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Hamas shuts Gaza tunnels, Israel claims Syria gave Hezb Scuds


‘Red Shirts’ converge on Bangkok’s commercial heart

Tomb protest turns deadly in Jakarta


NO: 14699


Women barred from judiciary

Kuwait sets KD 60 as minimum wage KUWAIT: The Minister of Social Affairs and L abor Mohammad Al-Afasi yesterday issued a decision to set a minimum wage for workers in the private sector. “The decision states that no employee of the private sector would be hired below the KD 60 wage,” a ministry statement said, adding that the decision reflected the continuous cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities. The statement affirmed that the ministerial decision also applies to expat workers affiliated with government contracts that have been floated through tenders from the date of publishing the decision in the Kuwaiti gazette. The decision, the statement added, does not apply to ongoing government contracts to prevent any encroachment on the rights and obligations of both sides involved in these contracts. The new labor law grants workers in the private sector additional benefits compared to the previous law. The new benefits are meant to attract Kuwaitis to join the private sector. — KUNA

Court throws out lawsuit in landmark ruling By A Saleh

Abu Dhabi names new head of fund with him, said DUBAI: Abu Christopher Dhabi’s ruler yesDavidson, a profesterday named the sor at the brother of the forUniversity of mer head of the Durham who has world’s largest written extensivesovereign wealth ly about the United fund as its new Arab Emirates. managing director He also sits on after his sibling the sheikhdom’s died in a glider executive council, crash last month. which is responsiSheikh Hamed bin ble for the day-toZayed Al-Nahyan, Sheikh Hamed day affairs in the a member of the oil-rich emirate’s ruling family, emirate, and has led governwill take over as managing ment-run businesses, includdirector of the Abu Dhabi ing the Higher Corporation for Investment Authority, accord- Specialized Economic Zones. ing to a statement carried by His handling of those roles state news agency WAM. and his close family ties to Analysts say the move is Abu Dhabi ruler and half designed to maintain continu- brother Sheikh Khalifa bin ity within the buttoned-down Zayed Al-Nahyan made him an obvious choice to take over fund. He assumes the role held ADIA’s management following by his late elder brother, his brother’s death, Davidson Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al- said. “He was always going to Nahyan, who died when a glid- be the most likely candidate,” er he was riding in plunged Davidson said. “He’s someone into a lake in Morocco in late who’s very discreet, cautious March. Sheikh Hamed cur- and well-liked.” ADIA is widely considered rently chairs the court of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, who is to be the world’s largest sovone of his many half brothers. ereign wealth fund, with estiIn that role, he acts as an mates of its size ranging from intermediary between the less than $400 billion to $875 influential crown prince and billion and beyond. Continued on Page 14 those looking to do business

Spurs deliver hammer blow to Arsenal’s title bid



YUSHU: Rescue workers pull out children from a collapsed building in Yushu county in western China’s Qinghai province yesterday. A series of strong earthquakes struck a far western Tibetan area of China yesterday, killing at least 400 people and injuring more than 10,000 as houses made of mud and wood collapsed, trapping many more, officials said. — AP

China quake kills 400 Thousands injured • Amir sends condolences XINING, China: Survivors from an earthquake that killed 400 people in a remote area of China yesterday faced a cold night without shelter, as rescuers using their bare hands searched for survivors. Thousands were injured when the quake toppled mud-and-wood houses and school buildings in the northwestern province of Qinghai, but police managed to pull over 900 people alive from ruined buildings over the course of the day. Many more are believed buried and forecast-

ers predict wind and sleet in coming days, while seismologists warned of further aftershocks, adding to the trauma of victims preparing for a night in the open in the high-altitude zone. Among the dead were children buried when the devastating quake measuring at least 6.9 rocked the predominantly Tibetan region earlier in the day, in scenes that brought back memories of a massive killer quake two years ago. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti court yesterday slapped a total ban on hiring Kuwaiti women as prosecutors in the country’s judiciary. In a historic ruling, the administrative court presided by Justice Ahmad Al-Dihan rejected a lawsuit filed by Kuwaiti female law graduate Shurouk AlFailakawi against the head of the Supreme Judicial Council. In the case, Failakawi demanded her appointment as a prosecutor be accepted. The court also rejected the referral of the case to the constitutional court, closing the door for petition. Failakawi was ordered to pay lawyers’ expenses as per the Kuwaiti tribunal law. Failakawi claimed that her application for appointment as a prosecutor was rejected by the Ministry of Justice after a state advertisement was posted for vacancies for male prosecutors only. The advertisement said that accepted male applicants would be hired at the ministry as legal researchers and then as prosecutor after passing a training course. In its ruling against Failakawi, the court relied on the second article of the constitution, which stipulates sharia is a source of legislation in Kuwait. However, Kuwaiti laws do not specifically prohibit women from assuming posts in the judiciary or becoming judges. The second article of the constitution states that Islam is “the religion of the state”, and sharia (Islamic law) is “a main source of legislation”. The latter phrase has been the source of much debate, with Islamist opposition members pressing to have Islam made “the” source of legislation.

Chocolate makers show off Syria’s sweeter side

DAMASCUS: A Syrian woman displays chocolate at the famous Ghraoui confectionery on March 31, 2010. — AFP

150 FILS

DAMASCUS: Belgium and Switzerland may be the current kings of chocolate, but Syrian confectioners believe another country deserves to be up there too, and already they are feeding an international sweet tooth. Syria’s traditional Arabic sweets are loved across the Middle East, and its people are famed for their culinary skills, with a rich cuisine built on the abundant produce of Damascus’ fertile green belt, the Ghouta. But few realise it also makes first-class chocolate, with an export industry that is booming as the Syrian economy opens up to the world. Despite long having had a reputation as the bad boy of Middle East politics, Syria is slowly emerging from international isolation. And among those taking the lead are Syrian confectioners. “Why Syrian chocolate? Why not? What do countries like Switzerland and Belgium have that we in Syria don’t have to make chocolate?” Bassam Ghraoui, who heads Syria’s most famous chocolate maker, told AFP. “It’s a big challenge, but the fact that we produce luxury chocolate which is double the price of Belgian chocolate, for example, is a sweet surprise for Continued on Page 14

RAIGANJ, INDIA: Indian residents survey a tree after it fell on homes in this village yesterday following a tropical storm. — AFP

Cyclone kills 114 in India KOLKATA: A violent tropical storm killed at least 116 people and devastated an estimated 100,000 homes in impoverished rural areas of eastern India and Bangladesh, officials said yesterday. Winds of up to 120 km an hour tore across northeastern India and neighbouring Bangladesh overnight Tuesday, ravaging mud and tin-roofed homes, uprooting trees and bringing down electricity lines. Officials in the states of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam said a total of 114 people had been killed. Two others were reported dead in Bangladesh, including a police officer. “The storm has left a trail of destruction everywhere,” West Bengal minister of state for civil defence Srikumar Mukherjee told local television from the disaster scene in North Dinajpur district. The number of people killed and houses damaged could rise further, disaster officials said, as relief was rushed to the isolated areas, where roads were blocked by fallen trees and phone lines were down. The storm was an extreme form of what is

locally known as a “nor’wester” - a weather pattern that develops over the Bay of Bengal during the hot months of the year, the West Bengal weather office said. Nor’westers normally bring refreshing winds that blow across the low-lying region in March and April and lower temperatures, Gokul Chandra Debnath, the office’s director, told AFP. Mohammad Ibrahim, a 40-year-old resident of Hematabad village in West Bengal, told AFP by phone it was the worst storm he had ever seen. “God has saved me, but taken away my home and everything,” he said, adding that he had been injured by a falling tree. Survivor Abhijit Karmokar told local television that many people had been injured or killed by flying objects, particularly tin sheeting used as roofing on many of the flimsy homes that succumbed to the storm. “Some of these tin roofs just sliced through people.... It was total darkness.... We stood no chance,” he said. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: MP Musallam Al-Barrak speaks at a rally against privatizing the country’s oil sector called by the oil workers’ union and other trade unions yesterday at the union’s headquarters in Ahmadi. During the protest, a number of MPs and speakers blasted the privatization plan as “unconstitutional”, saying that it would direct a blow to the lawful rights of workers in a vital sector and harm the national economy. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

State oil output to hit 3m bpd in Aug Gulf grid sees 70 transfers KUWAIT/MANAMA: Kuwait’s oil production capacity will reach 3 million barrels per day in August, Sami Al-Rushaid, chairman of state oil and gas producer Kuwait Oil Company, said yesterday. In a statement to the press during a two-day conference titled “Better exchange of oil bids” organized by the KOC, Al-Rushaid said the 3 million bpd does not include the 270,000 to 300,000 bpd Kuwait pumps from the divided zone it shares with Saudi Arabia. The official said Kuwait’s current capacity, excluding production from the neutral zone, was 2.9 million bpd. Meanwhile, Al-Rushaid denied that Kuwait has reached an agreement with Iran on importing natural gas, pointing out that negotiations are still proceeding with the Iranian

side “though it did not reach the phase of agreement yet”. He added that negotiations on such topics usually take a long time and they may end in an agreement or reach a dead end, “and in all cases there should be a conviction by all parties that this agreement caters to the interests of both sides.” Concerning the gas pricing, Al-Rushaid said that this topic should be tackled carefully as it is determined by agreements with other firms. He said some data in these agreements are classified. On the possibility of transferring the liquefied gas plant to KOC, Al-Rushaid said that the gas processes undergo several phases including production, extraction, transfer through pipes, then processing in a liquefied gas plant, then export. Continued on Page 14

Dar swings to loss in delayed results KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Investment Dar, which owns half of British carmaker Aston Martin, plunged to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, but said it was confident of meeting its debt restructuring obligations. Kuwait’s Central Bank had delayed the approval of the 2008 results of the Islamic investment company, and appointed a temporary supervisor last year to monitor the firm’s debt restructuring and the compilation of its financial results. The results came after the Islamic investment firm applied last month for support under a government facility set up for troubled companies as part of a debt restructuring. Dar has been trying to restructure about KD 1 billion ($3.48 billion) of debt and said in December that it had

reached a deal with 80 percent of its creditors. The government facility would help Dar get the consent of the rest of the creditors on its restructuring plan. The firm did not release quarterly figures. “We have overcome the hard stage with patience, perseverance and the right planning to face the effects of the crisis ... and we would like to stress the strength of Dar’s financial position ... which will allow us to fulfil all our obligations,” the firm’s chairman, Adnan AlMusallam, said in a statement. Dar said it made a 2008 fullyear net loss of KD 80.3 million, compared with a net profit of KD 126 million in 2007. The firm had made a fourth-quarter net profit of KD 3.77 million in 2007. Continued on Page 14



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quality education to students

AOU lays cornerstone for new campus in Al-Rai By Abdullah Al-Qattan KUWAIT: The cornerstone for the Arab Open University’s (AOU) new campus was laid in Al-Rai yesterday. More than 5000 students from different nationalities attended this multi-branched university, which now offers courses across

KUWAIT: Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gozni and his accompanying delegation left Kuwait on Tuesday after a one-day visit at the invitation of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Maltese official was seen off at the airport by head of the honorary delegation and Advisor at the Prime Minister’s Diwan Dr. Ismail Al-Shatti, high ranking officials, and ambassadors of the two countries. —KUNA

Kuwait to host municipal conference By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Fifth Municipal Work Conference aims to demonstrate Kuwait’s and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ experience in municipal administration. As part of the joint activities undertaken by these countries, Kuwait will host the Conference for the first time from April 18 to 20. The first ever conference was held in Bahrain in 2006, and the second, third and fourth conferences were held in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman respectively. The Kuwait Municipality held a press conference yesterday at the J W Marriot Hotel to shed more light on this conference. The fifth conference is being held following the recommendations made during the 13th meeting of the GCC municipal ministers. An exhibition accompanying the conference will also be held. Many public authorities from participating countries will showcase their experiences in executing various municipal projects. “The subject ideas are: The role played by the private sector in executing municipal and environmental projects, recycling, the structural plan and its relation to urban expansion, and executing state’s strategies and food security and safety,” said Ahmad Al-Subaih, the General Director of the

KUWAIT: (From left) Mohammed Al Mousawi, Ahmed Manfouhi, Ahmed AlSubaih, Rashid Al-Hashan and Khalid Al-Mutairi. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh Kuwait Municipality and the Head of the Higher Committee. “The participating countries will also share their views, work performance, and results to identify the strong and weak parts of municipal work. This will help correct the ways and get ahead with a bunch of practically applicable recommendations. This may achieve substantial change in municipal work that can serve as a model for the future,” he added. The 27 abstracts submitted will touch upon many important subjects. “Twelve of the

abstracts are from the GCC countries and Kuwait will present 15. The three-day conference will be divided into four sessions. In the first session the topic for discussion will be: The Role of the Private Sector in Carrying out Municipal Projects (five abstracts). The topic for discussion in the second session will be: The Environment and Recycling (nine abstracts). The topic for discussion in the third session: The Structural Plan of the State (six abstracts). The topic of discussion in the fourth session:

Food Security and Safety (seven abstracts),” concluded Al-Subaih. Officials believe in the significance of holding such conferences. “We always get useful recommendations from these conferences. We applied many rules that were approved by the government such as preserving the environment, respecting unified measures for building, recycling, issues related to nutrition and many others from past conferences,” noted Ahmad Al-Manfouhi, Head of the Organizing Committee.

Kuwait keen on protecting environment CAIRO: Kuwait is keen on protecting the environment and its waste management procedures could match those in developed states, said an official here yesterday. Kuwait’s representative and head of the Arab team to the international meetings on means to deal with chemical waste and the follow up on environmental conventions to be

held in Geneva next May Naif Al-Taiyar told KUNA on the 27th sideline meeting for the Arab team in Cairo that Kuwait had ranked high regionally on the list of countries protecting the environment. He revealed that a workshop had been held in regards to nanotechnology environmental usage. The meeting also came out

with proposals for the upcoming international event which would also focus on the Basel convention on transportation of environment hazardous material. The Kuwaiti official also said that the meeting touched on the Arab preparations for the second international meeting for chemical waste management from May 11-15. —KUNA

Dr Mousa Mohsen said that the establishment of the campus after eight years of tireless work and cooperation displays the university’s ambitions. It aims to provide a professional level of education to all who seek it. Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz represented Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Chairman of board members at the Arab Open University. He said that since its inception in November 2002, the university has continued to provide professional quality education to those who seek it. Prince Turki also added that had the Kuwaiti government not allowed the University to open its branch in Kuwait in December 2000, “This day would not have materialized and we wouldn’t have been here today.” He added, “This university is a non-profit foundation which accepts all types of donations to turn the dream of education into a fact instead of fiction.” Prince Turki went on to say that some of the issues that overanalyzed by the media and press may appear puzzling, when in reality it is only a minor issue. In the end, the Saudi Arabian royal urged the educational sector, to view the project from an Arab perspective. He anticipated that project would be completed by July 2011.

different Arab countries. The Minister of Education Dr Moudhi Al-Hmoud attended the event on behalf of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber AlSabah, Saudi Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz, Kuwait Branch Manager Dr Esmael Taqqi, and the General Manager of the Arab Open University Dr Mousa Mohsen.

KUWAIT: The Minister of Education Dr Moudhi Al-Hmoud, Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz , Kuwait branch Manager Dr Esmael Taqqi, and the general manager of the Arab Open University Dr Mousa Mohsen at the opening ceremony.

KUWAIT: The guests with the faculty members of Kuwait branch of the AOU at the work site. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

kuwait digest

Egyptians deserved better treatment


ashid Al-Radaan, in his column with Al-Watan yesterday, wrote on how many have speculated the Egyptian National Association for Change, led by Dr Mohammad ElBaradei, may open political offices in several Arab and European countries, including Kuwait. ‘It’s also been speculated,’ he continued, ‘that ElBaradei himself might visit Kuwait to inaugurate his association’s office here. Since Kuwaiti authorities recently deported a group of Egyptian people who voiced support for ElBaradei, maybe this indicates that the authorities will deport him as soon as he steps foot into the International Airport, along with all those Egyptian nationals who would go to the airport to welcome him!’ Al-Radaan wrote that he thinks the Egyptian nationals who peacefully gathered to support ElBaradei had the wrong perspective of Kuwaiti democracy. ‘After they had their gathering, fooled by the political freedom of the

country, they were punished with arrest and deportation,’ he pointed out. ‘This is an unprecedented incident, since these demonstrators did not shout any anti-Egyptian government slogans, cause any unrest, or support any controversial party. They were simply expats living in Kuwait and working in the private sector. I fail to see the reason for them to be treated so harshly,’ he wrote. ‘Arab citizens in the United States and a majority of European countries usually demonstrate against their Arab regimes while shouting slogans and lifting up banners that clearly voice their point of view,’ he continued. ‘Never were they put in a situation where they would face deportation for carrying out such a protest because the authorities of these countries have a great respect for human rights and freedoms.’ While Al-Radaan wrote that he supports the need for the country to com-

mit to its laws, he believed that the Egyptian men did not deserve to be deported because they did not break any Kuwaiti regulations. ‘They did not even insult a country Kuwait has good relations with,’ he pointed out. ‘The authorities could’ve taken any other punitive measure against the protestors other than overreacting and kicking them out of the country, as though they were criminals,’ he argued. ‘This practice not only conflicts with international regulations, but also with Kuwait’s policy to welcome all Arabs to work in their land.’ He noted that the deported Egyptians never said a bad word against Kuwait, or its authorities, during interviews with the Egyptian media despite the extreme measures taken against them. ‘I believe that their deportation should be reevaluated in order to avoid an escalation that could take place as a repercussion of this action.’

KD 520 million for low-cost homes KUWAIT: The project to build low-cost homes located 15 kilometers off Al-Jahra was officially launched at a total cost of KD 520 million, announced the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW). The total allocation stands as follows: KD 316.5 million to construct homes and infrastructure, KD 150.5 million for schools, hospitals and investment buildings,

and KD 53 million for studies and designs. This project will be executed through the Build-OperateTransfer (B-O-T) method, and companies recognized by the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) will be allowed the first week of May as the period to present bids for the project’s tender. The statement was made by Fahad Al-Saied, Head of the

founding committee for a shareholding company. A 1,300 day deadline was placed to complete the project. Half of the project will be placed for an initial public auction to citizens (at 50 fils/share). The investing company will deal with the rest of the shares. The project, to be built over an 842 Ha area, will include building 9,696 housing units

(150 square meters area each). Each will contain five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen, in addition to 16 schools and 17 mosques, reported Al-Watan. This project will be an alternative to the traditional homes in Al-Sulaibiya and Taimaa, which will be razed down once the project is completed.

Auto theft gang found not guilty KUWAIT: The criminal court recently found seven people of Syrian, Egyptian and Indian nationalities not guilty of stealing cars, dismantling them, and selling their parts, reported Al-Qabas. The seven were arrested following the investigation of car thefts reported to the authorities. The investigation led to the suspects, one of whom is the owner of the garage accused of dismantling the stolen cars. During the investigation, police found forged documents used to admit the vehicles to the junk yard. The court decided to drop the charges against the suspects after realizing that the charges could not be supported with any evidence.


Thursday, April 15, 2010


All parties ready for debating Privatization Law

National Assembly mulls power companies, Gaza By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly yesterday discussed a draft law calling for the establishment of a public shareholding company for building power plants in the country but failed to vote on it for a lack of quorum. The Assembly also failed to vote on a recommendation on the Palestinian cause for the same reason following a debate in which many MPs strongly lashed out at Israel and Arab leaders over the Palestinian issue. Head of the Public Utilities Committee, which prepared the bill, MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun emphasized the importance of the draft law especially after the government has submitted its viewpoint on it. He said the proposed bill does not cover existing power and water desalination plants which will be covered by the Privatization Law which will be discussed today. Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashour complained that Kuwait is on the verge of a major power crisis because of the lack of proper planning, adding that Kuwait is experiencing power cuts while many poor countries are not facing the same problem. Electricity and Water Minister Bader AlShruaian stressed that the ministry has future plans but complained that the tender for the proposed key Al-Zoor Power Plant has been cancelled four times which delayed the ministry’s power generation plans.

The minister also complained of overconsumption of both electricity and water and revealed that the ministry plans to introduce pre-paid cards for power consumption, saying that a tender for the scheme will be offered soon. For her part, MP Rola Dashti claimed that Al-Zoor power project was offered for a company but was later withdrawn, saying that this is an indication of the widespread corruption in the ministry. But the minister denied the allegation. MP Shuaib AlMuwaizri said like other ministries and government agencies, the Ministry of Electricity and Water is facing a problem of widespread corruption and blamed the minister for not combating corruption. Muwaizri also said the proposed cost of the Al-Zoor plant of 900 million Kuwaiti dinars is highly inflated because the plant “is not going to be built from Platinum”. Also during yester-

day’s Assembly session, MP Adel Al-Saraawi said that Kuwait will experience a major electricity problem in 2012 because of the delay in projects due to “fighting between contractors to win the lucrative contracts”. He added that this draft law, which calls for establishing public shareholding companies, will put an end to such infighting among contractors. Meanwhile, MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the draft law will end what he called the clash of interests among businessmen, adding that the participation of Kuwaiti people in the proposed companies is very positive and important. At the end of the debate, Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi referred the draft law back to the committee asking it to take into account comments and remarks made by MPs. Regarding the Palestinian issue, the Assembly failed to vote on a recommendation stating that the Kuwaiti Parliament should

call for an urgent meeting for Arab parliaments to discuss developments in the occupied territories. In another development, the National Assembly is due to debate the privatization draft law today amid stiff opposition from various organizations, MPs and trade unions. Many warned that selling public services to the private sector will greatly harm Kuwaiti citizens and result in sharp increase in prices and eventually inflation. The oil workers union and other trade unions yesterday staged a major protest against privatizing the country’s oil sector. The protest which was held at the union’s headquarters in Ahmadi, was attended by a number of MPs. During the protest, speakers lambasted the privatization plan as ‘unconstitutional’ saying that it would direct a blow to the lawful rights of workers in a vital sector and cause havoc for national economy.

France awaits arrival of Kuwaiti PM PARIS: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will arrive in the French capital today, in the first leg of a European tour that will also see him in Britain and Slovenia. His Highness Sheikh Nasser will be received by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and during the meeting the Kuwait Premier will convey the best wishes of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The two

sides are expected to discuss the excellent relationship between the two countries, as well as regional and international issues. Official talks are scheduled to be held between His Highness Sheikh Nasser and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, and several bilateral agreements will be signed with the aim of boosting cooperation between Kuwait and France in different fields. Moreover, the French Premier will be hosting a luncheon in honor of his Kuwaiti

counterpart and the accompanying delegation. This comes to build on a previous visit by His Highness the Amir to Paris in November 2006, which was followed by a visit by Sarkozy to Kuwait in February 2008, where several strategic partnership agreements were signed. His Highness Sheikh Nasser will also be visiting the Arab World Institute, which is a tradition that the Kuwaiti Premier is keen on maintaining, in order to boost cultural cooperation with France. —KUNA

Probe into beverages price hike KUWAIT: As part of its role to monitor the local market, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry summoned officials from several carbonated beverage companies to discuss their latest increase in prices yesterday. The director of commercial monitoring at the ministry, Rashed Al-Hajri said that ministry officials met with the firms’ representatives to discuss the motives behind the price hike. Al-Hajri said the ministry requested detailed bills on their products included in the increase in order to determine the exact reason behind the increase. In the past few days the local market witnessed a price increase in some carbonated beverages by as much as 50 percent. The ministry’s work is to provide transparency and clarity in order to ensure the stability of the local market and benefit both consumers and producers, Al-Hajri explained. He added that his department monitors its responsibilities through centers all over Kuwait. The ministry will not allow consumer to be exploited through the manipulation of commodities and consumer goods that could harm the health and safety of consumers, he asserted. He added that the ministry will take all legal procedures against whoever is responsible for these commercial crimes, as they have done previously. He called on consumers to cooperate with the ministry by reporting any commercial violation in their local markets. The role of the consumer is important in assisting the ministry, he added.

