’s common currency. The Inter national Monetar y Fund would make a “substantial contribution” as well, probably about 10 billion euros, said Olli Rehn, the EU monetar y affairs chief. He said the funds will be available if Greece makes a formal request for financial assistance, something it has not yet done. In an emergency video conference, Rehn said that the finance ministers of the 16-eurozone nations agreed that the loans would carry an interest rate of about 5 percent — less than commercial market rates but more than beneficiaries of IMF usually pay. “This is certainly no subsidy” to Greece, he told a news conference. He said EU and IMF officials will meet tomorrow to work out details of the loan deal, especially for lending in the years ahead. Greece has been spending beyond its means for years, leaving it with a 2009 budget deficit of 12.9 percent of economic output. The revelation of its statistics fudging has slammed the euro and gutted market confidence, fueling higher borrowing costs. Athens plans to cut its deficit to 8.7 percent this year and has launched a §4.8 billion austerity program cutting public sector wages, freezing pensions and hiking taxes. The Greek finance minister yesterday hailed a “very important” decision by euro-zone finance ministers to set terms for backup loans but said Athens would stick to its own efforts to reduce its debt. “A very important decision was taken,” Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in a televised statement.

Jazeera Airways to up capital by 91% KUWAIT: Kuwait’s carrier Jazeera Airways, which is considering acquisitions, plans to raise its capital by 91 percent through a rights issue, the company said yesterday. The low-cost airline’s board has decided to recommend to shareholders a KD20 million ($69.28 million) capital hike by selling additional 200 million shares, it said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse. The raise would bring Jazeera’s capital to KD42 million. The firm will issue shares at 150 fils per share, including a 50 fils premium. The airline said in February it has fully acquired Sahab Aircraft Leasing Co, a leasing firm lunched in 2008, for KD25.6 million. The firm’s chief executive told Reuters in January that it was eyeing acquisitions in the Middle East. Jazeera, which competes with United Arab Emiratesbased carriers Air Arabia and flydubai, has a firm order for 29 Airbus A320 aircraft and currently operates 11 planes across the Middle East and Egypt. Jazeera stock was trading down 3 percent in Kuwait trading. —Reuters

Mazaya revives First Dubai takeover plans

BRUSSELS: Eurogroup finance president and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker (right ), and European Commissioner for economic affairs, Olli Rehn (left), give a press conference yesterday at the EU headquarters in Brussels. —AFP “The Greek government has not asked for the activation of the mechanism, although it is now immediately available. We believe that we will be able to continue to borrow on the markets in an unobstructed fashion,” he said. E u ro a re a f i n a n c e m i n i s t e r s h o l d i n g e m e rg e n c y t a l k s o n

Sunday agreed to fund up to 30 billion euros ($40 billion) of emerg e n c y l o a n s t o d e b t - s t r i c ke n Greece, at interest rates of around five percent. Greece has labored for months to lower its borrowing costs but uncertainty surrounding the EU fall-back plan and market reaction

to contradictory claims attributed to Greek officials had steadily dashed its hopes. Details of interest rates were n o t a b l y m i s s i n g f ro m a d e a l agreed on March 25 between EU l e a d e r s t o h e l p G re e c e i f required. Investors complained a b o u t t h e a b s e n c e o f c o n c re t e

terms and Greece has suffered a spike in the rates it has to pay to bor row money on inter national financial markets. The Greek debt crisis has rattled Europe in recent months, sparking investor fears about rising debt levels and pushing down the value of the euro. —Agencies

Obama election-year jobs agenda stalls in Congress

BEIJING: A couple walks in a popular shopping area in Beijing, China, Saturday. China reported a $7.24 billion trade deficit in March, its first in almost six years, a shift expected to be short-lived that may give Beijing only a slight respite from pressure to revalue its currency. —AP

Palestinian growth hinges on Israeli measures: IMF RAMALLAH: A breakthrough in the peace process and the lifting of Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian territories are vital for durable Palestinian economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. An IMF staff report said growth in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will this year remain around 2009 levels of 7 percent and rise to 10 percent by 2012-13 in a positive scenario including looser Israeli restrictions and continued donor support. But growth would slow to 5 percent in 2010 from an estimated 6.8 percent in 2009, assuming “no progress in the peace process and only ad hoc and limited further easing of restrictions in the West Bank and of Gaza’s blockade”. The report added that medium-term growth would be around 4 percent in such condi-

tions. Conditions in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated due to a tight blockade of the territory run by the Hamas group which is hostile to Israel. The IMF report said that in 2009, growth in Gaza was 1 percent. In the West Bank, it was estimated at 8.5 percent. “A breakthrough in the peace process and removal of restrictions on a wider scale are essential for a durable and regionally balanced growth in the Palestinian territories,” it said. Such growth requires a lifting of the Gaza blockade, the removal of impediments to investment in West Bank areas that fall under complete Israeli control and the lifting of restrictions on Palestinian exports, especially to Israel. The report attributed West Bank growth to “generous donor budgetary aid”,

enhanced private sector confidence generated by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) institution-building reforms and Israel’s easing of movement restrictions. “However, there has been no additional significant easing of the West Bank’s restrictions so far in 2010, and economic activity in Gaza remains severely constrained by the persisting blockade,” it said. Israel says it has facilitated Palestinian economic growth by lifting hundreds of West Bank movement restrictions. Policymakers in the Westernbacked Palestinian Authority have largely attributed economic growth in the West Bank to donor support that the IMF report said was equal to 22 percent of gross domestic product in 2009. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: The election-year jobs agenda promised by President Barack Obama and Democrats has stalled seven months before voters determine control of Congress. Democrats have no money to pay for the program. That’s because both Republicans and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee objected to taking money left over from the fund that bailed out banks, automakers and insurers and using it for the jobs bill. Such a move, they insisted, would add tens of billions of dollars to the $12.8 trillion national debt. An $80 billionplus Senate plan promised an infusion of cash to build roads and schools, help local governments keep teachers on the payroll, and provide rebates for homeowners who make energy-saving investments. Two months after the plan was introduced, most of those main elements remain on the Senate’s shelf. Obama’s proposed $250 bonus payment to Social Security recipients is dead for the year, having lost a Senate vote last month. What’s going ahead instead are small-scale initiatives. That includes modest help for small business or simple extensions of parts from last year’s economic stimulus measure. None is expected to make an appreciable dent in an unemployment rate, stubbornly stuck at 9.7 percent, which is more than double what it was three years ago. Even legislation to help the jobless has run into trouble now that Republicans, following the lead of the conservative tea party movement, have decided to make trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits a campaign issue. Before Congress went on spring break, Republicans blocked a one-month extension of health insurance subsidies and additional weeks of unemployment insurance for people who have been out of work more than half a year. “You never know in politics when that magic moment comes when things really begin to change, but I believe that it has occurred now,” said Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican. “I think you’ll see a much greater commitment now to fiscal responsibility.” The idea of a jobs agenda arose late last year when the unemployment rate hit 10 percent and Democrats voiced concern that the majority party wasn’t doing enough to spur job creation. In December, House Democrats passed a $174 billion measure focused on public works spending, aid to the jobless and help to struggling state and local governments. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid handed the issue over to Democratic Sens. Dick

Durbin and Byron Dorgan. They devised the $83 billion plan, focused on small business, infrastructure projects, energy efficiency and support for public sector jobs. The plan absorbed a critical setback when the Senate Budget Committee chairman, Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat, came out against using bailout funds to pay for it. Since then, the measure has languished. The election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in a Massachusetts special election robbed Democrats of the 60 votes needed to overcome Republican efforts to block votes on legislation. Concerns about the rising national debt also sapped momentum. Democrats and Obama have had one legislative victory on the jobs front. With bipartisan support, they passed legislation giving companies that hire the unemployed a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year. When the Senate returns today, the first order of business will be trying to restore a one-month extension of health insurance subsidies and emergency unemployment aid for people who have been out of a job for more than six months. Republicans stopped a month-long, $10 billion temporary jobless aid measure last month and insisted that the measure not add to the deficit. Democrats are optimistic that the jobless aid will pass — first as a $10 billion stopgap and then as part of a broader bill extending the benefits through the end of the year. The second, larger bill includes aid to cash-starved state governments, higher Medicare payments for doctors treating seniors, and an extension of several tax breaks. That larger measure, to be financed mostly by adding almost $100 billion to the debt, is the biggest piece of the jobs agenda with a good chance to pass into law. But it doesn’t contain any new ideas for jump-starting the economy. It just extends elements of Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus package, which is earning uneven reviews with voters. There’s a complication. Since provisions of the larger Senate measure designed to pay for tax cuts have been tapped instead to pay for the just-passed health care overhaul, Democrats need to find about $30 billion in replacement revenues — a tall order. The dilemma hasn’t gotten much attention on Capitol Hill, but is threatening to delay the extension of the tax breaks. That includes a popular research and development tax credit, and a tax deduction for sales and property taxes for people from states without an income tax. —AP

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Al-Mazaya Holding will go ahead with plans to increase its stake in First Dubai Real Estate Development, after scrapping the proposal last year. Mazaya’s board has approved plans to acquire at least 11 percent and at most 36 percent of First Dubai, Mazaya said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website yesterday. “The board has recommended that the acquisition process takes place through buying shares of First Dubai...from (First Dubai’s) shareholders, in return for the shareholders who sold their shares to use the returns in subscribing in Mazaya’s capital increase,” Mazaya said. The developer which currently owns a 64 percent stake in First Dubai, said the takeover will increase the firm’s capital adequacy ratio and lower its debt. For the transaction, Mazaya’s share will be valued at 127 fils, while First Dubai’s share will be valued at 46 fils, the firm said. Mazaya’s shares were down more than 7 percent after the news, trading at 128 fils per share on the Kuwaiti bourse. Last year, Mazaya said that it was not going ahead with a full takeover plan of First Dubai because the benefit of the acquisition was marginal. —Reuters

Kuwait money supply growth slows to 3.1% KUWAIT: Kuwait’s M2 money supply growth decelerated to 3.1 percent year-on-year at the end of March, from 6.7 percent in the previous month, data showed yesterday. M2, an indicator of future inflation, rose to KD25.64 billion ($88.81 billion) at the end of March, compared with 24.86 billion dinars a year earlier, central bank data showed. Narrow money, or M1, rose 11.8 percent yearon-year to KD5.25 billion, following a 6.0 percent increase at the end of February. Quasi money-which includes savings and time deposits in dinars, as well as foreign currency depositsrose 1.1 percent to 20.39 billion dinars, the data showed. Banks’ total claims on the private sector, which also include their local investments, rose 4.8 percent to KD27.1 billion at the end of March. —Reuters

Bahrain CB unaware of AUB bid details MANAMA: Bahrain’s central bank yesterday said it was unaware of the identity of the bidder for a 25-percent stake in the country’s biggest lender, Ahli United Bank, casting further doubts on the sale. AUB said last week that Kuwaiti investment firm Tamdeen plus other, unnamed shareholders had agreed to sell 25 percent in the Bahraini bank to an undisclosed buyer from the Gulf Arab region. “The CBB is aware but does not have the details, nor the name of the buyer,” a central bank spokeswoman said in a written statement to Reuters. “Also we did not receive the request (to approve the stake sale) yet,” she said. Shares in AUB initially surged on the bid news but fell 9 percent on Thursday as investors pulled back from the deal dogged by questions in a region known for lacking transparency in merger and acquisitions. —Reuters

Saudi Electricity plans $1.9m sukuk in May RIYADH: State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co is confident it would raise up to 7 billion riyals ($1.87 billion) from an Islamic bond next month to fund expansion, even without a government guarantee. Saudi Electricity’s chief executive, Ali Saleh alBarrak, said the issue would take place next month and is projected to be for a minimum amount of 5 billion riyals. “The amount that we plan to raise stands at between 5 billion and 7 billion riyals but we have not fixed it yet, pending the exact identification of the needs,” Barrak told Reuters by telephone. The Saudi bourse regulator Capital Market Authority (CMA) had earlier approved the issue. The sukuk issue will be Saudi Electricity’s third after it raised 7 billion riyals last year and a maiden issue for the same amount in 2007. —Reuters


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BUSINESS

Monday, April 12, 2010

Long-term demand in China prompts PetroRabigh

VIVA Kuwait taking part in ACK job fair

Aramco, Sumitomo seek firms for JV expansion KHOBAR: Saudi-based Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (PetroRabigh) is looking for firms interested to start work on the second phase of its giant petrochemicals complex, industry sources said yesterday. PetroRabigh, a joint venture between state oil giant Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical inaugurated the first phase of their complex in November. It can produce an annual 18 million tons of refined products and 2.4 million tons of petrochemicals.

Long-term growth in petrochemical demand in China has encouraged Aramco and Sumitomo to consider moving forward with the estimated 25 billion Saudi riyals ($6.67 billion) expansion. PetroRabigh is looking at producing about 17 new products, from the expansion, the company’s chief executive, Ziad Labban, told Reuters in November. “They have just issued the solicitation of interest, there are seven (construction) packages...Contractors are requested to respond by the end of this

month,” said one source. Each package consists of several process units, one contractor said. Japan’s JGC Corporation is currently conducting a feasibility study on phase II which is due to be completed by the third quarter of this year. A final investment decision on the project will be taken once the study is completed and reviewed. As part of the expansion, firms will consider increasing the capacity of the existing ethane cracker to take in an additional 30 million cubic feet per day (cfd) of ethane feedstock.

Caribou Coffee goes to 100% sustainable coffee Caribou becomes first US coffee chain to pledge that all its coffee will come from farms certified to use sustainable growing practices. Caribou Coffee Co is poised to become the first US coffee chain to commit to buying coffee grown only under sustainable farming practices developed by the Rainforest Alliance. Brooklyn Center-based Caribou currently buys about 80 percent of its coffee from farms certified by the New York-based Rainforest Alliance, a nonprofit group which works with farms that adhere to sustainable agriculture. Tensie Whelan, the Rainforest Alliance’s president, said Caribou plans to have all of its coffee sourced from Rainforest-certified farmers by the end of 2011. Chad Trewick, Caribou’s senior director of coffee and tea, said the company has been gravitating towards sustainablefarmed coffee in recent years because of customer demand. The company has chosen to work with the Rainforest Alliance because it’s an independent third party, he said. “You want to be kept honest.” The Rainforest Alliance uses 150 different criteria in certifying various agricultural and forest operations for sustainable practices. Those criteria include: soil conversation, minimizing waste and water use, protecting wildlife, curtailing chemical use and improving economic and social conditions for farm workers.

KUWAIT: VIVA Kuwait is currently a job fair participant at the Australian College in Mishref. The interactive career forum presents an ideal opportunity to recruit fresh new talent eager to start their professional lives. VIVA Kuwait, which has rapidly established itself as an employer of choice, has an information booth staffed with representatives from the company’s Human Resources department present at the job fair. Talented students have the opportunity to ask questions to gain insight on VIVA Kuwait and its various departments, in addition to learning about the work culture within the multinational telecommunications company. Information on how to submit applications will also be provided. VIVA Kuwait is dedicated to empowering and rewarding existing and new employees through comprehensive training and development programs. Understanding the importance of investing in future generations, VIVA Kuwait is committed to providing new graduates with potential opportunities for growth and career development. The company presents an ideal environment for graduates considering pursuing a career in the field of telecommunications. VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences.

The venture will also consider building a new aromatics complex using around 3 million tons per year (tpy) of naphtha as feedstock. It is also look at constructing various petrochemical units. PetroRabigh, located in Rabigh on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, caters mainly to the Saudi market and “high net” areas such as Europe and North Africa. It can process 400,000 barrels of crude per day, accounting for about 19 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total refining capacity. — Reuters

Emirates NBD CFO to step down: Report DUBAI: The chief financial officer of Emirates NBD, the United Arab Emirate’s third-biggest bank by market value and one of Dubai World’s major creditors, will step down, three sources told Reuters yesterday. Sanjay Uppal joined Emirates Bank International-which merged in 2007 with National Bank of Dubai to form Emirates NBD — in 2005 as chief financial officer. He previously worked at Standard Chartered. “In the last two years, their disclosure, financials and conference calls the level of detail is more than any other bank I cover,” said analyst Deepak Tolani at Al Mal Capital. Emirates NBD declined to comment on the story. Uppal’s successor could be named from within the bank, Tolani said. “As a result of the merger there are a lot of competent people there, there must be someone who can step up...to ensure continuation,” he said. Emirates NBD is one of two local banks that are part of a seven-member creditors panel leading negotiations with debt-laden conglomerate Dubai World. The Dubai government unveiled a $9.5 billion support plan for its flagship investment vehicle Dubai World in March. Most of the major creditors to the group, including Emirates NBD, expressed their support for the restructuring, though final details are still being negotiated. The impact of Dubai World’s debt restructuring is manageable for UAE banks, ratings agency Moody’s recently said. It also warned, however, that the adverse economic conditions continue to put pressure on the country’s banking system. The Dubai-based bank posted a higher fourth-quarter net profit in February but missed forecasts as credit impairments rose. UAE lenders have taken hefty provisions as a result of the global economic downturn and the end of a regional real estate boom to which local banks are heavily exposed. Shares of Emirates NBD were trading up 4.5 per-

The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 21.6Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

Total, Partex interested in Oman oil concessions MUSCAT: France’s Total and Portugal’s Partex both plan to bid for oil and gas exploration blocks that Oman plans to auction, executives from the two companies said yesterday. Oman plans to offer 11 oil and gas blocks for bidding by the end of this year. The country is relying on the expertise and investment provided by foreign energy firms to help boost output. “Total is particularly interested in the offshore exploration block, one of the 11 concessions planned this year by

the government,” Bertrand Huillard, group representative for Total in Oman, said on the sidelines of an industry event in Oman. Total is already active in Oman, holding a 4 percent stake in the country’s largest oil firm, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). Partex holds a smaller 2 percent stake in PDO. “We have the intention to apply for one or more exploration and production contracts when the government is ready to announce (them),” Antonio Costa Silva, chairman of the

management commission of Partex oil and gas, said at the same event. Oman turned around a decline in oil output to boost production in 2008 and 2009. It aims for a third consecutive boost in a row in 2010, with an output target averaging 860,000 barrels per day (bpd). Output peaked in 2001 at 956,000 bpd. Oman is a small oil producer compared to its Gulf neighbors, and is independent of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). — Reuters

Qatalum sees 2010 Mideast aluminum demand up 5% DOHA: Qatari aluminum producer Qatalum expects Middle East and North African demand for the metal to rise by 5 percent this year, a senior Qatalum executive said yesterday. The regional pace of demand growth would be in line with or a little slower than Qatalum’s projected global rise in consumption this year. The company, an aluminum plant joint venture built by Qatar Petroleum and Norsk Hydro, expects global aluminum demand to rise by 5-7 percent this year, said Qatalum Deputy Chief Executive Hassan alRashid. China was expected to grow by 12 percent, and Qatalum would be targeting the Asian market, Rashid said. Of first production, around 40 percent would go to Asia, while 35 percent would go to Europe and the rest to the Middle East and North Africa, Rashid said. About three quarters of

Qatalum’s aluminum production would go to the automotive sector, he said. Demand for fuel-efficient cars in China and India would underline aluminum consumption there, he added. “With aluminum you can produce very light cars,” he said. Qatalum expects to reach full capacity at its 585,000-ton plant in the fourth quarter this year, Rashid said. The company started the $5.7 billion plant in December 2009 and is officially inaugurating the facility today. Qatalum had no scheduled maintenance at the plant planned until 2013, Rashid said. The new plant in Qatar and another in the United Arab Emirates would bring total aluminum production in the Arab Gulf to over 3 million tons per year (tpy), according to the Gulf Aluminum Council (GAC). — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2820000 .4390000 .385000 .2670000 .2845000 .2660000 .0045000 .0020000 .0779770 .7597100 .4020000 .0750000 .7447630 .0045000 .0500000

.2930000 .4480000 .3920000 .2755000 .2910000 .2720000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787610 .7673450 .4180000 .0790000 .7522490 .0072000 .0580000

US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2872500 .4416120 .3877150 .2695240 .2864880 .0520930 .0398920 .2680030 .0370330 .2066620 .0030820 .0065280 .0025310 .0034500 .0042080 .0782460 .7623220 .4062500 .0766390 .7464770 .0064540

.2893500 .4447300 .3904530 .2714330 .2885170 .0524620 .0401740 .2698960 .0372960 .2081260 .0031040 .0065740 .0025480 .0034780 .0042380 .0787450 .7671830 .4091270 .0771280 .7512370 .0065000

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2893500 .4447300 .2714330 .0771280

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen 3.143 Indian Rupees 6.529 Pakistani Rupees 3.448

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

2.540 4.070 208.720 37.351 4.179 6.469 9.002 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES 77.270 79.604 752.700 769.500 78.910

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 55.500 52.520 1.293 207.600 409.140 194.400 6.327 35.450

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 289.600 Euro 394.720 Sterling Pound 449.200 Canadian dollar 292.530 Turkish lire 194.500 Swiss Franc 275.600 Australian dollar 270.100 US Dollar Buying 287.500 GOLD 225.000 115.000 60.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL CASH 272.700 767.190 4.380 291.000 566.500 15.800 52.700 167.800 54.600 393.600

37.880 6.790 0.035 0.293 0.258 3.190 409.520 0.195 92.410 47.100 4.250 210.000 2.183 49.600 749.390 3.510 6.610 79.790 77.030 209.110 42.270 2.734 448.400 40.900 274.500 6.400 9.280 217.900 78.720 288.900 1.380

10 Tola

GOLD 1,245.060

Sterling Pound US Dollar

37.730 6.510

407.780 0.194 92.410 4.090 208.500

SELL DRAFT 271.200 767.190 4.170 280.500

209.100 52.400 392.100

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

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

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

273.000 9.140 78.720 288.500

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 446.400 288.500

289.350 293.915 446.300 392.170 269.830 709.215 765.875 78.760 79.455 77.125 408.315 52.586 6.523 3.459

2.537 4.184 6.457 3.075 8.929 6.312 3.077

Currency 749.210 3.460 6.450 79.360 77.030 209.110 42.270 2.530 445.400

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

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

288.500 3.440 6.520 2.545 4.175 6.450 78.630 77.120 766.700 52.345 449.100 0.000032300 4.100 1.550 409.600 5.750 394.800 294.700

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

Transfer rate 288.100 391.500 445.500 288.500 3.110 6.505 52.310 2.532 4.164 6.448 3.460 766.200 78.450 76.900


BUSINESS

Monday, April12, 2010

23

KFH plans to invest in alternative power, mulls projects: Al-Subeih Gulf markets economically, socially important KUWAIT: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) AGM for Investment Sector Abdul Nasser Al-Subeih announced that KFH plans to invest in alternative power and is currently considering some projects in that new field. He added that during the coming two years, KFH might begin investing in the field of alternative power, since investments in such fields require indepth studies. However, he denied that such an approach would contradict with the nature of Kuwait and other GCC countries as oil producers, and said that although people cannot imagine a world without oil, KFH can produce alternative energy that is environmentally safe and represents a civilized step forward for the society, since such an investment is strategic and long-term. He went on to say during a meeting with CNBC Arabia Channel broadcasted yesterday that alternative power projects vary from solar power to wind and other sources, which are not profitable, but have an environmental and civilized value for the coming generations. He mentioned that KFH participated in most significant power production projects in the Gulf, such as Al-Shuweihat, Al-Had, Om AlNar, and others. Furthermore, Al-Subeih denied

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) AGM for Investment Sector Abdul Nasser Al-Subeih that such projects might affect Kuwait’s income that is based on oil exportation, and said that the govern-

ment is also searching for other sources of power, and at the same time, alternative power is still no avail-

able such as fuel, which is a nonrenewable source of power. Regarding KFH’s partnership with

Canadian real estate titan Killam Properties that is worth CND 450 million, he mentioned that this partnership occurred after the markets recovered and amendments were recently made to the Canadian taxes system, particularly that KFH has been eager to operate in the Canadian market since 2006, but the financial crisis postponed that matter. He noted that real estate with good returns will be acquired through longterm rental contracts, and that in the future, industrial or health real estate might be approached if the opportunity arises. He said that KFH stresses the importance of participating in Shariah compliant deals only, and that KFH operates any new project until its starts to pump revenues, then sells it to investors. Al-Subeih revealed that discussions and studies are being conducted to enter other real estate partnerships in Australia, China, and some GCC countries. He asserted that KFH focuses on the markets in the GCC, since they have a great economic value, in addition to a strong source of income from oil, not to mention the social and geographic ties that bind the GCC countries together.

Economy in tatters, Kyrgyzstan awaits Russian aid BISHKEK: Its economy in ruins after a popular revolt last week, Kyrgyzstan’s interim government yesterday awaited news of financial aid from Moscow, following talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Almazbek Atambayev, first deputy head of the interim Kyrgyz government, flew to Moscow on Thursday seeking help with the Central Asian country’s disastrous finances, said interim government chief of staff Emil Kaptagayev. Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders on Friday froze the national banking system, saying deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev had pillaged the state coffers before fleeing the capital

amid riots that left dozens dead and thousands injured. “Atambayev met with Putin in Moscow. Discussions were held about the request for not just moral support for our temporary government, but also economic and financial support,” Kaptagayev told AFP. “We are facing a deficit of oil products, a shortage of funds in the state treasury and many important government objects were damaged during the revolution,” he added. Atambayev is expected to arrive back in Bishkek yesterday, Kaptagayev said. Thousands of protestors clashed with police across the country during riots over corruption

and rising utility prices which saw Bakiyev flee the capital and a temporary government formed under ex-foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva. The number of dead during the unrest grew to 81 on Sunday, the Kyrgyz health ministry said in a statement, after two more people died of their wounds overnight. But even as police said the security situation in the country was improving, the interim government was turning its attention to the financial woes which are now threatening the country’s stability. The coffers of the impoverished ex-Soviet state now hold only 986 million Kyrgyz soms (16 million euros,

$22 million), Otunbayeva’s chief of staff Edil Baisenov told AFP on Friday. Putin pledged economic assistance to the former Soviet republic last week in what was perceived as a sign of warming between Moscow and Bishkek following dismal ties between the Kremlin and the Bakiyev government. The stability of the ex-Soviet nation is also key to the United States, which has an air base there vital to its military operations in Afghanistan, and Otunbayeva spoke with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday. Clinton telephoned Otunbayeva and urged the leadership to “renew Kyrgyzstan’s path to

democracy,” the State Department said. Clinton “spoke about regional security and the important role Kyrgyzstan plays in hosting the Transit Center at the Manas Airport,” said spokesman P J Crowley. Still, all flights carrying troops from the Manas base were suspended from Friday evening amid security concerns and the United States will instead transport forces to and from Afghanistan via Kuwait, officials said. The interim government has accused Bakiyev-who told AFP in an interview in southern Kyrgyz on Friday that he has no intention to resign-of attempting to foment a civil war. — AFP

Siraj Capital in talks to launch PE fund RIYADH: Siraj Capital, a Saudi based investment group, is in talks to set up a private equity fund worth initially up to $100 million to acquire small and medium-sized firms in the kingdom, its top executive said. “We are now in very preliminary discussions with local institutions...probably the first size will be $50-100 million, in that range, to invest specifically in medium and small companies,” Chief Executive Ibrahim Mardam-Bey told Reuters. The firm will use the fund to make three to four acquisitions in the hospitality, food and beverage sectors, as well as the service industry sector. “We think consumer-driven businesses like budget hotels, casual dining and food & beverage are a big sector we are looking at right now...also the services industries that feed into

infrastructure,” he said on the sidelines of a private equity conference. Saudi Arabia, which has a growing population that exceeds 25 million, is undertaking infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars, attracting both local and foreign investors to the region. Last year, Siraj Capital made three investments in Saudi Arabia, including Saudi fashion brand Lomar, telecommunications contractor and systems integrator Delta United and Holiday Inn Express hotels. This year, the company is planning similar investments, it said. “It depends on the fund. If we are successful with the fund we think that within the next 12 months we will make another three or four acquisitions,” Mardam-Bey said, declining to be more specific.” — Reuters

Jordan CB sells 3-year T-bonds worth $70m AMMAN: The Central Bank of Jordan said yesterday it sold three year T-bonds worth 50 million dinars ($70 million) with the average yield rising to 4.243 percent compared with 4.164 percent at the previous auction last week. The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) had invited offers for 50 million dinars worth of treasury bonds at the auction on Thursday for settlement yesterday. It was oversubscribed with offers worth 105.5 million dinars, with accepted yields between 4.210 and 4.260 pct, the central bank said. The bills, which are open to local and foreign investors via banks, mature on April 11, 2013. The monetary authorities have resorted since last year to issuing more T-bills and bonds to finance growing public debt. The CBJ has slashed its benchmark lending rate by 250 basis points since November 2008 as the economy went into a downturn and inflation fell from record highs This has brought downward

pressure on interest rates in the interbank market, lowering them on average by at least one percentage point since mid2009, bankers say. However, three-year Tbonds yields have for the last four issues edged slightly higher within a narrow range of 4.063 pct to 4.243 percent in the latest auction with market expectations the monetary authorities have less room for further interest rate cuts as inflationary pressures rise. The CBJ also cut reserve requirements on commercial deposits and stopped issuing certificates of deposit since October last year to free up funds for lending to spur growth. CBJ data shows that compulsory reserves of private banks’ foreign and domestic currency deposits held with the central bank stood at 1.113 billion dinars ($1.57 bln) yesterday. Liquidity in the domestic money market stood at 4.020 billion dinars, including overnight deposits. — Reuters

ALLAHABAD: Indian boy Monu, 9, pushes a cart with water to sell to roadside tea stalls in Allahabad yesterday. Monu earns less than $1 per day. — AFP

Deutsche sees Dubai property prices down DUBAI: Property prices in Dubai dropped slightly in March, but oversupply and lack of financing hampered a sustained price stabilization, Deutsche Bank said in a research note. The bank’s proprietary price index, which covers 13 main locations in Dubai, indicated that average housing prices for apartments declined 1.1 percent on a monthon-month basis, while villas slipped 1.7 percent month-onmonth in March. However, apartment rents increased 1.1 percent month-on-month, and villa rents climbed up 1.3 percent month-onmonth, in a sign rental prices held up in March, the bank said. Deutsche Bank also said developers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) looked attractive compared with global peers. “Emaar remains our top pick, offering the most resilient profile thanks to its diversified asset base,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote. Emaar, builder of the world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa, is

expected to outperform its peers in first quarter earnings, while Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties is seen to be hampered by a lack of deliveries. “UAE developers were one of the best performers in the last month, reflecting development on Dubai World debt standstill, while they remained the worst performers over three months and continued to offer highly discounted multiples versus emerging markets peers,” they added. The UAE’s property sector has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with house prices in Dubai falling some 60 percent from their 2008 peaks, while its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi has fared better. Dubai’s government announced in March it would spend up to $9.5 billion for restructuring its debt-laden Dubai World conglomerate and property unit Nakheel. Deutsche Bank also said UAE developers remained exposed to the availability of mortgage and project financing, population

growth, economic conditions in the MENA region, and consumer confidence, which are all factors driving the real estate market. “We continue to view oversupply and lack of financing as the main impediments for any mean-

ingful recovery in the property market. The bank also said project delays or cancellations and a failure to recover homebuyers’ payments and meet debt obligations could affect the banks earnings/valuation. — Reuters

Occidental to boost Oman crude output MUSCAT: Occidental Petroleum Corp will boost its crude production in Oman by 50 percent to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012, senior company executive Bill Albrecht said yesterday. The fourth-largest US oil and gas company currently produces from the Mukhaizna field in Oman. The start-up of production in Bahrain and increased output from its development in Oman helped increase fourth-quarter sales volume by nearly 5 percent from the previous year. In January, Occidental announced during its fourth-quarter financial report, that overall 2009 oil output rose 7 percent from 2008, and the company expects 2010 output to grow by 5 percent to 8 percent. Occidental’s fourth quarter realized oil price was $69.39 per barrel, up from $53.52 a year earlier. US natural gas prices however, slipped to $4.37 per thousand cubic feet from $4.67.— Reuters

Gold-dollar decoupling continues on Greece Weekly commodity update By Ole Hansen

T

he short covering rally in EURUSD ahead of Easter was abruptly halted as uncertainty about Greece’s ability to repay its debt saw the dollar regain lost ground. The economic outlook outside Europe continues to improve which leaves investors somewhat confused about what theme will be the dominant in the near future. Greek government bond yields rose dramatically with the two year yield rising by nearly 2.5 percent in less than a week to levels not seen for 12 years. Recent data indicates that the euro-zone recovery stalled in the fourth quarter highlighting the slow return to growth in continental Europe. Risk appetite elsewhere remains at elevated levels with broad based gains seen on commodities early in week. The CRB index reached a 10 week high driven primarily by the metal and energy sectors before a resurgent dollar removed some of the support. WTI Crude oil saw a new high above USD 87 after breaking out of the six dollar range that had been in place for several weeks. Profit taking after the weekly crude inventories rose for the 10th week in a row saw it trade lower towards support at 83.95, the January high. Technically a new trading range is currently being established with support at 84 followed by 83. Resistance above 87 will be the important 90 level which is 50 percent retracement of the 147 to 33 sell off back in 2008 to 2009. On a longer horizon the 200 week moving average has broken below the 100 week for the first time since 2003 and could indicate that further gains above 90 would be difficult to achieve. OPEC recently expressed satisfaction about a price of oil between USD 70 and 80 knowing full well that a sustained rally in prices could jeopardize the global economic recovery. Much higher prices at this stage of the recovery will lead to concerns about a double dip. European consumers are already reeling from high energy prices brought about by the recent weakness of the euro versus the dollar, a move that traders expect to continue over the coming weeks. The major Wall Street banks are calling for prices to reach triple digits which unless the recovery takes a strong hold will be a worrying development with inflation and bond yields suffering as a potential consequence. Gold continued it’s month long decoupling from the dollar as risk aversion on the back off the Greek crisis lifted both the dollar and gold with the latter finally managing to break higher from its recent range and enjoying the best week in three months. For most of 2009 apart from Q1 where inflation expectations drove gold and the dollar higher (EURO lower) the inverse relationship was firm up until January when the sovereign debt worries began to lift gold and dollar again. Both gold and the dollar has managed to rally this past week with gold measured in Euros making new record highs. Near term momentum and renewed financial flows as seen through the recent pick up in ETF demand will attempt to drive prices higher. The January high at 1,162 offers the next level of resistance followed by 1,180. Support will be the old highs at 1,145 followed by 1,133. Industrial metals like copper, aluminum and nickel continue to surge as companies restock in anticipation of a global recovery in demand and subsequent increased manufacturing activity. The LME index of base metals jumped to a 20 month high this week. The investment flow however still seem to be the main driver as positive economic news has seen investors continuing to pour money into the sector. Until the market sees confirmation of actual consumption the elevated prices are vulnerable to a correction. The price of sugar has begun to stabilize despite dropping another 4% on the previous week. The London based International Sugar Organization project a global deficit of about 8 million tons. Meanwhile China the second largest consumer after India may increase their imports after drought in one of their sugar producing regions has put their own output into question. The sell off that has seen the price of May sugar in New York dropping 46% since early February is due a correction with a break above 16.45 being the first sign of an improved technical outlook. Finally the cost of buying European carbon emissions rose nearly five percent this week and was heading for its biggest weekly gain in four months. The rally happened on the back of market participants being caught short after the recent auction of permits which many had anticipated would pressurize prices. In the end news about higher electricity prices in Germany combined with a decent auction sent prices higher with the ICE exchange experiencing record trading volumes on the December 2010 futures contract. — Saxo Bank

Saudi’s Riyad Bank Q1 net profit up 55% RIYADH: Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest lender by market value, posted a 55 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, helped by lower operating costs and higher income from banking services. Net profit rose to 684 million riyals ($182.4 million) in the quarter, up from 441 million riyals in the year-earlier period, according to a bourse statement yesterday. Four banks surveyed by Reuters had on average expected net profit of 794.25 million riyals. “A good rise in income from banking services in addition to cut in operating costs contributed to the profit gain,” the bank said, without giving details. Operating income rose

0.7 percent to 1.469 billion riyals in the quarter, while net special fee income was up 8.9 percent at 1.012 billion riyals, Riyad Bank said. Deposits rose 7.5 percent to 128.1 billion riyals at the end of March, while the loan book rose by 6.1 percent to 106.3 billion riyals, the bank said. Assets rose by 4.2 percent to 174.3 billion riyals at the end of March. The bank made no mention of provisions during the quarter after booking provisions worth 736.4 million riyals in 2009, up from 523.2 million riyals in the previous year. Earnings per share rose to 0.46 riyal in the quarter from 0.29 riyal a year earlier. — Reuters


24

BUSINESS GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

KSE stocks turn bearish KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s trading on a negative note with declines witnessed in major indicators and a majority of the market’s sectors as well. The price index fell for two consecutive sessions after reaching a five month high yesterday as investors were seen taking profits in order to invest in other regional stock markets. Global General Index (GGI) shed 0.66 points (-0.31 percent) during the session to reach 213.44 points. In addition, the KSE Price Index decreased by 17.50 points (-0.23 percent) yesterday and closed at 7,552 points. Market capitalization was down KD108.15mn yesterday to reach KD35.02bn. Market breadth During the session, 128 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 53 equities retreated versus 37 that advanced. A total of 120 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 33.34 percent to reach 303.85mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded dropped by 5.16 percent to stand at KD81.83mn. The Banking Sector was both the volume and value leader today, accounting for 25.15 percent of total market volume and 49.14 percent of market value. Boubyan Bank was the volume and value leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 57.89mn and a total value of KD31.26. In terms of top gainers, AlQurain Holding Company took the top spot for the day, adding 9.43 percent and closed at KD0.029. On the other hand,

Damac Kuwaiti Holing Company shed 14.91 percent and closed at KD0.097, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sector-wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they mainly ended the day on a negative note except for Global Services Index being the only gainer in the market. The index ended the day with a gain of 0.17 percent backed by National Petroleum Services Company, the top gainer in the sector, ending the day with a drop of 7.14 percent and closed at KD0.300. Furthermore, IFA

Hotels & Resorts also contributed to the index’s gain by posting a 5.56 percent increase and closed at KD0.570. In terms of decliners, Global Food Index took the lead with a drop of 1.37 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) ending in the red during yesterday’s trading session. The scrip ended the day down 1.25 percent and closed at KD1.580. It is worth to mention that Livestock Transport & Trading Company posted a 6.06 percent drop, making it the top decliner in the sector. Global Non-Kuwaiti Index

came in second place with a drop of 1.08 percent backed by two scrips ending in the red yesterday. Gulf Finance House and Ahli United Bank both ended the day down 1.41 percent and 4.35 percent, respectively. Regarding Global’s special indices, they all ended on a negative with Global Small Cap Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day with a loss of 1.16 percent backed by Strategia Investment Company ending the day down 7.94 percent. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of

twelve crudes stood at $81.65 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $82.41 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Market news Low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways said yesterday its board approved a plan to raise its capital 91 percent to KD42mn through a rights issue. Jazeera plans to issue 200mn new shares with a nominal value of 100 fils and a premium of 50 fils, it said in a statement posted on the KSE website. The capital increase is subject to shareholders’ approval, Jazeera added.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Orascom Telecom leads Egypt to 18-month high MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Orascom Telecom (OT) lifted Egypt’s bourse to an 18-month high yesterday after a court blocked co-owner France Telecom’s bid to buy out Mobinil. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman hit their highest closes since 2008, while Dubai made its largest gain for over two weeks. OT rose 6.5 percent and Mobinil added 1 percent, helping Egypt’s index climb 2.8 percent to its highest close since Sept. 21, 2008. “People are optimistic and momentum is coming back in the market,” said Hashem Ghoneim from Pyramids Capital. The Saudi index rose 0.4 percent to its highest finish since late September 2008. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 0.2 percent to a 17-month high after earnings of affiliate Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co (Safco) beat forecasts. Safco fell 0.7 percent, having surged on Saturday. “With SABIC yet to report, this uptrend should continue for a few days at least,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. Emaar Properties rose 6.8 percent after its Indian unit said it would launch its $770 million initial public offering in 90 days. “A successful IPO will have a positive impact on Emaar and indicate that the outlook for the Indian real estate market is

improving,” said Roy Cherry, SHUAA Capital vice-president. “Emaar’s future growth will have to come from its international business, India is one of its most important markets.” Dubai’s index rose 3.4 percent from a two-week low. “Institutions are not participating - they are waiting on Q1 results,” said Mohamed Kamal, a Prime Emirates equities trader. Industries Qatar (IQ) rose 2.4 percent after a unit bought a stake in a Saudi steel producer. “The market has gone up day after day and it will have to stop soon-profit taking will have to come in the next few days,” said Ismail Mansour, Dlala brokerage account manager. Kuwaiti banks slid as its index fell for a second session since hitting a fivemonth high yesterday. “When all regional markets are up, Kuwait tends to move in the opposite direction,” said a Kuwaitbased analyst who asked not to be identified. “It’s possible Kuwait investors are shifting their money to other regional markets. The Zain story is over and investors are waiting on Agility.”Zain ended flat, but is up 28 percent since saying it would sell African assets for $9 billion. After market hours, Agility posted a 22 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, with talk to settle US fraud charges still ongoing, but said “there is no guarantee that the parties can

reach a mutually agreeable settlement”. Agility’s share have been suspended since March 31, pending its results announcement. Ahli United Bank (AUB) extended losses after Bahrain’s central bank said it was unaware of the identity of the bidder for a stake in the lender. AUB’s Bahrain and Kuwait listings fell 9.9 and 4.4 percent respectively. They had surged ahead of the slated stake sale. HIGHLIGHTS EGYPT The measure climbed 2.8 percent to 7,448 points. SAUDI ARABIA The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to 6,895 points QATAR The index rose 1.2 percent to 7,723 points. OMAN The benchmark rose 0.5 percent to 6,689 points. DUBAI The index climbed 3.4 percent to 1,825 points. ABU DHABI The measure rose 0.9 percent to 2,848 points. KUWAIT The measure slipped 0.2 percent to 7,552 points. BAHRAIN The index fell 2.3 percent to 1,537 points. — Reuters


BUSINESS

Monday, April 12, 2010

25

Dollar range-bound, euro rises on Greek hopes KUWAIT: The US dollar traded in a narrow range against the major currencies last week and ended the week on a relatively weaker footing on heightened risk appetite. Supported by hopes that Greece will obtain aid to help resolve its debt crisis, the euro rose on Friday to a high of 1.3496 after reaching a low of 1.3278 throughout the week. The Sterling reached a high o f 1.5391 on healthy UK data after trading at a low of 1.5126. The Japanese Yen rangetraded between 94.76 and 92.81. Finally, the Swiss Franc reached a low of 1.0786 closing the week at 1.0651. Federal Reserve officials again reiterated their commitment to low interest rates for “an extended period”, given the fragile nature of the economic recovery, and suggested the reduction in the size of the central bank’s balance sheet could take as long as two decades. Donald Kohn, the Fed Vice Chairman said he did not think the US government would have trouble finding buyers for its debt despite the nation’s rising fiscal deficit. He added that he does not foresee the possibility of a “failed” auction and that “the government of the US stands behind its debt”. The number of US workers claiming jobless benefits for the first time recorded an unexpected rise last week, diminishing some of the recent signs of hope for the labor market.

Initial jobless claims rose by 18,000 to 460,000 last week. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing businesses rose to 55.4, higher than anticipated, from 53 in the prior month. Readings above 50 signal expansion. More Americans unexpectedly signed contracts in February to buy previously owned homes, signaling government efforts to support the market are starting to pay off. Pending home sales rose 8.2%, the second-biggest gain on record and the largest since October 2001, after a revised 7.8% drop in January. Buyers may be competing to take advantage of an Obama administration tax credit, indicating a rebound in sales will soon emerge. Europe The European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low as the Greek fiscal crisis complicated its withdrawal of emergency stimulus measures. The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at 1%, as predicted by economists. The ECB’s 22member Governing Council is gradually withdrawing the measures it took to tackle Europe’s worst recession since World War II, including providing banks with unlimited cash. Trichet backs Athens rescue Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, attempted to shore up confidence in the eurozone’s rescue plan for Greece as shares on the Athens stock market

tumbled and the country’s borrowing costs soared. A debt default, the ECB president added, was “not an issue for Greece”. Trichet also sought to end confusion over the euro-zone’s rescue package by saying how interest rates could be set on emergency loans to Athens. He suggested that the interest rate charged on such loans could be as low as the rate at which other euro-zone governments borrowed themselves. Finally, as the continued volatility in financial markets increased pressure on Athens, Trichet used a press conference to stress the “very serious commitment” by euro-zone leaders to help, if needed. European retail sales declined the most in nine months in February as rising unemployment prompted consumers to cut back spending. Sales in the 16-nation Euro region fell 0.6%, following January’s 0.2% drop. German factory orders held steady in February following a surge in January as an increase in foreign demand for basic goods and machinery countered a drop in domestic orders. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, were unchanged from January, when they jumped 5.1%. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee voted on Thursday to hold UK interest rates at their current record low of 0.5% and to hold off on any further efforts to boost demand through its £200 billion quantitative easing program. The decision

NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT

to hold fire was widely expected by economists, who said the monetary policy committee to remain in “wait and see mode” for months ahead. The Halifax house price index showed a 1.1% monthly rise in March, against a 1.6% decline in February. In the first three months of 2010, prices stood 0.6% above their levels in the final three months of 2009. Separately, the construction sector expanded in March for the first

time in more than two years, led by a sharp rise in new orders in the housing and commercial sectors. The construction PMI index jumped to 53.1 last month from 48.5 in February, the first reading above the 50 level that divides growth from contraction. The services sector expanded less than expected in March, with growth slowing from February’s three-year high. March’s main services PMI number fell to 56.5 from 58.4 in

February. Finally, UK factory production jumped in February to the highest level since 2008, a sign the weakness of the pound is aiding the economic recovery. Manufacturing output climbed 1.3% from the previous month. Japan The Bank of Japan refrained from expanding measures to fight deflation and Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said a return to recession is unlikely

as the recovery begins to sustain itself. “We have confirmed that the economy is currently picking up steadily and on top of that, we are seeing some signs of future progress,” Shirakawa said at a news conference last week after his board left the key interest rate at 0.1%. Japanese machinery orders unexpectedly fell for a second month in February, a sign that the resurgence in overseas demand is not enough to compel companies to spend on plant and equipment. Orders, an indicator of business investment in three to six months, declined 5.4% from January. Australia raises rate The Reserve Bank of Australia raised its benchmark interest rate to 4.25%, the fifth hike since October, and signaled further increases as it gradually normalizes policy to reflect a rapidly recovering economy. Australian employers added more workers in March, keeping the unemployment rate at almost half the level of the US and Europe and underscoring the central bank’s decision to boost borrowing costs. The number of people employed gained 19,600 from February, where it fell a revised 4,700. The jobless rate held at 5.3%, compared to 9.7% in the US and 10% in the European Union. Kuwait The USDKWD opened at 0.28785 yesterday morning.