Telephone landline services disrupted KUWAIT: Areas linked to the Mishref phone center has been experiencing a disruption in landline telephone services for two years, owing to technical glitches, said officials from the Ministry of Communication. The main areas that experienced this inconvenience are Mishref, Salwa, south Surra and Bayan, reported Al-Watan. The Ministry’s Undersecretary, Abdulmuhsin Al-Mezaydi was contacted to comment on this matter.

KUWAIT: Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah pictured with heads of tourism agencies.

Tourism sector vital for Kuwait’s development KUWAIT: The tourism sector is vital in developmental projects, and is one of the possibilities for diversifying the State’s resources, said Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs, State Minister for Development Affairs and State Minister for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AlSabah. A press release issued by the Deputy Premier’s Office yesterday said that Sheikh Ahmad held a meeting with heads of tourism agencies to discuss the strategic partnership plan for 2011-2015, and to identify development needs in existing projects. The deputy premier was briefed on the challenges and obstacles faced by the tourism sector, and Sheikh Ahmad promised to bring up these matters with the Cabinet in order to take necessary action to push forth the tourism sector. Sheikh Ahmad underscored the state’s keenness to push efforts along this track, and to provide all necessary means to transform Kuwait into a financial and commercial center, noting that

Editors-in-Chief hand suggestions over to Assembly panel KUWAIT: Suggestions and amendments prepared by editors-in-chief of local daily newspapers on the Audio-Visual Law were referred to the National Assembly’s (NA) Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs committee. The move was made as per an agreement that was reached in a meeting between the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA), editors-in-chief and committee members earlier this year, reported Al-Qabas. The suggestions mainly refer to the trouble that newspapers face in dealing with strict laws that impose high fines and restrictions on the freedom of press, thereby hindering the development of journalism, and freedom of speech, reported AlQabas.

tourism was one of the pillars of this ambitious plan and the role that the private sector had to play was great. He also stressed the need to boost infrastructure to accommodate tourism projects. Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) Khalid Al-Ghanim said that several projects were taken note of during the meeting, including finance sufficient firms, and others that the private sector helped establish. He said that the private sector’s engagement in tourism projects was in line with the government’s efforts to include it in the development plan, adding that the strategic partnership plan for 2011-2015 would be passed through official channels after the TEC Board of Directors approved it. Al-Ghanim expressed his optimism at the anticipated outcomes of this cooperation, given the unlimited support of Sheikh Ahmad, noting that many projects would be executed through BOT. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Iraqi Vice President Tareq Al-Hashimi and his accompanying delegation left Kuwait yesterday after an official visit that lasted for two days. Al-Hashimi was seen off upon his departure by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Amiri Diwan Advisor Nasser Abdullah Al-Roudhan. — KUNA

Letters to Muna Dear Muna, have visited Kuwait numerous times. Muna, I think that the problem that grips the Arab world is the fact that they believe they are inferior to the West. I mean, all Arab countries are trying to mask a complex by trying to be western and imitate the West, that is, the United States. I have seen firsthand what being western is like. It’s not cool. After all, we are Muslims and need to understand that their lifestyles are unIslamic. Having the freedom of choice is not always the right option. I have seen my friends who come to the UK. They get involved in immoral activities, both men and women. I have also seen the way they treat Muslim workers in the Gulf which is appalling. Most are Muslims from the subcontinent. Could I have been this someone? What can we expect from our leaders? They are what we make of them. When we let western countries dictate our policies and alienate ourselves and not unite with other Muslim people and countries, what else do we expect? Are we Muslims for just namesake? We are all guilty of this, but we should try to uphold what our Prophet (PBUH) taught us. But, what can one say, we


live in a world that craves status and regards oppression of our citizens as a ailment that can only be cured with the assistance of the West. Muna, you are in a position to inform your readers on these issues. Arab countries don’t contribute in a constructive manner to the world, and ideas are lost in a fantasy world they live in. The western countries poke fun at us which hurts me not because l’m Arab but because I’m a Muslim. The Arab countries fight for the scrap imported from the West. We require leaders that can lead us out of the dark and into the light. We need to unite and love our fellow men. We need respect, honesty and above all, we need Allah. Thanks A reader Dear Muna, Dictatorship: Yes, most of the Muslim countries were or are governed by it. Pakistan and Kazhakistan (President Nazarbayev) and Indonesia are typical examples. For a long period in its history, Indonesia, the biggest Islamic country in the world was under the dictatorship of Sukarno and then Suharto! Libya is under Gadaffi’s control while Iraq was under Saddam’s rule, and Uganda was under Idi Amin!

In our history lessons we have learned about benevolent Despots; Louis the XIV of France; Peter the Great of Russia and Katherine of Germany. Even though they were dictators, they did good to the country/ people! Whatever may be the human rights situation, the Communist leaders nothing short of dictatorship rule- have taken the country into dizzying heights! Yes, China has outdone USA in every field! Even in Olympic games, China had overtaken the rich, democratic USA! In India, described as the world’s largest democratic country, there was dictatorial rule under the iron-handed rule of Indira Gandhi. No one dared utter a word against her rule! Expats should not be allowed to conduct any political meeting or activity anywhere in a foreign nation like Kuwait. It is a highly dangerous move. It will create a law and order problem. Also, the crime rates will shoot up. An expat who has come to make a living here should not venture into anything else. Thanks Narasimhan



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reactions on naturalizing non-Kuwaiti husbands Citizens react to would-be draft law to grant citizenship to non-Kuwaitis married to Kuwaiti women By Nisreen Zahreddine

KUWAIT: The outgoing chairman of KTUF, Khaled Al-Ghubaishan speaking at the conference.

KUWAIT: The women’s rights committee in the National Assembly approved an amended draft law to give Kuwait women married to non-Kuwaitis the right to give their husbands Kuwaiti nationality. Citizenship would be granted to their husbands under certain conditions. The conditions include that the husband should be married to his Kuwaiti wife for at least ten years, they must have at least five children, no divorce is allowed on either side, and that the husband does not have civil rights, such as owning a house or voting in elections. Whatever the reason behind such a draft law, it is something that deserves comment and reaction from the segment of the population it is most concerned with: Kuwaiti women. Aldana Al-Buhairy described the law as unfair and saw no reason for Kuwaitis, men or women, to give their nationalities to their significant others. She explained that she is opposed to the idea because it shakes the balance of the civil formula of Kuwait’s customs and traditions. She

said that she would prefer if the government issued a law to give citizenship to the children of Kuwaiti women instead. She added that since the government opened the door on the nationalities issue, they should give bedoons nationality instead of non-Kuwaiti husbands. Fajer Hassan, a

20-year-old, considered the draft law unfair for women because it gives Kuwaiti men the right to give nationality to their wives unconditionally while placing very tough conditions on Kuwaiti women. “What if the husband could not have children?” she wondered. “What if they

could not reach five children? Laila found the terms and conditions of the bill very binding. She suggested amending the conditions to 5 years of marriage instead of ten and three children instead of five. Then, in her opinion, the draft law would be somewhat reasonable.

She expressed her displeasure with the fact that many consider it humiliating to get the nationality from Kuwaiti women. It is just a draft law for now, but what if it is applied? Will it be a solution to the problem growing in Kuwait or will it further complicate the issue?

More citizens employed in banking sector KUWAIT: Part of the attending representatives of local labor unions.

KUWAIT: The number of citizens employed at local banks has witnessed a 3.8 percent increase in 2009. The number of Kuwaiti employees working in Kuwaiti banks and branches of foreign banks in Kuwait now stand at 10,595 in 2009, registering an increase of 388 workers.

These statistics were compiled through a study conducted by the Kuwait Banks Association (KBA). An official further indicated that local banks managed to achieve an increase in number of national manpower employed despite several obstacles present, including the nature of work conducted at the banking

sector that require expertise. Furthermore, the study showed that the number of nationals employed has increased by 21.7 percent in 2009 when compared to 2008. At least 6,148 citizens were employed last year when compared to the previous 2008 figure of 5,275. This situation has come about, given

the decrease in the number of expatriate manpower in the banking sector between 2008 and 2009, which touches 15.3 percent, reported Al-Qabas. The percentage of Kuwaiti manpower employed among the total number of workers in the banking sector has increased to 60.6 percent.

Number of autism patients increasing

KUWAIT: The newly elected chairman, Salem Al-Ajmi speaking. — Photos by Ahmad Saeid

KTUF hosts 15th annual conference By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Trade Union Federation (KTUF) hosted its 15th general conference at their premises in Maidan Hawally Tuesday evening. The conference included the election of a new board of directors as well as the acceptance of the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company Workers’ Union as part of the KTUF. The outgoing chairman of the union listed the federation’s achievements in the past two years. “Although it was a relatively short period of

time, it was full of challenges and significant achievements,” said Khaled Al-Ghubaishan, head of KTUF. He added that among the most important achievements of the last two years was the adoption of a labor law in the private sector that opened the road for the unification of the union movement in Kuwait. Al-Ghubaishan stressed the importance of unity for labor unions when trying to achieve their goals. “Unity and cooperation is the right way to protect our union’s rights and freedoms and to confront all

the economic, and social challenges that lie ahead,” he said. The conference elected a new board of directors for the federation. The new board consists of Salem Al-Ajmi as chairman of the board of directors, Faleh Al-Azmi as vice chairman, and Muhammad AlHarbi as secretary of the federation. The KTUF is a federation with representatives from all the labor unions in Kuwait. The conference was attended by representatives from local and international labor organizations.

KUWAIT: Director of disabled-care department in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Khaled Al-Mahdi affirmed the increasing toll of autism patients and the need for special care and attention. Al-Mahdi said on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day organized by the disabled-care department yesterday the growing proportion of male autism patients are more than females and it is needed to set up a special wing for patients with autism at the care departments. He pointed out the importance of the role provided by autism and disability patient centers, namely Kuwait

Center for Autism (KCA). The reason for the delay to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day endorsed by UN in April 2 is to work on good preparation for celebration, he explained. Al-Mahdi hoped for all people working to raise the level of performance in providing services which benefit the disabled, and praised the role of anyone who seeks to meet the needs of people with disability, especially that autism patients suffer from fragmentation and isolation, and lack of integration with the community. The celebration included a screening of a documentary about autism and poems. — KUNA

GCC meeting on antiquities RIYADH: Undersecretaries in charge of antiquities and museums in the GCC member states will hold their 11th regular meeting in Kuwait on Monday, said the GCC Secretariat yesterday. In a statement, the secretariat said that the agenda of the meeting will include the

repossession of antiques and ruins from European museums, as well as placing a future vision for joint action in the field of antiquities and museums. They will also discuss exchanging excavation missions for digging and survey purposes, besides benefiting from experience of the international organizations. The GCC officials will follow up what has been completed so far in terms of the placement of a directory for archeological experts and government museums, as well as building an edatabase of archeological sites, and online broadcasting of news on events at museums. — KUNA

KUWAIT: PLEXUS-Microsoft seminar in progress.

PLEXUS, Microsoft to launch SharePoint service in Kuwait By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: The PLEXUS Corporation, in collaboration with Microsoft Corporation, hosted a seminar to announce their new service, SharePoint. The seminar was held yesterday morning at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Kuwait City. During the seminar, Microsoft presented an explanation of Microsoft Office SharePoint while PLEXUS described how SharePoint could meet all the needs of the government, while following up on

government contracts and tenders. “Today we are collaborating with Microsoft to focus on solutions for E-Government,” said Ayman Al-Bannaw, PLEXUS’s General Manager. “Microsoft has introduced a very special technology and PLEXUS will implement these solutions.” “For example,” he continued, “management systems and tendering management system are already used in a number of government agencies. The implementation of this technology is the subject of the semi-

nar.” “This application will allow government agencies to integrate their systems and work together,” he explained. “Historically you have to start with big decisions, you have to make national systems that everybody has to follow. Now, each department can have their own requirement and they can still collaborate with each other. This new technology will help the government move faster and implement E-governance much better,” AlBannaw concluded.

KUWAIT: The Central Bank of Kuwait hosted a lecture for 4th grade students of the Maryam Bint Sabah Al-Sabah girls’ school. During the student’s visit to the bank’s headquarters they learned about savings, the work process of banks, their role in society and the different types of accounts and credit cards. The lecture also featured interaction with the students and was received positively. Amani AlWara, CBK’s head of the advertisement and public relations department, led the team that welcomed the students at the main office before they were taken on a tour of the facility.

New Zealand PM to visit Kuwait KUALA LUMPUR: New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key will be visiting Kuwait on April 26-27 answering an invitation by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-

Sabah. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Jamal Al-Ghunaim revealed that the visit would result in the signing of a cooperation deal on opening a free-trade zone between GCC and New Zealand.

The visit would also look into means to bolster bilateral relations in all possible domains. The volume of commercial exchange and trade between Kuwait and New Zealand had reached USD 164 million.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador indicated that there were around 50 Kuwaiti students pursuing their education in New Zealand, adding that the upcoming visit might also discuss their status. — KUNA


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big celebrations this month

Scientific Center received 5 million visitors in a decade of operation By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The Scientific Center will host a number of ‘edutainment’ activities in the coming days, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. On April 16, a colorful event will mark the beginning of the month-long celebration, disclosed Mijbil Almutawa, Chairman and Managing Director of the Scientific At 7 pm, a documentary will be screened to attendees about the Scientific Center, its awards and achievements, and the activities it has undertaken from the year of inception. At 8 pm, the winner of the Penguin naming competition will be announced. “This is quite exciting for the kids because they are asked to name eight penguins based on what they want. A raffle will be held at 8 pm on Friday. There are exciting gifts to be given away during the event,” he said. At 8:30 pm, visitors will be entertained by a local band named Miami 2. “Members are all young. They are energetic and dynamic, young entertainers who I know everyone would love to see,” he said. At 10 pm, a traditional band will be performing on stage while at 10:30 pm visitors will be treated to a fireworks display. “These are the activities that will be held on Friday, just a taste of what is to come in the next days. Rest assured that in the coming weeks, there will be more thrilling activities that will happen in this compound,” he said. Almutawa also unveiled a new logo for the Scientific Center which will be in use for one year. “The new logo is such a beautiful creation of an artist. It bears both the English and Arabic names, with the same fish icon logo. But I noticed that year 10 has a beautiful inscription which reads ‘10 years of Edutainment.’ Why Edutainment, because our center is not just focused on the entertainment side, but most importantly, the education side. That is how we came up with the Edutainment motto,” Almutawa explained.

UN human rights chief to visit GCC member states GENEVA: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will on Saturday begin a ten-day visit from April 17 to 26 to the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in an unprecedented effort by the UN human rights office to engage more actively and effectively with the governments and civil society in the region. She will seek to gain firsthand understanding of current dynamics in the GCC region in relation to human rights, including reported progress in some areas as well as specific issues of particular concern.

Kuwaiti-funded projects in Yemen show strong ties

KUWAIT: Mijbil S. Almutawa, center, speaks at a press conference yesterday. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat One of many activities in store for the upcoming months is a display of the replica of dinosaur skeletal structure from the United States. “Dinosaur skeletons will be displayed starting May to October 2010. This beautiful dinosaur skeleton (of a T-Rex) will be on display to educate students. Children like seeing dinosaurs and they also want to hear stories about dinosaurs so that it will be displayed here for the next five months,” Almutawa noted. The Scientific Center’s

RABAT: Sheikha Fareeha Al-Ahmad AlSabah and Nouzha Skalli exchange mementos yesterday. — KUNA

Kuwait, Morocco discuss volunteering efforts RABAT: Chairperson of Kuwait’s Higher Committee for the Ideal Mother Award Sheikha Fareeha Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah discussed with Morocco’s Minister of Social Development, Family and Solidarity Nouzha Skalli means to boost volunteer work in the two countries in the field of women, children and those with special needs. During their meeting yesterday, the two sides also discussed the need to counter dangerous phenomena that threatened the two societies, and hoped that cooperation between Kuwait and Morocco in these areas would be cemented through the signing of bilateral agreements in the near future. Among the issues discussed were the challenges faced by Arab families and behavioral matters that were threatening the children. The two sides agreed to coordinate stances on means to counter these phenomena, and discussed at length the actions being taken by the two sides to tackle such problems. Moreover, Sheikh Fareeha briefed the Moroccan minister of the volunteering efforts being made by Kuwait to

Center. He was speaking during a press conference that was held yesterday at its headquarters in Salmiya. Friday’s inaugural events will start at 2 pm. Children can enjoy the day’s activities, and will also be welcomed to greet the Center on its anniversary special. “From 5:30 pm, a competition will be held for kids. A question and answer session related to Science will be highlighted. Questions will be related to what kids can view in the compound,” he said.


spread tolerance and co-existence, improving social conditions for women and children, the integration of those with special needs in the society, as well as expanding the scope of participation of women in political practice. Minister Skalli presented an overview of her government’s efforts in achieving sustainable human development, as well as matters of benefit to women, children and those with special needs. She also spoke about amendments and reforms introduced to fight the abuse of women, raise the working age for children and protecting their rights, assisting impoverished families, and narrowing the divide between the different segments of the society. Skalli expressed her appreciation for the invitation extended by Sheikha Fareeha for the former to visit Kuwait, and said that she would be happy to accept it. The meeting was attended by Kuwait’s Ambassador to Rabat Saleh Al-Thuwaikh and member of delegation accompanying Sheikha Fareeha. Sheikha Fareeha in on a weeklong visit to Morocco, which began on Saturday. — KUNA

chairman also revealed that it has wittnessed a number of visitors to the place since its operation in 2000. “The Scientific Center has recorded more than five million visitors since 2000 to this date,” he added. Almutawa also took pride in many achievements and awards it has received from various international zoo associations. The Center is also a proud member of European Association of Zoos and Aquarium, European Union of Aquarium Curators, Giant

Screen Cinema Association, Association for Science and Technology Centers, European Collaborative for Science, Industry and Technology Exhibition, Museum Store Association and North Africa Middle East Science Center. Since the introduction of IMAX films in Kuwait it has screened about 53 brilliant films. According to Almutawa, the Scientific Center employs about 70 regular employees, 50 part time workers and 27 volunteers. As a member of the internation-

al zoo curators, they take part in several annual international programs such as the World Water Day, Earth Day, Astronomy Day, Environment Day and the Earth Hour. Various regular programs include Diving with the Sharks, Summer Camps, Enrichment programs, Earth Science Week, Portable Planetarium, Star Ship and the Puppet Shows. The Scientific Center also supports animal rehabilitation programs, and the Kuwait Turtle Conservation projects.

SANA’A: “A gift from the Kuwaiti people to the Yemeni people” is a phrase that truly expresses the strong KuwaitiYemeni relations in all fields. That phrase could be read on many projects established by Kuwait in different Yemeni governorates. In Yemen, people could see Kuwait School, Kuwait Hospital, Kuwait Street, Kuwait City, and a large number of projects funded by Kuwait. Kuwait established dozens of schools, educational institutions, health centers, dams, and streets in Yemen, in addition to the school of medicine at Sana’a University. Kuwait also supported infrastructure projects here for many years, focusing on funding schools, hospitals, universities, and roads. The Kuwaiti center of tuberculosis that was established in 1964 is still evidence of the historic brotherly ties between the two countries. — KUNA

She will also examine ways in which her office can provide further support and advice to the individual GCC countries. Her itinerary will be as follows: Saudi Arabia: April 1719, Qatar: April 19-20, Kuwait: April 20-21, Bahrain: April 21-23, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi): April 23-25 and Oman: April 25-26. Although Pillay visited Qatar in May 2009 in order to open a new UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre, this year’s visit marks the first time that a High Commissioner for Human Rights has visited all six GCC States during the same mis-

sion. It is also the first time any High Commissioner for Human Rights has visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates or Oman (Bahrain received the then High Commissioner Mary Robinson in 2002). During her visit to the six GCC countries, she is expected to meet with Heads of State, senior ministers and other government officials, and members of civil society. Her keynote speeches and various press releases and articles will be posted on at regular intervals during the course of the visit.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Business delegation visits KCCI

Kuwait, Malta set to improve trade ties By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: In an attempt to revive stagnant relations between Malta and Kuwait, a business delegation from Malt arrived in the country recently on a state visit. They were accorded a warm welcome at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). The high-level delegation was part of Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi’s entourage, who arrived in Kuwait on Tuesday.

Saudi writers praise role of Al-Babtain RIYADH: Saudi writers praised the role of Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Foundation in enriching the Arab and Islamic culture and protecting the Arab cultural heritage and taking care of writers and poets in the Arab world. Participants in the Literary Criticism Forum said during their review of Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Foundation’s efforts in serving Arabic poetry, and to take this distinct and unique establishment as an example of developing Arab culture and connecting generations within this field. They also called on businessmen to contribute in the development of the cultural sector, through allocating from their profits to invest in charitable works, related to literature and culture, and to encourage future generations to familiarize with ancient Arab history.

Abdulaziz Al-Babtain reviewed the institution’s achievements since the idea of its establishment in 1982 and its inception in 1989, expressing appreciation for the moral support of Kuwaiti and Saudi leaders, which has had a significant effect on institution’s development, and achieving its objectives in the protection of culture and Arab heritage from extinction. He also shed light on the achievements of Babtain Foundation in the areas of intellect, literature and culture, including the establishment of Prize Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain for Poetic Creativity responsible for the welfare of literature and to honor writers, with its headquarters in Cairo. It also included the Abdulaziz Saud AlBabtain prize (descendants of Imam Al-

Bukhari), an annual prize worth $100,000 for the restoration of cultural bridges between the Arab and Muslim countries, in addition to the Babtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry in Kuwait and the Library of Babtain Kuwait in Jerusalem and the awardBabtain Kuwait Poetry in Palestine and the Al-Babtain Center for translation. On the other hand, head of the Riyadh Literary Club Dr Abdullah Al-Washmi, honored in the concluding session Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain for his role in protecting Arab and Islamic heritage, and the outstanding efforts of his institution in the field of culture and literature. Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Abdul Aziz Khoja opened the forum on Monday with the participation of 30 Arab writers and poets. — KUNA

Kuwait pioneers educational development MANAMA: Kuwait always plays a pioneering role in supporting the vital development projects across the Arab region, Kuwait Ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah said yesterday. Sheikh Azzam made the remarks in a ceremony on the

occasion of laying the foundation stone of a middle school at AlHidd town, northeast Manama, with Bahraini Minister of Education Majed bin Ali AlNuaimi and other senior officials attending. The school is being built through a financial contribution by Kuwait Fund for Arab

Economic Development (KFAED). “This educational project is part of the brotherly ties we and Bahrain enjoy under the wise leadership from both countries,” Sheikh Azzam said. He praised the establishment of the middle school that aims to develop the educational services

in the area, and the contributions of KFAED. Minister Al-Nuaimi thanked the Kuwait Ambassador for his efforts to further strengthen the bilateral ties and KFAED for its contributions to the development of education and other public services in the Kingdom. —KUNA

The business delegation headed by Allan Camilleri was received by Abdulwahab Al-Wassan, KCCI-second Vice Chairman and several KCCI members at their headquarters in Kuwait City. In his opening remarks, AlWassan thanked the group for their presence in Kuwait and their immense interest to improve their trade ties. AlWassan admitted that stagnant trade relations existed between them, and blamed it on lack of interaction. “Your presence here today shows our great resolve to improve our trade ties. We are here ready to listen on your products and services,” he said. Allan Camilleri, Chairman of Malta Enterprises lauded Kuwaiti businessmen for choosing Malta as a place for business expansion and suggested that they learn more about each other, if business to business and people to people contacts persist. “We have around 100 Kuwaiti businessmen in Malta right now. You have many students in Malta as well; this

KUWAIT: The Maltese trade delegation at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry. — KUNA event is encouraging facts that could eventually turn into stronger and productive relationship,” he noted. Camilleri pointed out that being a member of the EU countries since 2004, Malta can serve as gateway to European market.” “Malta enjoys many privileges as a EU member, but we also have a flexible taxation system. We have a great, educated

manpower and the quality of the product is our prime concern,” he said. Stefano Mallia, Vice President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry hoped that their presence here could somehow incite synergy on both sides, not just create awareness about their country and people but also win success in the areas of trade and

business. “We look at you as trade partners not just as friends. But what is important right now is the fact that we understand each other,” he mentioned. Mallia also briefed KCCI members on the Maltese chamber of commerce. The two chambers also signed (MoU) agreements to strengthen trade ties and cooperation.