Respondents eye better financial position: Survey

Consumer confidence picks up in Kuwait after last year’s lull

HANOI: Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya (right) attends the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Hanoi. Making the ASEAN meaningful for the region’s 590 million citizens is one of the bloc’s challenges but observers say the vision faces even more fundamental issues. — AFP

Challenges ahead for visions of an ASEAN community HANOI: Street vendor Ta Thi Huong has never heard of the “ASEAN Community” which Southeast Asian leaders spent two days last week trying to refine. “ASEAN? I don’t know what it is,” says Huong, 40, who wears a traditional conical bamboo hat as she sells apricots on the streets of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. “What community?” Making the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meaningful for the region’s 590 million citizens is one of the bloc’s challenges but observers say the vision faces even more fundamental issues. Analysts say it is weighed down by wide development gaps within the region, entrenched domestic interests and the perennial distraction of Myanmar’s failure to embrace democracy. Focused on economic issues for most of its existence, ASEAN’s 10 members in 2008 adopted a charter committing them to tighter links. The group aims to form by 2015 a “community” based on free trade, common democratic ideals, and shared social goals including a common identity. Senior government officials admit that progress has been greatest in the economic sphere, while the political and social “pillars” of their community need strengthening. “It’s easy to have a harmonization of interests on the economic sphere,” said Christopher Roberts, an expert in Asian politics and security at the University of Canberra. But he said that creating a cohesive community was a task

better carried out over decades and that the 2015 goal was unrealistic. Political, security and human rights issues are “the real point of contention” between the very diverse group of countries, Roberts said. ASEAN’s membership ranges from communist Vietnam and Laos-one of Asia’s poorest nations-to the Westernised city-state of Singapore, the absolute monarchy of Brunei and the vibrant democracy of Indonesia. Other members are Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia and military-ruled Myanmar. An ASEAN summit in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi which ended Friday was again overshadowed by Myanmar, and by protests in Bangkok which prevented Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from attending. Thailand’s long-running political drama is among the domestic issues within ASEAN nations which are distracting it from moving forward collectively, analysts say. The group has been divided over how to respond to Myanmar, which is under United States and European Union sanctions. But on Friday it urged Myanmar to ensure that this year’s planned elections, which have been boycotted by the opposition, are fair and include all parties. “You talk of a community, it means that there must be some degree of commonality within the region but as you know ASEAN is made up of countries of varying nature,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. — AFP

KUWAIT: Consumer confidence has improved in Kuwait, reversing a drop in consumer confidence felt at the end of last year, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). The Consumer Confidence Index, a quarterly survey conducted by the Middle East’s number one job site Bayt.com in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj, found that Kuwait moved up the index by 0.9 points. As in the previous survey conducted in the last quarter of 2009, half of the countries surveyed around the Middle East and North Africa region witnessed declines in their consumer confidence, with the other half showing positive improvements. In a complete reversal of the last wave when it recorded the highest improvement in consumer confidence, in the current wave, Algeria reported the second highest drop in consumer confidence, moving down the index by 10.7 index points. In this wave, Lebanon recorded the largest drop, moving down the CCI by a sizable 12.1 index points. In the Gulf region, the UAE and Bahrain both saw improvements in consumer confidence, moving up the index by 4.4 and 1.9 index points respectively. Respondents in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, however, did not feel that conditions for consumers had improved in their countries: both moved down the index by 2.4 and 0.3 points respectively. In North Africa, consumer confidence in Morocco improved by a positive 6.2 points, with a drop of 0.7 points in Egypt. “It is always interesting at the first quarter of each year to see how consumer confidence changes from one calendar year to the next. In this wave, what we have seen is that in some cases countries have undergone a complete reversal: they reported drops in the last wave but have improved this time around and vice versa,” noted Amer Zureikat, Bayt.com’s regional manager. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is a measure of consumer expectations and satisfaction of various elements of the economy including inflation, job opportunities and the cost of living. As part of the CCI, the respondents are asked questions about their personal financial circumstances and how they compare to the same period last year. Overall, 36% of the region’s respondents said their financial position was the same and just over a quarter, 26%, said it had got better. Among the countries surveyed, personal financial positions improved most in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where 31% of respondents in each country said they were doing better than last year, and at the other end of the spectrum, respondents in Jordan were the worse off, with a total of 41% stating that their financial position was worse. Other countries in the Gulf largely varied as to the percentage of respondents who felt their personal financial position had improved: 27% of respondents in Qatar said their financial position was better as did 24% in Kuwait, and in the UAE and Bahrain, 21% said their personal financial position was better than last year. “Gauging consumer opinion is a

Kuwait’s consumer confidence improves this quarter after last year’s drop, latest Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj survey reveals. 49% of region’s respondents expect their personal financial position to be better and 41% believe their country’s economy will pick up a year from now.

powerful tool for revealing the current attitudes and sentiments about the business and economic conditions in a specific country and to see how these change overtime. Since the last wave, it seems conditions in some countries have changed completely, with countries that previously showed improvements now showing declines, which perhaps signals the instability still felt across the region as a result of the recession,” commented Joanna Longworth, Chief Marketing Officer, YouGov Siraj. In addition to financial position, consumer confidence is assessed by asking the respondents about their level of optimism towards the future, which forms the Consumer Expectations Index (CEI). The countries varied widely in terms of their consumer expectations. Reporting the largest drop was Lebanon which moved down the index by 14.2 index points, followed by Algeria which moved down by 8.1 points. The UAE, however, reported an improvement, moving up the index by 2.3 index points, and of the Gulf countries, Bahrain reported the biggest improvement, moving up the index by 6.6 points. The rest of the Gulf countries fared worse: KSA, Qatar and Kuwait all moved down the index by 3.5, 3.2 and 0.4 index points, respectively. Notably, Morocco reported an

index improvement of 6.5, while Egypt reported a minor improvement of 0.7 index points. On the whole, respondents are expecting to be in a better financial position next year. Overall, 49% of the respondents surveyed believe that their personal financial position will be better next year - an improvement of two percentage points since the last wave. By contrast, just 7% of the region’s respondents believe that their financial position will become worse. In Kuwait, 50% of respondents believe that their personal finances will be better a year from now, compared to just 6% who believe they will become worse. Most optimistic that their personal financial position will be better a year from now are respondents in Oman and Qatar where 57% and 52% said things would be better, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where 51% in each country said their personal financial position will be better a year from now. The respondents also remain largely optimistic that their country’s economy will be better in a year’s time. Overall, 41% said that their country’s economy will be better, 21% said it will remain the same, and 20% said it will become worse. Currently, respondents in Oman, Bahrain and the UAE are the most positive about the expected improvements in their coun-

try’s economy, with 60%, 56% and 48%, respectively, stating things will be better. In Kuwait, 45% of respondents believe that their country’s economy will be better in a year’s time, compared with 16% who believe it will become worse. Respondents in Jordan were most pessimistic about their country’s economy a year from now: 37% said that it will become worse. As part of the survey, respondents were also asked what they feel their propensity to consume is, as part of the Propensity to Consume Index (PCI). In a complete reversal from the last the last wave when it moved down the index by 10.0 points, in this wave the UAE moved up the index by 11.3 index points - the highest increase among the surveyed countries. Syria and Qatar both reported positive improvements, moving up the index by 9.5 and 5.5 index points respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, Lebanon recorded the largest drop, moving down the index by 15.8 index points, followed by Algeria, which moved down the index by 11.2 points. Unlike the previous wave when it moved up the index by 26.7 index points, in the current wave Bahrain moved down the index by 9.4 index points. Drops were also recorded in the Gulf states of Kuwait and KSA which both moved down the index by 3.5 and

2.4 points respectively. Asked whether it was a good time or not to buy consumer durables, the respondents largely agreed that it was either a bad or neutral time to buy: 37% agreed it was a bad time to buy items such as televisions or refrigerators, while 35% of the respondents said it was a neutral time. Another contributor to the CCI is the Employee Confidence Index (ECI), which measures the attitudes of respondents to the local job market, in terms of their satisfaction towards the availability of jobs and their satisfaction with their salary. In this wave Kuwait showed a drop of 2.2 points. Almost all of the countries showed drops in this index, with the exception of Morocco and Bahrain which moved up by 4.4 and 2.1 index points respectively. Showing the biggest drop was Algeria, which moved down the index by 8.4 index points, followed by Lebanon, which moved down by 5.9 index points. In the rest of the Gulf, Qatar, KSA and the UAE all moved down the index by 3.4, 2.8 and 0.7 points respectively. When asked whether they believe more jobs will be available in a year’s time, respondents are roughly divided: 30% said more will be available, 28% said the job situation will remain the same and 28% said the availability of jobs would be worse. In Kuwait, 39% believe the availability of jobs will get better while 21% of respondents believe the availability of jobs will become worse. In terms of salaries and whether they have kept pace with the cost of living, as in the previous wave, the majority feel that they have not kept pace with the cost of living, with 64% agreeing that there is a disparity, while just 19% agreed that they have increased in line with the cost of living, and 5% said they have increased more than the cost of living. “Our quarterly consumer confidence survey provides a strong indication, each quarter, as to how people living in countries across the region view their current economic situation, and how they believe it will change in the future. By conducting this survey, we are really aiming to achieve an honest and representative overview of current sentiments and feelings about various elements of the economy, so these can be used proactively and for positive effect by organizations and HR stakeholders around the Middle East,” Zureikat concluded. Data for the March 2010 Consumer Confidence Index Survey was collected online between 2 and 21 March 2010 with 7,225 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan. Males and females aged over 18 years old, of all nationalities, were included in the survey.


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Monday, April 12, 2010

Greece hopes EU debt smokescreen will lift ahead of money issue

ATHENS: Laid-off employees of Greek courier service Interattica wait for negotiations at the company’s headquarters. Some 250 laid-off employees of the company, a member of French Geopost mail group protested in the company’s facilities demanding assurance for their compensations, just after being informed of their redundancy.— AFP

ATHENS: After a scarring week in which its financial markets were hammered, Greece looks to its European peers to seal the terms on an EU-IMF debt support plan as it prepares to raise fresh loans tomorrow. Athens hopes that a discussion by EU finance ministers from states sharing the euro will finalize a mechanism providing last-ditch borrowing should its own efforts to bankroll a costly shakeup of its economy fail. Euro-zone finance ministers were to discuss the Greek debt crisis in a conference call at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) with the aim of “finalizing aid mechanisms for Greece,” a Spanish official said on Saturday. Spain currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Greece has insisted it only intends to activate EU-backed loans which under the deal will also involve the International Monetary Fund-as a last resort. The plan’s main use, Athens says, is to deter speculators who have sought to capitalize on its pressing need for funds. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou described the agreement as

a “gun on the table” which is about to be loaded. “After the latest developments, with the terms now set, the gun on the table will be loaded,” he told To Vima daily in an interview to appear yesterday. “Speculators will know this,” the PM said according to excerpts of the interview that appeared on a website operated by To Vima’s parent media group. “The question is whether this mechanism will persuade the markets purely as a gun on the table. If it does not, it is a mechanism that exists and could be used,” he added. Greece has labored for months to lower its borrowing costs but uncertainty surrounding the EU fall-back plan and market reaction to contradictory claims attributed to Greek officials had steadily dashed its hopes. The yield on Greek 10year bonds last week soared past 7.5 percent, its highest since 1998, while the Athens stock exchange lost eight percent of its value in three days before a 3.4-percent gain on Friday. The run on Greek paper was sparked after a report in Market News International, quoting an unidentified

Greek government official, claiming that Athens wanted to modify the EU support deal to exclude the IMF. “We must make the agreement operational,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy told France’s Le Monde daily on Friday. “It won’t be credible unless it is operational.” One of the main credit rating agencies Fitch concurred as it hit Greece with its latest sovereign debt downgrade on Friday, cutting the country’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings to BBB- from BBB+. It warned that it is “vital that the Greek authorities import credibility from external institutions, underpinned by a credible commitment of financial support”. Greece has suffered successive credit downgrades from Fitch and the other two major agencies, Moody’s and S&P, heightening its risk profile among investors. Priming the EU aid mechanism for use would come at exactly the right time for Greece which on Tuesday intends to auction a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) package in treasury bills.

It also intends to hold a roadshow in the United States later in April after meeting dwindling demand in its eurodenominated bond sales last month. Citing two senior government officials, Dow Jones Newswires on Friday said Greece is seeking to sell bonds worth between five and ten billion dollars. “We will go to the US and do whatever it takes to collect the 5-10 billion from the dollar bond,” one of the officials told the agency. Greece has to find around 11.5 billion euros ($15.5 billion) by next month to cover its obligations, part of a total loan blueprint of around 54 billion euros planned for this year to cover debt repayment and urgent budget needs. Its total debt stands at nearly 300 billion euros. The government has also set itself the unprecedented task of reducing a budget deficit now over 30 billion euros by four percentage points this year. Analysts said the way the crisis has evolved and how it would be resolved would have profound implications for the credibility of the European Central Bank and the eurozone. — AFP

Tokyo walking its own financial tightrope

Analysts say risk of Japan going bankrupt is real TOKYO: Greece’s debt problems may currently be in the spotlight but Japan is walking its own financial tightrope, analysts say, with a public debt mountain bigger than that of any other industrialized nation. Public debt is expected to hit 200 percent of GDP in the next year as the government tries to spend its way out of the economic doldrums despite plummeting tax revenues and soaring wel“Japan’s revenue is roughly 37 trillion yen and debt is 44 trillion yen in fiscal 2010, “ he said. “Its debt to budget ratio is more than 50 percent.” Without issuing more government bonds, Japan “would go bankrupt by 2011”, he added. Despite crawling out of a severe year-long recession in 2009, Japan’s recovery remains fragile with deflation, high public debt and weak domestic demand all concerns for policymakers. Japan was stuck in a deflationary spiral for years after its asset price bubble burst in the early 1990s, hitting corporate earnings and prompting consumers to put off purchases in the hope of further price drops. Its huge public debt is a legacy of massive stimulus spending during the economic “lost decade” of the 1990s, as well as a series of pump-priming packages to tackle the recession which began in 2008. Standard & Poor’s in January warned that it might cut its rating on Japanese government bonds, which could raise Japan’s borrowing costs amid the faltering efforts of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s government to curb debt. The system of Japanese government bonds being bought by institutions such as the huge Japan Post Bank has been key in enabling Japan to remain buoyant since its stock market crash of 1990. “Japan’s risk of default is low

fare costs for its ageing population. Based on fiscal 2010’s nominal GDP of 475 trillion yen, Japan’s debt is estimated to reach around 950 trillion yen-or roughly 7.5 million yen per person. Japan “can’t finance” its record trillion-dollar budget passed in March for the coming year as it tries to stimulate its fragile economy, said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

TOKYO: Former Japanese finance minister Kaoru Yosano (right) and former economy, trade and industry minister Takeo Hiranuma hold a press conference in Tokyo. — AFP because it has a huge current account surplus, with the backing of private sector savings,” to continue purchasing bonds, said Katsutoshi Inadome, bond strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. But while Japan’s risk of a Greek-style debt crisis is seen as much less likely, the event of risk becoming reality would be devastating, say analysts who question how long the government can continue its dependence on issuing public debt. “There is no problem as long

Greece ditching euro a joke: PM ATHENS: Greece’s prime minister dismissed as “a joke” yesterday the idea that Athens could ditch the euro to boost its debtfighting options, as euro-zone ministers prepared to discuss an EU Greek support plan. “Greece’s place is in the euro-zone,” Prime Minister George Papandreou told To Vima daily. “Any other scenario is a joke.” “The euro is not responsible for our problems,” he said. After its financial markets were hammered last week, Greece hopes that a discussion later on Sunday by EU finance ministers from states sharing the euro will finalize a mechanism providing last-ditch borrowing should its own efforts to bankroll a costly shakeup of its economy fail. The Greek government has insisted it only intends to activate EU-backed loans-which under the deal will also involve the International Monetary Fund-as a last resort. The plan’s main use, Athens says, is to deter speculators who have sought to capitalize on its pressing need for funds. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds last week soared past 7.5 percent, its highest since 1998, while the Athens stock exchange lost eight percent of its value in three days before a 3.4-percent gain on Friday. Papandreou yesterday described the EU loan mechanism as a “gun on the table” about to be loaded. “After the latest developments, with the terms now set, the gun on the table will be loaded,” he told To Vima. “Speculators will know this. The question is whether this mechanism will persuade the markets purely as a gun on the table. If it does not, it is a mechanism that exists and could be used,” the PM added. “It was not our first choice, neither is it our main choice, but it is there if needed. So we now have a safety net.” Greece has labored for months to lower its borrowing costs but uncertainty surrounding the EU fall-back plan had dashed its hopes. Analysts said the way the crisis has evolved and how it would be resolved would have profound implications for the credibility of the European Central Bank and the euro-zone. “Clearly, Greece is the experiment, Europe is experimenting at this time,” said Papandreou, who has warned that a coherent EU response to the Greek crisis is vital to prevent similar problems surfacing among other members of the bloc burdened with large sovereign debts. — AFP

as there are flows of money in the bond market,” said Kumano. “It’s hard to predict when the bond market might collapse, but it would happen when the market judges that Japan’s ability to finance its debt is not sustainable anymore.” “And when that happens, the yen will plummet and a capital flight from Japan’s government bonds to foreign bonds will occur,” he said. Yet others argue that there is no precedent for the ratio of debt to GDP nearing 200 percent being dan-

gerous. Nomura Securities economist Takehide Kiuchi cited Britain’s government debt in the post-war period “which reached 260 percent but (the government) didn’t face a debt crisis. “There is no answer to the question of what the critical level of debt is for a government to go bust.” The likes of singlecurrency Greece and non-eurozone countries are also different in that the latter group have flexible currency exchange rates which are more closely

calibrated to their fiscal conditions, he said. Instead, the most realistic hazard brought by huge Japanese debt is prolonged deflation under a shrinking economy, say analysts. “Regaining fiscal health needs fiscal austerity, which could weigh on economic growth,” said Kiuchi. “And when the economy is bad, people don’t spend money as they are worried about their future, which in turn intensifies the deflational trend,” he said. Continued deflation could further worsen Japan’s fiscal health because of less tax revenue and more stimulus spending, stirring fears over big tax hikes, which in turn weigh on demand and again reinforce deflation, analysts said. The key to breaking the vicious cycle is drafting a feasible economic growth strategy for Japan, they said. “If the economy grows, tax revenue increases,” Kumano of Dai-ichi Life said. Since 2001 Japan’s annual growth rate has peaked at 2.7 percent in 2004. The economy shrank 1.2 percent in 2008 and 5.2 percent last year. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s centre-left government has pledged to announce details of its new strategy in June, which aims to lift annual growth to two percent by focusing on the environment, health, tourism and improved ties with the rest of Asia. —AFP

US restaurants show survival strategies Owners seek new ways to lure customers In March, Norberto Silva celebrated the anniversary of his little Italian restaurant, Norberto’s, which opened in Roanoke 25 years ago. He also celebrated the fact that 2009 is in his rearview mirror. Like many restaurants across America, Silva’s didn’t fare well last year. The summer months were the slowest in his restaurant’s history, he lost a weekend of business in December to a snowstorm, and his bank wasn’t interested in issuing him a loan for business costs. Overall restaurant traffic dropped 3 percent nationwide last year, according to a market research report from NPD Group. It was the first decline in more than three decades for an industry that is integral to people’s lives. Each day, 40 percent of Americans visit a restaurant for a meal, NPD reported. Nationally, it may take much of 2010 for the food service business to pick up where it left off before the economic downturn, analysts say. Many of the factors that sparked the nation’s recession still plague consumers locally and nationwide. Nearly 15 million Americans are out of work, while others are concerned about job security, stagnant wages and changes in health care benefits. As a result, those who still dine out do so with a new sense of frugality, choosing restaurants based on specials, joining dining clubs to score coupons or ordering takeout instead of dining in. Because people are spending less, some restaurants in Southwest Virginia have closed, stopped hiring or cut back hours. But the year wasn’t dire

for every local restaurateur. For some, sales stayed flat between 2008 and 2009, which they considered a sign of resilience, not stagnancy. And for a few, there were even small increases in business and opportunities to open new locations. Said Chad Scott, executive chef at 202 Market in downtown Roanoke, “I personally think Roanoke hasn’t seen the kind of lows or highs economically that a vast majority of the country has in the past year and a half.” Bridget Meagher, owner of Alexander’s in downtown Roanoke, wishes she could create a few more jobs. But that’s not possible until revenues perk up. For now, the longtime restaurateur is happy that she has not had to lay off any staffers in the past year at her high-end dining establishment on Jefferson Street. Sales at Alexander’s were down 17 percent last year. Nationally, more people are dining at moderately priced restaurants, instead of high-end eateries, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a Chicago food industry research firm. In fact, fine dining establishments have been the hardest hit. Diana Dixon said she opened her Troutville restaurant, Pomegranate, just as the economy was “tanking.” She said although she intends to survive the recession, it has been difficult. “We have had businesses plan events and then cancel because their business dropped off,” she said. “People tell me that they do not eat out as much as they used to even though they love us.”— MCT

JAMMU: A woman works in a brick kiln on the outskirts of Jammu in India on Saturday. In 19 Asian economies, including the most populous China and India, more than 10 percent of people live on less than $1.25 a day and more than 10 percent are malnourished, according to the Asian Development Bank.—AP

US homebuyer tax credit to expire on April 30 David Zink is in the process of buying a home on Beattie Avenue. And while he is eligible, Zink says the homebuyer tax credit wasn’t a major factor in his decision to purchase the house. “It wasn’t the central reason, but it certainly helped make the decision,” he said. Zink owned a home in Ohio before moving to Western New York five years ago. The Beattie Avenue home is Zink’s first since moving to the area. “We’ll probably use the credit to renovate part of the house,” Zink said. Time is running out for the homebuyer tax credit, an incentive launched by the federal government last year to encourage home sales. The credit is available to both firsttime homebuyers and long-time homeowners until April 30. By then, those who are qualify for the credit must have entered into a contract and must close on the deal by July 1. To qualify as a first-time homebuyer, a person must not have owned a home for the last three years. The credit is 10 percent of the purchase price of a home up to a maximum of $8,000. This applies to a single taxpayer or a married couple filing a joint return. Married couples filing separate returns qualify for half of that amount. The $8,000 credit applies to sales in 2009 and through the end of April. Long-time homeowners can qualify as long as they have owned and used the same home as a primary resident for at least five consecutive years out of the last eight years. The credit is for up to $6,500, or 10 percent of the home’s purchase price. The credit is only for home priced $800,000 or less. Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit. Patricia Kennedy, a real estate agent with Hunt Realty in Lockport, said she has had clients who qualify for the credit. And buying a home is a lengthy process. It starts with the buyer contacting a real estate agent and figuring out what they can afford. “They don’t want to find out they can’t afford it,” Kennedy said. Once buyers have an idea of what they can afford and can borrow, they look at houses that are available. Kennedy encourages

people to take a second look at a house they like and to bring somebody with them. “I tell them to sleep on it,” she said. Once a house is chosen, the home is inspected and appraised. Kennedy said that’s a big help to firsttime buyers because, aside from affordability, the condition of the house is the main thing buyers worry about. Then the buyer makes a final decision and applies for a mortgage. “First-time homebuyers need a lot of tender loving care. This is a big investment, and it can be overwhelming,” Kennedy said. The National Association of Realtors said home sales nationally dropped about .6 percent in February from January to about 5.02 million, although that is 7 percent higher than a year ago. The association called the housing recovery “fragile at the moment.” There are some experts who think the homebuyer tax credit isn’t helping the economy. Larry Southwick, an associate professor emeritus of management science at the University at Buffalo’s School of Management, sees the credit as another “Cash for Clunkers.” That program gave rebates to people who traded in an older vehicle to purchase a new vehicle. It was designed to spur automobile sales, but all that’s doing is accelerating sales, Southwick said. “It’s just bringing them forward a few months,” he said. “The government ought to leave it alone. The market works fine alone.” The credit could encourage those who probably can’t afford to own a home to acquire one, which is part of the problem that started the recession. Government should stay out of it, Southwick said, because politicians don’t think like they’re in business. “Their incentives are different. They want to get re-elected,” Southwick said. Kennedy said she didn’t expect the homebuyer credit to be extended past April. Still, spring is usually a good time to look into buying a home. “It’s always busy,” she said. “I think it’s about the same even with economy the way it is. I think it’s been balanced with the credit.” — MCT

PINGHU, China: A Chinese worker looks on from her work station after lunch at a garment factory in Pinghu some 100 km from Shanghai on Saturday. China posted its first monthly trade deficit in six years in March 2010 as imports rocketed, far outstripping the growth in exports, customs officials announced.—AFP


TECHNOLOGY

Monday, April 12, 2010

27

US author says China media can’t cover Google book BEIJING: The author of a new book about Google will not promote it in China next month because he says the government is restricting the Chinese media’s writings about the company since it moved its search engine off the mainland to avoid censorship. The publisher of the Chinese edition and publicity agents for the tour believe Ken Auletta’s book tour no longer made sense, because even if Chinese media attend, they won’t be able to report anything, the author said in a phone interview late Wednesday. “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It,” by the New Yorker magazine

writer was published in the US last fall by Penguin Press, and state-owned China Citic Press bought the rights to translate and publish the Chinese edition. E-mails from the publisher and other contacts for the Chinese edition, seen Wednesday by The Associated Press, point out the restrictions with concern. “It’s disappointing, not to mention outrageous,” Auletta said. He said he wouldn’t know where to begin to appeal to the Chinese government. “It sounds like a faceless decision. It doesn’t sound like one person you appeal to ... It just sounds like ‘1984.”‘ The Chinese publisher bought the rights to Auletta’s book before Google kicked off a

tussle with the Chinese government in January, threatening to shut down its China-based search engine unless the Communist Party loosened its restrictions on free speech. Google then moved its search engine last month to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, a former British colony with broader legal and political freedoms. Since then, reporters and editors for China’s state-run media have said they’ve been restricted in what they write about Google, being told to treat the company’s move as a business dispute and to paint Google’s motives as political. “The Chinese government recently asked the media not to report any-

thing regarding Google ... It is not likely that they can report the author’s visit and the book at this sensitive time,” said an email Tuesday from Jian-Mei Wang with the Bardon-Chinese Media Agency to Betsy Robbins, Auletta’s agent outside the United States. Wang said Thursday that the restrictions should not affect the book’s publication in China, which was scheduled for next month. “We feel really bad,” she said, adding that she’d never come across this kind of situation. “In China, it’s just like this. The book should be published as expected, but there’s just no way to do publicity.” Another e-mail Tuesday to Robbins from Li

Yinghong with China Citic Press said, “We heard from local media who had interest in interviewing the author the local authorities don’t like any news and reports about Google at such time due to the company’s decision of exit of Chinese market.” Li, reached by phone Wednesday night, said he couldn’t comment. A man answering phones for the propaganda department of the Communist Party late Wednesday said his office didn’t know about any media restrictions on covering Google. He didn’t give his name, as is common with Chinese officials. The book includes an account of Google agreeing to censor its search results in China, and how

uncomfortable co-founder Sergey Brin was with the decision. The book describes a 2008 meeting where a shareholder proposed that Google abandon China unless it stopped censoring the search engine. The move almost passed but for one abstention, from Brin himself. Auletta said there had been no mention of cutting such details out of the book’s Chinese edition. “This is the first inkling I’ve gotten of any problem with the book in China,” he said. Auletta already had his visa for what will be his first trip to China and still plans to visit Shanghai for other reasons in May, he said. — AP

Telecoms: Germany holds Europe’s first ‘4G’ auction ‘Demand is well ahead of supply’

LAVAL: A person presents the PhotoelasticTouch, a transparent organic user interface using photoelasticity, made by Koike Laboratory’s students from the University of Electro-Communications (Japan) on April 7 in Laval, during the 12th edition of the Laval Virtual show dedicated to virtual technology. — AFP

‘Electronic Divorce’: Jordan’s latest headache AMMAN: Technology usually improves the welfare of human beings - but when it comes to matters usually governed by divine instruction it might be less welcome. This is the crux of an argument currently snowballing in Jordan over what has become widely known as “electronic divorce,” whereby a husband ends his marriage simply by sending a text message to his wife’s mobile phone. The practice has come to the light over the past few weeks after official statistics revealed that Islamic judges had endorsed at least 450 cases of divorce based on text messages in 2009. The trend has caught the country’s conservative society by surprise, with prominent Islamic scholars and leaders of civic society uniting to criticize the phenomenon as ill-considered and beset with dangers. “Ending marriages in this way is playing havoc with the destiny and dignity of both men and women,” Ibrahim Kilani, the head of fatwa (judgement) at the Islamic Action Front (IAF), told German Press Agency dpa. “All divorces should be documented to ensure that a husband has a ... clear will to divorce his wife and that he was in a normal mood when he takes his decision,” said Kilani, a former minister of Islamic affairs and former dean of the faculty of Sharia (Islamic law) at the University of Jordan. He considers this type of divorce to be a “method of social terrorism which the Almighty refuses, because what is at stake is the future of the family.” In traditional Islamic practice, a husband tells his wife face-to- face that he has decided to divorce her. Wives usually have no say in the matter, though some Arab and Islamic countries have introduced amendments to divorce law in a bid to undermine the

husband’s absolute authority and force men to be rational in their decisions. The practice of electronic divorce has also drawn sharp criticism from secular civic society establishments, including the Jordan Women’s Union (JWU). “We consider all divorces implemented through this method to be null and void,” JWU deputy chairperson Nadia Shamroukh told dpa. “According to the Jordanian social status law, all marriages should be registered at courts in the presence of both the husband and the wife,” she said. “Accordingly, we believe that all moves that herald the end of marriage contracts should be documented in the same way, which means that all cases of electronic divorce should be illegal,” she said. Shamroukh, who is also involved in a national programme to help people whose marriages are failing, said that divorces-by-text- message deprived families of last-ditch efforts to rectify decisions taken in the heat of the moment. “The husband may decide to divorce his wife under pressure or as a result of anger. Going directly to his mobile to send a text message to his wife deprives him of the opportunity to reconsider his decision,” she said. The Department of the Chief Justice has picked up on critics’ arguments and recently proposed a draft law which would impose strict restrictions on divorces-by-text-message, to ensure that they are conducted in accordance with established Islamic teachings. The new legislation would commit judges to ensure that a number of legal criteria are fulfilled, including evidence that a husband who carries out his divorce by text message was not under pressure to divorce his wife. —dpa

MAINZ: In 2000, at the height of the tech bubble, telecom operators fell over themselves to snap up 3G or third generation mobile licenses in an auction in Germany. In the hangover that followed, successful bidders were left drowning in a sea of debt, and 3G, once it eventually got off the ground, proved something of a disappointment. Ten years on, it is the turn of 4G frequencies to go under the hammer in the western city of Mainz today. The German government expects to reap only a fraction of the 50 billion euros (67 billion dollars) it received last time. But with the new technology promising nothing less than a revolution, interest among firms like Britain’s Vodafone and T-Mobile is strong, with analysts pencilling in a windfall of 5-10 billion euros for Berlin. This time around, operators are confident too that the technology will not disappoint and that it will be in the hands of consumers a lot sooner. “Demand is well ahead of supply,” said Matthias Kurth, head of the German telecoms regulator running the auction, with “severe competition” among operators like Vodafone and TMobile to grab a piece of the 4G pie. In Europe’s first 4G auction, a large part of what is up for grabs is the so-called “digital dividend”, a chunk of frequencies left unwanted by television companies following their switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. The 4G technology, known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), will mean that using your mobile handset just to phone people will become old hat since it will allow data to be transferred at breakneck speeds. The resulting downloading capacities will make the mobile phone a powerful tool for surfing the Internet. Phone calls, too, will occur by Internet telephony, as happens on PCs now with programmes like Skype. Another advantage for both firms and users of the new technology will be that remote areas currently with little or no high-speed Internet will soon be covered. And with experts predicting a price war among operators, consumers may start to wonder whether they still need a mobile phone operator as well as a fixed net provider, since home computers could use the networks too. “With LTE, mobile phone networks will become a real alternative to cable or DSL (broadband telephone connections),” said Herbert Merz, head of the German hightech association Bitkom. —AFP

TOKYO: Sanyo employee unveils the world’s lightest IC recorder with AM/FM radio tuner called the ‘Xacti ICR-XRS120MF’ sitting in a stereo four-speaker cradle in Tokyo yesterday. The new Xacti digital recorder which weighs 66 grams can record MP3 or Linear PCM and also AM/FM radio programs. — AP

Apple’s iPad: The ‘giant iPhone’ CUPERTINO: The iPad tablet computer looks like an oversized version of the iPhone cellular phone from Apple. As with the iPhone, users control the device - about the size of a sheet of paper - using its touchsensitive screen. Apple is delivering the 680-gramme tablet computers with a series of programs pre-installed. These include a browser for surfing the web, an email program, and an

iPod application for playing back music and videos. As of now, only the US version will include the virtual iBook electronic reader for purchasing digital books via the iTunes store. The company still lacks the necessary content deals for its e-book distribution model to be rolled out internationally. The versions released Easter week in the US included only WLAN (WiFi) connec-

tivity. 3G-equipped models are expected in late April, as are models that draw data via UMTS cellular networks. International sales will also kick off at that point, including in Europe. Some 140,000 applications from the iTunes App store were available when the iPad first went on sale, although most were originally designed for the iPhone. There will also be numerous applications available

HONG KONG: Shoppers check out the Apple iPad at a computer mall in Hong Kong on April 9, 2010. Apple’s iPad is selling on China’s grey market only days after it went on sale in the US, a report said. Hong Kong and mainland China have vibrant grey markets with a huge array of legitimate products available but with a higher price tag. — AFP

that have been written specifically for the tablet computer’s larger screen. Critics of the iPad complain that the unit offers only ten hours of battery life, while specialized e-book devices like the Kindle from Amazon can go days without visiting a power outlet. As with the iPhone and iPod, the battery on the iPad can only be replaced by a service technician. Another complaint: the iPad cannot run multiple programs at the same time - known as multitasking - and does not support Adobe’s popular Flash technology, commonly used for online games and the like. Meanwhile, Apple announced a new operating system Thursday for its marketleading iPhone, as it seeks to thwart challenges to its smartphone supremacy from Google, Microsoft, Nokia and the Blackberry. The new software was announced just days after Apple made headlines with the launch of its iPad tablet computer, and amid reports that the company was planning a smaller version of the new device to help boost sales. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said that the company had sold 450,000 iPads since they went on sale Saturday. At the same time, users had downloaded 3.5 million apps and more than 600,000 books, Jobs said. Apple hopes that the new iPhone software will check Google’s plans to dominate mobile advertising in the same way that it dominates search advertising on laptops and desktops. The iPhone OS 4.0 will include a new feature called iAds, which will allow advertisers to buy targeted interactive ads that will feature inside the apps that users activate on their iPhones. It could reap billions of dollars in new income for Apple, which will take 40 per cent of ad revenues, with

the other 60 per cent going to the developers of the apps. “This is not a get-rich-quick scheme for Apple,” Jobs said. “This is us helping our developers make money so they can survive and keep the prices of their apps reasonable.” The ads will be sold and formatted by Apple, and for now will be seen only on Apple’s products. But the technology could allow Apple to sell ads on other mobile platforms, like those controlled by Google, Microsoft and Blackberry’s Research in Motion, presenting a major challenge to Google in an area that could dominate the use of the internet in the coming years. The new iPhone code, which will be released in the summer, will help dispel the most frequent criticism of the iPhone: that it does not allow multi-tasking - the ability to run more than one application at a time. “We weren’t the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best,” said Jobs. “It’s really easy to implement multitasking in a way that drains battery life. If you don’t do it just right, your phone’s going to feel sluggish and your battery life is going to go way down. “We’ve figured out how to implement multitasking of third-party apps and avoid those things.” The iPhone OS 4.0 will be optimized for Voice-Over-IP services like Skype, so that users can make calls without using their cellular minutes, and receive VOIP calls when their devices are in sleep mode. Other new capabilities include a unified inbox in which all incoming communications can be accessed, including SMS, voicemails and multiple email accounts. Apple’s newly launched iBooks online bookstore will also become available for the iPhone, with the ability to synchronize page and bookmarks between devices.— dpa

India to launch satellite technology NEW DELHI: India is scheduled to launch an advanced communications and navigation satellite using for the first time a cryogenic engine developed by its own scientists, news reports said last week. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) - which is to put the satellite into orbit - is powered by the cryogenic engine. Its launch is scheduled from the country’s Sriharikota spaceport on April 15, the CNN-IBN news channel reported. With a successful launch, India will join the US, Russia, France, Japan and China, who have also developed that technology. Cryogenic engines are rocket motors designed for liquid fuels that have to be kept at very low temperatures, as they turn into a gaseous state at room temperature. A successful launch would mark a milestone for India’s space programme as it would allow the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to launch heavier satellites in future, the report said. Indian scientists have been working on the technology for nearly two decades now, ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said. “This mission is more important than other launchers because we are testing the indigenous cryogenic stage in flight. This is a complex technology that uses liquid propellants,” Radhakrishnan was quoted as saying by the Hindu newspaper. The cryogenic programme, which scientists have been working on since 1994, cost around 75 million dollars. The US prevented Russia from transferring cryogenic technology to India in 1992, as Washington believed that India was using it to power missiles. “Technology denial has made us take up the challenge to develop our own cryogenic engine for launching heavier satellites in the higher orbits,” Radhakrishnan said. India, over the past few years, has been eyeing a share of the multi-billion-dollar satellite launch market. Following the GSLV launch, ISRO is to launch five satellites in May including an Algerian remote sensing satellite, a domestically produced remote-sensing satellite Cartosat-2B as well as three educational satellites, two from Canada and one from India, local news outlets reported. — dpa


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HEALTH & SCIENCE

Monday, April 12, 2010

Revolving door: Multiple war tours linked to PTSD ALBUQUERQUE: It was not his first tour in Iraq, but his second and third when Joe Callan began wondering how long his luck would last; how many more months he could swerve around bombs buried in the dirt and duck mortars raining from the skies. It was only natural, considering the horrors he had seen: One buddy killed when a mortar engulfed his tent in flames. A fresh-faced Marine sniper dead (also a mortar) on his first day in Iraq. A 9-year-old Iraqi boy, blood trickling from his head, after he was mistakenly shot by US troops. Three tours in four years and Callan wanted out. Out of Iraq; out of the Marines. “I became numb,” he says. “I just wanted to be home. And that became more intense each time.” When Callan did return to New Mexico, he could not sleep. He drank heavily. He had a short fuse. “I knew,” he now says, “I was different. But I didn’t think it was going to be that bad.” Maj. Jeff Hall’s world imploded after his second tour in Iraq. Overwhelmed with guilt and rage, the 18-year Army veteran became so depressed that one day he lay on the ground and pointed a pistol at his head. The only reason he didn’t kill himself, he says, is he didn’t want his two daughters to discover him. “I couldn’t do that to my kids,” he says. “I had seen people with their heads blown off.” But the war had pushed Hall to the brink. “I had no peace at all,” he says. No peace — on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, or in the minds of men and women who fought there. Callan and Hall are among hundreds of thousands of US troops who have served multiple tours; they also are among the tens of thousands diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. That is not a coincidence. With two long wars — Afghanistan is in its ninth year and Iraq just entered its eighth — the US military finds itself straining to maintain a steady flow of troops. More than 2 million men and women have been deployed to serve in both conflicts, and more than 40 percent of them have served at least two tours, according to military records. Almost 300,000 troops have served three, four or more times. (The vast majority of deployments last more than six months.) For these men and women, life becomes a revolving door of war, home, then back to combat, sometimes within months, as they face the same dangers, the same stresses and the same agonizing separation from family. Multiple tours, according to several studies, have been linked to stress, anxiety and PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), which often is marked by nightmares, flashbacks, angry outbursts and insomnia. “It’s common sense,” says Dr. Judith Broder, founder of The Soldiers Project, which provides free, confidential counseling to returning troops and their families. “The more deployments there are, the greater the danger not just of combat stress but

ALBUQUERQUE: In this March 11, 2010 photo, former US Marine Sgt Joe Callan, left, now an organizer for the group Iraq Veterans Against The War, smokes with other members, Romeo Rocha, center, and Micah Shaw before an event planning meeting of the group in Albuquerque, NM. It wasn’t his first tour in Iraq, but his second and third when Callan began wondering how long his luck would last, how many more months he could swerve around bombs buried in the dirt and duck mortars raining from the skies. — AP depression. ... Many people also feel alienated and isolated from their family.” After two Iraq stints 10 months apart, Maj. Jeff Hall wanted to be left alone. He didn’t think he had helped the Iraqis or accomplished anything. Looking back, Hall remembers the day he realized something was terribly wrong. It was after his first tour, when his family was having dinner at a restaurant and his daughter, Tami, then about 12, refused to touch her steak because sour cream had gotten on it. Hall began crying. His family was stunned. So was he. What Hall did not reveal was that his daughter’s fussiness had revived memories of a very poor family in Iraq that would regularly pick up gas for cooking at a propane station he had guarded. Their two girls — close to his daughters’ ages — were so emaciated their skin hung like loose cloth. “I could just see the faces of the little girls,” Hall says. “It triggered a feeling of sadness and anger.” But suicidal thoughts did not surface until after Hall’s second deployment, which was more aimless than the first. “It was like we were driving around until we got blown up,” he says. In the first few months, Hall’s brigade lost more guys than the entire year in his first tour. One day a Humvee under his command ran over a massive bomb, killing two soldiers, seriously wounding another. “I felt shame, absolute shame,” Hall says. “I was suffering from guilt. We were having no results. I described it to the psychologist two years later. ... It was like a complete loss of identity, ... and how you

think life is or should be.” His wife, Sheri, who had been encouraging her husband to get help, finally called his commander. That led to a civilian psychologist and a diagnosis of PTSD. “I thought my career was over,” Hall says. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ At the same time, I had this feeling of ‘Aha, there IS something wrong. I’m not making this up.”’ There is no way to know for sure how a soldier will react to multiple tours. Some go to war four times and never have a problem. Others never leave the United States and develop PTSD. Justin Taylor started having anxiety attacks on his third tour in Iraq. “I couldn’t breathe,” the former Army sergeant says. “We had mortars coming in. I was shaking and (a friend) said, ‘Dude, are you OK?’ When I had to go on patrol, I started feeling it. I had to suppress it.” Back home, he began drinking heavily. When he got his marching orders for a fourth tour in 2007, he signed himself into a mental hospital. He later received an honorable discharge without returning to Iraq. Soldiers face repeated stresses that pile up, says Dr. Paul Ragan, an associate professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and a Navy psychiatrist for the Marines during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. “The bottom line is trauma is cumulative,” he says. “It embeds itself in your brain and you can’t shake it loose.” Military in-field surveys support the notion. A 2009 report of Army troops in Afghanistan found the rate of psychological problems rose significantly with the number of deployments: 31 percent for three tours,

more than double the rate of those with just one. In Iraq, the survey found nearly 15 percent of Army troops who served two tours suffered from depression, anxiety or traumatic stress, more than double that of people with single tours in the war zone. When it came to PTSD alone, the rate was almost 2.5 times higher for two deployments compared with one. “We just don’t know whether it’s combat exposure, repeated separation from the family or (not enough) time off,” says Lt. Col. Paul Bliese, director of the division of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. “All of those are reasonable explanations.” It’s not just combat that is emotionally draining. It also is separation from families. “When you come home, it’s not like everything is peachy keen,” Ragan says. “You’re trying to re-establish yourself with your family, then you’re gone again. How many times can you do that?” And yet, some troops want to return, says Broder, of The Soldiers Project. “The big motivation is to be with their band of brothers,” she says. Sam Rhodes, now a retired Army command sergeant major, was home about 40 days when he eagerly returned to Iraq a second time. “I felt that’s where I needed to be,” he says. It was on his third tour when he collapsed — physically and mentally. He was diagnosed with PTSD. The loss of seven soldiers in his brigade in a single month proved especially traumatic. “You think you’ve learned a lot in the previous deployments, and you think, ‘I’m going to do a better job of getting my guys home,”’ he says. When Rhodes returned to Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2005, he and his wife of 26 years divorced. In hindsight, Rhodes, who has since remarried, believes he should have taken a break of a year or more between tours. Many experts believe soldiers are not home long enough, the military phrase is dwell time, between tours. The Army study found it averaged 17 months, short of the two to three years considered optimal. Ryan McNabb, a former Navy corpsman attached to the Marines, had four months between stints in Iraq by choice. He volunteered for a regiment he felt would face less enemy fire than he saw on his first deployment. On his second tour, McNabb worried constantly about family. “Your mind is like, ‘Hey, things are fine.’ But no, they can’t be fine,” McNabb says. “You’re thinking, ‘I’m in Iraq; people are dying right and left.”’ Returning to North Carolina in 2006, he found comfort in booze. McNabb transferred to Italy, where he met his wife, Mandy. He later stopped drinking, but could not control his anger. Once when his wife could not quiet their crying 8-month old son, he pulled the rearview mirror off their speeding car and smashed the global positioning system, shattering the windshield. Others noticed McNabb’s troubles, but he was slow to acknowledge them.