Indian dies in plane before takeoff KUWAIT: A 44-year-old Indian man died soon after taking his seat on a plane from the Kuwait International Airport to his home country, reported Al-Watan. His death was discovered by flight attendants checking passengers before takeoff. After the man was found unconscious, medical personnel were summoned and they confirmed the man’s death. A case was opened at the Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh police station to determine the exact cause of death. Suicide An Asian man committed suicide by hanging himself in a tent in Bar Rahiya, reported Al-Watan. Police, accompanied by medical personnel, responded to the scene and confirmed the man’s death. A case was opened to further investigate the incident. Work mishap An Egyptian worker died after falling from the top rung of a ladder while painting the wall of a home in Abdullah AlMubarak, reported Al-Watan. Domestic dispute A Kuwaiti man working as a serviceman in the National Guard filed a com-

plaint with the Subahiya police station, reported Al-Watan. In the report, he accused his ex-wife of kidnapping their two sons after they finished school. He provided officials with the court order granting him custody of their children. A case was opened and the woman was summoned for questioning.

ed Al-Rai. The girl explained that she was lured to an apartment in Salmiya by a young man she met at the mall. Once there, the girl reported that she was raped by him and two others throughout the period of which she was absent. She was held for questioning while the search for her assaulters continued.

Harassers nabbed Jahra investigators arrested a number of youngsters found waiting outside the educational facilities for female students to harass, reported Al-Watan. Furthermore, officials arrested two brothers, one with Kuwaiti identification and the other with Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) identification. They were taken to the proper authorities for questioning.

Thugs caught Security guards arrested four of six expats who were ordered to pull over by police on Wafra Road, reported Al-Rai. After the patrol was able to stop the vehicle, the expats began resisting, going so far as to try to steal the police officers weapons. Before backup arrived, two of the criminals were able to escape. When questioned, it was revealed that one of the four had an expired residency. They were taken to the proper authorities and the search for the two runaway lawbreakers is ongoing.

Run over An Asian man was killed after he was run over by a car driven by an Arab man in Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh, reported Al-Rai. The driver was arrested for questioning. Rape case Abu Halifa investigators found a teenage girl for whom a missing person’s report had been filed by her family, report-

Co-op robbery Thieves broke into a co-op in Salmiya, and stole KD 1,400 before escaping, reported Al-Rai. The store manager informed authorities as soon as he realized the co-op had been robbed. Criminal investigators responded to the emergency call.

Exchange of expertise vital in protecting families: Police AMMAN: A member of the Kuwaiti female police delegation taking part in a security conference here said yesterday that the conference stressed on the importance of exchanging expertise in protecting families. Kuwait’s First Lieutenant Maali Bu Abbas told KUNA that the conference entitled ‘Towards a Safe Family’ stressed on the importance of policewomen in protecting families and affairs of women and children. She said Kuwait established a department for society police to protect the family which is the base of the big society. Such events are an opportunity to exchange expertise, she emphasized. Meanwhile, First Lieutenant Fatma Al-Sairafi of Kuwait said that the new police department gives confidence to families, stresses social security, and spreads awareness in the society on legal ways to solve and deal with different social and family affairs. The conference discussed dealing with family violence legally, medically, and socially, in addition to the role of popular and government bodies in combating it. The conference is attended by around 60 delegations from different countries include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, the United States, Britain, Japan, Greece, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Mane Al-Durai, chairman of the Kuwait Publishing House and owner of KPG (left) and Omar Al-Mane.

Kuwait Pocket Guide marks 25 years of ‘information’ KUWAIT: Most people living in Kuwait, and perhaps a few outside the country, are well aware of the Kuwait Pocket Guide. Affectionately known by many as KPG, it is the most widely used information pack on Kuwait. The first edition of Kuwait Pocket Guide was published back in 1985 by Kuwait Publishing House. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and has now completed 25 years of total information to the State of Kuwait. The KPG is extremely popular among citizens and expatriates the reason being it is totally different from all the other so called guide books and directories of Kuwait. Presented in a special format that is slightly less than A5-sized, which gives it a unique look easy to handle, to keep it on a desk or table or to slip into a pocket or handbag. Another thing that makes the KPG so popular is its con-

tent and presentation. The Kuwait Pocket Guide is, quite literally, an information-pack on Kuwait. And on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Edition 2010, the KPG has been thoroughly revised, reshaped and rewritten. The Kuwait Pocket Guide consists of fourteen major sections, giving you a total information right from the history of Kuwait, culture, religion, people, language, economy, visit, residence and employment regulations, living in Kuwait, amenities and infrastructure, business in Kuwait, Kuwait investment opportunities, Kuwait industries, recreation and leisure in Kuwait also not forgetting the useful telephone numbers, Alphabetical directory, business directory the brand and agents directory, which is updated every year along with a large map of Kuwait showing all the major roads which can easily guide you to your destina-

tion. The Kuwait Pocket Guide is published in two separate language editions: English and Arabic. Distributed free to all ministries, government institutions, embassies, consulates, business corporations, hotel, restaurants, private institutions, establishments and many more, the book is also sold in all good bookshops and department stores. The Kuwait Pocket Guide is also ordered by different organizations in large quantities as personalized copies for distribution to their clients, suppliers and associates as corporate gifts. As advertising media: Kuwait Pocket Guide provides an excellent opportunity to advertisers who wish to promote their products and services or simply use it as their PR tool. With a readership of over 500,000 the exposure is phenomenal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Obama says US cannot compel Mideast peace Netanyahu skips meeting to avoid ‘Israel-bashing’ WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama gave a surprisingly downbeat assessment Tuesday of the chances for a US-brokered peace settlement in the Middle East, saying that the United States cannot help if Israel and the Palestinians decide they cannot negotiate. The two sides “may say to them-

BAGHDAD: Iraqi policemen gather around the vehicle of General Arkan Ali Mohammed, a senior officer from a counter-terrorism unit, who was killed in a bomb attack in Nisur Square yesterday. —AFP

Sunni cleric killed in Baghdad shooting BAGHDAD: Gunmen killed a Sunni cleric early yesterday, spraying him with bullets outside a Baghdad mosque where he had just finished leading morning prayers, officials said. Violence has picked up amid the political vacuum following March 7 national election that produced no clear winner and set off extended political wrangling. Iraqi and US officials have blamed the spate of attacks on Al-Qaeda in Iraq or other extremists seizing on gaping security lapses created by the political deadlock. It was not known why the 48year-old Sheik Ghazi Jabouri was targeted yesterday. He was gunned down in a hail of automaticweapons fire outside the Al-Rahman mosque in the primarily Sunni-neighborhood of Azamiyah in north Baghdad at about 5 am, a police officer said. An army officer confirmed the report. Both men spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media. They said witnesses reported seeing a group of gunmen on foot, but could not say exactly how many were involved. At the cleric’s funeral later in the morning, worshippers - including one whose clothes were still stained with blood - said prayers by Jabouri’s simple wooden coffin, before hoisting it on their shoulders and carrying it to a nearby cemetery for burial. Elsewhere in the capital, a high-ranking police officer was killed when a so-called “sticky bomb” on his car exploded as he drove to work, an Interior Ministry official said. The official said that in addition to killing Brig Gen Arkan Ali, who served on the ministry’s antiterrorism force, the explosion in western Baghdad’s Al-Nisoor Square also injured four bystanders, a traffic policeman and another min-

istry official who was in the car. A local police officer confirmed the report. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. In last month’s parliamentary election, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s coalition came in second, two seats behind the alliance headed by his archrival, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Lacking an undisputed winner, both coalitions are now brokering deals to combine blocs that would give them control of the parliament. Rumors have swirled in recent days that Al-Maliki was close to forming an alliance with another Shiite bloc, the Iraqi National Alliance, which could leave him just four seats shy of the 163-seat parliament majority in the 325-member assembly. It was not clear, however, whether the hardcore religious Sadrist wing of the INA, which has a long-standing grudge against Al-Maliki, would sign off on a partnership. Representatives of various Iraq parties have been visiting Iraq’s neighbors since the election to rally support. Members of Allawi’s party traveled to Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and a delegation was to visit Iran yesterday. Al-Maliki’s party previously sent a delegation to Iran as well. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry official Mohammed Kassem told parliament this week that the leader of the Sadrists, anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr - whose negotiators have already been to Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran would visit Cairo soon. But Al-Sadr’s spokesman Salah Al-Obeidi said, however, that the Egypt trip was just a rumor and that Al-Sadr had no plans to visit Cairo. — AP

Stirrings of less aggressive protest in Hamas-ruled Gaza GAZA CITY: They walked across shelled-out no man’s land on the edge of the Gaza Strip, drawing within 200 meters (yards) of the Israeli border before gunshots snapped over their heads. And yet the Palestinians who made their way towards the border last week had not come to fire rockets or bury explosives, but to wave flags and hurl stones in protest against Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory. After years of armed struggle, growing numbers of Gazans are now taking up the kind of “popular resistance” pioneered in the West Bank, where similar weekly protests against Israel’s controversial separation barrier have emerged as a central expression of the Palestinian cause. As in the West Bank, the demonstrations along the Gaza border are non-factional and tied to local concerns about land encroachment, in this case a 300-metre Israeli buffer zone inside the Gaza border fence. “We were surprised by the popular turnout,” said Mahmud Al-Zaq, who helped launch the movement with political figures, academics and rights activists. The protests regularly attract hundreds of supporters. “We are resurrecting the popular struggle that was absent. We are not presenting ourselves as an alternative to armed struggle,” he said. As in the West Bank, the protests are billed as non-violent but usually see youths burning tires and hurling stones at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence. But unlike in the West Bank, where troops usually respond with tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets, the protesters in Gaza have faced live fire. The Israeli military says it fires warning shots over the demonstrators’ heads to keep them out of the buffer zone, a desolate strip of flattened land intended to prevent attacks by militants. In the years leading up to the 2008-2009 Gaza war, Palestinian militants fired thousands of makeshift rockets at southern Israel and frequently clashed with its troops along the border. The frontier has been much quieter since the war, but last month two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian militants were killed when fierce clashes erupted after militants planted explosives. “Each side knows that it cannot approach the security fence because it is a military zone,” an

Israeli military spokesman said. “Nobody is entering the 300-metre zone in order to play ball.” Several people have been wounded since the protests began last month, including a nine-year-old boy, Raid Abu Namus, who was shot in the head on March 30 and remains in serious condition, according to medical officials. Such concerns have not been enough to deter people like Abdelrauf Sharrab, 43, who has taken part in several marches and describes them as a “national obligation.” Like other demonstrators, he has been inspired by the weekly protests held in two West Bank villages against the construction of the Israeli barrier, which snakes through the occupied territory. “The weekly demonstrations in Bilin and Nilin have shamed Israel and forced it to change the route of the wall,” he said, referring to a decision by Israel’s Supreme Court to re-route the wall near Bilin. “Maybe here we can force Israel to stop confiscating land for the security buffer.” The protests differ sharply from the approach taken by the Islamist Hamas movement, which has ruled Gaza since June 2007 and has the long-term goal of destroying Israel through armed struggle. But Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said the protests “aid the military resistance because they expose the crimes of the enemy.” “The popular resistance is a form of struggle that attracts international and global support,” he said. “But we don’t discount any other form of resistance, including military resistance.” Although Hamas is officially committed to armed struggle, it has moved to rein in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in the wake of the devastating 22-day offensive Israel waged in December 2008. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the war and thousands of homes were destroyed. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the same period. Organizers of the protests insist they are not trying to replace the armed struggle, which they argue is justified under international law because of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. But the sheer scale of the war and its lop-sided results may have convinced many Gazans that a less violent strategy may be in order. “This will have a greater impact than bullets and rockets,” Zaq said. —AFP

KHAN YUNIS: A Palestinian youth runs past burning tires during clashes with Israeli troops, close to the border between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip during a protest against Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.—AFP

Obama was responding to a question about whether the successful negotiation of a new arms control treaty with Russia and the agreements he won at this week’s nuclear summit could help him make gains elsewhere. His words are recognition that although he pledged to work hard for a deal from his first day in office, Obama has gotten little traction in the decades-old conflict. The United States is pushing for new IsraeliPalestinian talks in which the Obama administration would be a go-between. Previous talks broke off more than a year ago, and despite shuttle diplomacy and unusual pressure on ally Israel, the Obama administration has been unable to reach even the modest goal of new talks. Obama spoke at the close of a conference on securing nuclear materials. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu skipped the meeting because, a spokesman said, Israel thought it would devolve into “Israel-bashing.” Israel sent a lower-level delegation instead. Israel is presumed to have nuclear weapons, although it does not say one way or the other. Netanyahu acknowledged last week that his government has yet to resolve its differences with the United States over Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, a dispute that has stymied American efforts to restart peace talks. Netanyahu said both countries still are working to find a solution but staunchly defended his government’s contentious settlement plans in the disputed holy city, calling them a long-standing Israeli policy. “There are things we agree on, things we don’t agree on, things we are closing the gap on,” Netanyahu said of his talks with Washington. “We are making an effort.” The worst crisis in US-Israeli ties in years erupted last month when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new homes for Jews in East Jerusalem during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, drawing sharp condemnation from Washington and calls to cancel the construction. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine in any two-state solution. The announcement derailed a plan for third-party talks, in which each side would talk to a US mediator, who would relay messages to the other. Obama had wanted a resumption of full, direct talks between the Israeli leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. US officials settled for a pledge from both sides to engage in the awkward indirect talks, saying it was a step toward something better. That lesser goal is now in doubt, with each side blaming the other for delaying the start of talks. Meanwhile, the top US commander for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan said he never claimed that inaction toward a peace deal puts American soldiers at risk, and that he does not blame Israel for the lack of a deal so far. Gen David Petraeus told a Washington audience that a policy statement he submitted to Congress last month was misconstrued and misquoted by media and online commentators. The statement lists the unresolved status of Palestinians as a complicating factor in the region, and says there is a sense among many who live there that the United States is biased toward Israel. Petraeus did not back off those assertions, but he said that in hindsight he wishes his statement had made clear that Israel is a valued strategic ally and will remain one. “That’s something we should and could have included,” Petraeus said during an address to the Woodrow Wilson Center, “just to make sure there was no misperception about what we were implying by this.” — AP

selves, ‘We are not prepared to resolve these issues no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear,”‘ Obama said. Obama reiterated that peace is a vital goal, but one that may be beyond reach “even if we are applying all of our political capital.”

RAFAH: In this photo, a Palestinian smuggler stands inside a tunnel in southern Gaza Strip. — AP

Light at the end of Gaza tunnel could be a new car RAFAH: Israel wants to close down the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, but the tunnelers have become so good it’s now possible to drive a car through them, literally. Time was that a car had to come through the tunnels piece by piece, but Hamdi Abu Karesh recently got a 2010 Hyundai Elantra delivered to him intact. “It’s a unique feeling,” said Abu Karesh, 60, whose shiny new saloon was smuggled in from Sinai via a wide tunnel, to beat the blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt for the past three years. “There is nothing like driving a brand new car.” Abu Karesh’s Hyundai costs about $20,000 in Egypt. But he had to pay $31,000 for it to a Gaza dealer, plus $9,000 more for registration and other charges levied in the enclave, which has been run since 2007 by the Islamist movement Hamas. Gaza tunnelers trying to satisfy pent-up demand for all sorts of

goods prohibited by Israel first began bringing in cars in pieces and reassembling them in Gaza. Now there are tunnels big enough to drive through. “Only those who have money and want to drive a new car can afford one smuggled from Egypt,” dealer Eyad Al-Araeer said. Car smuggling also is risky. Buyers have to pay up front in case of slip-ups. Egyptian security last month confiscated a shipment of 41 vehicles, inflicting serious losses on dealers and clients alike. But even used cars in Gaza cost way over the average because of the blockade and spart parts are very pricey. Bad business Palestinian entrepreneurs have smuggled everything from food to fuel to livestock through hundreds of tunnels to Egypt’s side of the border, and Hamas has brought in weapons to maintain its armed resistance to Israel,

which it does not recognize. But recently the sound of generators has faded and the dust raised by thousands of tunnel workers hauling merchandise into the blockaded enclave is settling. Tunnelers say much of the business is on hold, due to a new steel wall Cairo is installing underground to block the smuggling, plus its stepped-up security campaign against Egyptians helping Palestinians to bring in goods. “I have been unable to get anything through for two weeks, so I am closing it,” Abu Hamza said before sealing the shaft of his tunnel with a wooden board. “Not even a straw can get through, not as much as a thread,” he added. Abu Hamza said he had sent home 15 workers who used to work two shifts because of the Egyptian clamp-down. Security men from Hamas confirm the trade has shrunk dramatically. Workers now number in the hundreds rather than thousands.—Reuters



Thursday, April 15, 2010

‘NATO attacks Belarus’: Hoax shocks Russian city MOSCOW: A local Russian television station has become embroiled in controversy after it announced that NATO forces had invaded Ukraine and were attacking Belarus, the Kommersant newspaper reported yesterday. The news report aired in the western Russian city of Lipetsk began by saying that the Lipetsk military was airlifting refugees because “the NATO countries are attacking

Belarus from the territory of Ukraine.” It turned out the report was merely an attempt to promote footage of interior ministry wargames being held at Lipetsk aerodrome, which simulated such an attack-a fact that the news report mentioned after a few minutes. The incident echoed an incident in Georgia in March when Imedi television channel ran a faked report of a Russia

invasion, using footage from the August 2008 war between the two countries, causing widespread panic. While there were no reports of panic caused by the report on Lipetskoye Vremya channel, the region’s journalists and interior ministry officials were reprimanded for publicizing the NATO attack scenario. Reports on two Lipetsk channels cited the deputy commander of the

central region’s interior ministry troops, Nikolai Ryabchikov, as saying that: “The scenario comes from the realities of life” and from the “political and social situation.” But a spokesman for the interior ministry troops, Vasily Panchenkov, told Kommersant that the official had been misquoted. The journalists “saw or heard something wrong,” he said. “The officials

who spoke (to journalists) have already been given awareness training, now they won’t say such things,” a source in the interior troops told Kommersant. “They probably did not think of the consequences of their words or wanted to show off in front of the cameras,” the source told Kommersant. The Lipetskoye Vremya channel had erased the report, aired Monday, from its web site yesterday

but the text was viewable in a cached version preserved by Internet search engines. In a fresh report aired Tuesday, the channel cited Ryabchikov as saying simply that the exercises simulated an “anti-terrorist” operation. Lipetsk, a centre for steel production, is located within a few hundred kilometers (miles) of both the Belarussian and Ukrainian borders. —AFP

Burial move shows cracks in Polish unity on crash Protest over decision to bury Kaczynski in Wawel cathedral WARSAW: A decision to bury Polish President Lech Kaczynski in the crypt of Wawel cathedral in Krakow, a place reserved for the nation’s heroes, poets and kings, has sharply divided Poles days before the funeral. Kaczynski died in a plane crash in Russia on Saturday along with 95 other people including his wife Maria and many members of

Poland’s political and military elite. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz said on Tuesday Kaczynski and his wife Maria would be buried at Wawel on Sunday following consultations with family members, including the president’s twin brother Jaroslaw, who heads Poland’s main opposition party.