With saw and screwdriver

China doctor gives gift of height SHANGHAI: Orthopaedic surgeon Bai Helong hikes up his trousers, places his foot on his desk and marks the spot just below his hairless knee where he cuts into the legs of patients who want to be taller. Over the past 15 years, Bai has given the gift of height to about 3,000 patients aged 14 to 55 — Chinese, Americans, Germans, Japanese-about half of whom went through with surgery simply because they did not like being One week later, the bones begin to regenerate. Heavy braces made of nickel and titanium, each weighing about half a kilo (one pound), are screwed into the inner part of the patient’s legs. Every day for the following four months, Bai expands the braces to gradually stretch the leg. “We need four months to get six to eight centimetres,” or two to three inches, the surgeon says. After that, for four more months, the bones get stronger and patients are allowed to begin to walk. Leg-lengthening was first performed in the 1950s in the former Soviet Union, and then in China, but with sometimes catastrophic results. In the past, the leg was cut in three places, affecting the delicate bone marrow, and pins were used to steady the bone. In some cases, one leg was left shorter than the other and infections were common. Today, Bai says, the procedure is safe. Instead of stretching the leg by 1.0-1.5 millimetres a day as in the past, he aims to progress half as fast. “We’ve not had a single failure since 1995, and now it’s not painful,” insists the doctor, who charges 75,000 yuan (11,000 dollars) for the surgery. So who is willing to endure such a procedure, which involves months of total immobilisation and a fair amount of discomfort? “A small person can encounter all kinds of problemsin his or her marriage, family life, workplace,” Bai says. “The person feels inferior, and experiences psychological

short. “I’m something of an authority in this field,” explains Bai, who uses a technique he developed himself at a modest private clinic in the suburbs of Shanghai. He saws through both the tibia and the fibula below the knee-”without touching the bone marrow”, he says-to “make the dream come true” of those who say they suffer psychologically from being short.

SHANGHAI: A recently operated on patient comes in for treatment from orthopedic surgeon Bai Helong, who cuts into the legs of patients who want to be taller, in Shanghai on March 30, 2010. Over the past 15 years, Doctor Bai has given the gift of height to about 3,000 patients - Chinese, Americans, Germans, Japanese - ranging in age from 14 to 55, about half of whom simply did not like being short, by sawing through both the tibia and the fibula below the knee. — AFP problems. I even have met people who wanted to kill themselves.” Dan Dan, a pretty 25-yearold Chinese woman who is studying Japanese, says she was unhappy when she stood 1.53 metres (five feet) tall. Four months after surgery at Bai’s clinic, she is smiling-and six centimetres taller. “I wanted to improve my self-image. I am very happy,” says Dan Dan, grimacing as she walks at a snail’s pace on crutches through the halls of the

clinic, her body contorted. “I hope that within a year, I will be able to walk normally. Running, that’s another story,” she says. Only Dan Dan’s mother is aware of what she is doing-her friends have no idea where she is. “It seems pretty dangerous at the beginning-they cut through your bones, that is not really socially acceptable in China. It’s not like getting your eyelids done,” she explains, referring to a surgical procedure

some Chinese women undergo to give them rounder, widerlooking eyes. “I held off for a long time. I was really scared.” Wang Lijun has not told her friends where she is either and as a result, they no longer contact her. That was a price the 30-yearold was willing to pay during 13 months of treatment, which began in 2008 and took her from 1.52 metres to 1.60 metres-a height gain easily achieved with a pair of stilettos.

“It was my secret. I told no one,” says Wang, who now works on the administration side of Bai’s clinic and says she can run and jump “almost like before���. “I had lost all of my self-confidence. I wanted a better life.” Beyond the loss of her social circle, Wang says there were other sacrifices to make-the months of painful treatment, the dark, vicious-looking scars on her legs. Her next step? A plastic surgeon, perhaps. Is Bai a miracle worker or a sorcerer’s apprentice with a screwdriver and a tire iron who is making a profit from the suffering of others? The surgeon hits out at his critics, especially “those who oppose me without knowing what my work is all about”. But as is often the case in China, Bai may be working in a grey zone. In 2006, the health ministry sent a notice to provincial authorities, ordering them to limit leg-lengthening operations to orthopaedic cases-excluding patients requesting surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. The recommendation said the operation could only be performed on the disabled, whose legs were disfigured due to “congenital, accidental or disease-related conditions”. “It is forbidden to perform this surgery on people whose limbs are not deformed,” the ministry said. When asked about the notice, the ministry declined to comment on whether the recommendation was still in force. And Bai is still a member in good standing of China’s Orthopaedics Association. — AFP

“When you’re talking about PTSD, you don’t want to admit it to anyone or it’s, ‘Oh, yeah, I got a little.”’ Finally, his brother, Brock, an Army veteran of two Iraq tours, referred him to a center run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, where a counselor, a Vietnam veteran, helped. McNabb, now 29, works as an outreach coordinator for a Vet Center in suburban Chicago. While Iraq is fresh in his memory, he is not eager to share war stories. “It’s like a drink. It makes you feel good right now,” he says, “but in the long run, what’s it going to do?” The much-publicized suicides linked to PTSD are very real. But so are stories of those who find ways to survive. Jeff Hall took the pistol from his head and put it down. He eventually found help in an intensive three-week treatment program at the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington that he attended with his wife. “It gave me hope that there was a chance I could heal,” he says. Hall is now creating the resilience campus at Fort Riley, Kansas. The program will help soldiers and their families rebound from multiple tours and deal with the stresses of war and everyday life. Still, he does not consider himself cured of PTSD. “I don’t believe that you get over it,” he says. “I think you learn not to let it control you. You learn to control it.” Sam Rhodes, the retired command sergeant major, has written a book about his own experiences, “Changing the Military Culture of Silence.” He travels the country, talking to military and civilian audiences to demystify PTSD.

“I tell people, ‘Look, I’m going to have PTSD the rest of my life,”’ he says. “Only a normal person can go to war and see the things we have and feel what we have when we come back. If you’re rock hard and have no feeling of loss or anything, that’s what’s abnormal.” Joe Callan, now 31, has always been rock hard. Growing up in rough neighborhoods and on a Navajo reservation exposed him to some harsh realities of life that were magnified thousands of times over in Iraq. He saw friends die, endured IED blasts and in one three-month period, faced almost daily mortar attacks. His survival strategy was hang tough, be tough. “I always ran at the problem. If we were getting shot at, I’d run at the bullets. If you shoot back more than they’re shooting at you, you’ll win,” he says. Callan says he was told after his second tour that he probably had a stress disorder. He shrugged it off. He ended his 11-year stint in the Marines two years ago, and it was then that his life unraveled in a familiar pattern: Depression. Insomnia. Anger. Callan credits his wife, Katy, their three children and other family with helping him recover. Callan has been in and out of counseling; he has little time for that kind of stuff. “I have to suck it up,” he says, “because people are depending on me.” He has found renewed purpose in a job: He is now an organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War. Soon, he hopes, this war will be over. “I just want to have a small farm,” he says, “hang out with my family, grow vegetables and be left alone. I just don’t want to be a part of it anymore.” — AP

ALBUQUERQUE: Former US Marine Sgt. Joe Callan, left, now an organizer for the group Iraq Veterans Against The War, talks with his wife Katy at their home in Albuquerque, N.M. — AP

Human protein fights cancer BRAUNSCHWEIG: Scientists in Germany published Tuesday a surprising discovery about how a protein which communicates between cells also prevents cancerous tumours from growing. Interferon beta is already used in some cancer therapies, but the finding about the method it uses to block cancer does not, as yet, suggest any new way for doctors to use it as a drug, they warned. “Interferon beta stops tumours from connecting to the blood system,” said Jadwiga Jablonska of the Helmholtz Centre for infection research HZI in the northern city of Braunschweig. “We absolutely were not expecting this effect on tumours.”

Interferon beta has been long known for enabling communication between cells. This can trigger the immune system during viral infections and other inflammation. But it now seems capable of interfering with substances known as growth factors in tumours. Without a blood supply, a tumour cannot grow. The German research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. HZI made the finding after injecting tumour cells into two groups of mice, one of which could not synthesize interferon beta. The tumours grew much faster in the latter group, whereas they were slower and could not metastasize as fast in the first group. — dpa

Micro-insurance plans extend health care in Africa KISAJU: Kenyan student Shadrack Silipo had a heart operation five years ago, the sort of surgery that often bankrupts families in Africa. Silipo’s parents normally would have paid by selling off land, the same green acres that form the inheritance for their eight children. But Silipo’s father, a retired principal, had enrolled the family three years earlier in a micro-insurance plan that covered the $5,000 operation in full. Even as the United States debates how best to insure its people against sickness, a type of health care financing is growing more popular in Africa: Microinsurance. Activists say it can help pay for health care for some of the billions of people in the developing world who cannot afford it. “Poor people need health insurance, they deserve it and it can be done,” economist Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, told The Associated Press this week. His Grameen bank provides health insurance to around half a million poor Bangladeshis, and Yunus wants to expand further by using the Internet to connect doctors to patients in remote areas. Micro-insurance is defined as a product accessible to those earning less than $2 a day, who pay tiny weekly premiums of

sometimes less than one cent. The policies usually cover all conditions, including pre-existing illnesses like HIV/AIDS and maternity costs, and are written in language that is easy to understand. Some 14 million Africans use micro-insurance, and the number of African policy holders has increased by 80 percent in the last five years, according to a recent study by the International Labor Organization. The numbers still are a fraction of the potential market but are growing rapidly as more organizations offer insurance products to the poor. Melanne Verveer, the head of women’s issues in the US State Department, said the US government has increased its global commitment to micro-enterprise development, which includes micro-finance, from $193 million in the 2007 fiscal year to $265 million in 2010. “We’re looking at ways to build on the existing US commitment to microfinance, expanding it to include things like savings and insurance,” she said. “It’s a highly effective tool to alleviate poverty.” About half of Kenya’s 40 million people survive on less than $2 a day. When children get sick from the raw sewage that trickles through fetid slums, families must choose between medicine or food. A hospital stay usually is out of the question. Hospitals

sometimes detain patients, including new mothers, when they cannot pay their bills. Dr. Andrew Otieno, who runs a clinic in Nairobi’s biggest slum, said many poor families put off seeking help until it is too late. “Sometimes we see them conducting deliveries in the house, and there are complications. Both the mother and the fetus can lose their life,” he said. Other patients, he said, “only go to hospitals when they are gasping or in a coma.” Those are the tragedies that the continent’s insurance schemes are trying to avoid. Ghana’s government-run health insurance, introduced in 2003, now covers about half the population. About 90 percent of Rwandans also have access to basic health care thanks to a government-run plan. In Kenya, the government offers a plan that covers an adult and all their children for just under $20 a year. It covers up to 180 days of hospital care a year, although there is no provision for outpatient care. But patients may still be required to pay fees for some surgeries, such as a heart operation. Medical insurance in Africa is generally much cheaper than in the United States because doctors earn far less money, medical malpractice lawsuits are almost nonexistent, and hospitals often receive some government support. — AP


Monday, April 12, 2010

HEALTH

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HP’s memristor technology could mimic human brain SAN FRANCISCO: Researchers at Hewlett Packard have developed a new kind of memory chip called memristors which are far more powerful than the flash memory chips in widespread use and could mimic the functions of the human brain. The company said that it envisions the new chips coming to market within three years. R Stanley Williams, senior fellow and director of HP’s information and quantum systems lab, said the new devices - made of tiny electronic resistors - would enable the development of computers that function more like the human brain. “Since our brains are made of memristors, the flood gate is now open for commercialization of computers that would compute like human brains,” he said. The new chips, in addition to being useful in storage devices, can perform logic, enabling computation to one day be performed in chips where data is stored, rather than on a specialized central processing unit. Scientists at HP first demonstrated the existence of the memristor in 2008, and have now advanced the technology to the point where it will be ready for commercial deployment within a few years. The

researchers also have designed a new architecture within which multiple layers of memristor memory can be stacked on top of each other in a single chip. The company said the advances would allow computer chip design to continue developing even as conventional silicon designs reach their limits. This would allow the creation of handheld devices that offer ten times greater embedded memory than exists today and far more powerful supercomputers that allow work like movie rendering and genomic research to be done dramatically faster than is possible with current technologies. Other advantages of memristors include far lower energy use than flash memory and the ability to store at least twice as much data in the same area. Memristors can also store information without the need for an electric current, they are virtually immune from radiation, and can enable computers that turn on and off like a light switch, HP said. HP said that the memristors already were faster than today’s conventional silicon transistors. The researchers had tested them in the laboratory, proving they could reliably make hundreds of thousands of reads and writes.

SEOUL: In this photo taken April 9, 2010, South Korean health officials wearing protective gears prepare to slaughter cows and pigs at a farm where the foot-and-mouth disease was found in Ganghwa Island, west of Seoul, South Korea. South Korea is slaughtering about 6,000 more cows and pigs to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. — AP


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Monday, April 12, 2010

Embassy information

Al-Qadiri celebrates daughter’s PhD

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r Monira Al-Qadiri recently celebrated receiving her PhD degree in visual arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts, in the graduation ceremony that the university held on March 25, 2010. Members of Al-Qadiri’s family attended the graduation of the first Arab artist to earn this degree from the Tokyo University of Arts, including her parents, Mohammad Al-Qadiri and Mrs. Thuraya Al-Baqsami, as well as Fatima Al-Qadiri and Dr

Ghadeer Al-Qadiri. Al-Qadiri received special acknowledgment from the university’s chancellor; Ryohei Miyata, as well as other university professors, who praised her PhD thesis which was written in Japanese. During her 10 year studying period in Japan, Al-Qadiri earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Musashino University and Tama University, while she carried out several seminars in a number of universities around

Seminar on family life

Annual Announcement

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American Embassy, KU present blue music The Embassy of the United States of America in Kuwait in cooperation with Kuwait University presents Little Joe McLerran Quartet on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 pm. Kuwait University, Shuwaikh Campus Faculty of Law Othman Abdul Malek Theater An Evening of Blues Music “This ensemble presents blues and American roots as a ‘Soup Recipe,’ which has been stirred, mixed, handed down, and revised by generations of people who brought their music from all over the world to America.” Men’s Voice - Kuwait Easter musical service As part of its 10th year celebration, Men’s Voice Kuwait and Choral Society is back this year with the message of Easter in “Lamb of Glory” on Thursday 15th April 2010 at 7 pm at Church & Parish Hall, National Evangelical Church Compound, Kuwait. The musical group that has proved its caliber in the art of music will blow the horn to mark the end of this lent season this year. The stage will also be shared by the choirs of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka, St.Thomas Marthoma Church, Salmiya, St.Peters C.S.I Congregations, Seraph’s and Praise Ministrels. All are cordially invited to attend this program

Japan, most recently at the Hiroshima University, as well as a number of expos. In addition, Al-Qadiri took part in various TV programs, and had cooperation with NHK TV by translating documentaries from Arabic to Japanese. Furthermore, several ceremonies were held to commemorate Al-Qadiri’s success, including a launch banquette that was held by former Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait, Awada, and an event held by the Takahashi family.

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is Grace Rt Rev Dr Issac Mar Philoxenos visited Kuwait Oil Company Display Center last week. Josekutty Kunjappan (KOC) and Varughese John (Diyar United Company) accompanied him during the visit. Dr Mar Philoxenos, in-charge of Chennai, Bangalore and Kunnamkulam Malabar dioceses of the Mar Thoma Church, was in Kuwait on a week-long visit.

ife Fellowship, Kuwait organizes its annual convention ‘LIFE2010’ and Family Seminar from 13 to 16 and 18 to 20 April respectively. The convention is scheduled to be held at the National Evangelical Church and Parish Hall from 7.30 to 9.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The seminar on ‘Family Life’ will be held from 7 to 9 pm at the Marina Hall, Touristic Park, Jleeb Shayoukh (Abbassiya). Dr P.G. Vargis will be the main speaker at both the sessions. He has preached to millions in India and abroad through public meetings, radio programmes and audio/video tapes. He regularly appears on Surya TV channel. His wife Dr Lilly Vargis, a counsellor and social reformist also will be present at the convention. Bro. R.S. Vijayaraj, director of Agape Musics, New Delhi, will lead the worship session of the convention. R.S. V is a noted lyricist and composer whose albums are widely accepted by the music lovers. For transport and further information contact 66570818 or 24383818.

Basil Arts revival meeting A revival meeting of The Basil Arts will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 7 pm at Hidine Auditorium, Abbasiya. All duly registered members are requested to attend the meeting on time. CHRISCCAA annual meeting Christian College Chengannur - Alumni Association, Kuwait Chapter (CHRISCCAA), executive committee, have decided to conduct its annual general body meeting on Saturday, 24th April, at United Indian School, Jleeb, from 8 pm onwards. Presentation of Annual Report, Annual Accounts, selection of Office bearers and executive committee will be held during the meeting. All the association members are requested to attend the meeting. Contact any of the following office bearers for more details. Mathew Alexander, President (99553036), George Mathew, vice president (94060522), Sunil Thomas, Gen.Secretary (66265702), Jacob Varghese, Treasurer (66223348). Al Thaalib Scholarship 2010 Al Thaalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC) & Ministry of Awqaf in association with Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. Last year we were able to provide financial assistance to nearly 900 students of various Indian & Pakistani Schools in Kuwait for the academic year 2008-09. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. We are pleased to inform that the process for Al Thaalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2010-11, has begun for all Indian, Philippine and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait.This year we shall endeavor to reach the scholarship to as many needy students as possible to help them continue with their education without any financial hindrance. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form, from Al Thaalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co., Int’l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al Thaalib office on or before 30Apr2010 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form. For more information, you may contact 55046318 or 22418934 ext 204/202.

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. EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Wednesday, the April 14, 2010 on account of birthday of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will continue uninterrupted until May 10 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.

City Exchange Co sponsors stress management program

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s a part of the Silver jubilee celebrations in the service of its customers and wellwishers, City International Exchange Company, the Premier Exchange Company in Kuwait, organized recently, a talk on ìStress Management in Modern Day Lifeí by Dr K P

Misra MD. DSc., an eminent Cardiologist and one of the founding fathers of Apollo Hospitals Group in India. The programme was inaugurated by Hamad Al Ateeqi Chairman, City International Exchange Company and received overwhelming response from the Company’s patrons and well

wishers. The above photographs shows (from Left to right) show Hamad Al Ateeeqi welcoming Dr Misra, MP Dalbehera, general manager, addressing the guests, and Misra delivering his talk before a huge gathering.

EMBASSY OF NETHERLANDS The embassy will be re-open today. Fridays and Saturdays are the usual weekend of the Embassy. Opening hours are: Sunday- Thursday 09.00- 12.00 hrs (visa section) and 08.00- 15.00 hrs (all other sections).


Monday, April 12, 2010

31

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

(From right to left) Majid Ali Chauhdry director of the institution, Hamood Nasir Al Hamdan, owner, Rab Nawaz, community welfare attaché, Abid Ali Chauhdry, director, and Noor Mohammad Malik Chairman Friends Welfare Trust.

Children presenting flowers to the chief guest.

Young students presenting different items.

PNES kindergarten graduation ceremony By Mohammad Omer

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akistan National English School Hawally celebrated its sixth kindergarten graduation ceremony. This ceremony was arranged to acknowledge the success of their young UKG graduates. A large number of parents and the prominent community

members were also present on the occasion. The owner of the institution Hamood Nasir Al Hamdan and the Chief Guest Rab Nawaz, community welfare attachÈ Pakistan Embassy distributed certificates to the teachers of upper KG. A colorful and interesting program was also presented by the students of different classes. Colorful items of the children were highly appreciated by the audience. This successful and rememberable program

was the result of the hard work of all the school staff. They worked under the supervision of Miss Nuzhat Hanif. At the end of the ceremony directors of the institution Majid Ali Chauhdry and Abid Ali Chauhdry presented a shield to the chief guest Rab Nawaz, community welfare attaché. The directors thanked the audience and chief guests and promised to make the school an ideal educational institution.

Premier Football Academy players visit UK

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New unit office bearers with Central Committee Executive commitee.

KDA elects new committee

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ozhikode District Association has convened its Fahaheel Area Committee meeting at Shobha Restaurant, Fahaheel to elect various units under it. The meeting was presided by Rasheed Payanthong. Association president Adv.Razak M. Payyoli and General Secretary Suresh

Mathur supervised Election of Unit Committees under Fahaheel Area. Elected New Unit Committee details are as follows: Fahaheel town Unit: Convener: Abdul Majeed; Joint Conveners: Rasheed & M.K. Ummar. Mangaf Unit: Convener: Ravi; Joint Conveners: Sudheesh & Aneesh

Kumar. Abu Haleefa Unit: Convener: Jaya Prakash; Joint Conveners: Yousef & Jaya Krishnan. Mehboula Unit: Convener: Vinod; Joint Conveners: Jinu & Sayooj. Anas Puthiyottil, Kalathil Abdul Rahiman, Adv. Sumood made felicitation speeches, Santhosh Punathil welcomed the gathering and Sudheesh conveyed the vote of thanks.

Catholicos Elect visits Vatican Embassy - Kuwait

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he Catholicos Elect of Malankara Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan visited the Embassy of Vatican in Kuwait. Catholicos Elect reached Kuwait to lead Holy Week Services in Kuwait St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church. Ambassador of Vatican

to Kuwait Archbishop Peter Rajic and Secretary Monsignor John Kallarackal received the Catholicos Elect. “This visit was thought to improve relations between Malankara Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church”, said Mar Milithios. He has invited the Vatican Ambassador to Kuwait

Archbishop Peter Rajic to Malankara in return. Vicar of Kuwait St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka Fr. Jose Mathew, Secretary Jerry John Koshy, Sabha managing committee member Shaji Abraham, and Dn. Lal Varghese accompanied the Catholicos Elect.

he Premier Football Academy, Kuwait Centre of Excellence enjoyed the real English Premier League experience when 36 selected players and their coaches Mike, Liam, Rob and Roman visited the UK to compete in the prestigious Easter Cup International Tournament in Preston. They visited several Premier League Clubs and trained with Everton Football Club coaches at their training complex. The teams competed in several group matches before proceeding to the knock out stages of the competition and the Under-14 Team made it through to the Trophy Semi Final. The players visited the impressive Reebok Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers on the first day of their tour before enjoying the Bolton vs. Aston Villa match in the Barclays Premier League. The following day the Academy players were guests of Everton F.C. at Goodison Park where they witnessed an exciting 2-2 draw between Everton and West Ham United in front of a 37,000 crowd. The next stadium visit was to the magnificent Old Trafford home of Manchester United F.C. where some of the players got the opportunity to demonstrate their skill during the tour of the stadiums changing rooms, players lounge and museum. An afternoon of thrilling rides was enjoyed by all at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach - the UK’s number one tourist attraction, in a break from the football. The highlight of the trip for the players and coaches however was experiencing the training programme at Everton F.C’s state of the art Academy where they trained for two full days alongside the Premier League Clubs professional and academy players under the expert guidance of Everton coaches Paul and Colin. For details of the Premier Football Academy training programme in association with Everton F.C. contact Mike Finn, Director of Football on 99981327 or Baker Al Nazer, Director of Administration on 66918666. Email; premier_fa_kuwait@yahoo.com The final course of the season is taking place at the Hassan Abul Centre, Dasma, 0900-1100 Fridays and 1100-1300 Saturdays. The ‘Football for All’ Programme for 3-15 year olds is on Saturdays 0900-1100. The Hilton Resort course is held on Sunday and Thursday evenings and Freestyle Soccer is at the Discovery Mall on Sundays 1700-1800.


TV PROGRAMS

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

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

00:00 House 01:00 Dawson’s Creek 02:00 Bones 03:00 One Tree Hill 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 Supernatural 06:00 CSI 07:00 House 08:00 Criminal Minds 09:00 Cold Case 10:00 Bones 11:00 One Tree Hill 12:00 CSI 13:00 Supernatural 14:00 Bones 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Criminal Minds 17:00 Cold Case 18:00 House 19:00 CSI 20:00 Hawthorne 21:00 Saving Grace 22:00 Supernatural 23:00 The Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency

00:45 Whale Wars 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Untamed & Uncut 03:30 Surviving the Drought 04:25 Night 04:50 Night 05:20 Animal Cops Phoenix 06:10 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 06:35 Dolphin Days 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Planet Earth 08:45 Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous... 09:40 Britain’s Worst Pet 10:05 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:55 Monkey Business 11:20 RSPCA: On the Frontline 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Houston 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 SSPCA: On the Wildside 15:30 Planet Earth 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Britain’s Worst Pet 17:45 Animal Battlegrounds 18:15 Dogs 101 19:10 Planet Earth 20:10 Animal Cops Phoenix 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Human Prey

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Doctor Who The Life Of Mammals Casualty Casualty Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Bargain Hunt Days That Shook The World Red Dwarf 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Red Dwarf 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Doctors Cash In The Attic Robin Hood Coast The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby Blue

00:00 Boys’ Weekend 00:25 Boys’ Weekend 00:50 Saturday Kitchen 01:15 Saturday Kitchen 01:45 Living In The Sun 02:35 Cash In The Attic 03:20 Cash In The Attic 04:05 Cash In The Attic 04:50 Chuck’s Day Off 05:10 Chuck’s Day Off 05:35 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 06:00 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 06:25 Living In The Sun 07:20 Saturday Kitchen 07:45 Saturday Kitchen 08:10 Cash In The Attic USA 08:30 Bargain Hunt 09:15 Antiques Roadshow 10:05 Antiques Roadshow 10:55 Cash In The Attic USA 11:20 Hidden Potential 11:40 The Naked Chef 12:05 The Naked Chef 12:30 Antiques Roadshow 13:20 What Not To Wear 14:10 Bargain Hunt

Meet Dave on Super Movies 14:55 15:40 16:30 16:55 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:55 19:45 20:15 20:40 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:45 23:35

Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic USA Hidden Potential The Naked Chef The Naked Chef Living In The Sun Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge Come Dine With Me MasterChef Goes Large Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen Cash In The Attic How To Find A Husband Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes

01:15 Holly-R 03:15 Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead-18 05:15 A Thousand Acres-PG15 07:00 Save The Last Dance-PG 09:00 O Casamento De Romeu E JulietaPG 11:00 Stolen Summer-PG 13:00 Dragon Hunters-PG 15:00 Sunset Park-PG 17:00 Calendar Girls-PG15 19:00 Moll Flanders-PG15 21:00 Gomorra-18 23:15 A Clockwork Orange-18

00:00 Gang Wars 01:00 Rampage! 02:00 Nextworld 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 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 07:30 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 07:55 Top Trumps 08:20 Street Customs 2008 09:15 Mythbusters 10:10 Ultimate Survival 11:05 Fifth Gear 11:35 Fifth Gear 12:00 Border Security 12:30 How it’s Made 12:55 How Stuff’s Made 13:20 American Chopper 14:15 Miami Ink 15:10 Mythbusters 16:05 Dirty Jobs 17:00 Verminators 18:00 Border Security 18:30 Street Customs 2008 19:30 Destroyed in Seconds 20:00 How it’s Made 20:30 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Twist the Throttle 22:00 Extreme Fishing 23:00 Ultimate Survival

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Sci-Fi Science Science of the Movies Future Weapons Future Weapons Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Science of the Movies What’s That About? Patent Bending Engineered Junkyard Mega-Wars Race to Mars Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science How Stuff’s Made Stunt Junkies What’s That About? Green Wheels One Step Beyond Race to Mars Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science

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Nextworld How Stuff’s Made Junkyard Mega-Wars Brainiac Mega World NYC: Inside Out Kings of Construction How It’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters NYC: Inside Out Kings of Construction Mega World

Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas & Ferb Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Wizards Of Waverly Place Handy Manny Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Imagination Movers Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Higglytown Heroes My Friends Tigger And Pooh Lazytown Special Agent Oso Imagination Movers Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Brandy & Mr Whiskers Fairly Odd Parents Hannah Montana I Got A Rocket Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas & Ferb Suite Life On Deck Replacements American Dragon Kim Possible Famous Five Fairly Odd Parents Phineas & Ferb Replacements A Kind Of Magic Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Fairly Odd Parents Phineas & Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana The Replacements Jonas Suite Life On Deck

American Dragon Power Rangers Jungle Fury Kid vs Kat Phineas & Ferb The Suite Life of Zack & Cody American Dragon Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension Phineas & Ferb Zeke & Luther Phil Of The Future Suite Life On Deck Kid vs Kat Power Rangers Jungle Fury Aaron Stone The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension NEXT X EUROPE Phineas & Ferb Zeke & Luther The Suite Life of Zack & Cody American Dragon Kid vs Kat Phineas & Ferb K9 ADVENTURES Suite Life On Deck Aaron Stone Iron Man: Armoured Adventures Kid vs Kat

E!es Ths Sexiest E! Investigates Dr 90210 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales Style Star Style Star E! News Bank Of Hollywood Ths Ths E! News Keeping Up With The Kardashians Keeping Up With The Kardashians Ths Behind The Scenes Behind The Scenes E!es Kendra Kendra E! News Streets Of Hollywood Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties Ths Ths Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami E! News Dr 90210 Wildest Tv Show Moments

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30 Minute Meals Grill It! with Bobby Flay Giada At Home Grill It! with Bobby Flay Giada At Home Grill It! with Bobby Flay Grill It! with Bobby Flay Iron Chef America Best Thing I Ever Ate Best Thing I Ever Ate Chopped Everyday Italian Unwrapped Great British Menu Unwrapped Giada At Home Throwdown With Bobby Flay 30 Minute Meals Throwdown With Bobby Flay 30 Minute Meals Throwdown With Bobby Flay Barefoot Contessa Throwdown With Bobby Flay Best Thing I Ever Ate Barefoot Contessa Best Thing I Ever Ate Unwrapped Kitchen Criminals Teleshopping Grill It! with Bobby Flay Teleshopping Teleshopping Barefoot Contessa Teleshopping Barefoot Contessa Teleshopping Tyler’s Ultimate Teleshopping Tyler’s Ultimate Food Network Challenge Throwdown With Bobby Flay

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

Undercover Murder Shift On the Case with Paula Zahn Deadly Women Undercover Real Emergency Calls FBI Files Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives FBI Files Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Forensic Detectives FBI Files Mystery ER The Prosecutors Disappeared Forensic Detectives FBI Files Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Forensic Detectives FBI Files Mystery ER The Prosecutors Disappeared Forensic Justice Dr G: Medical Examiner

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The Hot Spot Chattahoochee Illegal In Blue Deadly Stranger Strictly Business Home Is Where The Hart Is The Bridge At Remagen The Wizard of Loneliness Marie: A True Story The Pride And The Passion The Field Topkapi Modern Girls Kuffs

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Bondi Rescue - Bali Bondi Rescue - Bali Cruise Ship Diaries Jailed Abroad Jailed Abroad Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall

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Finding Genghis Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue - Bali Bondi Rescue - Bali Cruise Ship Diaries Jailed Abroad Jailed Abroad Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Departures Which Way To... Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Departures Which Way To... Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures

00:00 Better Off Ted 00:30 The Office 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Best ofLate night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:30 South park 05:00 Better Off Ted 05:30 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Just Shoot me! 07:30 Malcolm in the Middle 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Yes dear 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Drew Carey 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Just Shoot me! 11:00 Frasier 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 Best of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 13:00 The Office 13:30 Yes dear 14:00 The Nanny 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 Saturday Night Live 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 19:30 The Office 20:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 Colbert Report Global 22:00 Monday Stand Up night 23:30 South park

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 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 Downsize Me 10:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 The View (repeat) 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 (Best Of) 18:00 Turn Back Your Body Clock 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View (repeat) 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Best Of) 23:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified

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Live!-18 Clean Break-18 Call Of The North-PG The Old Curiousity Shop-PG A Plumm Summer-PG15 Mostly Ghostly-PG Three Investigators-PG15 Perfect Holiday-PG A Plumm Summer-PG15 Ghost Town-PG15 Eva-PG15 The Bank Job-PG15

01:00 The Purifiers-PG15 03:00 30 Days Of Night-PG15 05:00 Double Team-PG15 07:00 Anaconda 3: The Offspring-PG15 09:00 Spy Game-PG15 11:10 Midnight Bayou-PG15 13:00 The Collective-PG15 15:00 Spy Game-PG15 17:10 Redbelt-PG15 19:00 Art Of War II: Betrayal-18 21:00 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation-18 23:00 Crazy Girls Undercover-R

00:00 Skills Like This-PG15 02:00 Miss Conception-PG15 04:00 In Memory Of My Father-PG15 06:00 I Me Wed-PG15 08:00 Black Knight-PG15 10:00 Superhero!-PG15 12:00 First Kid-PG 14:00 Picture This-PG15 16:00 Skills Like This-PG15 18:00 How To Be-PG15 20:00 How To Lose Friends And Alienate People-PG15 22:00 Breaking Up-18

00:00 Barbie Diaries-FAM 02:00 The Ant Bully-FAM 04:00 That Darn Cat-PG 06:00 The Good Witch-PG 08:00 Barbie In The Nutcracker-FAM 10:00 That Darn Cat-PG 12:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s -PG 14:00 The Ant Bully-FAM 16:00 Moondance Alexander-FAM 18:00 Alexander The Great-FAM 20:00 War Of The Buttons-PG 22:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s -PG

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The Ex-list Law & Order: Criminal Intent Sex and the City Sex and the City Tess of the D’Urbervilles Every Body Loves Raymond Coach 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Law & Order Every Body Loves Raymond Coach Tess of the D’Urbervilles 24 Law & Order Emmerdale Coronation Street Every Body Loves Raymond Coach The Ex-list Law & Order: Criminal Intent 24 Survivor : Samoa Emmerdale Coronation Street Ugly Betty Desperate Housewives Law & Order 24 Sex and the City

01:00 Premier League 03:00 Premier League 05:00 Premier League 07:00 Premier League 09:00 Premier League 11:00 Portuguese Liga 13:00 Premier League 15:00 Premier League 17:00 Futbol Mundial 17:30 Premier League World 18:00 Premier League Classics 18:30 Premier League 20:30 Live Premier League Review Show 21:45 Live Toshiba Monday Night Football 22:00 Live Premier League

00:00 European Challenge Cup 02:00 NRL Premiership 04:00 Scottish Cup 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 07:00 Futbol Mundial 07:30 Premier League World 08:00 ICC Cricket World 08:30 FEI Equestrain World 09:00 NRL Premiership 11:00 V8 Supercars 11:30 ICC Cricket World 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 Premier League Darts 18:00 NRL Premiership 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:45 Live Toshiba Monday Night Football 22:00 Live Premier League

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AFL Toyota Premiership Futbol Mundial Premier League Darts AFL Toyota Premiership Scottish Cup World Sport Premier League World European Challenge Cup Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership Portuguese Liga V8 Supercars Mobil 1 The Grid AFL Toyota Premiership NRL Premiership

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UFC - The Ultimate Fighter V8 Supercars Series Highlights V8 Supercars Series Highlights NCAA Basketball UFC Unleashed

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WWE Bottomline UAE National Race Day FIM World Cup Drambuie Pursuit Mobil 1 The Grid V8 Supercars Extra Bushido WWE Vintage Collection NCAA Basketball WWE Smackdown WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Series Highlights V8 Supercars Series Highlights UFC - The Ultimate Fighter UFC Wired UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:30 16:30 18:30 21:00

The Golden Door-PG15 Wonderful World-PG15 Diamonds Pt 2-PG15 Stan Lee: Mosaic-PG Meet Dave-PG Largo Winch-PG15 Australia-PG Meet Dave-PG Genghis Khan-PG15 A Dance For Bethany-PG15

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Alex In Wonderland The King And Four Queens The Honeymoon Machine How The West Was Won The Screening Room Boys’ Town The Wheeler Dealers Easter Parade The Screening Room Boys’ Town Gone With The Wind The Screening Room 2010 Man Of La Mancha Shaft Westworld

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Surviving History Dogfights Deep Sea Detectives Lost Worlds Seven Deadly Sins Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Deep Sea Detectives Lost Worlds The Universe Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Deep Sea Detectives Lost Worlds The Universe Life After People Ax Men 2 Surviving History Dogfights Deep Sea Detectives Deep Sea Salvage Modern Marvels Battle Stations Battle 360

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What I Hate About Me What I Hate About Me My Celebrity Home How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane

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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 & Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Dress My Nest How Do I Look? Split Ends Dallas Divas & Daughters Style Her Famous Running in Heels Kimora’s Home Movies Split Ends Clean House Giuliana & Bill Dallas Divas & Daughters Clean House

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

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Globe Trekker Oregon Uncovered Special Intrepid Journeys Distant Shores Wild At Heart Angry Planet Portugal’s Wild West Oregon Uncovered Special Globe Trekker Globe Trekker Globe Trekker Travel Today Dream Destinations Distant Shores Distant Shores Chef Abroad Entrada Planet Food Globe Trekker Chef Abroad The Thirsty Traveler Sophie Grigson in the Souk Entrada Angry Planet Travel Today Globe Trekker Essential Journey Into Wine-Spain & Portugal Chef Abroad The Thirsty Traveler Globe Trekker

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Vh1 Rocks Vh1 Music Vh1 Hits Vh1 Music Aerobic Top 10 Power Of Disco Music For The Masses Vh1 Pop Chart Vh1 Music Music For The Masses Vh1 Music Vh1 Viewer’s Jukebox

A Plumm Summer on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR 20:45 22:40 00:20 00:50 02:20 04:10 06:00 07:45 09:15 11:00 12:30 14:05 15:40 17:30 19:20

Movies Overboard The Ramen Girl VIP Access Wyvern That Thing You Do! Overboard The Ramen Girl Highlander: Endgame That Thing You Do! Wyvern Blonde & Blonder Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation Enchanted The Air Up There Say Anything

STAR 20:00 20:50 21:00 21:50 22:00 23:00 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30

World Mental Charlie’s Angels The Listener Who’s The Boss? 90210 [V] Tunes [V] Tunes [V] Tunes 7th Heaven Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim

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Criminal Minds Jackie Chan Adventures Grey’s Anatomy Charlie’s Angels 90210 Who’s The Boss? Mental Jackie Chan Adventures The King Of Queens The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven Charlie’s Angels Grey’s Anatomy Who’s The Boss? [V] Tunes Criminal Minds Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim October Road Jackie Chan Adventures Reaper Charlie’s Angels Stone Undercover Who’s The Boss? Criminal Minds Jackie Chan Adventures

Granada TV 20:00 Lewis

22:00 New Homes From Hell 2 23:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2) 00:00 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) 01:00 Piers Morgan’s The Dark Side of Fame Pamela Anderson 02:00 Crime Monday: Lewis 04:00 Young, Posh and Loaded 04:30 The Sunshine Girls 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 60 Minute Makeover (Series 3) 07:00 Crime Monday: Lewis 09:00 Piers Morgan’s The Dark Side of Fame Pamela Anderson 10:00 Young, Posh and Loaded 10:30 The Sunshine Girls 11:00 Emmerdale 11:30 Coronation Street 12:00 Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 2) 13:00 Crime Monday: Lewis (Series 1) 15:00 Piers Morgan’s The Dark Side of Fame Mickey Rourke 16:00 Emmerdale 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 2) 18:00 Crime Monday: Lewis (Series 1) Channel [V] 21:00 [V] Tunes 21:30 [V] Tunes 22:00 Loop

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

Amp Around Asia [V] Tunes [V] Special XO Loop Backtracks Videoscope [V] Special [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Loop Amp Around Asia [V] Tunes Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist [V] Countdown Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO

19:30 [V] Tunes 20:00 [V] Plug 20:30 The Playlist Fox News 00:00 America’s News HQ host Shannon Bream 02:00 Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 03:00 The O’Reilly Factor(repeat) 04:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Julie Banderas 06:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 07:00 FOX Report Sunday host Julie Banderas 08:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 09:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 10:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 11:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 12:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 13:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 14:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 15:00 War Stories with Oliver North 16:00 Bulls and Bears (repeat) 16:30 Cavuto On Business (repeat) 17:00 FORBES on FOX (repeat) 17:30 Cashin’ In (repeat) 18:00 FOX & Friends First Live 19:00 FOX & Friends Live 21:00 America’s Newsroom 22:00 America’s Newsroom 23:00 Happening Now

National Geographic Channel 20:00 Inside -Inside: Somali Pirates 21:00 Theme Week -Secrets of The 10 Plagues : The First Curses 22:00 Theme Week -Secrets of The 10 Plagues : The Final Torments 23:00 Theme Week -Jesus Revealed 00:00 Air Crash Investigation -Air Crash Investigation Specia : Fatal Fix 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -Cyberland 02:00 Locked Up Abroad -Boy Soldiers 03:00 Dangerous Encounters -Dangerous Encounters With Brad : Dens Of Danger 04:00 The Living Edens -Kakadu: Australia’s Ancient Wilderness 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -Cyberland 06:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Ancient Traditions 06:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet -Oaxaca Style 07:00 Street Monkeys -Boys In The Hood 08:00 Locked Up Abroad -Boy Soldiers 09:00 Wild Chronicles -9 09:30 Wild Chronicles -10 10:00 Theme Week -Inside: Undercover In North Korea 11:00 Air Crash Investigation -Air Crash Investigation Specia : Fatal Fix 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -Cyberland 13:00 Generals At War -The Battle Of Kursk 14:00 Warplanes -Airplane To Air Force


Monday, April 12, 2010

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ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for bachelor with an Indian family near Mecca street Fahaheel. Call: 23927458. (C 2117) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near Hi-Dine supermarket with Keralite family for couple or working ladies. Contact: 65139705. (C 2116) Sharing accommodation available for single working ladies/couple/executive bachelor in a 2 bedroom, 2 toilets. Only for Indians from Mumbai, Goa, Delhi, Hyderabad. New apt in Farwaniya. Contact: 24716975/66625901. (C 2113) 11-4-2010 Fully furnished independent room available for single lady from 1st May 2010, location Salmiya, Balajat street, rent KD 100. Tel: 65895389. (C 2109) An Indian lady (nurse) from Kerala looking for a working lady, (preferably Keralite) in a fully furnished central A/C flat in Amman Street, opp to Apollo hospital Salmiya, flat having tel, internet, cable

TV, rent KD 35. Contact: 94914817/7919485. (C 2110) 10-4-2010 Single room accommodation available for bachelor (1 or 2) in Abbassiya opposite to Choice restaurant from 01.05.2010. Tel: 60630829. (C 2105)

FOR SALE Nissan Pathfinder, 2002, black, lady driven, km 121,000, well maintained. Mob: 60685236. (C 2107) Home furniture most from Ikea, electrical appliances for sale at Salmiya. Phone: 66799157, 66491539. (C 2111) 10-4-2010

Toyota Corolla XLi 1.8, model 2004, silver color, excellent condition, done 82,000 kms only, cash price KD 2,100. Contact: 97213518. (C 2103) Vintage 35mm folding Kodak camera, made in Germany, it was produced between 1950-1957, excellent condition, and price for Vintage collector. Serious buyers call 66554052 (9 am to 9 pm). (C 2102) 8-4-2010 SITUATION VACANT

A nursing student requires assistance in microbiology, biochemistry pharmacology, & pathology. Call 66385870 after 4 pm. 10-4-2010

MATRIMONIAL Marthomite parents invite proposal for their daughter, 24 years, MA B.Ed working in an international school, Delhi. Reply with details: mvarghese19@yahoo.com (C 2115) 11-4-2010

SITUATION WANTED I need suitable job as accountant, I am B.Com + MBA, three years experience in Kuwait, valid driving license. I can handle financial packages and good management reporting skills. Please call: 55355954. (C 2108) 10-4-2010

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 12/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Wataniya Airways 322 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 435 Mashad 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 Jazeera 529 Assiut Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok British 157 London Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 675 Dubai Kuwait 352 Cochin Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Kuwait 344 Chennai 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 Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus United A/L 982 Washington DC Dulles Jazeera 257 Beirut