WARSAW: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (front) and Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, mourn as the coffins of the presidential couple lay at the Presidential Palace yesterday. — AP

EU to send monitors for Ethiopian poll post row Opposition groups complain of harassment ADDIS ABABA: The European Union has agreed to monitor Ethiopia’s elections in May, nearly five years after Addis Ababa accused the EU’s chief observer in the last poll of helping to spark violence. The USbased Carter Centre declined an invitation to observe, saying there was not enough time to prepare for the May 23 vote in the impoverished nation on the Horn of Africa. “(EU foreign affairs chief) Baroness (Catherine) Ashton last week decided to send a full observation team for the elections,” EU ambassador to Ethiopia, Dino Sinigallia, said late on Tuesday on state-run Ethiopian television. The monitoring team will be 200-strong and have a budget of

about $10 million, Sinigallia said. Next month’s election will be the first since a government victory in 2005 was disputed by opposition parties and some observers. Monitors said the poll fell short of global standards. Security forces killed about 200 protesters and imprisoned the main opposition leaders in the aftermath of the vote five years ago. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had accused the chief EU observer of siding with the opposition and stoking the violence. Some critics and analysts say that the EU presence at the coming election risked legitimizing a fraudulent poll, in a country of 80 million people and more than 80 ethnic

groups. “The mission won’t be able to properly observe,” one analyst, who did not want to be named for fear he would be refused entry to Ethiopia, told Reuters. “At least two-thirds of the voters live more than two hours walk from a road. Unable to observe at a grass roots level, the EU will simply register complaints. The regime will deny. The mission has no mandate to investigate.” The opposition says the government scares people into voting for it. For its part, the government says the opposition is divided and intent on discrediting the poll. Results are expected to be announced on June 21, a month after voting is due to begin. — Reuters

Ousted Kyrgyz prez must stand trial, says new leader BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader yesterday refused to offer any compromise to deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, demanding he face trial for the bloodshed in protests last week. Interim government chief Roza Otunbayeva made the comments as the United States signaled support for her new government, further isolating Bakiyev after he was overthrown in the uprising. “Bakiyev has exceeded the limits of his immunity by spilling blood and now he must be brought to trial and answer before the law,” Otunbayeva said after talks with visiting US envoy Robert Blake. Bakiyev fled to southern Kyrgyzstan after last week’s protests erupted into violence, killing 84 people and bringing the interim government to power. The toppled president had on Tuesday offered to resign, on the condition that the security of himself and his family was guaranteed. Otunbayeva rejected that condition, saying Bakiyev’s relatives and close allies would have to stand trial as well. “As for his relatives and the former defense minister, these are people who shot citizens, and there can be no discussion of assurances of their safety, except for their legal defense in court,” she said. Otunbayeva said Bakiyev was being protected by about 500 armed supporters, including relatives and locals in the southern Jalalabad region. The interim government has given mixed signals about whether it plans to use force to arrest Bakiyev. Blake, the first senior US official to visit Kyrgyzstan since the uprising, offered a guard-

ed signal of support for the new interim government, which has been seeking international legitimacy since coming to power. “I feel optimistic about the steps that the government already has taken” to organize new elections, said Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs. “The United States is prepared to help and we discussed a number of ways that we might be able

to help in that regard,” Blake said after meeting Otunbayeva. Washington is keen to maintain influence in the volatile ex-Soviet republic because it hosts the Manas air base, which US forces use to support military operations in nearby Afghanistan. Otunbayeva said following the talks with Blake that they had not discussed the future of Manas air base. — AFP

BISHKEK: US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake (right) lays a wreath at a memorial place to commemorate those killed in the April 7 uprising yesterday. — AP

Numerous heads of state and government, including US President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are due to attend the funeral. “The decision to bury him in Wawel is hasty and emotional,” said leading daily Gazeta Wyborcza in a front-page editorial. “It is inappropriate to demand that Lech Kaczynski after his death become the equal of Jozef Pilsudski, architect of Polish independence ... This decision will certainly divide Poles.” Pilsudski helped Poland regain its independence in 1918 and dominated its politics through the 1920s and 1930s. Oscar-winning film director Andrzej Wajda also urged the church to reverse its decision, saying it risked sparking “the deepest divisions” in Poland since the end of communism in 1989. As the director of a film chronicling the massacre of Polish officers by Soviet forces in Katyn forest in 1940, Wajda’s view carries moral weight. Kaczynski’s plane had been heading on Saturday to Katyn to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre. About 500 people staged a noisy protest in Krakow late on Tuesday against the decision, waving banners that read “Not Krakow, not Wawel” and “Are you sure he is the equal of kings?” Others joined protests on the social media site Facebook. By yesterday, the “No to Kaczynski’s burial in Wawel” group had attracted over 26,000 fans. Nearly 5,000 had joined a group bearing the ironic name “I want to be buried in Wawel too”. First cracks The protests were the first cracks in a display of national unity since the crash. Tens of thousands of mourners welcomed home Kaczynski’s coffin and that of his wife. People were queuing in rain for hours yesterday to view the coffins in Warsaw’s presidential palace. Lech Kaczynski, president since 2005, was a polarizing figure whose support levels had fallen to about 20 percent before his death. He had been expected to lose a presidential election due in the autumn and now likely to be held in June. To his conservative admirers, Kaczynski was a patriot and man of deep moral and religious convictions. To his foes, he was a narrow-minded reactionary out of step with an increasingly liberal, outward-looking and European Poland. His supporters defended the decision to bury him at Wawel. “It’s dangerous to fuel rows over the burial of the first couple,” Witold Waszczykowski, one of the few Kaczynski aides not to die with him on Saturday, told Polish television. Wawel is a large complex of buildings on the Vistula River that includes a castle, cathedral and fortifications. The cathedral was the coronation site of virtually all of Poland’s monarchs, and Wawel Castle was the centre of government for five centuries until the end of the 16th century. As well as Polish kings, the Wawel crypt also contains the bodies of legendary military commander Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought in the US war of independence, Poland’s wartime leader Wladyslaw Sikorski and national poet Adam Mickiewicz. — Reuters

KHARTOUM: A woman walks past the Sudanese flag painted on a wall at a school turned into a polling station yesterday. —AFP

Sudan ruling party reaches to opposition KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar AlBeshir’s ruling party yesterday reached out to the opposition, much of which has boycotted ongoing elections, calling for an “inclusive” government. Presidential adviser Ghazi Salaheddin said that “given the challenges facing the nation,” Beshir’s National Congress Party (NCP) was interested in “our government being as inclusive as possible.” “If we are declared winners... We would extend the invitation to all parties, even those who have not participated in the elections, because we believe this is a critical moment in our history,” Salaheddin told reporters. The statement came as authorities suspended voting in areas struggling with logistical problems in the presidential, legislative and local elections already marred by the boycott and extended for two days until today. The former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, a partner in

the national unity government, also boycotted the vote in parts of the country and withdrew its presidential candidate. Asked if he believed the political groups boycotting the vote would be willing to join the NCP in a government, Salaheddin said he thought it would be “in their interest.” “If the elections are recognized by international players and international institutions, that would mean that the government is recognized,” Salaheddin said. “If they decide not to join the government, not to heed the offer, they would be isolating themselves from the process.” “I think any politician in his right mind would not decline such an offer,” he said. The opposition boycott was announced after ballot papers were printed, leaving open the possibility for individual candidates to still run and win in their constituencies despite their party’s decision to pull out. — AFP

Kenyan bookshops reject politically sensitive books NAIROBI: Chaacha Mwita waits for his phone to ring, takes down his customer’s order, then furtively delivers his product that no stores in Kenya’s capital dare carry. Mwita is an author. His product is a book that contains material that is so politically sensitive that bookshops refuse to have it on their shelves. Another book by a British journalist has also met the same fate. The government has not banned Mwita’s “Citizen Power: A Different Kind of Politics, A Different Kind of Journalism” or journalist Michela Wrong’s “It’s Our Turn to Eat,” which reports on the biggest corruption scandal facing Kibaki. But because they contain politically sensitive material that could lead to libel lawsuits against the book sellers, shops don’t carry the works. Philo Ikonya, president of the Kenya Center of International PEN, a global group that defends writers and freedom of expression, said Kenya doesn’t truly have open political space if booksellers fear selling a politically sensitive book. Two Kenyan booksellers and the country’s booksellers association declined to comment or did not return phone calls from The Associated Press. In his self-published book, Mwita reports that Kenya’s top bureaucrat informed media executives that President Mwai Kibaki had won Kenya’s 2007 elections - even before the Electoral Commission had resolved vote disputes. The bureaucrat told media outlets to prepare the country for Kibaki’s re-election victory. A government spokesman called the account portrayed in Mwita’s book “fiction.” Hours after that Dec. 30, 2007, meeting, the Electoral Commission declared Kibaki the winner. As the sun set on a controversy-

ridden day, Kibaki was sworn in for a second term on the lawn of his official residence. Only hurriedly invited civil servants, politicians and diplomats were present - a sharp contrast to Kibaki’s first inauguration in 2002 during a festive midday ceremony. More than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 fled their homes in the postelection violence. A power sharing deal between Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga - then leader of the opposition - ended the weeks of bloodletting. The International Criminal Court is now investigating the violence with the aim of charging those who were allegedly behind it with crimes against humanity. Mwita - a former group managing editor of Kenya’s oldest newspaper, The Standard - pitched his book to three bookshops in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. He says all three refused to stock it. “The main reason for their refusal are the heavy fines courts have awarded to litigants in libel cases. The bookshops themselves are incompetent to determine what is libel and what is not libel, but they do not want to take a chance,” Mwita said. The US government’s aid arm - USAID - gave five grants through its Office of Transition Initiatives to get “It’s Our Turn to Eat” to the Kenyan public. The agency paid for 5,100 copies of the book that were given away or sold at a subsidized price. USAID got involved to break the booksellers “self-imposed” embargo because the government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, had said repeatedly that there was no ban on the book, said the Office of Transition Initiatives representative for Kenya, John Langlois. He hopes booksellers will now see there is no risk in selling the book.—AP

Iceland evacuates people over fresh volcano REYKJAVIK: A volcano under a glacier in Iceland rumbled back to life yesterday, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes. Emergency officials evacuated 800 residents from around the Eyjafjallajokull glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters) and flooded a sparsely populated area, said Rognvaldur Olafsson, a chief inspector for the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency. He said no lives or properties were in immediate danger. The agency said commercial aircraft had reported seeing steam plumes rising from the glacier. There were no immediate signs of large clouds of volcanic ash, which could disrupt air travel between Europe and North America, and Iceland’s international airport remained open. A Coast Guard plane was flying over the area, which was obscured by heavy cloud. The volcano, 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Reykjavik, erupted March 20 after almost 200 years of silence. The original eruption petered out earlier this week. But Gunnar Gudmunsson, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said there had been a series of tremors overnight, and

rivers in the area began rising last morning - strong evidence of a new eruption under the glacier. “Most probably this eruption is taking place at the summit ... under the ice,” he said. Last month’s eruption struck near the glacier in an area that had no ice. Gudmunsson said the new eruption appeared to be about eight or nine kilometers (five to six miles) west of the original fissure. Residents were evacuated to a Red Cross center in the nearby community of Hvolsvollur, the protection agency said. Iceland, a nation of 320,000 people, sits on a large volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic’s mid-oceanic ridge. Volcanic eruptions are often triggered by seismic activity when the Earth’s plates move and when magma from deep underground pushes its way to the surface. The last time there was an eruption near the 100square-mile (160 square-kilometer) Eyjafjallajokull glacier was in 1821. A bigger worry is the nearby and much larger Katla volcano, which in the past has erupted in tandem with Eyjafjallajokull. Katla is located under the vast Myrdalsjokull ice cap. An eruption could cause widespread flooding and disrupt air traffic between Europe and North America.— AP


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Chavez rallies armed youths to defend socialism Thousands of militia cheer Venezuelan leader CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on 35,000 armed militias on Tuesday to defend his socialist revolution with their lives if necessary as he faces a test of its popularity in elections in September. Young militias raised assault rifles and clenched fists in the air when Chavez entered the parade area in Caracas in an open military jeep for a rally marking the anniversary of an abortive coup that ousted him briefly in 2002. “You should be ready to take up arms at any moment and give your lives if necessary for our nation’s independence and the socialist revolution,” Chavez said, unsheathing the sword of Venezuelan independence hero

Simon Bolivar. The show of force by the government-organized militia- whose number is thought to be several hundred thousand nationwide-appeared aimed at defending his 11-year government from what Chavez and his supporters perceive as the threat of another coup attempt or an attack from abroad. A fierce critic of what he calls US imperialism, Chavez accuses Washington of backing efforts by Venezuela’s upper classes to oust him and arming neighboring Colombia for an invasion of his oil-exporting nation. Tension between the two countries has risen since Colombia announced that the US military will have access to its bases, and Venezuela ramped up

purchases of weaponry from Russia. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who will visit Colombia this week, said on Tuesday he did not see Venezuela as a military threat, adding that it had serious economic problems. Electricity shortages caused by a severe drought and prolonged economic recession have dented Chavez’s popularity ahead of elections for the National Assembly, a prelude to a crucial 2012 presidential vote. Chavez, a former paratrooper turned socialist revolutionary, said the drop in water levels at the country’s largest hydroelectric dam, the Guri, had slowed following recent rain and vowed that the electricity crisis would

end this year. “We cannot allow the bourgeoise to occupy seats in the National Assembly,” Chavez, dressed in green military fatigues and a red beret, told his supporters. “We cannot allow them to undo the revolutionary laws.” Three years after he was elected president, his opponents organized massive demonstrations triggering a coup that briefly ousted Chavez on April 11, 2002. The military restored him two days later after his supporters took to the streets. In a move that will anger its opponents and further polarize Venezuela, Chavez’s government decreed April 13 a holiday to be known as the “Day of National Jubilation.” — Reuters

Brazil flood toll rises to 246 Cargo plane crash Access to Rio’s Christ statue cut off

CARACAS: Members of the National Revolutionary Militia shout slogans on Militia Day as they wait for Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Tuesday, April 13, 2010. — AP

US Treasury imposes sanctions on Somali militants WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department has imposed new sanctions on nearly a dozen suspected Islamist militants, including some linked to the Al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia. Under the new sanctions, Treasury officials are targeting Somali Islamist leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on US and UN lists of individuals with links to AlQaeda. Last year Aweys said he was working to unite his

Islamic Party with Al-Shabab, a Somali militant faction allied with Al-Qaeda. AlShabab is battling to overthrow the weak, US-backed Somali government. Somalia has not had an effective government for about two decades. The move by Treasury would freeze any of the Somali militants’ assets in US jurisdictions. US authorities say they are increasingly concerned that Somalia has

become a safe haven for Islamic extremists and a sanctuary for Al-Qaedalinked training camps. The move to sanction the Somali militants comes as US diplomats and defense leaders are working with the shaky government in Mogadishu to determine how to support its offensive against Al-Qaeda linked insurgents. The Treasury Department said that it also would freeze the assets of: Abshir Abdillahi,

44; Hassan Abdullah Hersi Al-Turki, 66; Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed, 33; Yasin Ali Baynah, 44; Mohamed Abdi Garaad, 37; Yemane Ghebreab, 59; Fuad Mohamed Khalaf; Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud, 28; Mohamed Sa’id, 44; and Fares Mohammed Mana’a, a Yemeni who reportedly holds a diplomatic passport from Yemen. All of the ages are estimates provided by the department. — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Landslides triggered by pounding rain in Rio de Janeiro last week killed at least 246 people, officials said Tuesday, as access to the city’s eight-decade-old Christ statue was cut off for the first time. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes also estimated the cost of repairs to damage caused by the disaster to at least 113.6 million dollars. The death toll rose as more bodies were uncovered in the wreckage of shantytowns knocked off their precarious mountainside perches by the landslides. Searches were continuing for another 200-some people still missing in Rio’s satellite town of Niteroi. The statue of Christ the Redeemer, the landmark monument that dominates Rio, was isolated by nearly 300 landslides on and around the Corcovado mountain on which it sits, forest official Bernardo Issa told the O Globo daily. The road and trainline that carry two million tourists each year to see the statue were covered in layers of mud and rocks. “The damage to the park is severe. It’s closed indefinitely. We’re recommending people not try to walk or cycle there either,” Issa said. Paes projected some 113.6 million dollars would be needed to pay for damage caused by the heavy rains, as he outlined plans to resettle the residents of shantytowns affected by the disaster, but warned costs could rise to 142 million dollars. “Yesterday, we completed a large

part of the assessments with regard to the repair of the city... the repaving of streets, clean-up of riverbeds among other things,” Paes told reporters. Paes has authorized removing residents of atrisk neighborhoods by force where necessary and announced that relocated families would receive a monthly payment of 256 dollars to help build new homes elsewhere. Experts said the flooding and landslides that decimated some of Rio’s 1,000 slums were a “predictable tragedy.” They pointed to the shaky construction of the houses, their position on slide-prone hillsides and the absence of official urban planning in the poverty struck neighborhoods were to blame. “Rain didn’t kill people living in the slums. It was negligent and irresponsible officials,” anthropologist Alba Zaluar told the weekly newsmagazine Epoca. A former municipal secretary for urban planning, Sergio Magalhaes, told AFP that in addition to curbs on the haphazard building of homes in the slums, public services such as electricity, transport, schools and trash collection should be extended to the zones to counter the prevailing anarchy. Others, though, noted that forcible evacuations of at-risk areas were not politically expedient in the past. Faced with the flood deaths and destruction, Paes has said that by 2012, some 12,000 families would be relocated. — AFP

kills 5 in Mexico MONTERREY: A cargo aircraft crashed late on Tuesday near the airport in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, killing at least five people, Mexican emergency authorities said. The Airbus A300 aircraft, operated by privately held AeroUnion, crashed on a road leading into the airport after an aborted landing. Investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the accident yesterday morning. “We can confirm five crew members died, and, tentatively, another person on the ground,” said Civil Aviation Director Hector Gonzalez in an interview with the Televisa network. Emergency services initially reported two people on board the aircraft and three on the ground were killed. Operations at the Monterrey International Airport, operated by Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, were normal yesterday, according to the aviation authority. Partially burned wreckage from the aircraft was visible on the road leading into the airport in an area near several hotels, a Reuters witness reported. The jet, which was carrying cargo from Mexico City to the wealthy manufacturing city of Monterrey, crashed approximately 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the airport. “We have no reports of mechanical issues ... of anything abnormal,” said Gonzalez, adding that the plane’s flight data recorders had been recovered. Prior to the crash AeroUnion operated three A300s, transporting cargo within Mexico as well as to Los Angeles and Chicago in the United States. — Reuters



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two held from ship that smashed Australian reef SYDNEY: Australian police arrested a Chinese ship captain and senior officer yesterday and charged them with damaging the Great Barrier Reef, more than a week after their coal carrier ran aground and tore a two-mile (three-kilometer) gash in the protected area. The Shen Neng 1 veered out of a shipping lane and slammed into the reef on April 3, possibly smearing the coral with toxic paint that could prevent marine life from growing back. Even in the best case scenario, experts said the damage could take 20 years to heal. Coral shredded the

ship’s hull, causing it to leak 2-3 tons of fuel oil. Most of the oil was dispersed by a chemical spray and did little or no damage to the reef itself, but officials said yesterday they believe some of it has begun to wash up on the beaches of a wildlife sanctuary. The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage site because of its gleaming waters and environmental value as home to thousands of marine species. The accident occurred in the southern tip of the reef, which is not the main tourism hub. The Australian Federal Police said the ship’s captain

and the chief officer on watch during the accident would appear in court today. “Investigations showed that the Shen Neng 1 failed to turn at a waypoint (a specific latitude and longitude) required by the intended course of the ship,” the police said in a statement. The 47-year-old shipmaster was charged with liability for a vessel causing damage in a marine park, an offense that carries a maximum 55,000 Australian dollar ($51,200) fine. The 44-year-old chief officer is charged with being in charge of the

vessel when it caused the damage, and faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to AU$220,000. The police said officers executed a search warrant on the ship on yesterday. It was not clear what they were looking for. The ship’s owners, Shenzen Energy Transport, said last week they were cooperating with the investigation. Su Zengdong, the chief manager of TOSCO-KEYMAX, which is in charge of the vessel’s technical management, said yesterday that the company was “fully

cooperating with the Australian side in the investigation and pollution control.” He had no further comment. The 755-foot (230-meter) ship was successfully lifted off the reef Monday after crews spent three days removing its fuel to lighten it. Salvage crews later towed it to an anchorage area near Great Keppel Island, 45 miles (70 kilometers) away. Before it was removed, tides and currents repeatedly pushed the ship along the reef, cutting a scar 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) long and up to

820 feet (250 meters) wide into the coral. Paint from the hull, used to prevent marine life from growing on it, was also smeared into the reef. Certain paints contain chemicals prevent growth, while others simply act as a barrier. Experts are analyzing paint samples to determine if it is the more toxic variety. “There is more damage to this reef than I have ever seen in any previous Great Barrier Reef groundings,” Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief scientist David Wachenfeld said Tuesday. In some areas, “all marine life has

been completely flattened and the structure of the shoal has been pulverized by the weight of the vessel,” he added. Globules of oil believed to be from the ship have washed ashore on North West Island, a turtle hatchery and bird sanctuary, said Adam Nicholson, a maritime safety spokesman for the northeastern state of Queensland. Teams began yesterday to clean up the globules, which were about an inch (3 centimeters) wide, and were scattered across about a half-mile (1 kilometer) of beach. —AP

Protest over Islamic tomb turns violent in Jakarta Two killed, dozens injured in clashes

JAKARTA: A demonstrator throws a petrol bomb during bloody clashes which broke over the demolition of a cemetery outside the Jakarta international container port yesterday. —AFP

HK proposes limited political reform HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government proposed reforms yesterday to its legislature and on how its leader is chosen changes rejected by the opposition as cosmetic as they would still limit direct elections. The proposals from the pro-Beijing government underscore China’s wary stance on democracy in this semiautonomous territory. While Beijing has allowed this former British colony to maintain separate political and economic systems that protect Western-style civil liberties, it has continued to limit the impact of elections. Hong Kong’s current leader was chosen by an 800-member committee loyal to Beijing while the 60-member legislature is half-elected, half-chosen by interest groups that also tend to side with the Chinese government. Hong Kong’s No 2 official told legislators yesterday that the government wants to expand the leader selection committee to 1,200 people for the 2012 election cycle. Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang also proposed expanding the legisla-

ture to 70 members - but maintaining the 50:50 ratio of elected and interest group seats. The head of Hong Kong’s leading opposition party said his party will oppose the reform package. Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho compared the proposals to “making small changes to a bird cage” - rather than setting the bird inside free. The proposals, which require 40 votes in the legislature, will likely be blocked by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy political opposition. Hard-line opposition lawmakers want direct elections of all political offices immediately, while moderate figures say they will support limited reform only if there is a clear promise of genuine democracy at a fixed date. The standing committee of China’s legislature ruled in December 2007 that Hong Kong could elect its leader in 2017 and its entire legislature in 2020. But pro-democracy legislators fear that Beijing may try to rig those elections. Urging support for gradual reform, Tang said in a speech yesterday, “Rome was not built in one day, but passing the 2012 elec-

toral reform package will help pave the way to Rome.” But opposition lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan retorted, “I want you to clarify exactly which Rome you mean. Is it the Rome under fascist rule, under Mussolini’s rule?”, a reference to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Beijing quickly endorsed the Hong Kong plan, with a senior official saying it “embodies the principle of gradually developing democracy based on Hong Kong’s current circumstances.” “From a practical standpoint, the plan proposed by the Hong Kong government takes a big step toward increasing the democratic nature of the political system,” Qiao Xiaoyang, deputy secretary-general of the standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress, told reporters in Beijing. The proposals also come about a month before a closely watched special election for the legislature on May 16. Five prodemocracy legislators triggered the by-election by resigning in January, hoping to turn the contest into a de facto territory-wide referendum on democracy. —AP

Killer’s death no solace to Indonesian schoolgirl’s dad

POSO: Hernius Morangke holds a picture of his daughter, Theresia Morangke yesterday. —AFP

JAKARTA: The death in a police raid of an Islamic extremist who led the beheading of three Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia five years ago gave little solace to the father of victim Theresia Morangki. Cocoa farmer Herneus Morangki, 67, said he thought of his 15-year-old daughter every day as he passed her grave on the way to his fields, and the death of killer Enal Tao could not ease the pain. “Every day I have to pass by her grave on the way to work, so I’ll always remember her,” he told AFP by telephone from his home in Poso, Central Sulawesi province. “My daughter was such a good child... quiet, obedient and never any trouble. My heart still hurts today. She’s my daughter, how can I ever forget?” Police vowed to hunt down four other suspects who are still wanted for the murders after Enal, 38, was shot dead in a raid in Aceh province on Monday. Enal led a group of men who attacked four teenage girls with machetes as they walked to a Christian high school out-

side the city of Poso, Central Sulawesi, on October 29, 2005. The brutality of the crime shocked the world and turned the spotlight on the threat of Islamic extremism in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. The attackers beheaded three of the girls in a ritual-style killing to avenge the deaths of Muslims at the hands of Christians during religious violence in the restive area. The fourth girl escaped with a gash across her chest and alerted villagers. Police said Enal dumped one of the girl’s heads near a church as a warning to the wider Christian community in Poso. “Enal Tao’s death is good news for us. He was a very dangerous man and was wanted for a string of cases,” Poso district police chief Roemtaat told AFP, referring to other crimes including the shooting of a policeman and robbery. Six members of the gang of 12 have been arrested since 2007 and another gave himself up to police four months ago, he said, leaving four still at large. —AFP

JAKARTA: Two people were killed and dozens injured in clashes in Jakarta yesterday between security forces and people protesting at the bulldozing of a cemetery containing the remains of a Muslim scholar. Police fired tear gas, pepper bullets and water cannon to disperse dozens of men armed with machetes and sticks who had massed in the clashes that lasted all day, witnesses said. It left the area near Jakarta’s international port looking like a war zone, with blood-stained streets and burning police vehicles sending black smoke into the sky. “Two people died and more than 50 were injured... the number may rise,” national police spokesman Zainuri Lubis told reporters. City spokesman Cucu Ahmad Kurnia earlier gave a higher injured toll. “Seven people have been critically injured... one (security officer) had his hand cut off and another had his stomach ripped out with a machete,” Kurnia told AFP. “Another 83 people had serious and light injuries, mostly head injuries from being pelted with rocks,” he added. Most of the injured were members of the security forces, he added. An AFP photographer saw members of the public order force-which is different from the regular police-beating, clubbing, kicking and stomping on injured protesters. Demonstrators were also seen hitting security officers with sticks and stamping on those who fell. Kurnia described the situation as “anarchic” and promised to negotiate with local residents about changes to the cemetery. “They’ve misunderstood... we’re not removing the tomb but only the old buildings and gate,” he said. “We’ve stopped the demolition and will resume negotiations with demonstrators another time.” Protesters say the revered Habib Hasan bin Muhammad Al-Hadad, also known as Mbah Priok, helped spread Islam in North Jakarta in the 18th century, according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper. Visitors to his tomb believe their wishes will be granted if they pray there. —AFP

in the news Japanese porn makers demand cash TAIPEI: Eight Japanese pornographic film producers are demanding compensation from Taiwanese cable and telecom companies they say are using their work without authorization, a lawyer representing the producers said yesterday. The case may depend on whether Taiwanese authorities rule that adult films are creative works protected by copyright law. Chen Shih-ing said that the Japanese producers are seeking royalties from Chunghwa Telecom Co Ltd, Taiwan Mobile Co Ltd, and other unnamed Taiwanese telecom and cable TV providers to make up for an estimated New Taiwan dollars 1 billion ($30 million) in annual losses. He said the companies are allowing customers to download the films onto a variety of platforms, including mobile phones, without providing compensation in return.

Malaysia’s Anwar loses bid to discredit accuser KUALA LUMPUR: An Islamic court yesterday threw out a bid by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to bring a slander charge against his former aide who accused him of sodomy. The verdict marks a setback in Anwar’s efforts to discredit Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, who has accused the politician of forcing him to have anal sex. Sodomy is a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison in this Muslim-majority country.

BANGKOK: “Red Shirt” anti-government protesters listen to speeches at the ongoing rally yesterday. —AFP

What is going on in Thailand? BANGKOK: Thai anti-government protesters yesterday abandoned one of their two protest sites to congregate in a downtown Bangkok shopping district, a tactical move in preparation for what they say is “a final battle.” At least 23 people were killed on Saturday, with hundreds wounded. The violence was a game-changing factor, which may tip the balance of power in favor of the opposition, analysts said. So what happens now? Is violence about to erupt again? It is unlikely in the short term. The failed attempt to eject protesters from one of their encampments on Saturday, which turned into violent clashes, embarrassed the military. It is now going on a public relations offensive to explain that security forces were targeted by “terrorists”. The army is unlikely to come out in full force again, risking its reputation to protect Abhisit, whose political capital appears to be dwindling. The protesters have abandoned a vulnerable protest site on a bridge in the historic part of the city and are consolidating in the Rachaprasong intersection shopping district, close to the main business area. The geography of the area, and the presence of families, tourists, expatriates in luxury hotels and apartments, make it very unlikely the troops will move in. A state of emergency is in effect, banning public gatherings of more than five people, yet thousands remain on the streets. Army chief Anupong Paochinda said political problems require a political solution, another indication the army is unwilling at this point to crack down on behalf of the embattled government. Could Abhisit cave in? Abhisit will likely have to dissolve parliament soon or resign. Pressure will mount on him if the protests continue to paralyze the capital’s commercial heart. The government has said it does not want to give in to mob rule but Abhisit has offered few clues as to how he will resolve the crisis. Complicating Abhisit’s future, Thailand’s poll watchdog set in motion a procedure that could lead to the disbanding of his Democrat Party over suspected funding irregularities. A similar ruling ended a Thaksin-supported coalition government in 2008, ending a seizure of the airport by “yellow shirt” protesters. Some in the establishment, however, are believed to be maneuvering for Abhisit to quit, paving the way for a temporary “national unity government” that would bring all parties, including the Thaksin-allied opposition, into the fold. That could take the red shirts off the streets and buy time before fresh polls are called. Will the violence hurt the economy? The short answer is yes. Credit rating agencies and economists say the escalation of violence will hit tourism revenue, foreign direct investment, economic growth and the country’s ability to repay its debts. But Thailand has had 18 coups since 1932 and protests by yellow shirts, red shirts, and others are a way of life, even if Bangkok has not seen such violence since 1992.

Until the declaration of a state of emergency last week, Thailand along with the rest of Southeast Asia had seen a surge in foreign investment inflows, with $1.8 billion coming into Southeast Asia’s second largest economy from Feb. 22 to March 7. Stocks dived over 3 percent on Monday and all eyes will be on the market when it reopens on Friday, looking for a sign of a trend. Tourism has taken a hit, but it always bounces back in what many people believe to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Is there a chance of another coup? It’s not totally out of the question if Abhisit’s government teeters and the influential men in green who traditionally play a pivotal role in politics risk losing behind-the-scenes clout. The top brass is well aware that another coup will not sit well with the international community and could provoke a violent response in the bitterly divided country. Some within the army may prefer the use of “soft power” to push Abhisit out and install a new premier to buy time before the next poll is held. Analysts say large numbers of soldiers in the lower ranks and some senior officers sympathize with the red shirts. Many of the military’s top brass are at the other end of the political spectrum, allied with royalists, business elites and the urban middle classes who wear yellow or pink at counter-protests and broadly back the 16-month-old government. Adding to the mix is the question of succession of ageing 82-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been hospitalized since Sept. 19, and whether an eventual succession would lead to a change in the balance of power in the military, which is traditionally closely aligned with the palace. Who are the Red Shirts and what are they fighting for? They are mostly supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, drawing support from the rural poor, and increasingly from the urban working class. Their formal name is the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). They wear red shirts to distinguish themselves from the pro-establishment yellow shirts. A leader also said once that it is “a striking color which shows our fighting spirit.” They back Thaksin, because of his welfare and rural development policies while in office from 2001-2006. Many of them believe his conviction for corruption after he was ousted in a 2006 military coup was an attempt to keep him out of politics after the coup. Not all red shirts back Thaksin unreservedly, but all are angered by the manner of his removal and believe democracy is being undermined by powerful, unelected figures. The red shirts say Abhisit’s coalition government is illegitimate because it was not elected but pieced together with the backing of the army in a “silent coup” in December 2008 after a ruling pro-Thaksin party was dissolved. It wants new elections, which it is confident the proThaksin Puea Thai Party would win. —Reuters

China official sentenced to death in mafia trial BEIJING: A Chinese court sentenced to death yesterday a former top police and judicial official convicted of sheltering criminal gangs who ran rampant for years in the southwestern city of Chongqing. The verdict against Wen Qiang, the former head of Chongqing’s judiciary and a former deputy police chief, brought to a climax a series of trials that lifted the lid on the seamy underworld in the mega-city of more than 30 million people. Wen, 54, was found guilty of taking more than two million dollars in bribes, protecting and conniving with organized crime groups, rape and corruption, a court statement said. Wen was the highest-ranking public figure ensnared in a massive crackdown launched last year that has so far resulted in more than 3,300 detentions and hundreds of prosecutions. Nearly 100 officials have been tried. At least seven people had already been reported executed or sentenced to death in the trials, which shocked the public by exposing

the impunity enjoyed by Chongqing mafia bosses and the corrupt officials who protected them. The trials have engrossed the public due in no small part to the salacious details revealed in court. Wen allegedly raped a number of women including B-list film and music starlets, and had affairs with subordinates. The court statement said Wen was found guilty of plying an unidentified woman with drink in August 2007 and then raping her at a hotel despite her attempts to resist. Wen-who was deputy police chief for 16 years-owned numerous flats and villas, had a fleet of foreign luxury cars, and maintained a treasure trove of antiques and artworks worth hundreds of millions of yuan, press reports said. At his February trial, Wen admitted he took money from others on numerous occasions but said that no corruption was involved and much of it was for “birthday and New Year” greetings, according to state media.

He was found guilty of possessing large amounts of property from unknown sources, the statement said. It said Wen could not account for the origin of more than 10 million yuan (about 1.5 million dollars) worth of assets. Wen was tried with his wife, Zhou Xiaoya, and three former Chongqing police associates Huang Daiqiang, Zhao Liming, and Chen Tao. Zhou, who was found guilty of accepting bribes and other property on her husband’s behalf, was sentenced to eight years in prison while the others received sentences ranging from six months to 20 years. In November, Wen’s sisterin-law Xie Caiping was sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of running illegal gambling dens and drug dealing. Dubbed the “Godmother” by Chinese media, Xie reportedly drove a MercedesBenz, owned several luxury villas and kept a stable of 16 young men to provide her with sexual services. —AFP

Thursday, April 15, 2010



US troops withdraw from Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley KABUL: US troops are pulling out of Afghanistan’s perilous Korengal Valley as part of a new focus on protecting population centers, NATO said yesterday. The isolated mountainous region of caves and canyons on the eastern border with Pakistan has seen fierce fighting between NATO and Taleban insurgents, who use it as a route for infiltrating weapons and fighters into Afghanistan. The repositioning reflects the new thinking among commanders that forces are best used to protect the civilian population rather than placed in scattered outposts that are highly exposed to militant activity and difficult to resupply and reinforce. “This repositioning, in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces, responds to the requirements of the new population-centric counterinsurgency strategy,” Lt Gen David M Rodriguez, joint commander of international forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement e-mailed to media. “The move does not prevent forces from rapidly responding, as necessary, to crises there in Korengal and in other parts of the region, as well.”

The strategic shift coincides with the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, most on missions to drive the Taleban from populated areas and provide enough security to allow local governments to consolidate control and bring about economic recovery. Korengal, in eastern Kunar province, has a reputation as one of most dangerous areas in the country, where its rugged mountainous terrain makes it a perfect insurgent hunting ground. Three Navy SEALs were killed in an ambush there in 2005, while a helicopter carrying American special forces sent to rescue them was shot down, killing 16 American troops in one of the deadliest single attacks on the US military since the war began in 2001. Since then, the insurgents have used the cover of caves and trees to attack small American units patrolling the valley, a hotbed of Taleban support whose native tribes speak a distinct language - Korengali - and adhere to the austere Wahabi brand of Islam most prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and practiced by Osama bin Laden and the Taleban.

Deaths of US troops in other remote corners of the country have also driven the reassignments, with eight Americans killed in an Oct 3 gunbattle that broke out when hundreds of insurgents stormed a base in mountainous Nuristan province just north of Kunar. In 2008, US and Afghan troops abandoned a remote outpost elsewhere in Nuristan after militants killed nine American soldiers in an assault. Also yesterday, Afghan officials said a policeman died in a gunbattle and a 12-yearold boy was killed by a roadside bomb in a violent area of eastern Afghanistan. Sayed Ismail Jahangir, spokesman for the governor of Ghazni province, said militants fired on Afghan police patrolling in Gelan district Tuesday night. Police chased a vehicle filled with insurgents to an area where more militants were lying in wait. The policeman and an insurgent were killed in a onehour battle that followed. The governor’s spokesman said the boy died last night in Ghazni’s Andar district when he stumbled onto the roadside bomb on his way home. — AP

HELMAND: US Marines disembark from an Osprey aircraft in southern Afghanistan, on April 13, 2010. — AFP

Millions partake in world’s biggest religious festival More than 10 million people bathe in Ganges during ‘Kumbh Mela’ HARIDWAR: Ten million Hindu pilgrims led by hundreds of ash-covered, naked holy men streamed into the sacred w aters of the river Ganges yesterday at the w orld’s biggest religious festival. The date, chosen by astrologers, is the “main royal bathing day” of the Kumbh Mela, a 104-day event held in

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani policeman guides a truck into an explosives scanner at a security checkpoint. — AFP

Pakistan uses huge scanners in war against truck bombs ISLAMABAD: Police in Pakistan have deployed two giant bomb detectors on roads into Islamabad in their latest efforts to stop suicide truck bombers striking the capital. This is the first time Pakistani authorities have used the Chinese-built devices to protect a city since Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked groups went on a bombing campaign, killing more than 3,200 people in nearly three years. Looking for a bomb in a country with a population of 167 million and an under-equipped police force can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Checkpoints have mushroomed over the last year in the capital, where a suicide truck bomb demolished part of the five-star Marriott Hotel in September 2008 killing 60 people, and there are frequent alerts about possible attacks. Police say 1,000 officers are manning more than 90 checkpoints at entry points, along main roads, outside sensitive targets and in residential areas. But now they hail huge scanners bought from China for nearly three million dollars on a soft loan-a further sign of growing economic and security cooperation with Beijing. The scanners resemble giant airport security arches, mounted on wheels so they can pass back and forth over stationary vehicles. On a dusty road outside the capital, the pale grey arch of one scanner, standing more than 4.5 meters (15 feet) high, checked a brightly painted truck. Inside the control booth, Muhammad Afzal, the officer in charge, kept a close eye on a bank of computers analysing the image.

“The scanners have a 100-percent accuracy rate,” he told AFP. “We detected 20,000 bullets in a private vehicle yesterday,” he added. It turned out the ammunition belonged to the paramilitary and was being legally transported. Trucks coming off the motorway from Peshawar, capital of the northwest and gateway to the lawless tribal belt seen as the fountain of Taleban and AlQaeda militancy in Pakistan, can now pass through the scanner. Vehicles are also scanned as they come from Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, where the southern rural belt has been increasingly linked to militant attacks and which is seen as a recruiting ground for the Taleban. Current capacity is 30 to 35 trucks per day per scannera drop in the ocean of 250,000 cars and 3,000 trucks that stream into Islamabad each day, according to traffic police. Only large trucks picked out by monitoring police officers are checked by the devices. Even so, tempers are fraying among truckers who consider the whole thing a waste of time and money which causes tailbacks on the approach from Peshawar. “It may be beneficial for some people but it’s nothing but a waste of time for us. We have to wait for hours in long queues to pass through the scanning process,” said truck driver Fazal Karim. Karim, who supplies bricks to construction companies in Islamabad, claimed he was losing at least 1,500 rupees (15 dollars) per day.— AFP

The highest-ranking holy men, the naked “naga sadhus”, consider themselves spiritual guardians of the Hindu faith and fiercely defend their right to bathe at the most auspicious moment. Arriving at the riverside in Haridwar city at a jog, they chanted joyfully and brandished golden tridents, swords and sticks before throwing marigold garlands in the river and then plunging in themselves. Sadhus are ascetics or wandering monks who renounce normal life and often live alone in remote mountains and forests devoting themselves to meditation, but emerge to lead the Kumbh Mela bathing sessions. “Everything is going very smoothly and there has been no problem with any unruly mobs,” Ashok Sharma, a press spokesman for the event, told AFP. “More than one crore (10 million) people are bathing today.” But in one reported accident, two women pilgrims were killed after being run over by a speeding car carrying naga sadhus, the Press Trust of India news agency said, citing police. Dozens of one-way footbridges criss-cross the Ganges around Haridwar and a massive police presence of 16,000 personnel was on hand to prevent crowd congestion that has triggered deadly stampedes in the past. Hundreds were crushed to death underfoot in 1954 and dozens also died in 2003. The festival rotates between four locations and this year is being held in the northern city of Haridwar, where huge temporary encampments have catered for the flow of faithful from across India. “To bathe in the Ganges today gives me inexpressible happiness,” said 45-year-old Raj Kuntal from Himachal Pradesh, emerging from the chilly, fast-flowing water. “A group of 100 of us came here by bus, and we are all deeply moved by the experience of being part of this very holy event.”

India every three years that is a riot of color and noise as w ell as a gigantic spectacle of religious piety. Devotees assembled along a 15-kilometre (ninemile) stretch of the Ganges for a dip in the river that they believe cleanses them of sin and frees them from the cycle of life and rebirth.

HARIDWAR: Hindu Sadhus, or holy men, take a bath on the river Ganges during the Kumbh Mela festival yesterday. — AFP Festival officials say that as many as 40 million people had bathed since January 14 in the Ganges at Haridwar, which is thought to be especially sacred during the Kumbh Mela. Family groups, often containing many elderly and frail relatives, walked to the riverbanks after travelling in packed trucks, buses and trains to the festival site, which covers 130 square kilometers (50 square miles). The Mela attracts many of India’s

bewildering array of Hindu tribes, castes and creeds, making a striking spectacle for foreign tourists who tackle the massive throngs. “It is confusing and chaotic and wonderful,” said Peter Hans, 22, from Germany, who had been sleeping in the open. “I think it is safe because the atmosphere is happy in a calm way, but the police are severe with the crowds.” The Har Ki Pauri ghat (“bathing steps”) where the naga sadhus

in the news NEW DELHI: In this file picture, Indian Junior Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor waves as he arrives for duty at the foreign ministry. — AFP

India minister under pressure over IPL cricket controversy NEW DELHI: Indian minister and former highflying UN official Shashi Tharoor was under pressure yesterday to step down over a controversy involving the ownership of a new IPL cricket team. Junior foreign minister Tharoor has been in the eye of a storm since Sunday when news broke that a female friend — said by Indian media to be his girlfriend — had been granted a free stake in a new franchise of the glitzy Indian Premier League. Tharoor had helped to put together the consortium that bought the Kochi team-in Kerala, the state he represents in parliament — and the opposition has alleged that the free stake worth 15 million dollars was a “consideration” for his services. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded he resign and the Communist party echoed the call yesterday, urging the 54-year-old to step down until his name is cleared. “The whole episode is getting murkier and murkier. Tharoor’s continuation in the job has become untenable. He should quit,” D Raja, senior leader of the Communist Party of India told AFP. The Congress party, which Tharoor

joined in 2008, initially backed him, but has since fallen silent. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a close ally, said during a visit to Washington that he is seeking details on the controversy. The suave, debonair Tharoor, who spent almost three decades in the United Nations before quitting in 2007, was elected MP from Thiruvananthapuram, capital of southern Kerala state last year. He has denied allegations of impropriety, saying he had “neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team. “Whatever my personal relationships with any of the consortium members, I do not intend to benefit in any way financially from my association with the team now or at a later stage,” he said in a statement posted on his website. Tharoor made many enemies in the Congress when the “rank outsider” was elevated to the post of junior minister by Prime Minister Singh. The free stake was revealed by the IPL chief Lalit Modi, who leaked the details on microblogging website Twitter. The former UN communications chief has since infuriated many Congress leaders with his “tweets” on Twitter on government austerity measures and public remarks

Seven hospitalized after radiation contact in India NEW DELHI: Seven people have been admitted to a New Delhi hospital after being exposed to radioactive waste, police said yesterday, raising fears over the lax disposal of hazardous material in India. Radioactive waste was detected in a congested scrap metal market last week when five people were rushed to a hospital after they showed symptoms of radiation exposure. Two more victims have since been admitted. “Seven people have been hospitalized and we are yet to find the exact source of the radioactive leakage,” senior police officer Sharad Agarwal told AFP on Wednesday. “No one has been detained or arrested as of now.” The incident triggered panic in residential areas surrounding the scrap yard in western New Delhi, which deals with metal and old ammunition, after reports of the contamination spread. Police said they had found cobalt-60 at the site, a radioactive metal used for radiotherapy in hospitals and sterilization in industrial food processes, which can cause cancer. The US Environmental Protection Agency warns on its website that cobalt-60 can make its way into landfill and scrap metal yards undetected because it is often encased in a metal housing. A team of scientists from the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, India’s leading atomic research institute, have cordoned off the affected area. One expert said the incident highlights the country’s poor enforcement of rules on radioactive waste disposal. “In India we have better laws than most countries, but the laws are not enforced, R G Pillay, a nuclear scientist at the Tata Institute of

Fundamental Research, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper. Last year, about 50 workers at a nuclear power plant in southern India were treated in hospital for poisoning after drinking water that was deliberately spiked with radioactive material. 3 drown in river during Hindu festival in India HARIDWAR: At least three people drowned as hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims took dips in the waters of the Ganges River yesterday during a festival in northern India, an official said. The three fell from a bridge that crosses the river as authorities tried to control the surge of devotees following the procession of a Hindu religious sect leader, said Amit Chandola, a spokesman for the government of Uttrakhand state. The victims’ bodies were later recovered from the river. Nearly 8 million people converged on the banks of the river yesterday for one of the most auspicious bathing days of the festival that ends April 28, said Chandola. Devout Hindus believe bathing in the Ganges will cleanse them of their sins and free them from the cycle of life and rebirth. Thousands of police equipped with closed-circuit television were on alert for stampedes and made announcements on loudspeakers asking people to move in orderly lines to specially marked bathing areas along the river banks. The Hindu festival began on Jan. 13 in Haridwar, a temple-filled town at the foothills of the Himalayas where the Ganges enters the sprawling plains of northern India.

bathe is the focal point of the festival, attracting a constant stream of devotees who strip to their underclothes before entering the water. Bathers hold onto chains to avoid being swept downstream, and afterwards offer short prayers from the steps that lead down into the river. Many take a few gulps of the holy water and fill plastic bottles to take away. Haridwar is the spot where the Ganges is said to leave the

Himalayan mountains and start its long tour across northern India to the Bay of Bengal. According to Hindu mythology, the city is where a few drops from a pitcher containing the nectar of immortality fell during a fight between gods and demons. Kumbh Mela means “Pitcher Festival” and other drops are believed to have fallen at Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain-the three cities where the festival is also held. — AFP



Thursday, April 15, 2010


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No easy US options if Iran sanctions fail By Alistair Lyon


he United States looks short of Iran options. Even President Barack Obama acknowledges that new sanctions might fail, but has not laid out another plan. Iran, which has had stormy ties with Washington since its 1979 revolution ousted the US-backed shah, has sworn to defy any harsher measures over what it says is a peaceful nuclear program. The West suspects Tehran is seeking atomic bombs. “The broad sanctions track seems to be pursued more due to a sense of political necessity rather than confidence that it will resolve the nuclear problem,” said Trita Parsi, director of the Washington-based National Iranian American Council. “The argument now is that the pressure in the past wasn’t strong enough and not multilateral enough. But that has been the argument every time new sanctions have been imposed on Iran, and every time the result remained the same,” he said. Iran appears determined not to blink. On Sunday it announced it had begun producing an advanced anti-aircraft missile system, two days after unveiling a faster centrifuge to enrich uranium. Obama’s offer last year to “engage” the Islamic Republic met a chilly response. It withered when the Iranian authorities crushed waves of street protests over a disputed June election that kept hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. Strikingly, a president who last year stressed how America’s soft power could help forge a new start in ties with the Islamic world, this month explicitly excluded Iran and North Korea from tighter limits on the possible use of US nuclear weapons. Obama, perhaps responding to domestic pressure not to appear weak on Iran, ruled out any nuclear attack on non-nuclear armed states - apart from Iran and North Korea, which he said were not complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Ahmadinejad, who often speaks on nuclear policy, even if the final word rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rebuked Obama’s move as the work of an “inexperienced amateur”. Some of Obama’s critics say he plans to switch to containing a nucleararmed Iran, an idea Pentagon chief Robert Gates sought to dispel on Sunday. He said Iran was not yet “nuclear capable” and denied it was inevitable that it would get the bomb. Iran is not among the 47 nations at this week’s Washington conference on how to keep “nuclear terrorists” from acquiring bombgrade material. Obama will press his case for tougher sanctions against Tehran in side-meetings with foreign leaders. He wants the UN Security Council to agree such measures within weeks, although veto-wielding powers Russia and particularly China may try to dilute them

before consenting. Three previous rounds of UN sanctions, along with unilateral US and European measures, have discouraged foreign investment in Iran and inflicted extra burdens on the economy. “However, it is not clear if economic costs alone will have a critical role in shaping the Iranian government’s thinking on the nuclear program,” said RAND Corporation’s Alireza Nader. “The Revolutionary Guards’ consolidation of power after the June 2009 election has marginalised pragmatic elements more mindful of the nuclear programme’s longterm economic costs.” Nevertheless, Ahmadinejad’s government is concerned about sanctions, Nader said, citing diplomatic efforts to sway Security Council members in an effort to avoid isolation. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said last week Iran was still ready for a nuclear fuel swap to allay tensions with the West, as long as the exchange took place on Iranian soil. In October Iran agreed in principle to send low-enriched uranium abroad for more processing, only to change its mind. Reviving talk of a fuel deal is aimed at helping China and Russia make the case for diplomacy, rather than punitive options, said Mahjoob Zweiri, a Qatar-based Iran analyst. “The Iranians are saying: ‘There’s an opportunity, let’s talk about it. We are not bad guys, we are flexible’.” Obama declared last week there was no guarantee that Iran would heed new sanctions, but said steady international pressure might eventually change its nuclear calculations. That smacks of wishful thinking, said Paul Ingram, executive director of the British American Security Information Council, who argued that time was not on the side of those who expected Iran’s bargaining hand to weaken as it slowly mastered enrichment technology and amassed low-enriched uranium stocks. “New international sanctions won’t be the ‘crippling’ ones sought by the West,” he said. “There are likely to be plenty of sanctions-busting operations that reduce their impact.” Ingram said sanctions were likely to strengthen Iran’s political resolve and foster self-sufficiency in its economy. Iran’s nuclear work is only one of many irritants that have poisoned US-Iranian relations for the past three decades. “The United States perceives Iran as a threat because of its foreign policy, its slogans, its behaviour in the region and its way of building relations with non-state actors,” said Zweiri, referring to armed groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The Islamic Republic’s “real sins” were its identity and the nature of its birth, Ingram said. “Nuclear programs are the icing on the cake that convert the threat from a regional to a global one in the minds of those who live by fear.” — Reuters