Time 00:05 00:30 00:50 01:05 01:15 01:20 01:30 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 07:55 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

Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Etihad Emirates Jazeera Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Indian Fly Dubai Middle East Global Jet Airways KLM Wataniya Airways Jazeera DHL Gulf Air Emirates Qatari Jazeera Jazeera Tunis Air Lufthansa Pakistan Wataniya Airways Jazeera

500 552 745 134 548 546 678 118 303 857 693 402 215 510 217 493 239 125 367 227 304 104 106 542 502 786 618 177 744 674 614 774 575 061 402 081 572 0445 404 459 372 217 859 136 429 185 327 636 239 108 263

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

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

Departure Flights on Monday 12-04-2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Safi A/W 216 Kabul Indian 982 Ahmadabad/Chennai Pakistan 206 Peshawar/Lahore Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul 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 Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 547 Luxor Arabia 122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Middle East 405 Beirut Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 492 Jeddah Jazeera 366 Deirezzor Jazsera 238 Amman Kuwait 103 London Iran Aseman 6522 Lamerd Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jazeera 216 Isfahan

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Time 00:05 00:25 00:30 00:50 01:00 01:05 01:10 01:15 02:15 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 08:40 08:45 09:00 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 Global Etihad Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Emirates Kuwait Jazeera Arabia Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Sri Lankan Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Middle East Jet A/W Wataniya Airways KLM Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Emirates Falcon Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera United A/L Kuwait

682 646 105 801 176 403 673 617 501 746 458 773 135 613 743 082 304 216 305 858 543 262 126 511 184 228 428 107 283 062 331 403 571 187 0445 218 373 675 860 102 381 137 301 205 480 526 502 636 981 411

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

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 17:00 17:35 18:05 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:20 18:35 19:00 19:10 19:10 19:40 20:00 20:50 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


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 956

Monday, April 12, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) Partnerships are highlighted today. With a partner, best friend, loved one, etc., much is accomplished. You generously want to share your visions, ideals and ideas with other people—they can be spellbound for hours. This may include a lecture, teaching a class, guiding young people or even selling some unique product, etc. You will sometimes encourage a person to achieve the goals they thought they could not achieve through new insights. You have a special bond with someone—a type of mentor from your past. You will be thinking of, or contacting this person today. There is a chance to have a special time with someone you love. General good feeling and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. Taurus (April 20-May 20) This morning you could spend a lot of time in water. This could be just for you or a group swim or perhaps in washing an animal or child or an animal. You may be teaching swimming lessons. You could feel like a prune before noon. This afternoon, you could be in the limelight, especially with family members. You may not have even realized that some act or favor would create a big ripple—others will praise you for your actions this past week. Perhaps you have helped someone without actually realizing you had helped them—keep on keeping on. There is a kind of romantic longing this evening. Careful—this could mean a longing for a soul mate or a yearning to save the world; it could mean carrying a torch, as well. You enjoy chatting to a friend tonight.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Take in solid food. 4. An informal term for a father. 8. The residue that remains when something is burned. 11. Psychoactive substance present in marijuana. 12. A person who makes use of a thing. 13. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 14. A period of time spent sleeping. 15. (Scottish) Bluish-black or gray-blue. 16. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 17. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 19. The face or front of a building. 21. (informal) Of the highest quality. 23. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 28. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 32. Marked by skill in deception. 35. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 39. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 40. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 41. Being two more than fifty. 45. A hospital unit staffed and equipped to provide intensive care. 47. (of securities) Not quoted on a stock exchange. 48. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 49. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 50. The cry made by sheep. DOWN 1. An inactive volcano in Sicily. 2. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 3. A protocol developed for the internet to get data from one network device to another. 4. Give a nickname to. 5. The sign language used in the United States. 6. Lacking or deprive of the sense of hearing wholly or in part. 7. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 8. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 9. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 10. Stable gear consisting of either of two curved supports that are attached to the collar of a draft horse and that hold the traces. 18. Extremely pleasing. 20. An informal conversation. 22. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 24. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 25. A public promotion of some product or service. 26. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 27. An awkward stupid person. 29. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 30. One million periods per second. 31. A light touch or stroke. 33. Protective outer layer of seeds of flowering plants. 34. West Indian evergreen with medium to long leaves. 36. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 37. Praise, glorify, or honor. 38. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 42. Being one more than two. 43. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 44. An elegantly dressed man (often with affected manners). 45. A public promotion of some product or service. 46. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Perhaps the plans for today have you in a good mood. Whatever the case, this day is full of passion and a positive attitude that gets much accomplished. Others will notice your productivity this day. Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Expect a sense of support and good will from those around you. Although you are intent on accomplishing a lot you have realistic expectations for your success. There are interesting subjects for your evaluation today and a relationship from the past may come to your attention. Find time to relax and commune with nature in order to balance your energies before the evening begins. There are interesting things to pursue regarding a romantic relationship now. Someone may surprise you this evening—gifts.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Many different stages in life bring many different experiences. You may find yourself a mentor to another member of your family. A sibling that may have teased you in the past is now looking at you in a different light. Your instinctive orientation at this time is toward getting down to basics and starting over from scratch—healing comes from destroying the roots of a disturbance. Today you may be serving an older member of the family with some sort of mental or physical support. Perhaps you will be able to help financially or in some way make their life easier. You will have support when you need it— all you have to do is ask. A social occasion this evening brings out your unique and unusual qualities. There is time to enjoy leisure conversations. Leo (July 23-August 22) At times you may be afflicted by fatigue. You will tend to be serious about your personal environment, making sure that you and your family are not exposed to harmful conditions. Gradually, you will learn how to assert yourself better as an individual. You will make good progress toward changing the city laws, perhaps through petition. Today you may decide to study physical self-improvement methods and learn practical skills that will help you be more confident. You may also be surprised at how pleased you are with your abilities. Work toward a balance in your life so that you do not look around one day and see that you have missed out on things that would bring you joy. You meet a new friend or two today.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your sense of justice intensifies as you become more sensitive to the needs of others. You will give serious consideration to a legally binding contract and may find ways to enhance or enlarge the benefits that come from this situation. You sell, or negotiate a plan to a group of people. There are successful decisions made in some important issues. This could be about some property, time or money matters. At this time, you tend to desire personal freedom and excitement in family and home life. There may be plans to change residence. You may entertain friends or conduct business from the home. Family life is subject to disruptions and family members are more independent and rebellious. There are workable solutions.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You like to do a variety of things but sometimes you can only cram just so much into one day—it may be difficult to balance the energies. Paying attention to creating a balance in your activities will keep your physical well-being stay in good shape. Some classes are offered that claim to help improve the way the sales person works with the public or an employee deals with a variety of situations in the work place. You will be able to collect a variety of information that will make your life more successful and easier to navigate. You work best when you are in a service-oriented type of business. You like to be helpful and you like to teach, guide, make-better, etc. Visiting with old friends this evening, you may discover new ideas on managing your energies.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A new sense of self, a more assertive personal style and a more dynamic approach to life is in the forecast. You may want to recoup your energies for next week—make new plans. This is an excellent time to review past accomplishments and failures relating to your professional life—re-evaluate—but not for long. Doubts fade into the background and reserve is more and more a thing of the past. Soon, it will be time for action and you will be ready. Your creative spirit is on automatic drive, making you very passionate and expressive. The drive for interaction with loved ones is heightened. After tending to personal business, you may find yourself looking through the papers for a good movie. You may enjoy feeding on the energies of music this evening.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are in demand today. Whether it be the language, the math, working a new piece of equipment; whatever the case, you have the answers. This would be a good time to just give over your time to teaching. You will be able to get back to your own work faster. You are understanding and helpful. An interest in religion or mysticism is strong at this time. You may be looking to marry someone of a different religion or you are deciding which way to go yourself. Relax; you will be guided to what you need. New personal goals are identified. Set your sights high and dare to dream big. Be as flexible as possible. Later you enjoy some form of poetry or art—you find a great book at the library. Make someone smile this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution

yester

Yesterday’s Solution

to

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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Confusing messages are possible this morning. It may be best to let the energies smooth out. With some effort you can gain a focus by busying yourself with hard work, hobbies or errands. Be cautious in promising more than you can deliver. There is talk of a social gathering soon and you may enjoy helping to plan this future event. You draw emotional sustenance and a sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement. This can be an expansive, creative and even romantic phase—a time you will look back on with pride and fondness. You may experience many situations during this time when a new relationship might begin—particularly one of a physical, loving nature. Additionally, this is a time when your powers of creativity are great.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You will find your emotional experiences are likely to be more intense than usual and you could be drawn to unusual people and events. Fresh insight comes to you through the news, radio or television advertising, giving you a whole new perspective. Although this may not be the best time to go public with your ideas, family members support you in whatever you want to do. You can expect a little boost, some sort of extra support or recognition from those around you. This afternoon you could be helping your friends. Someone could be moving, getting married, traveling, etc. All of this should go rather smoothly. Time is returned, once again, to you this evening. Young people and loved ones can be quite enjoyable to be with this evening. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Although this day is not free of stress, you will find it greatly satisfying. Keep in mind that all things have an end. Helping others seems to be the trend for this morning. You may find yourself serving to guide someone younger than you in matters of importance. Some group sport brings many friends together this afternoon. Teamwork is also accented. The deeper meaning of life is very important to you and you may enjoy talking about what might be with your sweetheart. Consider sharing a cooking project with your loved one. You may discover new ideas to make your kitchen more accommodating. Hold your loved one’s hand and go for a little walk this evening. Make laughter and smiles be the closure of your day.


INFORMATION

Monday, April 12, 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: www.moi.gov.kw

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

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

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

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

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

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

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

22633135

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

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SPECTRUM

marrying Hemsworth

Carey Mulligan has never taken drugs he ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ actress has no interest in illegal substances, and doesn’t think she’d be prepared to experiment for a movie role even if it was a great part. She said: “I’ve never done cocaine or anything, and I’ve never played a character who has, so I don’t know whether I would actually try coke if I had to play a character who took coke. It’s never come up before. But I don’t like the idea of having to mess yourself up to be a good actor. “I feel like there’s a switch in your head that you’re required to turn on and off more often when you’re making a movie. I haven’t done this long enough to identify what it is, but I do find it easier to turn the switch on in theatre than in film.” The 24year-old star wants to throw herself into a wide range of roles, and is grateful she finds it easy to alter her appearance. She explained to Interview magazine: “Luckily, I’m not restricted when it comes to age. I can play a bit younger, like I did in ‘An Education’, but I can also play older, like I did in ‘Never Let Me Go’, where my character is 28 by the end of the film. I also don’t look specific - I can change my appearance quite easily just by changing my hair. So I can adapt quite well.”

iley Cyrus is reportedly planning her wedding to boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. The 17-year-old singer-andactress - who has been dating the handsome actor for 10 months after meeting on the set of their movie ‘The Last Song’ - is said to be keen to tie the knot with her beau once she turns 18 in November. A source told America’s OK! magazine: “She’s convinced she’ll spend the rest of her life with him. She’s talking about a wedding as soon as she turns 18. She’s even asked her mom if she can wear her wedding dress.” Miley is clearly smitten with Liam, 20, and the couple have become extremely close. She said: “He is awesome. We hang out almost every day. He’s almost become like my best friend.” Miley recently said she thinks their relationship works because they are complete opposites. She explained: “He’s a 6ft 4in Australian surfer, and I’m 5ft 4in, from Tennessee and I couldn’t surf if someone gave me $10million. So we couldn’t be more opposite. “But I went to Australia to visit him and his family, and I was like, ‘Omigosh, this looks like Nashville.’ There were like cows everywhere. I am like, ‘How are you from the opposite side of the planet and your world looks just like mine?’ “

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Stewart loves Pattinson risten Stewart has admitted she loves Robert Pattinson. The 20year-old actress - who stars alongside the British heartthrob in ‘The Twilight Saga’ movies - said she feels strongly for her co-star because he has a childish side. She said: “I love Rob because he always wants to be the best. He can be very childish. When Rob does something right or wins something he talks with a different, little voice - like a five-year-old. “Rob is

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Shakira has her dreams analyzed

sexy, in a tortured artist way. This might be because he is British. He’s tall, looks like he is thinking all the time and is incredibly funny. “I love the way he sings. It breaks my heart. And don’t you think he’s just gorgeous? Rob’s also a very bad liar, he just can’t do it!” The American star also claims Robert once proposed to her for a joke. She told the News of the World newspaper: “He asked me to marry him. As a joke, though. Well at least I think so.”

Shia LaBeouf has a ‘dark side’ he ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ actor - who is dating actress Carey Mulligan - could never be as squeakyclean as other Hollywood stars because he has always been “a ruffian”. He explained: “I’ve never been like Zac Efron. I am a bit of an a*shole. I have a dark side. I’m a bit of a ruffian. I’ve never tried to be anything else. I was never educated properly because I got kicked out of every school.” Shia has also admitted the only reason he wanted to be a Hollywood star was because the large pay would help ease his family’s financial problems. He added: “Initially, it was all money driven. I didn’t give a s**t about

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hakira has her dreams analyzed by her therapist. The ‘She Wolf’ hitmaker regularly consults with an analyst and was delighted when he recently told her that seeing insects in her nocturnal visions was a sign of happiness. She said: “I had grasshoppers when I was younger and I realized the grasshopper is a symbol of happiness in Chinese culture. “I dreamt about a grasshopper last night and when I phoned my analyst this morning, he told me. It wasn’t because of the grasshopper I phoned

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him, it was about something else in the dream.” The Columbian singer also spoke about her meeting with the Dalai Lama, revealing she enjoyed hearing him laugh because it made her feel optimistic about life. She explained: “The Dalai Lama was nice, but I suppose being nice is part of his whole thing though, isn’t it? I didn’t want to say anything, I just wanted to listen, especially to his laugh. It sounded like optimism. It sounded like, ‘Hey it is definitely possible to be happy.’ “

Lindsay should go to rehab indsay Lohan’s friends are urging her to go to rehab. The actress’ pals are reportedly concerned after the 23-yearold actress spent two nights in a row partying until 6am, and are telling her she needs to go back to a treatment facility. A source said: “We are growing increasingly worried about Lindsay. She needs to go back to rehab, everyone that is close to her is urging her to get help. “The biggest problem is that Lindsay refuses to admit she has a problem, and she doesn’t believe she needs to go back to rehab. Essentially, there is nothing anyone can do as Lindsay can’t be forced to go to rehab, even though it’s exactly what she needs.” Lindsay’s mother Dina is now said to be “very concerned” about her antics, and is growing increasingly frustrated at her ex-husband Michael - who recently got engaged - for exposing details of the ‘Mean Girls’ star’s problems. The source added to RadarOnline.com: “Dina is very concerned about her, not only is she Lindsay’s mother, but her manager as well. Dina is fiercely protective of Lindsay and her other children. “The situation is only made worse because Michael insists on making this public, when it’s truly a private family matter. Lindsay doesn’t trust her father at all, he has betrayed her so many times.” Friends are also said to be worried she will ignore them if they attempt to push her into rehab. The source said: “Lindsay simply tunes out any talk of seeking help, at this point. She has been known

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to freeze people out of her life if she doesn’t like what they are telling her, and that is what she is doing now.” Lindsay has been to rehab three times to be treated for alcohol and drug abuse and earlier this year admitted she feared

ustin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have reportedly ended their three year relationship. The showbiz couple, who have been dogged by suggestions their union is close to breaking up for some time, have called it quits. A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “Justin truly thought he’d found the one in Jessica and she felt the same. But the relationship just didn’t seem to go anywhere. “They’ve both been working incredibly hard and will remain friendly - but there’s no more romance. “It was mutual and they agreed it was best to part ways if things weren’t going to head towards marriage and kids. They are both incredibly busy. “They both knew things were going to end for ages - it was just a matter of when.” Justin is currently filming new comedy movie ‘Bad Teacher’ with his ex-girlfriend Cameron

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her substance use would kill her. The 23-yearold actress confessed she used alcohol and substances to ease the pain of her personal problems, saying: “I tried to mask my problems with alcohol, cocaine, and mind-altering substances. Now I’m in a place where I don’t need to use anything and I feel emotions because I choose to. I’ve made some dreadful mistakes but learned from them - that has probably saved my life.” —Bang Showbiz

The couple have been rumored to be in a relationship since they first met on the set of the vampire movies, but have never officially been seen together, despite rumors they were going to reveal their status at this year’s BAFTA Awards. Speaking at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel at a post-BAFTAs dinner this year, Robert said: “It is extremely difficult but we are together, yes. We can’t arrive at the same time because of the fans, it goes crazy.”

arts. We were as broke as balls, so I just wanted to move my family into better digs.” The 23year-old star also revealed he has banned himself from celebrity parties for the sake of his career as he doesn’t trust himself around alcohol. He told Britain’s Glamour magazine: “I am not good at going to parties and doing the schmoozy thing. I drink to get drunk, so I don’t go to social things for a couple of drinks because two and two makes 12... The way I deal with being at those functions is to get wasted. And that jeopardizes what I love and what keeps my family fed, and builds my self-worth. I’d risk too much.”

Timberlake and Biel split

Cyrus plans on

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Diaz, and the pair have been enjoying their time together, sharing jokes and getting on better than ever. The source added: “Cameron was the one who got Justin into the film. She wanted him from the start. “There’s even been steamy love scenes and lots of kissing included in the script. They’re having a blast together.” Justin’s music career has taken a back seat to acting recently, and he has also filmed the role of Boo-Boo in a new big-screen adaptation of ‘Yogi Bear’ The film’s director Eric Brevig recently admitted Justin has “nailed” the role. He said: “We heard that he wanted to do the voice, and I thought, ‘Oh, great,’ because everybody thinks they can do Yogi and BooBoo. “But when we met with him for the first time, he did the tiniest little amount and it was like, ‘This guy has got it nailed!’


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Lifestyle

Hakawati traditions showcased at

Abu Dhabi festival 2010 ager audiences in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah had another opportunity to experience the inspirational oral storytelling techniques of Hakawati performer Ahmed Yousef this weekend, with rescheduled performances as part of Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, organized by the Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation. The events, which had been cancelled as part of the national mourning period, were rescheduled based on unprecedented demand, with more than one thousand people turning up to the three performances held in Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. A central part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, the Hakawati tour sought to revive the practice of storytelling, a tradition rooted in the region’s cultural heritage. Held in Abu Dhabi the Hakawati performances saw large crowds hearing stories from the 1001 Nights, in which the lady Shahrazad protects herself from the evil king Shahrayar by telling him stories on 1000 consecutive nights. The performances at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 Hakawati events were taken from these stories and also included the famous tale of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ by Hans Christian Andersen. Hakawati performances are based on traditional Arabic storytelling techniques, generally performed in the open air in public, telling fabulous tales, often with moral twists. Loved by children and adults alike,

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84-year-old WWII veteran returns to college

Jack Slotnick, 84, center, pictured March 25, 2010, is a freshman at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, pursuing his first bachelor’s degree in psychology.—MCT ollege freshman Jack Slotnick’s midterm report card shows an A, two grades of A-, one B and one C. It’s something most full-time students would be happy with, but Slotnick isn’t the average college student. At age 84, the World War II Purple Heart veteran is the oldest undergraduate student in Lynn University’s history, according to a spokeswoman for the Boca Raton, Fla, school. “Sometimes when I look at the students, I can’t believe I’m as old as I am,” Slotnick said. “Some of the students thought I was the professor when I walked into one of my classes.” After retiring from a career in the vacuum cleaner and lawn-mowing businesses, Slotnick felt the need to finish what he had started more than 60 years ago at Brooklyn College. “Everybody I know has one or two degrees, so I looked in the mirror about six months ago and I said, ‘You really are a dumb-dumb. You don’t have a degree,’” he said. With that realization, he applied to Lynn, and was accepted as a psychology major. At his current pace, Slotnick will graduate with a bachelor of science degree late next year. People like Slotnick are rare. Only a handful of older people continue their educations. A 2009 survey by AARP found that only 16 percent of people age 50 and older said they were likely to return to school. Among those 65 and older, according to the survey, that number was only 7 percent. “I think only Jack can do this. I’ve never met anyone like him,” said Amanda Gross, who sits next to Slotnick in psychology class. Robert Seifer, Slotnick’s psychology professor, gives his oldest student no special treatment, but understands his unique situation. “I give Jack a ton of credit for being 84 years old and coming back to learn and experience the traditional college classroom,” he said. Slotnick has definite plans for his psychology degree: “I’m going to be the oldest practicing psychologist in the US”. His goal is to earn a master’s degree and offer free counseling to returning military veterans. “I think I can relate better to a returning veteran than somebody who has no concept of what being a soldier is,” Slotnick said. He wants to work through veterans’ organizations to help the vets transition to civilian life and reduce what, he said, is an alarming suicide rate among returning servicemen and servicewomen. “Evidently there is more stress or strain on the soldiers of today than when I was in the war,” Slotnick said. “There is something drastically wrong with the amount of suicides [among] the current group of soldiers.” Slotnick’s goal is to help his fellow veterans, but that’s not the only benefit he will get from it. “Brain exercises, such as what you would get from taking classes, are wonderful stimulation,” said Dr Leilani Doty, director of the University of Florida Cognitive and Memory Disorders Clinics. As people age, many deal with memory loss and slower problem-solving skills, she said. Stimulation is key to delaying the brain’s atrophy. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” Doty said. —MCT Other than some difficulties with technology, Slotnick said, his age hasn’t affected his schoolwork. “The only disadvantage I have right now are the technical points of the computer,” he said. “I’m taking a computer course, so I’m really getting into the 21st Century.” His family is supportive. “I’m glad I’m passing my classes,” Slotnick said. —MCT

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diverse events, including musical performances, storytelling, photography, film, workshops and community cultural groups across the seven Emirates. These events helped establish partnerships with local community organizations as a reflection of the Festival’s commitment to embedding the arts in the UAE and celebrating the spirit of “Bilad Al Khayr”, “The Land of Blessings”, through grassroots involvement in music, arts and culture.