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

Trust Kuwait to reintegrate its citizens By Lt Col Barry Wingard


n March 2010, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) suffered yet another stinging defeat in the habeas corpus action of Mauritanian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohammmed Ould Slahi, calling to mind the DOJ’s earlier losses in the cases of Kuwaitis Khaled AlMutairi and Fouad Al-Rabiah. In fact, in 34 of 46 habeas cases to date, the US government has failed to convince federal judges its evidence is sufficient to justify continued detention at Guantanamo. These events are all the more extraordinary given the low burden of proof the government must meet in a habeas corpus proceeding. The government does not have to prove any specific crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to prevail, the DOJ needs only to demonstrate that a detained person was “more likely than not” a member or supporter of an enemy organization, typically Al-Qaeda or the Taleban. Still, in the vast majority of these habeas cases, the government has been unable to meet even this minimal standard. In the face of these losses and in an effort to avoid further embarrassment, the United States is now pursuing a policy of forum shopping. Specifically, the government is assigning individual Guantanamo detainee cases to the particular legal system (either federal court or military commission) most likely to produce a favorable result for the government. Meanwhile, for those detainees unlikely to be convicted in either system, the Obama administration appears ready to resurrect the worst of the George W. Bush detention policies - indefinite detention. Here is how it appears to work: If the government has reliable evidence

untainted by abuse, it may try a detainee in federal court. If the evidence is less reliable, possibly because it is tainted by abuse or constitutes hearsay, the detainee may be tried before a military commission where the rules of evidence are more relaxed. If the evidence is too weak or tainted even for a military commission, the detainee will likely be marked for indefinite detention. My client, Kuwaiti detainee Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari, has been confined for more than eight years, with military commission charges pending since Oct 2008. An internal US Department of Defense review, however, found the evidence against Fayiz to be “made up almost entirely of hearsay evidence recorded by unidentified individuals with no first-hand knowledge of the events they describe.” So, given the lack of credible evidence against him, it is unlikely Fayiz’ military commission will ever take place. And there is almost no chance he will be granted a real trial in federal court. Consequently, to spare the United States another embarrassing defeat, I fear Fayiz will likely be placed in indefinite detention without any trial at all. The government’s venue shopping is not about justice; it’s about winning or, at a minimum, not losing. But there is a better solution in which both sides win: rehabilitation and reintegration. On a recent trip to Kuwait, I was pleased to learn that Kuwait, like Saudi Arabia, has built a multi-million dollar rehabilitation and reintegration center in anticipation of the return of its remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees. I was very impressed by all aspects of this secure, well-designed and professionally staffed facility located within

Kuwait’s Central Prison. In fact, two former Guantanamo Bay detainees - Khalid Al-Mutairi and Fouad Al-Rabiah - have already been successfully treated at this facility. As a result, I cannot help but think working with Kuwait to rehabilitate and reintegrate detainees would be a much better use of the US government’s time and

effort than continually losing in federal court, working toward illegitimate convictions in military commissions, or indefinitely detaining suspects without trial. Even if the US government abandons the rule of law, I hope Kuwait will not give up on its sons. It is time for the United States to trust Kuwait to

reintegrate its own citizens. NOTE: Lt Col Barry Wingard represents Fayiz Al-Kandari, a Kuwaiti who has spent more than eight years in US custody at Guantanamo Bay without trial. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of the United States or any of its agencies.

Polish euro dream still elusive By Gareth Jones and Kuba Jaworowski


he Polish government’s drive to adopt the euro faces formidable obstacles and will not be made any easier by the deaths of some of the country’s leading eurosceptics in last weekend’s plane crash in Russia. President Lech Kaczynski and central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek, who perished with 94 other mostly senior officials in the crash on Saturday, had been strongly critical of government plans to adopt the euro as soon as possible. In an article published posthumously in Tuesday’s Financial Times, Skrzypek reaffirmed his view that Poland had weathered the global financial crisis better than most precisely because it still had its own zloty currency. He said Warsaw should focus on implementing tough economic reforms before adopting the euro. “This disaster is neutral from the point of view of euro adoption,” said one government official, noting the biggest long-term obstacle remained Poland’s battered public finances. The crash has had a particularly serious effect on the main opposition party, the right-wing eurosceptical Law and Justice (PiS) led by Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, but crucially it does not alter the balance of forces in parliament. Under Poland’s system of proportional representation, the 15 deputies killed in the crash will be automatically replaced by candidates who finished second on party lists in the last national election in 2007. No elections will be needed. Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s centrist, pro-market government requires PiS support in parliament to amend the constitution to allow for euro adoption, and there is no prospect of PiS dropping its veto of such a change. The charter stipulates

that the Polish central bank has the sole right to issue banknotes and to conduct monetary policy, rights it will lose when Poland joins the euro. According to analysts, it is too early to say how the crash may affect support for PiS, which was lagging well behind Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) in opinion polls before the crash. The next parliamentary election is not due until 2011. “We are waiting to see how Jaroslaw Kaczynski reacts to this tragedy. He was very close to his brother. He could decide to become his party’s candidate in the presidential election or he could even withdraw from politics. We just don’t know right now,” said Radoslaw Markowski of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Interim President Bronislaw Komorowski, who took the helm after Lech Kaczynski’s death in his capacity as speaker of parliament, is also the PO candidate for president and is widely tipped to win the election, now likely in June. Having a sympathetic president would help Tusk’s government push through market reforms that Kaczynski might have vetoed but it has no effect on the parliamentary arithmetic needed to allow progress on constitutional change for euro adoption. “Even if we assume that reforms take place faster under a Komorowski presidency, this does not change the fact that our budget deficit now stands at 7 percent of gross domestic product,” said Maciej Reluga, chief economist at Bank Zachodni WBK in Warsaw. “Lowering the deficit to below 3 percent by 2012, as the government aims to do, will be very difficult,” Reluga said. The government needs to weigh the benefits of eventual euro membership against the need to bolster growth now to help close the wealth gap with affluent Western Europe and use generous European Union funds to modernise its infrastructure, he said. — Reuters

Thai military rifts spilling into open By Jason Szep and Ambika Ahuja


ho were the shadowy gunmen firing on troops in Bangkok’s bloody riots last weekend, and who fired the grenades? The answers to those questions could point to the emergence of a dangerous split within Thailand’s armed forces, one that could spark more bloodshed unless the beleaguered government calls elections promptly to defuse the political tensions. Saturday’s clashes, which killed 21 people and wounded hundreds, were not only Thailand’s worst riots in 18 years. They may have taken the country a step closer to the worst-case scenario in its five-year-old crisis: a fissure in the military along social and political fault lines dividing the country. Although the city has since calmed down, tens of thousands of anti-government “red shirt” protesters remain on the streets of Bangkok demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament. Analysts say that large numbers of soldiers of lower ranks and some senior officers have long sympathised with the mostly rural and working-class “red shirt” movement behind more than a month of protests demanding immediate elections.

Many of the military’s top brass are at the other end of the political spectrum, allied with royalists, business elites and the urban middle classes who wear yellow or pink at counter-protests and broadly back the 16-month-old government. “I’m not sure the government is particularly confident about the loyalty of some of the mid-level commanders and especially a lot of the foot soldiers,” said Federico Ferrara, a political science professor at the National University of Singapore. “The situation for the government is a lot more tenuous.” Army and government sources said the red shirts received arms and support on Saturday from a rogue military faction that includes retired officers and is allied with twice-elected and now fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a divisive figure removed in a 2006 coup after graft allegations. An army official who asked not to be identified said many midranked and senior officers allied with Thaksin during his 2001-2006 administration were sidelined, and are now throwing their weight behind the “red shirts” to win power back. “There would definitely have been some involvement of some people in the military with the protesters. The mili-

Anti-government demonstrators ride on the back of a truck leaving Phan Fa Bridge yesterday in Bangkok. – AP tary is no longer a unified entity,” said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. A high-level source close to Prime Minister Abhisit described the “red shirt” movement as operating with two distinct fronts - the peaceful, non-violent protesters

who staged a series of rolling street rallies in Bangkok since March 14 and a separate wing led by former and current generals in the army. The fissure in an institution central to Thailand’s power structure is deepening uncertainty over the outlook for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, in part because neither side prevailed

on Saturday, leaving two groups with military muscle at odds with each other. “There was no absolute win for either side,” prominent historian Charnvit Kasertsiri said of Saturday’s fighting. “When the government is no longer the only user of force, then it spirals into anarchy.” The Bangkok Post newspaper quoted a

colonel likening the standoff between the two militarised groups to civil war. Government and military sources said former army chief Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a former prime minister and close ally of Thaksin, led other current and former generals in providing support to the “red shirts”. Chavalit has denied involvement in Saturday’s protests, which marked a violent escalation from the pattern of rallies seen during Thailand’s polarising political crisis. TV footage showed some protesters armed with assault rifles or machine guns. M79 grenades were fired at soldiers. Grainy photographs showed at least one sniper positioned in a building. The coalition government, which came to power in a 2008 parliamentary vote with tacit backing from the military’s top leaders, says its troops only fired in the air. It has not been able to explain how at least nine protesters died from high-velocity gunshot wounds. Publicly, the government blames a “third hand” for stirring up the violence. Privately, it says arms and extra forces were supplied by pro-Thaksin renegades who they believe also targeted and killed a key military figure on Saturday, a colonel who suppressed a red shirt protest last year. — Reuters


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Nuclear summit signals new mindset By Charles J Hanley


n two fast-paced April days in Washington, the world took a big step out of the age of MAD and into an even madder age, when a dark vision of random nuclear terror will shadow our days for decades or more to come. Almost 20 years after the Cold War’s end, after the end of the chilling US-Russian nuclear standoff of mutually assured destruction, US President Barack Obama ushered in the new era with an unprecedented, 47-nation summit to begin to confront this ultimate threat. It was an important first step. From the highest levels, it conferred top priority on what is planned as a continuing effort to better marshal global resources to keep the stuff of nuclear bombs - plutonium and highly enriched uranium - out of the hands of terrorists and smugglers. Doing so will demand unusual, difficult cooperation around the world. Nations’ nuclear secrets may be exposed. Global inspectors may spotlight governments’ ineptitude. International advisers may have to rewrite nations’ laws to crack down on nuclear sloppiness. What’s needed is a “new manner of thinking,” Obama

US President Barack Obama and participants of the Nuclear Security Summit take part in a moment of silence for Polish President Lech Kaczynski during the first plenary session in Washington on Tuesday. – AP told the assembled presidents and premiers, echoing a prophetic warning from the earliest days of the nuclear age. On Monday and Tuesday, signaling their readiness to join in, those leaders pointed to or pledged actions to better lock down weapons-grade nuclear material and technology. Egypt boasted of new legislation criminalizing trafficking in nuclear goods, for example, and Malaysia of a law tightening export controls, in a nation grown notorious as a clandes-

tine transit point for nuclear technology. Ukraine, Mexico and others vowed to give up their highly enriched uranium. And the leaders’ final communique endorsed Obama’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. Experts say that will be hard to do, however, as the world tries to ascertain just how much is out there, where it is, and what’s “vulnerable.” The fissile materials sit in some surprising places worldwide - in the power plants of Russian icebreakers

and US missile submarines, in university research reactors, in storehouses within Japan’s nuclear power system. And hundreds of tons are packed into deployed or disused nuclear warheads in the US and Russia. Experts can only estimate the amounts: Something between 1,300 and 1,900 tons of weapons-grade uranium is stockpiled worldwide, the authoritative International Panel on Fissile Materials reported last year. Mere pounds, meanwhile, can

make a city-leveling bomb. The deadly tonnage accumulated during the MAD era, when the US and Russia outdid each other in producing these exotic manmade heavy metals, and even donated some to friendly nations for research reactors. That Cold War rivalry has faded, but its fissile legacy lingers on. Now a nervous world worries less about a superpower Armageddon and more about the known nuclear aspirations of Al-Qaeda and other terror groups. No evidence has emerged that any have gotten close to obtaining or building a doomsday bomb. But analysts note that the world didn’t know of the 9/11 terror plot before Al-Qaeda struck. “With what confidence does the intelligence community answer that question (about terrorists’ nuclear capabilities)?” wondered ex-ambassador Robert Gallucci, a veteran US government nonproliferation negotiator. “We really don’t know very much with confidence.” As for the extent of nuclear trafficking, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, counts almost two dozen known incidents involving plutonium or highly

enriched uranium since the early 1990s. But, again, the world doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. Experts say what’s needed are more universal and stronger treaties and other agreements to collect and dispose of fissile materials, to stop their production, to share intelligence, to enact tougher domestic laws and with more money flowing from rich to poor nations to tighten borders and controls on illicit trade. A stronger IAEA and possibly new, permanent oversight bodies would have to grow ever more intrusive in demanding an accounting of bomb materials, even in the excess stockpiles of the US and Russian militaries, no-go areas in today’s world. That’s why the US president told the summit the post-MAD era’s deadly new challenge requires “a new mindset”, and why he drove the point home with an assist from a genius who forever mourned his role in the making of the nuclear age. “We are drifting toward a catastrophe beyond comparison,” Obama quoted Albert Einstein as saying in those early years. “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” — AP

Summit a step forward but risks remain By Frank Zeller


he US nuclear security summit is a step towards a safer world but ensuring fissile materials stay out of the hands of rogue non-state actors remains the key challenge, analysts say. US President Barack Obama hailed an agreement by the 47-nation summit to a four-year deadline to lock down loose nuclear materials to prevent them from falling into militant hands. Obama said the world was littered with poorly guarded fissile material and that a nuclear-armed militant group could threaten global “catastrophe.” Several countries including Ukraine, Mexico and Canada also declared their intention to give up highly enriched uranium but experts were divided on whether it was an “epoch-making” event or simply a “public-relations exercise”. The Obama administration “can justifiably pat itself on the back”, said Paul Stares, director of the Center for Preventive Action, part of the New York-based think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations. “Important progress was made on a critical issue: increasing the security of nuclear material stored around the world from theft by terrorist groups and criminal gangs,” he wrote on the CFR website. “The Obama administration has put itself in a much stronger position to argue for increased international pressure against North Korea and Iran, not to mention other potential proliferators, to relinquish their nuclear ambitions,” he added. The summit was also hailed by observers in Japan - the only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs, and a neighbour of nucleararmed North Korea. “It’s epoch-making that leaders from as many as 47 countries made the agreement” to lock down loose nuclear material, said Isao Itabashi, an anti-terrorism expert at Tokyo think-tank the Council for Public Policy. “The threats existed since long before the 9/11

attacks but are still out there,” said Itabashi, although he stressed it would be difficult to shut off militants’ access to radioactive materials completely. “We have seen some incidents in Japan in which these materials were stolen or slipped out of control,” he said, referring to a researcher who stole radioactive material from his lab and scattered it at a train station in 2000. “There are many countries which have a looser watch,” he said, pointing out that radioactive materials are used in hospitals, laboratories and industry. But other observers played down the gains from the meeting. John Harrison, a security analyst at Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, called the meeting a “public relations exercise that achieved nothing practical.” “It begs the question, what was this summit all about?” asked Harrison, manager of terrorism research at the graduate school’s International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research. “It was a pointless summit.” Robert Dujarric, who runs Temple University’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies in Tokyo, said the summit was a political victory for Obama, who “acted presidential and showed a mix of leadership and consensus-building”. “The real gains: very marginal, at best,” he added in an email. The focus on “nuclear terrorism shows US voters Obama isn’t soft on America’s enemies but is pretty meaningless since by definition those who might be interested in this type of weapon, Al-Qaeda (and others) weren’t at the summit.” Looking ahead to the 2012 meeting in South Korea, Baek Seung-Joo, of the state-run Korea Institute for Defence Analyses, said it should help “garner more international support for its (South Korea’s) drive to denuclearise the peninsula.” “The summit will not provide a fundamental solution to North Korea as its nuclear program is in a different catego-

ry,” Baek said. “However, North Korea will face further pressure to abandon nuclear weapons.” The Washington Post praised Obama for his focus on securing nuclear material, but also noted the difficulty of

eliciting “more cooperation from prickly foreign governments” to reach the goal. Neither did the summit “do much about several of the world’s most pressing proliferation problems, including Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb and

North Korea’s refusal even to negotiate about its arsenal,” it said. The Wall Street Journal noted that leaders at the summit “stepped back from legally binding plans” to secure vulnerable nuclear material. — AFP

Good plan, action needed US By Louis Charbonneau

President Barack Obama’s nuclear security summit took a step toward lowering the risk of a terrorist group getting an atomic weapon, but real progress depends on countries keeping the promises they made. At the two-day Washington summit the United States and 46 other countries agreed on a voluntary “action plan” to secure all vulnerable nuclear material over the next four years. But the final communique glossed over disagreements on divisive issues like whether to continue making weapons-grade uranium and plutonium and came up with no binding commitments. Obama called it “a testament of what is possible when nations come together in a spirit of partnership to embrace our shared responsibility and confront a shared challenge.” Analysts said it was significant that the world’s oldest nuclear powers the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China sat at a table with India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed nations, and Israel, which is presumed to have nuclear weapons but neither confirms nor denies it. The three are outside the 1970 nuclear NonProliferation Treaty aimed at stopping the spread of atomic weapons. Kenneth Luongo, head of US-based Partnership for Global Security said it was important that developed and developing powers had come together and agreed “there’s a problem with nuclear security and are prepared to deal with it.” He said the communique and action plan were vague and weakened by qualifying phrases and noted its implementation was voluntary. “But the fact that this discussion is happening at the highest levels for the first time is very significant and should not be discounted,” Luongo said. Now the real work on improving nuclear security could begin. “Once the lights go down tonight, leaders need to hit the ground running on implementation,” Luongo said. US officials say there are about 2,000 tons of weaponsgrade uranium and plutonium worldwide, but nuclear nonproliferation experts say that there is almost certainly more that has never been declared. Analysts say that terrorists

could theoretically build a crude but deadly nuclear device or possibly something more sophisticated - if they have the money, technical personnel and required amount of fissile material. They say groups like Al-Qaeda have been trying to get atom bomb ingredients. Obtaining arms-grade material is the biggest challenge, which is why keeping it secure is so important. An improvement in nuclear security also has implications for the civilian nuclear power industry, which has seen a rebirth in recent years partly because it produces few greenhouse gas emissions harmful to the climate. David Albright, a former UN arms inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security think-tank, noted disagreements over civilian use of plutonium. “Obama’s willing to set aside his objections (regarding plutonium use) to keep France involved,” he said. France is one of the world’s top producers of MOX nuclear fuel, which is made from recycled plutonium. Environmental activists and other critics of MOX say the transport of nuclear waste and reprocessed plutonium leaves the materials vulnerable to accidents or theft. Albright said that France - which gets 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest in the world - had been concerned Obama might use the summit to highlight the dangers of nuclear energy and play down its positive side. But Obama did not do that and France realized that the summit could prove helpful to the nuclear industry, he said. Ultimately, Albright said, the success or failure of the summit will depend on whether individual countries live up to the commitments they made. Success will also depend on continued US leadership. Securing nuclear material would be a good start but not sufficient, analysts say. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world to ban the production of atom bomb material. The 65-nation UNbacked Conference on Disarmament in Geneva has long been considering such a ban. But Pakistan has blocked the start of negotiations, arguing that it would put it at a permanent disadvantage to India, with which it has fought three wars since independence in 1947. — Reuters

Summit helps Israel skirt nuclear scrutiny, for now By Dan Williams


President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit was a high-yield event for Israel, with little of the diplomatic fallout that made the country’s leaders duck such forums in the past. But it may be only a fleeting reprieve for the decades-old, US-tolerated secrecy around Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal. Obama’s drive to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and, more immediately, to defuse tinderbox Middle East standoffs will mean increased pressure on Israel to scrap its self-styled policy of nuclear “ambiguity” or “opacity,” some analysts say. With the two-day Washington summit concluded and largely bereft of Israel-bashing, eyes are on next month’s UN review of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - which Israel never signed, to the chagrin of many Arabs and Muslims. Diplomats predict that powers like Egypt, having bit their tongues under the Nuclear Security Summit’s narrow, nonbinding counter-terrorism agenda, will use the three-week-long New York meeting to redouble calls for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, or WMDs. There is no desire among

US President Barack Obama greets Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor during the official arrivals for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington April 12, 2010. – AP Israel’s mostly hostile neighbors to let it savor having joined 46 other nations in pledging to be responsible nuclear players and, by extension, condemning Iran and Syria, Israeli arch-foes excluded from the summit. Israel’s delegate, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, voiced satisfaction at how he was

received. “There was no drama,” he told Reuters. “Everyone knows we’re not a proliferation threat.” Asked how Israel’s having participated might affect the NPT Review, Meridor said: “I expect it will be a tough event.” He would not speculate on whether the United States,

which has tacitly backed Israel’s demand that disarmament be predicated on Middle East peace, might now try a different tack. Summarizing the summit, Obama declined to comment on Israel’s nuclear policies but reminded reporters of a longstanding US call for universal membership to the NPT. Feeling stonewalled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to peacemaking with the Palestinians, Obama may now prefer to entrain Israel in the gathering diplomatic momentum against Iran’s nuclear program and other challenges. “The more progress Obama makes, the more difficult it will become for Israel to sustain its ‘ambiguity’ in diplomatic circles,” said Ian Kearns, senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London. “If we get to the end of May, and the NPT Review reaches some kind of agreement without discussing the WMD-Free Zone, then I’d say the Israelis will have had a pretty easy ride.” Netanyahu decided last week against attending the Nuclear Security Summit himself, with aides citing concern that Israel could be singled out for criticism. As it happened, the censure was muted, and

some Israeli commentators accused Netanyahu of shying from a face-off with Obama over stalled Palestinian talks. Netanyahu’s withdrawal was especially surprising given the fact Israeli officials invested six months in preparations with the Americans to ensure the summit communique would not contain language problematic for Israel’s nuclear policies. “The NPT Review is just weeks away, and of course we expect the Americans to stick up for us,” said one recently retired official. “But now they may be thinking, ‘If Israel doesn’t stick up for itself, then why should we?’” Any US attempt to broach NPT membership for Israel could be stymied by questions about the more salient non-signatories India and Pakistan, which - unlike the Israelis - have openly tested nuclear weapons and mooted their use in war. The Nuclear Security Summit, with its emphasis on monitoring fissile materials, will promote another Obama initiative: finalizing an accord to end state production of such materials. That would throw a spotlight on Israel’s Dimona reactor, with its suspected output of plutonium for as many as 200 bombs. Meridor said he knew of no US overture toward Israel about the Fissile Material

Cut-off Treaty, and noted that past efforts to pass it were blocked at the outset by Pakistani objections. “This (initiative) is not new,” Meridor said. “We haven’t said anything about it.” Israel neither confirms nor denies having the region’s only nuclear weapons, saying this reticence wards off enemies and affirms the permanence of a Jewish state born of the Holocaust - while avoiding the provocations that can trigger arms races. Avner Cohen, author of the seminal study “Israel and the Bomb” and a soon to be published follow-up, “The Worst Kept Secret”, said the Nuclear Security Summit could underscore what he described as tension between the policy’s obsolescence and the continued, tacit acquiescence it enjoys from Washington. “Israel has been granted legitimacy as a responsible nuclear stakeholder” by the summit, Cohen said. But he added: “In the international community at large - and I’m not talking only about governments, but also about NGOs, the public, media and academics - there is a growing sense that ‘opacity’ has grown tiresome and anachronistic, and is incompatible with today’s norms and rules of conduct.” — Reuters


Kyrgyz turmoil puts Central Asia on alert By Robin Paxton and Maria Gordeyeva


yrgyzstan’s second uprising in five years is likely to prompt the leaders of other strategically important Central Asian states to tighten their grip to prevent challenges to their rule. Other Central Asian states share many of Kyrgyzstan’s social problems. What separates them is that their governments are entrenched and their populations less politically active - a combination that makes their hold on power relatively secure. “Central Asian leaders have received a boost in support of stability,” said Rustam Burnashev, director at the Institute of Political Solutions in Kazakhstan. Ex-Soviet Central Asia, covering an area nearly seven times the size of France, lies at the heart of a geopolitical tugof-war between Russia, the United States and China. The mainly Muslim region of mountains and steppe, which sits on some of the world’s largest reserves of oil, gas, uranium and gold, has assumed greater global significance since the U.S.-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan. Three of the region’s five countries, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have allowed NATO forces to use their military bases to support operations against the Taliban. Kyrgyzstan is now under the rule of an interim government that seized control when President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital after his troops opened fire on more than 5,000 protesters on April 7. At least 82 people died in the violence. “Kyrgyzstan has a history of changing governments relatively frequently,” said a senior mining industry executive with assets elsewhere in Central Asia, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Bakiyev himself swept to power five years ago in the “Tulip Revolution”, removing Kyrgyzstan’s first post-Soviet leader, Askar Akayev. No other Central Asian state has ousted a leader. “A lot of the complaints held by people in Kyrgyzstan are shared by people in other

countries: corruption, nepotism and failing to disseminate money to the population,” Ana Jelenkovic, analyst at political risk research firm Eurasia Group, said. “But Kyrgyzstan was a specific case as it has a very politically active culture, much more engaged than the other Central Asian states,” she said. “In Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the rulers have much stronger control over their territory than Bakiyev did. It’s difficult to envision a mass uprising.” The Ferghana valley, to which Bakiyev has fled, is among the most vulnerable regions. Split between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, it is home to different ethnicities and is seen as a hothouse of Islamic extremists pursuing a single state. Only months after Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution in 2005, troops in Uzbekistan opened fire on protesters in the Ferghana valley city of Andizhan. The Uzbek government said 187 people died, including its own forces. Rights groups say hundreds of protesters were killed. The violence in Bishkek last week was the worst in Central Asia since Uzbek troops fired on the crowd in Andizhan. Nick Day, chief executive of business intelligence firm Diligence LLC, said ethnic tensions evident in Kyrgyzstan ran throughout Central Asia, exacerbated by economic depression. “There’s good reason to fear this could be the tip of the iceberg,” he said. But most analysts said the current power structure in Central Asia could only be seriously challenged when existing leaders leave their posts. Kazakhstan has been ruled by Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbekistan by Islam Karimov since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Imomali Rakhmon became Tajikistan’s de-facto ruler in 1992 and was elected president two years later. “The Kyrgyz scenario would only be possible in Kazakhstan once the president leaves his post,” said Kazakh political analyst Dosym Satpayev.”The elite understands that Kazakhstan would lose more than it would gain from a change of power.”—Reuters

Iran, Saudis push for Iraq influence By Sammy Ketz


ran and Saudi Arabia are bolstering their influence in Iraq weeks after a closelyfought election while the United States becomes increasingly focused on ensuring a smooth military exit, analysts say. The composition of Iraq’s next government remains unclear after a March 7 ballot ended in stalemate but the clout of key neighbour countries has seen Baghdad politicians journeying to regional capitals to obtain their blessing. “The effective and psychological withdrawal of the US opens the way to other actors,” Peter Harling, a Damascus-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, which studies conflict-torn nations, told AFP. “Until now the negotiations for the formation of the government were done in the Green Zone, the symbol of the American occupation. Now it is being done, in part, in the capitals of neighbouring states,” he said. Ammar Al-Hakim, chief of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), Iraq’s main conservative Shiite party, which has close ties with Iran, held talks on Tuesday with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh, a bastion of Sunni Islam. The meeting came as Iraq’s Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Rafa Al-Essawi, close to Iyad Allawi, the secular Shiite former premier whose Iraqiya bloc won last month’s election, led a delegation to meet political leaders in Tehran. The March 7 vote left Allawi narrowly ahead of his rival and incumbent Prime Minister Nouri AlMaliki’s State of Law Alliance, by 91 seats to 89. But neither has yet been able to piece together a governing coalition of at least 163 seats in Baghdad’s new 325-seat parliament. Saudi Arabia has insisted it does not interfere in Iraqi politics, but critics allege it is more sympathetic to Allawi, who met with Abdullah on the eve of the

election, than Maliki who failed to win favour with Riyadh during the past four years. Hakim and Essawi’s trips followed those of Iraq’s Kurdish leaders, President Jalal Talabani, and Massud Barzani, head of the autonomous Kurdish region, who visited both Tehran and Riyadh in recent days, proving that the quest for regional backing is a key concern. “There is a feverish racing towards Saudi and Iran,” said Hamid Fadhil, a professor of political sciences at Baghdad University. “We haven’t seen any of these politicians running to the US embassy or to Washington.” The approval of Tehran and Riyadh remains vital, he said. “There will be no Iraqi prime minister without fingerprints from Iran or Saudi on him,” said Fadhil. “The Saudi view differs from the Iranian view and Iraqi politicians are now concerned about how they reconcile their (respective) demands.” The fact that Maliki was not personally invited to Tehran or Riyadh, meanwhile, indicates he “is no longer strong”, Fadhil added. The formation of Iraq’s government in 2005, two years after a US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, was a compromise between the ambitions of Baghdad’s new political elite and Washington’s demand for “acceptable” leaders. Five years later, however, the US is increasingly concerned on ensuring that its combat troops leave Iraq by September ahead of a complete withdrawal at the end of 2011. The issue of regional influence, though, remains sensitive. “We believe that the government will indeed be made in Iraq ... it won’t be made in some neighbouring country,” Christopher Hill, the US ambassador to Baghdad, told reporters at a briefing in the capital on April 10. “We have made very clear that we will live with whoever the Iraqi people are prepared to live with. — Reuters



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hamas orders closure of Gaza smuggling tunnels Israel claims Syria gave Hezbollah Scuds

GAZA: In this photo taken Sunday, April 11, 2010, a Palestinian smuggler works inside a tunnel in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Gaza's Hamas rulers have ordered residents to shut smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt indefinitely, cutting off the economic lifeline for 1.5 million Palestinians in the impoverished territory, residents and tunnel operators said yesterday. —AP

Dar swings to loss in delayed results Continued from Page 1 “The results are in line with our expectations. We are waiting for the 2009 results, and we also expect big losses for 2009,”

Naser Al-Nafisi, general manager for Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait said. Dar defaulted on a $100 million Islamic debt issue last year - the first major, public Islamic instrument in the region to do

so - and has said it may sell some assets to meet its obligations. Dar’s total assets stood at KD 1.2 billion at the end of Dec 2008 against total liabilities of about KD 1 billion, the firm said. —Reuters

State oil output to hit 3m bpd in Aug Continued from Page 1 He said that such processes are carried out by many parties. “KOC is concerned with output and extraction as well as distributing gas to the Kuwaiti market and other consumers, while the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is responsible for manufacturing and export.” He said that such style of work is not the optimal one and there is a current drive toward putting all such processes under one umbrella, adding that such an umbrella might be KOC, KNPC or any other company as “this matter is not decided on yet, but it is certain that there will be an added value brought to the country if all processes are merged under one umbrella”. Asked about free gas output, Al-Rushaid said that the output rate currently ranges between 130 and 140 million cu m per day in addition to some 50,000 cu m of light oil, asserting that what is positive about this is that the output reached a stability phase almost a year ago. “We are still in the first phase of gas output and we are going to reach the second phase by 2013 when output capacity will soar to 600 million cubic metres.”

In his address, Al-Rushaid considered the conference “an opportunity for exchanging ideas, technologies and operations that could promote our capabilities on weathering the challenges of growing demand on hydrocarbons”. “It is the first time that we have a common ground for exchanging expertise about the processes and tools that achieved an added value for the KOC,” he said. Separately, the new power grid connecting four Gulf countries has so far seen about 70 power transfers since it was launched in the second-half of last year, senior officials said yesterday. The regional electricity network is expected to set tariffs for these transfers by the summer, Adnan AlMohaisen, chief executive of the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Manama. “There has been transfer of power, the connectivity has saved networks from disruptions,” said Essa Al-Kawari, chairman of the authority. Mohaisen said the network so far has seen some 70 power transactions, including about eight that were unscheduled emergency transactions to relieve local networks. The largest unscheduled power transaction

amounted to 750 megawatts (MW), he said, declining to say which countries were involved. Mohaisen said most activity on the network has been between Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is also linked to the grid. Mohaisen said the authority hopes to finalise its tariffs for using the grid before the Gulf Arab region enters the summer months, when power demand peaks due to the heat. “We’re hiring consultants now, hopefully we will finalise it before the summer,” he said. Mohaisen said he expected Qatar to have surplus capacity this summer, but declined to comment on a potential sale to Kuwait, saying these were negotiated bilaterally between states. Kawari said Qatar could export a maximum of 500 MW during the summer due to technical constraints of the network. Gulf Arab countries have completed the first phase of a regional power grid that they hope will help them meet rapidly rising regional demand and smooth out capacity at peak times to avoid power outages. Mohaisen said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be added to the network during next year, with work on the link being half way complete now. — Agencies

Cyclone kills 114 in India Continued from Page 1 Homeless people were being shifted to local schools and government offices. In Bihar, the worst-affected state, chief minister Nitish Kumar returned from an aerial tour of the disaster area to say damage was more extensive than initially thought. Seventy-two people had died and an estimated 40,000 homes were destroyed in Purnia, Araria and Kishanganj districts, the state disaster management office told AFP. Families of the deceased have been offered compensation of 150,000 rupees ($2,400). At least 50,000 homes were destroyed

and 38 people died in West Bengal, four people perished and 500 homes were lost in the northern state of Assam, and 12,000 homes were damaged in Bangladesh, officials said told AFP. “Unconfirmed reports reaching here suggest that the number of casualties will go up,” an official in the Bihar Disaster Management Department, Vayas Mishra, said. In Bangladesh, northern Rangpur was the worst hit. District administrator B M Enamul Haq said two people had died, including a police officer crushed under a collapsed wall. The storm demolished a police barracks, leaving dozens injured, two of whom remain in critical condition.

“We haven’t yet learnt the full extent of the damage. We know the storm has damaged at least 12,000 homes. It has also flattened crops on a huge tract of land in the Rangpur division,” Haq said. The cyclone came amid unseasonably high temperatures across much of northern India, where the mercury is already above 40 degrees Celsius in many areas. Local news agencies have reported 43 heat-related deaths, mostly in the eastern state of Orissa. One person was reported to have died in the western state of Gujarat. The weather department on Tuesday said nine of India’s 29 states were sizzling in a heatwave. — AFP

Chocolate makers show off Syria’s sweeter side Continued from Page 1 many people” because the high price reflects its high quality, he said. The civil engineer turned entrepreneur said his father Sadek was the first to manufacture chocolate in the Middle East in the early 1930s. Ghraoui, which also has shops in Arab countries, also sells dried fruits in Europe, including in outlets such as Harrods department store in London, and in Russia. But now the family firm is facing competition from others such as Zenbarakji and Art Chocolate, which have also made forays into the global market. “The Syrians have a rich heritage. We import cocoa from Africa, hazelnuts from Turkey and the rest is all Syrian,” Ghraoui said of other local ingredients such as fruit and more nuts. In 2005, his firm won the prestigious Prix d’Honneur for “best foreign chocolate” at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, the world’s largest annual chocolate show. “At one Paris show, we ran out of chocolate samples

because people loved our products,” Ghraoui said, adding that 60 percent of the firm’s production is exported - and that figure could hit 80 percent in the future. Ghraoui says it sells more than 30,000 kg of chocolate a year to online customers in France alone through the websites of European partners. No government figures are available about the size of Syria’s chocolate industry. Other Syrian chocolatiers and confectioners are also making their mark. “My father started to produce chocolate and other sweets in 1936, and our business has developed to this day,” said Said Zenbarakji, owner of the Damascus-based Zenbarakji Company for Processing and Developing Chocolate and Sweets. “The real competition started in 1990, when the company began to export chocolate to Arab countries like Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” he said of the family firm’s decision to take on other local firms. Around 10 years ago, Zenbarakji also began sending its wares

abroad to Europe, Canada, Brazil and Hong Kong. “Our products are entirely made in Syria, and there is no doubt that Syrian chocolate can compete and is in demand abroad,” he said. According to Khalid Sammani, owner of the Aleppo-based Art Chocolate company, another family business that was launched in 1923, “we face strong competition locally and internationally”. “We sell our chocolate in Arab countries, America and Canada, and it’s not an easy thing to do but Syrian chocolate is still in demand and we are making progress.” At home, the customer base remains strong. “It’s so good, and I am almost addicted to it,” said one cheerful woman at a Ghraoui shop in Damascus as she enjoyed a piece of palmyra - dates filled with almond and coated with dark chocolate. “It doesn’t help me diet as you can see, but I can’t help it,” she said of the luscious speciality, named after Syria’s ruined and famed desert city on the ancient Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean. — AFP

RAFAH: Hamas ordered smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border closed until further notice, temporarily cutting a key economic lifeline for 1.5 million Palestinians in the impoverished territory. A senior Hamas official said the tunnels were cleared at Egypt’s request following warnings from Israel that they could be used in a plot to snatch Israelis vacationing in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which borders Gaza. The Hamas official said the warnings raised fears that Israel could launch new airstrikes on the tunnels. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing sensitive communications with Egypt. Hamas ordered the tunnels closed late Tuesday, hours after Israel told its citizens to leave Sinai, saying it had “concrete” evidence that militants were trying to kidnap Israelis. Issa Nashar, the Hamas mayor of the Gaza border town of Rafah, said he expected the tunnels to remain closed for a few days because of “safety” problems. The Sinai desert abuts Gaza, and the commander of Israel’s anti-terror office, Brig Gen Nitzan Nuriel, said it is possible that “there is a terror cell that has the intention and has a plan in operation to kidnap an Israeli and bring him to Gaza”. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday it was not aware of anyone missing in Sinai. Israel and Egypt have kept Gaza’s borders largely sealed since Hamas-allied militants captured an Israeli soldier and took him to Gaza nearly four years ago. With Hamas’ support, Gazans have evaded the blockade by digging hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the border with Egypt, bringing in commercial goods, cash, weapons and people. Two tunnel operators, a tunnel worker and a truck driver involved in transporting contraband said Hamas security forces arrived in the tunnel area on Tuesday evening and told everyone to leave until further notice. The tunnel operators said they were warned of unspecified punishment if they ignored the order. Jasser Younes, a 25-year-old tunnel worker, returned to the tunnel area yesterday to check whether instructions had changed. He said he was told by Hamas security officials at the scene that those who had perishable goods in the tunnels, including food, would be allowed to retrieve them, but otherwise the order stands. Most of the tunnels are privately run, but Hamas retains overall control and has a heavy security presence in the smuggling area. Some of the tunnels are believed to be under Hamas’ direct control for bringing in cash, weapons and possibly militants. The tunnels run side by side under the border, with just a few meters between each, their entrances covered by tents. On normal business days, the humming of generators, which power lighting, pulleys and other equipment, mixes with the sound of trucks rumbling along the unpaved paths. Yesterday’s closure added to the woes of the tunnel industry. Rafah officials say

that Egypt has stepped up a crackdown on smuggling in recent months, setting up checkpoints in the border area and confiscating contraband. Egypt is also building an underground steel wall to block the tunnels.The officials say the Egyptian measures have led to a sharp slowdown in tunnel traffic in recent months, pinching the local economy. Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas official in charge of the official border crossing with Egypt, said Egypt closed the Rafah passenger terminal there until further notice. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, hardship cases, such as medical cases, are usually allowed to cross, even though the border is mostly closed to other passengers. The Gaza-Egypt border sits at the northeastern tip of the Sinai desert. The Red Sea resort beaches of Sinai, a popular vacation spot for Israelis and other foreign tourists, are on the southeast coast roughly 300 km from Rafah and near a border crossing between Israel and Sinai. Late Tuesday, in unusually strong wording, Israel’s anti-terror office called on all Israelis in Sinai “to leave immediately and return home,” and cited “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai.” The commander of the office, Nuriel, said “it is very possible” that militants are plotting to kidnap an Israeli and bring him to Gaza. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said about 650 Israelis were in Sinai when the warning was issued - about half the number the counterterrorism office initially presented. By late yesterday, about 220 Israelis remained in Sinai, he said. A string of deadly suicide bombings in 2004 at several vacation spots popular with Israelis - including the Taba Hilton Hotel just across the Israeli border - has led many Israelis to shun the Sinai, though the area still remains relatively popular. In addition to the 2004 suicide bombings, which killed dozens, bombers have also struck the Sinai resort towns of Sharm ElSheikh in 2005 and Dahab in 2006, killing dozens more. Disgruntled bedouin influenced by extremist groups were implicated in the Sharm and Dahab attacks. Separately, Israeli defense officials said yesterday they believe Hezbollah has Scud missiles that could hit all of Israel, a day after Israel’s president accused Syria of supplying the Lebanese guerrillas with the weapons for the first time. Israeli officials say the introduction of Scuds could alter the strategic balance with Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militia that battled Israel to a stalemate during a monthlong war in 2006. President Shimon Peres, speaking in Paris, charged that Syria is playing a double game, talking about peace, while “it is delivering Scuds to Hezbollah to threaten Israel,” according to a statement from his office. The remarks by Peres, whose position is largely ceremonial, went beyond public assessments of senior Israeli defense figures. He gave no details. In Washington, the Syrian Embassy dis-

missed the allegations and accused Israel of trying to divert attention from questions about Israel’s nuclear program. Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear arms, though it does not confirm or deny this. “If we are to discuss armament in our region, we should begin with Israel’s massive nuclear weapons arsenal and continuous arming with top-caliber US weapons, which helps perpetuate its occupation of our territories,” said embassy spokesman Ahmed Salkini. “The timing also indicates a sinister attempt to undermine any USSyrian rapprochement.” Some Scud missiles have a range of hundreds of kilometers and could reach any target in Israel if fired from Lebanon. They can carry an explosive warhead of up to 1 ton. The defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence assessment, stopped short of stating unequivocally that Scuds are now deployed in Lebanon. They said tensions have risen along Israel’s border with Lebanon after media reports that Hezbollah was seeking the missiles, and they believed Hezbollah now has them. Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement urging the public to remain calm, but said “the introduction of systems that disturb the balance endanger stability and calm.” Israel charges that most of Hezbollah’s weapons, including rockets, come through neighboring Syria, which is a main sponsor of Hezbollah, along with Iran. But Peres’ statement was the first time Israel has publicly accused Damascus of providing Scuds. At the UN, deputy US ambassador Alejandro Wolff alluded to the reported transfer of Scuds from Syria to Hezbollah. “We are increasingly concerned about the sophistication of the weaponry being transferred,” he said. President Barack Obama is interested in restoring US relations with Syria, frozen after charges from the previous administration that Damascus was aiding anti-American forces in neighboring Iraq. Some Republican senators have said they may hold up the confirmation of Robert Ford, the Obama administration’s nominee to be the first US ambassador to Syria in five years, over the concerns. Hezbollah pelted Israel with nearly 4,000 unguided Katyusha rockets during the 2006 war, causing widespread damage and dozens of casualties in Israel’s north. Scud missiles have several times the range and explosive firepower of Katyusha rockets and would pose a much more serious threat. In 1991, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq struck Israel with 39 Scud missiles as the US and its allies invaded his country. Fourteen Israelis were killed during the conflict. Israel has deployed an anti-missile system called Arrow, designed to intercept missiles from Iran and possibly Syria. It has successfully tested a system to stop shorter-range missiles and rockets like Scuds and Katyushas, as well as homemade rockets fired from Gaza, but it is not yet operational. — AP

the disaster zone while the government said it would provide over 29 million dollars in aid. About 400 people have been confirmed dead, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting Huang Limin, a top official in Yushu, who said many people were still buried in the rubble as aftershocks rumbled on. “There are 10 people in my family and only four of us escaped. One of my relatives died. All the others are buried under the rubble,” Samdrup Gyatso, 17, told Xinhua after his two-storey home crumbled. The US Geological Survey put the quake at a magnitude of 6.9 while the China Earthquake Administration measured it at 7.1, official media said it was felt strongly in neighbouring regions including Tibet. Zhuohuaxia, an official in Jiegu, seat of the Yushu government, reported a lack of tents, medicines and medical equipment for the survivors. The quake wreaked havoc on the flimsy earth and wood houses near the epicentre, which lies around 800 km or at least 12 hours by road from the provincial capital. “The injured are everywhere in the street, a lot of people are bleeding from head wounds,” Xinhua quoted Zhuohuaxia as saying, adding that more than 85 percent of houses collapsed in Jiegu. Some sturdier concrete structures were also toppled, and Xinhua reported that a reservoir was cracked, sending workers

scrambling to prevent any outflow of water. Among the casualties were children trapped under the rubble of at least one collapsed school in Jiegu, with Xinhua reporting that at least five pupils had died. “Some pupils ran out of dorms alive, and those who had not escaped in time were buried,” said one teacher. The scene was reminiscent of the huge quake in May 2008 in Sichuan province, where thousands of children died when their shoddily-constructed schools fell on them - an issue that caused big controversy in China. Nearly 87,000 people were killed or missing in the 2008 disaster, the worst in China in more than three decades. Rescue teams including 700 soldiers and more than 5,000 other people are being rushed to the disaster zone, Xinhua said, while the civil affairs ministry was to send 5,000 tents, 50,000 coats and 50,000 quilts. State television broadcast images of dogs being led into huge planes going to the scene to help with the search for survivors. “We have to mainly rely on our hands to clear away the debris as we have no large excavating machines,” said Shi Huajie, a paramilitary police officer. “We have no medical equipment either.” The remote high-altitude region is prone to earthquakes. Its economy is based heavily on farming and livestock herding by its overwhelmingly ethnic Tibetan population. — AFP

China quake kills 400 Continued from Page 1 HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday sent a cable of condolences to Chinese President Hu Jintao, expressing his condolences for the tragic deaths of Chinese citizens in the devastating earthquake, expressing hopes officials in the country cope with the effects of this natural disaster. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent similar cables. Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who was born in Qinghai, offered prayers for those who died while Pope Benedict XVI called for “solidarity” with the victims and nations including Germany, Japan and France voiced shock and offered help. About 10,000 people were injured in the quake, which disrupted telecommunications, knocked out electricity, toppled temples and triggered landslides, hampering rescue efforts in the mountainous area. State media spoke of panicked residents fleeing their homes while others hunted for loved-ones trapped in the ruins in Yushu prefecture, the epicentre of the latest disaster to strike the world’s most populous nation. President Hu called for all-out efforts to save as many people as possible, with over 5,000 rescuers including soldiers rushing to

Abu Dhabi names new head of fund Continued from Page 1 Its investments include a $7.5 billion cash injection into Citigroup Inc in 2007. Stocks and other equities in the US and Europe make up the largest class of its assets, comprising 35 to 45 percent of the fund’s holdings. Shortly before his death, Sheikh Ahmed oversaw a shift toward more transparency at ADIA, the most influential of numerous investment vehicles Abu Dhabi uses to manage its oil profits. A month ago, the fund broke with its long-standing privacy and released its first annual statement detailing its investment strategy.