Ahmed Yousef is one of the best-known Hakawatis (storytellers) working today. He is performing as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010’s community program, which extends the benefit of this world-class festival throughout the UAE’s communities, by reaching out to community groups within the UAE and providing a platform for the advancement of young national artists and traditional cultural practices alike. The Festival’s community program this year featured

Seine River is star of first Impressionist festival onet lived near it, Caillebotte sailed on it and any number of them likely spent time in the picturesque cafes along its banks. Now one museum in France has set out to show how France’s iconic River Seine was one of the Impressionist painters’ greatest influences. As France gears up for its first major homage to Impressionism, the Giverny Museum in Normandy north of Paris has opened an exhibit featuring work by a list of Impressionists to illustrate the connection, but it goes beyond that as well. It also captures a time when the Seine, which bisects Paris and cuts through the French countryside before emptying into the English Channel, saw its bucolic setting transformed in many areas by industrialization. Such changes not only altered the landscape and the lives of those living there, but also fired the imaginations of the painters, said Marina Ferretti, the exhibit’s curator. “The Seine was able to become the birthplace of new painting in the sec-

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ond half of the 19th century because it was an area for all innovations,” said Ferretti. For the Impressionists, most of whom painted in the mid-tolate 1800s, the combination of

Recent picture showing a visitor looking at the painting ‘The Boating Party’ (1877) by French artist Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894). —AFP

industry and leisure along the Seine proved to be a rich source of inspiration, she said. “It is life itself that they wanted to describe, and in their paintings the clear silhouette of a walker or a pleasure boat’s sparkling sail often gives way to a background of factory smokestacks and metal bridges,” the curator said. There was the light as well, of course, and its reflection off the water that surely left its

mark on the painters who would change art forever. The some 50 paintings gathered at the museum serve as a prelude to an Impressionist festival beginning in June throughout Normandy which will also cover music, literature, theatre and cinema. There will be a Claude Debussy opera, a major

art show in Rouen with 100 key works on display as well as 19thcentury-style riverside balls and open-air picnics. Among the paintings on display at Giverny are masterpieces from Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Gustave Caillebotte. The oldest works, including those by Theodore Rousseau

and dating to 1832, depict a wild river with sandy banks surrounded by greenery. But as time passes, the idyllic scenes are replaced by those with factories along increasingly populated river banks. Stone bridges become metal ones, rowboats disappear in favor of barges. The exhibit, which runs

until July 18, wraps up with works from Fauvist painters Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and Othon Friesz, showing how they, too, were drawn to the Seine before heading for the sunny Mediterranean. Ferretti said the Impressionists involved themselves completely “in a new world that was sketching itself, hedonistic and confident in the virtues of progress.” She points out that the railroad’s arrival in the 19th century in the cities of Rouen and Le Havre-both located along the Seine-also helped make the river a playground for the Impressionists. They frequented the cafes along the Seine and some participated in water sports, including Caillebotte who became president of the sailing club in the town of Petit Gennevilliers. And several chose to make their home near the river, including perhaps the best-known Impressionist, Monet, whose house in Giverny included the famous garden that was the inspiration for much of his work. —AFP

‘Designing Women’ actress Dixie Carter dies ctress Dixie Carter, who played an outspoken liberal on the sitcom “Designing Women” and received an Emmy nomination for a guest role on “Desperate Housewives,” has died, according to TV gossip show “Entertainment Tonight.” She was 70. Details about the time, place and cause were not immediately known. “This has been a terrible blow to our family,” actor Hal Holbrook, Carter’s husband since 1984, was quoted as telling “Entertainment Tonight.” “We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.” “Designing Women,” which ran on CBS for seven seasons from 1986, revolved around the lives of four women and a man at an interior design firm in Atlanta. Carter’s sharptongued character, Julia Sugarbaker, was an advocate of liberal causes and women’s rights. In 2007, Carter received an Emmy nomination for a stint as the devious mother-in-

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law of Marcia Cross’ character, Bree Hodge, on “Desperate Housewives.” The Tennessee native also appeared in the 1980s sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” towards the end of its run, playing the wife of Conrad Bain’s character

Philip Drummond. The role was later assumed by Mary Ann Mobley after it switched networks. In addition to her 85-year-old husband, Carter is survived by her daughters from her first marriage, Mary Dixie and Ginna, “Entertainment Tonight” said. —Reuters

Members of the Egyptian band WAMA Nader Hamdi, Ahmed Fahmi, Ahmed al-Shami and Mohammed Nur attend a press conference to launch their new album in Cairo on April 10, 2010. —AFP


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Monday, April 12, 2010

Travel

Temporar y tattoos let lost kids get found The good: The SafetyTats are much like adhesive bandages. They’re made with a proprietary material that, like a bandage, is peeled and sticks to the skin (after you clean the area with a wipe that is provided). Then you use the pen that comes with the kit to write the phone number. The tats are hypoallergenic and latexfree. SafetyTat says the tats can last up to two weeks. We tested one for a week on the shoulder of an adult, and it held up through a variety of activities and half a dozen soapy showers without even a hint of working its way loose. The bad: Peeling it off was painless, even for an adult with a hairy shoulder. But a small child might be a little more sensitive to the removal. Also, each SafetyTat is a one-time-only deal, so if you or your child pulls it off, you will have to apply another one. And the company warns not to apply the tats to sensitive areas or near the eyes. So plastering one across little Johnny’s forehead is not recommended. Cost: Starts at $9.99

Destination Detroit

Tours get you acquainted with the city Popular tours include karaoke bar tours, restaurant tours and coney island tours. “It’s not just tourism. It’s to have fun in your city in a new way you didn’t expect to,” says Terri Stewart, a guide at DTours, which offers heritage tours and nightlife tours such as “Midtown Pub Crawl.” ver seen downtown Detroit from aboard a two-wheeled Segway? You can. Segway tours of the city “let you cover more distance than you would walking. But you still get up close and personal,” says Jeannette Pierce, cofounder of Inside Detroit, a nonprofit tour company that will offer them starting April 24. “We do the RiverWalk, and it’s really fun.” Meanwhile, Stewart McMillin has one aim: to share Detroit’s hidden gems and history with visitors and locals. “Some people haven’t been downtown in 40 years. Other people know a lot and want to know more,” says McMillin, who runs Stewart McMillin Tours, which offers outings such as black history tours and “Hooch, Hoodlums and Hoods” about Prohibition days. In Detroit, there are dozens of tours that anyone can take on the spur of the moment, many as cheap as $10. They are not just for visitors. Detroiters can be tourists in their own hometown just by signing up. The problem? Most people don’t know the tours exist. Tours engage people in the city’s history, architecture and nightlife, those who love the city say. Most tours start up in early May, although some have already begun. “We want to open the door to make people see there is tons to see and discover,” says Pierce. “There is a lot of history, but new things are happening all the time.” Including the latest nightlife and restaurants. Popular tours include karaoke bar tours, restaurant tours and coney island tours. “It’s not just tourism. It’s to have fun in your city in a new way you didn’t expect to,” says Terri Stewart, a guide at DTours, which offers heritage tours and nightlife tours such as “Midtown Pub Crawl.” Guiding tours is a business, but “I do this partly for the good of humanity, to show people what a cool city Detroit is,” says Bob Goldsmith, owner of Detroit Tour Connections. Some of the most popular tours are behind-thescenes peeks at places like the vast, mysterious Detroit Masonic Temple with its ornate rooms and

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SafetyTat are temporary colorful tattoos for children on which a parent or caretaker can write a cell phone or emergency phone number, perfect for summer travel or outings to amusement parks, zoos, museums or beaches, where a kid can easily get lost in the crowd.—MCT

•Preservation Wayne Preeminent architectural tour group focuses on the city’s heritage. From May to October, it offers walking tours at 10 a.m. Saturdays and at 5:30 pm Tuesdays. All Tuesday tours leave from Campus Martius; Saturday tour locations vary. Popular tours: “Eastern Market” (every Saturday), “Auto Heritage” (first and third Saturdays of the month), “Detroit Theater Tour” (Aug 14), “Downtown Buildings of Albert Kahn” (every other Tuesday). •Inside Detroit Founded in 2008, it likes to show off what’s new in the city. It also offers Segway tours. Popular tours: “Opening Day Breakfast Bar Bounce” (April 9), “Downtown Highlights Walking Tour” (first three Saturdays of the month starting May 1). Segway tours start April 24, then run Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays. • Stewart McMillIn tours Longtime teacher and guide has been leading tours for 40 years; specializes in Underground Railroad, black history tours and more. Popular tours: “African-American History and Culture” (May 6), “Downtown Detroit People Mover” (May 20), “Hooch, Hoodlums & Hoods” (Nov30).

Laura Sparrow, of Ann Arbor, pauses on her Segway in front of the Spirit of Detroit. —MCT photos secret passages. “People love the behind-the-scenes tours,” says Tracy Irwin, director of exhibitions and programs for the Detroit Historical Society, which offers several such tours of landmarks every year.People also love old cemeteries, churches and architecture. Detroit is a culturally rich city, but you have to know where to look. “Most people who come downtown don’t look up,” says McMillin. “They look at parking meters and fire hydrants.” Tours for every taste Here’s a sample of scheduled

The Frugal Traveler: n a return trip to Maine after a Mideast vacation, a last-minute business opportunity created a financial detour. But we had to pay for the new travel arrangements. By maximizing hotel amenities after extending our stay and traveling light, we were able to make things happen with minimal financial disruption. Stay on-budget with our multi-step plan for affordable business travel. Maximize amenities: Think outside the hot tub box for free hotel perks during a business trip. Free shuttle service-to and from the airport-represents a huge cost savings over a rental car or taxi cab. Complimentary transportation also reduces logistical stress. (Don’t forget to tip.) Some hotel business

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tours that are open to all. Many of these companies also offer customized tours. • Detroit tour connections Offers different walking tours at 1 pm Saturdays and 6 pm Wednesdays from May 1 through Oct 30; tours leave from the Westin Book Cadillac hotel. Popular tours: “Historic Downtown Hotels” (May 12 and June 13), “Coney Island Hot Dog Tour” (July 4 and Oct 3); “RiverWalk” (July 7, Aug 1 and 11; Sept 5), “Nudes in Downtown Public Art (July 18, Aug 18).

• Detroit Historical Society Offers behind-the-scenes tours of Detroit landmarks, theaters, cemeteries and old churches. Popular tours: “Masonic Temple” (April 17), “Palmer Woods Neighborhood” (May 22), “Woodmere Cemetery” (June 12), “Former Detroit Synagogues” (April 22), “Historic Houses of Worship” (May 3). • Dtours Detroit Offers many kinds of tours, but the most booked are its nightlife, bar and karaoke tours. Popular tours: “Eastern Market Pub Crawl” (April 9), “Midtown Pub Crawl” (April 10), “Karaoke Pub Crawl” (April 16), “Strolling Dinner” progressive dinner at four restaurants (April 24). —MCT

Business travel on a budget centers provide free printing and fax services, which save you a trip to the copy store. In addition to free WiFi and high-value breakfasts, the lobby of the Hampton Inn in South Portland, Maine, offers fireside conversational seating suitable for informal business meetings. The gourmet tea and coffee bar is gratis as well. Streamline: Traveling light translates into fewer baggage fees and porter tips. Use online document storage to reduce bag weight and create more room for necessities such as laptop computers, additional clothing and smart phones. Make the most of your time and money by scheduling multiple meetings and events during your trip. Use your down time

efficiently to eliminate costly productivity gaps and generate additional sales leads, which could add to your bottom line. Track receipts: Stay grounded when you travel by carefully tracking out-of-pocket expenses, including tips, business meals and related expenses. Excellent records will help you document business expenses that could be tax deductible or covered by a corporate reimbursement plan. Review your company’s travel policy, and verify the per diem allowances for meals, entertainment and other business expenses. If you’re self-employed, review IRS regulations about business travel with your accountant, financial planner or other experts. —MCT


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ighttime and 10 degrees. A perfect time to use the rooftop hot tub. In our bathing suits, we followed innkeeper Bob VanAman up narrow stairs to a sliding glass door in the ceiling. It opened, sprinkling us with bits of ice. The frigid air hit. “Are you sure?” Bob said worriedly, and we went out. On the roof, four stories up, my slippers slid in the snow. I grasped the iron railing. Bob folded open the cover of the hot

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B&B. No gingerbread frou-frou here-it’s all grand stained glass, ponderous parquet, marble floors and massive antiques. It also has a very odd collection of bedrooms decorated in Tibetan, Dutch, Italian, French and Nature themes. The bedrooms have no televisions or telephones, but they are chock full of marble statues and oil paintings, custom lighting and period furniture (it might be just me, but I’d like to see more lux-

then again a private home. In 2005, attorney Fred Royce sold it lock, stock and barrel to local residents Peter and Laura Livingstone-McNelis for $1.3 million. Immediately, word got around that the couple was going to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast: “and before we even opened, people were knocking on the door wanting to come in and stay overnight, and they didn’t care if there was no breakfast or matching sheets,” says Peter Livingstone-McNelis. The new owners ripped down high hedges that hid the castle from the town. They left most of Royce’s eclectic decorating intact, renovated the gardens, expanded the parking lot

The Henderson Castle Bed and Breakfast sits high on a hill in Kalamazoo. to $275 a night to stay at the castle, depending on the night and the room you choose. After the evening rooftop hot tub experience, we returned to the third floor of the mansion. We tried the sauna. We then returned to the Dutch Room bedroom, decorated with blueand-white Delft tiles, lace cur-

tains and big, heavy Dutch furniture. I was sound asleep when I felt a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder. I heard a voice whisper, “Go away.” I bolted upright. It was pitch dark. My husband slept, a lump on the far side of the big bed. Nobody else was there. Obviously, a dream. I lay back on the damp sheets, drifting back to

The Dutch Room bedroom at the Henderson Castle Bed and Breakfast. tub, then retreated. We slid in, bobbing like dumplings in the steaming water. All was still. Beyond the roof were the twinkling lights of Kalamazoo and the stars above. “There’s steam coming off your head,” my husband said. How romantic. And actually, it was. Many bed-and-breakfasts have fluffy bedspreads. Almost none have a hot tub next to a giant rooftop turret. But the eccentric 1895 Henderson Castle, a lauded bed-and-breakfast since 2005, is not your typical hotel, nor even your typical

urious bedding and flat-screen TVs as well.) Each bedroom looks out onto gardens. There is even a carriage house cottage out back. Built for the Henderson family in 1890s, the red sandstone and brick mansion on Monroe Street is maybe the luckiest old house in Michigan. It was a luxurious private home to the Hendersons, who made their fortune as military uniform and ceremonial sword makers. Then it sat empty (1936-45), became an apartment building, a Kalamazoo College property,

Shoes rest near the fireplace in the Dutch Room.

Innkeeper Bob VanAnam assists overnight visitors.— MCT photos and flung open the doors. Now used for weddings, meetings, community events, overnight guests and public tours, it has sprung to life again. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, the Select Registry of historic inns and was named by AAA as one of the top three Michigan historic inns

(along with the Grand Hotel and the Dearborn Inn.) Walls in the public spaces are hung with medieval tapestries and swords. Chandeliers glitter from the ceilings. In the nature bedroom, called the Earth and Sky room, a ceiling mural depicts the astrological chart, but each bedroom has its own quirks. It costs $150

The mural painted on the ceiling of the Earth and Sky room at the Henderson Castle.

sleep, when it occurred to me. What if it wasn’t a dream? What if I was sleeping in the room of a spirit who wanted it back? The next morning in the bright dining room, the other guests talked of hot tubs and the weather. It seemed silly to bring up ghosts while we were eating omelets and muffins, so I let it be. I do know that Henderson

Castle would be perfect for murder mystery weekends, a romantic night, a wedding, and maybe Halloween paranormal parties. They offer all of these things, plus dances, special catered dinners and more . Don’t forget to try the hot tub when you’re there, and if someone taps you on the shoulder in the middle of the night, don’t startle. —MCT

Air travelers wage a battle of the carry-on bags very airline passenger is entitled to overhead space, right? Wrong. On a typical domestic flight, six passengers share luggage bins that fit four wheelie bags, at most, leaving some fliers out of luck at a time when more of them are opting to lug their bags, rather than check them, to avoid airline fees. There are also more passengers competing for that space because planes are again filled to near-record levels, the result of carriers’ capacity cuts and a rebound from last year’s recession. Boarding lines, rarely speedy, now often move in reverse when the last luggage bins fill and passengers are forced to back off a plane and return to the jet bridge to check bags. The next obsession, at least for passengers of Spirit Airlines, may be cramming items under airplane seats. The Florida discount carrier said Tuesday that it would charge customers as much as $45 each way to place bulky items in overhead bins, in an effort to get people on and off its planes faster. Other airlines will watch Spirit’s experiment. Airline staff and passengers are still trying to figure out how best to cope with the changes in boarding and behavior resulting from the new fees on checked baggage, which were widely adopted as the travel market fell into a tailspin in 2008. Since the start of last year, the number of bags checked at the boarding gate by Chicago-based United Airlines has risen nearly 50 percent, while the volume of bags checked at ticket counters has dropped 18 percent. At American Airlines, more passengers now carry on bags than check them. “Flying definitely has changed over the last 18 months,” said Tom Parsons, CEO of BestFares.com, a low-cost travel Web site. “It’s a roller-bag derby.” One year ago, when many flights were only two-thirds full, only four people sat in the six seats that share a bin. Now, “in effect, you have 50 percent more contention for overhead space. What’s fine for four people isn’t for six,” said aviation consultant Robert Mann, president of RW Mann & Co. “When you compare

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the storage space available on board today to 20 years ago, the per-passenger number has to be double, even triple, what it used to be. And, yet, it’s never enough.” Both the fees and space constraints can contribute to a breakdown in social conventions as passengers increasingly feel like they’re left to fend for themselves. “It’s survival of the fittest,” said Shelly Casale, a software consultant from Des Plaines, Ill., as she boarded a United Airlines flight at O’Hare International Airport last week that was bound for Boston. Cabin baggage has been a growing inconvenience for airlines and passengers alike since the first wheeled luggage rolled onto the market in the early 1990s. “The truth is we’ve never had a good handle on this,” said Darryl Jenkins, founder of The Airline Zone, a Web site devoted to airline economics. Carry-on bags didn’t become the primary source of luggage for passengers until carriers introduced fees for infrequent fliers and then raised them to $25 to check a first bag and $35 for a second item. United, among the first to adopt the fees, has seen the volume of checked bags fall for 25 consecutive months, said Cindy Szadokierski, United’s vice president of airport operations planning and United Express. Every major US airline except for Southwest Airlines has introduced such fees since 2008, and no wonder. The 10 largest US carriers collected $739.8 million in baggage charges during the third quarter of 2009, double prior-year totals, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. As planes fill and tensions rise, carriers are exploring ways to ease congestion in their aisles. American offers a valet service so travelers on its Eagle regional jets can easily hand off bags that don’t fit overhead. The Texas-based carrier also plans to begin scanning this luggage later this year to reduce the risk it is lost. Airplane manufacturer Boeing Co is finding a growing market for the new luggage compartments that it created for its 787 Dreamliner and revamped for its 747 and 737 jets.

A Southwest Airline passenger lifts his luggage into the air while looking for a storage spot in the overhead compartments. (Down) Southwest Airline passenger Robin Bonner, of Solon, Ohio, places her luggage into the overhead compartment on a flight from Midway Airport in Chicago to Cleveland, Ohio. — MCT photos

The hinged bins handle far larger bags than current compartments, giving every traveler access to overhead space. Chicago-based Boeing anticipated the carry-on squeeze, designing the new bins before baggage fees were

commonplace. Dozens of airlines have purchased the new 737 interiors, said Kent Craver, Boeing’s regional director for passenger satisfaction and revenue. “We want to remove things that cause anxiety,” he said. “People like

to fly; they just don’t like to fly today.” United is also assigning teams of workers to flights most prone to baggage meltdowns during peak holiday travel periods like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, a program it tested at O’Hare and is

rolling out at other large airports. The gate agents and ramp workers nab boarding customers with carry-on bags as the overhead bins fill and quickly tag and cart away that luggage to the cargo hold. They were on hand last week as Casale waited among the final group of passengers to board a packed Boeing 757 headed for Boston. As she stepped down the jet bridge, there were still 27 people waiting to follow her to the few remaining empty seats, and all but a couple of them clutched black roll-aboard bags. On board, a flight attendant hurriedly repacked overhead bins at the rear of the plane, returning coats to their owners and tilting bags on to their sides to maximize the little remaining empty space. Gate agents, meanwhile, checked about 15 bags from the final boarding customers. This is how it is supposed to work. But it’s not always the case. Exclusive Chicago Tribune data shows that carry-on complaints to the US Department of Transportation more than doubled last year. They accounted for less than 1 percent of the total placed with the department and were offset by the fact that US carriers lost

942,000 fewer checked bags in 2009 than in 2008. Still, the complaints show people irked and sometimes victimized by the bad behavior of other passengers or airline workers: belongings jammed in overstuffed bins falling out and striking travelers on the head, jewelry stolen from bags checked at the gate, and airline workers arbitrarily enforcing bag size limits. Flight attendants, forced to be both baggage cops and peacemakers, say they are paying a heavy toll. More than 80 percent claim they pulled muscles or felt pain while dealing with bags or bins, according to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. Overhead space typically starts to become a concern for flight attendants about halfway through boarding, said Sara Nelson, a United flight attendant and spokeswoman for its flight attendants union. The stress builds as the plane fills, since neither flight attendants, pilots nor gate agents want to be blamed for a late departure. Injuries are likeliest in those last minutes before the door closes, as flight attendants rush to stow bags. “Everybody feels the pressure,” Nelson said. Tips for traveling with carry-on bags * To lessen the risk of theft, don’t pack iPods or jewelry in any bag that won’t fit under an airline seat. * Don’t overstuff outer pockets of roller bags, a magnet for airline staff trolling for oversize carry-ons, said Tom Parsons, CEO of BestFares.com. * Don’t test your carry-on in a bag-sizer at your departure gate. “Go to an empty gate,” Parsons advises. * Do your homework to avoid being in the last group to board. On some airlines this means buying seats at the rear of a plane. On United, passengers who buy window seats board in Group 2. United also sells passes for its priority security and boarding lines. * If your bag doesn’t fit in the cabin, don’t worry about a fee: Airlines almost never assess a charge for checking luggage at the gate. —MCT


Pakistan

fashion

week

Models present creations by Pakistani designer Sayed Rizwanullah. The event is scheduled to feature 52 designers,49 of them from Pakistan and one each from Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates, in a follow-up to the first event held in Karachi last November.

A Pakistani model presents a creation by Fayez Agariah.

Iran is world’s seventh largest cosmetic consumer

Iran accounts for 29 percent of the cosmetics market in the Middle East. —AFP ran has emerged as the world’s seventh largest consumer of cosmetics, spending 2.1 billion dollars annually on various beauty products, state-run English language Iran Daily newspaper said yesterday. The report quoting a survey conducted by TMBA, a private economic research body, said that Iran accounts for 29 percent of the cosmetics market in the Middle East. Around 14 million Iranian women aged between 15 and 45 years and living in major cities spend around seven dollars a month per capita on cosmetics,

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the survey said, without giving a complete breakdown on the nation’s spending. The average monthly salary in Iran is around 600 to 700 dollars. The survey indicates that the high spending is primarily due to the fact that about half of Iran’s around 74 million population is under the age of 30. The survey, however, is based on estimates and not on precise figures of cosmetics purchased in Iran, the report added. Iran produces cosmetics, but imports a significant portion of its consumption. —AFP

Models present creations by Pakistani designer Umer Saeed.

Models present creations by Pakistani designer Zahid Khan. —AFP photos


12 Apr