The report carried a rare letter from the now deceased managing director in which he warned that “considerable uncertainty remains” for the global economy in 2010. Although the fund’s managing director is responsible for ADIA’s daily operations, ultimate oversight and investment strategy rests with Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa, who is also president of the Emirates’ seven-member federation, which includes Dubai. Actual investments are largely chosen by professional money managers. Rachel Ziemba, an analyst at Roubini Global Economics who monitors Gulf economies, predicted ADIA’s policies would remain largely the same under

Sheikh Hamed. “I don’t expect many changes,” she said. “This is not something that is a one-man show.” “The announcement further emphasises the ruling family’s role in strategic entities in the emirate,” said Efraim Chalamish, a sovereign wealth fund expert and global fellow at New York University L aw School. “It is important to keep control not only to manage the fund but also to have a say in key issues impacting the emirate,” he said. “I do not expect any significant change to the fund with the appointment. The new person is well experienced and has been heading some important economic bodies in the region,” Chalamish said. — Agencies


Thursday, April 15, 2010


MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Tuesday. NY Yankees 7, LA Angels 5; Detroit 6, Kansas City 5; LA Dodgers 9, Arizona 5; Tampa Bay 8, Baltimore 6 (10 innings); Toronto 4, Chicago White Sox 2; Cincinnati 10, Florida 8 (11 innings); Colorado 11, NY Mets 3; Seattle 3, Oakland 0; Pittsburgh 6, San Francisco 5. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB Toronto 6 2 .750 NY Yankees 5 2 .714 .5 Tampa Bay 5 3 .625 1 Boston 3 4 .429 2.5 Baltimore 1 7 .125 5 Central Division Minnesota 6 2 Detroit 6 2 Chicago White Sox 3 5 Kansas City 3 5 Cleveland 2 5

.750 .750 .375 .375 .286

3 3 3.5

Oakland Texas Seattle LA Angels

Western Division 6 3 4 3 3 6 2 6

.667 .571 .333 .250

1 3 3.5

Philadelphia Florida Atlanta Washington NY Mets

National League Eastern Division 6 1 4 4 3 4 3 4 2 5

.857 .500 .429 .429 .286

2.5 3 3 4

St. Louis Cincinnati Pittsburgh Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Houston

Central Division 5 2 5 3 4 4 3 4 3 4 0 7

.714 .625 .500 .429 .429 .000

.5 1.5 2 2 5

San Francisco Colorado Arizona LA Dodgers San Diego

Western Division 6 2 4 3 4 3 3 4 3 4

.750 .571 .571 .429 .429

1.5 1.5 2.5 2.5

NEW YORK: Los Angeles Angels’ Juan Rivera (20) dives back to first on a pickoff attempt in the sixth inning of the Angels game against the New York Yankees in the Yankees home opener baseball game.—AP

Yankees win home opener NEW YORK: Derek Jeter homered, Jorge Posada had three hits, Andy Pettitte dazzled and Mariano Rivera closed it out as the New York Yankees beat the Angels 7-5 on Tuesday, when World Series rings were handed out in the Bronx. The core four each picked up championship ring No. 5, then led the New York Yankees to a win in their home opener in front of a record-crowd that included owner George Steinbrenner. Angels recruit Hideki Matsui might have gotten the loudest ovation of the ceremony

that celebrated the Yankees’ 27th title, with fans welcoming back the World Series most valuable player. But the stars who’d worn pinstripes the longest wound up as winners, once again. Pettitte (1-0) returned to the Yankee Stadium mound for the first time since he won the clinching Game 6 against Philadelphia last November. He threw 100 pitches in six crisp innings as the Yankees dropped the Angels to 2-6, their worst start since 1972. Rivera was needed to earn his third save

after another ex-Yankee, Bobby Abreu, hit a grand slam in the ninth off Dave Robertson. Nick Johnson homered off Ervin Santana and Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs.

Mariners 3, Athletics 0 At Seattle, Milton Bradley hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to power the Mariners to a much-needed 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Blue Jays 4, White Sox 2 At Toronto, Ricky Romero’s bid for a no-

hitter ended in the eighth when former teammate Alex Rios homered. Romero struck out a career-high 12 and was in complete control until hitting A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch to start the eighth. Rios followed with a no-doubt drive to deep left for Chicago’s only hit. Kevin Gregg worked the ninth for his third save as Toronto won for the 11th time in 12 games against the White Sox at Rogers Centre. Gavin Floyd allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings for Chicago.

Rays 8, Orioles 6 At Baltimore, Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer off Matt Albers in the 10th inning as Tampa Bay extended the Orioles’ early season swoon. It was the fifth straight loss for the Orioles, whose 1-7 start is their worst since they opened the 1988 season with 21 straight defeats.

Tigers 6, Royals 5 At Detroit, Carlos Guillen’s two-run double capped a six-run rally in the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers pulled off

Oilers win lottery for first pick in NHL draft

Dodgers get 4 homers in 9-5 win over D’backs LOS ANGELES: Manny Ramirez homered for the first time this season, the first of four longballs by the Dodgers, as Los Angeles beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 Tuesday to win its home opener for the third consecutive year. Casey Blake hit a two-run drive, Matt Kemp added a solo shot and Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer for the Dodgers. Blake went 1 for 2 with a walk and is batting .389, carrying over his strong spring into the regular season. Ramirez, Kemp and Ethier homered in the same game for the second time since Ramirez joined the Dodgers in 2008. Clayton Kershaw (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 1-3 innings for Los Angeles. Ian Kennedy (0-1) gave up six runs and six hits over 4 1-3 innings in his first game against the Dodgers.

Reds 10, Marlins 8 At Miami, Joey Votto drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 11th inning as Cincinnati beat Florida in extra innings for the second night in a row. Jonny Gomes and Ryan Hanigan hit three-run homers for the Reds. Brandon Phillips had four hits, including an RBI single in the 11th. The Reds won despite blowing a 6-1 lead. They beat the Marlins 6-5 in 10 innings in the series opener Monday. Jorge Cantu of Florida singled home a run and became the first player since 1921 to have at least one hit and one RBI in the first eight games of a season. Dan Meyer (0-1) got the loss. Micah Owings (2-0) struck out three in two scoreless innings. Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect 11th for his fourth save in four chances.

Pirates 6, Giants 5 At San Francisco, Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Giants. Akinori Iwamura and Andy LaRoche homered for the Pirates, who ended a sixgame losing streak at AT&T Park. It was their first victory in San Francisco since September 2008. Evan Meek pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Octavio Dotel allowed two runs in the ninth before finishing for his second save in two opportunities. Eugenio Velez homered and drove in three runs for the Giants, who lost for just the second time.

Rockies 11, Mets 3 At Denver, Greg Smith won for the first time in 19 months, riding a six-run third inning by Colorado to the victory. Smith struck out eight over seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He replaced fellow lefthander Jeff Francis in the Rockies’ rotation at the end of spring training. Smith also collected his first career RBIs when he stroked a run-scoring double into the left-field alley in the third and plated another run with a fielder’s choice groundout in the seventh. New York’s John Maine (0-1) equaled a career high by allowing eight runs in just three innings. He also yielded seven hits and walked three. —AP

another big comeback. Jose Guillen hit his fourth home run in three games as the Royals took a 5-0 lead against Dontrelle Willis and the Detroit bullpen. But just like Sunday, when the Tigers fell behind 5-0 to Cleveland, they recovered to win. The Tigers hadn’t gotten a runner past first in the first six innings against Kansas City, then rallied against four pitchers. Dusty Hughes didn’t retire either batter he faced. Reliever Joel Zumaya won and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.—AP

LOS ANGELES: Arizona Diamondbacks’ Stephen Drew is out at second as Los Angeles Dodgers’ second baseman Jamey Carroll (14) watches the throw to first that ousted Justin Upton in the Dodgers’ home opener baseball game.—AP

TORONTO: After finishing with a league-low 62 points, the Edmonton Oilers have won the NHL draft lottery for the first overall pick in June. Boston, the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, will pick second in the June 25-26 draft after acquiring Toronto’s first-round pick in an offseason trade that sent Phil Kessel to the Maple Leafs. The Oilers (27-47-8) came into the annual lottery Tuesday with a 25 percent chance of securing the top pick and will select first for the first time. Florida will select third, followed by Columbus and the New York Islanders who picked first in 2009. Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota and the New York Rangers round out the top 10. Barring a trade, the Oilers will become the first Canadian team to select first since 1996, when Ottawa chose defenseman Chris Phillips. “It’s such an important step for us to have the ability to take the first overall pick, especially where we are with our cycle of development,” Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said. “We’re more into a reshaping, a rebuilding mode right now. Everybody’s clear about that. This will be a wonderful building block to add on to some of the other draft choices we have in place now.” While acknowledging he would listen to trade offers, Tambellini said he was inclined to keep the pick. “I’m sure there’s lots of teams that have ideas how to make our team better,” he said. “I always have to listen. ... We’re focused right now on the No. 1 pick. For us to move that pick at this point, I can’t think of what it would have to be.” If the Oilers keep the selection, they will likely choose between Ontario Hockey League stars Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. The two ended up level atop the league’s scoring race with 106 points, with Seguin claiming the scoring title after finishing with 48 goals to Hall’s 40. Both Hall and Seguin are expected to contribute right away, meaning whichever player isn’t selected by Edmonton is almost certain to end up in Boston.—AP



Thursday, April 15, 2010

A solid return, an uncertain future for Woods AUGUSTA: Except for watching Phil Mickelson slip into another green jacket, Tiger Woods should have few complaints about his week at the Masters. He tied a tournament record by making four eagles. He was never out of the top 10 from the opening round. He had his best 72-hole score at Augusta National in five years. None of that might have been possible without a spontaneous and warm reception on the first tee Thursday. Woods might have looked like the same player, but he wasn’t the same person. The fans who came to watch his golf could not ignore the sordid lifestyle that kept him away from the game in the first place. That’s why the cheers were so important. They put him at ease from the start, and he felt more comfortable as the week went on, even as his swing

got worse. “Overall, it was a good week,” Woods said Sunday after he tied for fourth. The next step? Woods didn’t say when he would play again. He said he needed to “take a little time off and kind of re-evaluate things.” If he sticks to a normal schedule, Woods could show up at Quail Hollow or The Players Championship or even the Memorial. Those are the three places he typically plays before the US Open at Pebble Beach. Just don’t get the idea the next step will be forward. All of those tournaments, or any others he chooses to play this year, will be everything Augusta National is not. They will be public golf tournaments, with fans who won’t worry about losing their season badges. What he hears from the crowd sitting around the island green on the 17th hole at the

TPC Sawgrass might be a little different from what he heard in Amen Corner. And the scrutiny will not stop. Woods set himself up for failure when he pledged to tone down his temper — the celebrations and the cursing. He caused quite the stir in the opening round when he flung his iron to the ground after an errant shot to the 14th. A year ago, no one would have noticed. Now, it was proof that Woods hadn’t changed a lick. He seemed to reach a boiling point when CBS Sports analyst Peter Kostis asked him about controlling his emotion without eliminating it. “I think people are making way too much of a big deal of this thing,” Woods said. “I was not feeling good. I hit a big snipe off the first hole, and I don’t know how people can think I should be happy about that. I hit a

wedge from 45 yards and basically bladed it over the green. These are not things I normally do. So I’m not going to be smiling, and not going to be happy.” Woods at least showed some signs of improvement with his temper, and he was more engaging with the fans over four days than he had been over the last 14 years. Then came two words that got him into more hot water - Ben Hogan. While talking about how he could produce good scores after not competing in five months, Woods spoke about the intensity of his practice sessions. “It’s very similar to what Hogan went through coming off the accident,” Woods said. “Just couldn’t play that much, and when you can’t play, you have to concentrate on your practice.” Woods was talking only about prepara-

tions for a tournament, but he was panned for even comparing himself with Hogan because the two accidents were nothing alike. Hogan’s car crashed into a bus, and he threw himself across the passenger seat to save his wife. Woods’ SUV ran over a fire hydrant and into a tree, and his wife saved him — at least that’s what he said. This is the kind of inspection every answer, every act is going to get — maybe for the rest of the year. First comes the next PGA Tour event he plays with fewer restrictions on the gallery. Then comes the next major, where the volume is cranked up, and the US Open is about as public as it gets. St. Andrews is a home game for the British tabloids, and there might be a trip to the Ryder Cup in Wales, which

is rancorous even in good times. This could be a long year. The Masters might have looked like a start but, for Woods, it was more like spring training. As much as Woods might be applauded in some corners for the way he played, he acted as though the last five months never happened. That was in sharp contrast to Mickelson, who also is dealing with a shattered world, albeit far difference circumstances. It was jarring to see Amy Mickelson making her way toward the 18th green, her first time on a golf course since the shocking news 11 months ago that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had support all around her, from close friend Jennifer Mackay (the wife of Mickelson’s caddie) to her children and her husband. Mickelson wouldn’t

let go of her hand. Mickelson won two tournaments at the end of last year, but even then he didn’t look the same, didn’t have the same kind of energy. While her outlook is good, the medication his wife is taking has made for an emotional roller-coaster. Woods has gone through five months of humiliation from being caught cheating on his wife, some of that in therapy, yet he looked no different from when he last played. Would it have been different if Woods had won the Masters? Maybe. And based on his performance in his tournament back, that day might be coming sooner rather than later. But the inspection of his game and his behavior and his words won’t end with the Masters no matter how many autographs he signs. —AP

In-form Liang eyes China Open glory

AUGUSTA: Phil Mickelson of the US celebrates winning the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament in this file photo. —AFP

US Open brings back mixed memories for Mickelson AUGUSTA: The US Open at Pebble Beach, the next leg of a Grand Slam that only Phil Mickelson can win this year, brings back mixed memories. In his professional debut there in 1992, Mickelson opened with a 68 and was only two shots out of the lead. The next day, he shot 81 and missed the cut. That seemed to set the tone for his roller coaster of a career, good times and bad, rarely a dull moment. No one should ever question the greatness of Mickelson. He was the last amateur to win on the US PGA Tour. Only 10 other players have won more than his 38 titles on the tour. And his Masters victory on Sunday made him the first player to win three straight tournaments against a field that included Tiger Woods, the previous two coming at the Tour Championship and HSBC Champions in Shanghai. While Woods has had a revolving door of rivals, Mickelson has passed through the most times. The question is how long Mickelson stays there. No one bothered to ask him on Sunday about his chances for the Grand Slam, perhaps because so many other moments were still fresh.

The signature shot of this Masters was his 6-iron off the pine straw, through a gap in the Georgia pines and over Rae’s Creek to 4 feet on the 13th hole. The signature moment was his emotional embrace behind the 18th green with his wife, Amy, on the golf course for the first time since being diagnosed with breast cancer. It tied a pink ribbon around a Masters like no other. Now, looking ahead, a green jacket usually bodes well for Mickelson. When he won his first major in the 2004 Masters, he gave himself a chance to win them all. Mickelson had the US Open won until a double bogey from the bunker on the 71st hole, and Retief Goosen had a putting performance that ranks among the best. Mickelson finished one shot out of a playoff in the British Open at Royal Troon. And he was in contention late Sunday afternoon at Whistling Straits until finishing two shots out of the playoff at the US PGA Championship. After winning his second Masters in 2006, Mickelson was on the cusp of capturing the US Open — and a third straight major — until he unwisely chose to hit 3-iron that clattered off a tree and led to

double bogey on the final hole at Winged Foot. No other major means as much to him as the US Open, at least for now. Mickelson already holds the record with five runner-up finishes, including last year at Bethpage Black when a slab of mud on his ball and three putts on the 15th hole derailed his inspirational run. Mickelson is a three-time winner at Pebble Beach, although the course is perceived as Woods’ playground. It was at Pebble Beach in 2000 that Woods set a record that might never be broken, winning a US Open by 15 shots. Such dominance, however, might have had more to do with Woods’ game than the course. Augusta National, meanwhile, might have been more responsible for Mickelson winning the Masters than his game. It is the one course that puts Mickelson at ease, knowing that no matter where he hits a shot, he’ll usually have a chance at the next one. “I’m relaxed when I drive down Magnolia Lane because I know that I don’t have to play perfect golf,” Mickelson said, alluding

to his three par saves — Nos. 9, 10, 11 — as evidence. What made him a Masters champion for the third time — he now is closer to Woods’ four green jackets than Woods is to the six won by Jack Nicklaus — is the very style that has caused so many to question Mickelson. “Phil won this tournament because he was such an aggressive player,” caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay said on Sunday. “He’s talked about in the past how it’s a big part of how he plays and why he feels like he has so many wins. There were so many times this week when he had the choice of taking the aggressive approach or the conservative approach.” One of those came at the par-5 13th hole — on Saturday. Mickelson was five shots behind in the third round when he took his tee shot down the trees and along Rae’s Creek, leaving him only a 7-iron to a pin tucked on a shelf in the back right corner of the green. Mickelson hit his approach to 8 feet for eagle to begin an amazing run of eagleeagle-birdie that made up the deficit and sent him on his way. “I think the 7-iron that he hit on Saturday

ICC pledges support for Pakistan KARACHI: Cricket’s world governing body pledged support for Pakistan yesterday and expressed hope that the isolated country will play as much international cricket as possible, even at neutral venues. Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is to visit Karachi on Thursday to unveil the World Twenty20 trophy and support Pakistan, left without international cricket at home due to security problems. “It’s a great pleasure to be heading back to Pakistan. We are always assured of a warm welcome there,” Lorgat said in a statement. His will be the first visit by a top ICC official to Pakistan since Islamist militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3, 2009. The attacks in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore killed eight people and wounded seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach. It severed any chance of Pakistan hosting international cricket in the near future. The ICC was forced to strip Pakistan of its share of 14 matches in the World Cup 2011, leaving a big question mark over the country’s future as an international sporting venue. Pakistan were left to play their home series in the United Arab Emirates and will also play two Tests and two Twenty20 games against Australia in England later this year. “Pakistan has plenty of international crick-

et coming up in all three formats of the game over the next few months,” said Lorgat. “That is hugely important considering it is not possible for the national team to play on home soil at present. “The international cricket that is planned shows that Pakistan has not been isolated by the unfortunate circumstances at home. It is vital that the team continues to play regularly, even if that is at a neutral venue,” said Lorgat. The former South African player expressed hope that Pakistan can live up to their reputation in the World Twenty20, due to start in the West Indies from April 30. “Pakistan is the defending ICC World Twenty20 champion, so I have no doubt Shahid Afridi and his team will be working hard to retain the title they deservedly won in England last year,” said Lorgat. Pakistan, led by Afridi, will fly out to the Caribbean on April 24. They are placed in Group A along with Australia and Bangladesh. “There is a real excitement building in the West Indies now and it looks like it’s going to be a tournament to remember and for those who cannot travel to the Caribbean, there is a good television coverage,” said Lorgat. Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Wasim Bari praised the ICC for having Lorgat come to the country. “Although it’s a small step, it’s encouraging for us that ICC is hosting a function in Pakistan and show it’s commitment towards us,” Bari told AFP. —AFP

was the shot that in a sense, got him on a roll to winning this tournament,” Mackay said. What made Sunday’s shot on the 13th so spectacular was more about the decision than the swing. The lie was clean. The trees were close enough that the ball wouldn’t stay in the air very long before getting past them. It was a 6-iron. And this was Phil Mickelson, one of the best players in the world. He had a one-shot lead over Anthony Kim, who was nearly done with his round, and was two clear of Lee Westwood, the greater threat. Mackay, as he has done so often, tried to persuade Mickelson to lay up. Mickelson, as he has done so often, ignored him. “And he hit maybe the best shot I’ve ever seen him hit,” Mackay said. Mackay could barely speak when it was over as he tried to control his emotions, a losing battle. When someone asked how this compared with his other majors, the caddie replied, “Twenty years from now, nothing will compare to it. I can guarantee you that.” Emotionally, probably not. But there are still three majors left this year. —AP

SUZHOU: Liang Wenchong is targeting a third OneAsia title in his homeland as he seeks to become only the third Chinese winner of the China Open which starts today. Liang and the 2003 winner Zhang Lianwei spearhead a 32-strong challenge from China in the 2.5-milliondollar event, which is co-sanctioned by OneAsia-a rival to the established Asian Tour-and the European Tour. It is being held for the first time at the Suzhou Jinji Lake International Golf Club near Shanghai. The 31-year-old Liang, who finetuned his putting and chipping practice in pouring rain yesterday, is on a strong run following wins in October’s Midea China Classic and this month’s seasonopening Luxehills Chengdu Open. “Winning in Chengdu certainly hasn’t hurt my confidence. My swing is improving, although I’m still trying to get my short game to where it used to be,” said Liang. “The China Open is the most important tournament to me. It’s more important than all the Majors I’ve played. Your country’s national open is the most important event to a player, so I’ll try my best.” Yang Yong-Eun, Asia’s first Major winner and joint eighth at the Masters last week, heads a 15-strong Korean contingent at Jinji Lake. Yang will play with defending champion Scott Strange of Australia and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson in the first two rounds, as he returns to the country where he beat Tiger Woods to win the 2006 HSBC Champions in Shanghai. “I’m in good form and was happy to finish top 10 at the Masters,” said Yang. “Every player goes into a tournament expecting to win, but my primary aim is to make the top 10, then I’ll go for a win if I’m in contention on Sunday,” added Yang, who also won the Honda Classic on last year’s PGA Tour. Stenson, who won last year’s Players Championship on the PGA Tour, is the highest-ranked player in the field. “It’s about my 10th time in China and it’s good to be back as I’ve had some great success here and I enjoy playing in China,” said Stenson, who won the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in 2008. “We can expect a strong challenge from Asia this week, especially with the likes of Yang Yong-Eun, Thongchai Jaidee and Liang Wenchong. “Noh Seung-Yul won the Malaysian Open last month, which didn’t surprise me as I’ve been really impressed by him.” Strange, the reigning OneAsia Order of Merit winner, heads a line-up of 23 players from Australia as he attempts to become the first person to successfully defend the Volvo China Open. —AFP

Malik appeals PCB ban and fine

Shoaib Malik seen in this file photo

LAHORE: Newly-wed former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has appealed a ban and heavy fine imposed on him by cricket authorities, barely two days before the deadline, an official said yesterday. “Malik’s counsel Ahmed Hussain has sent his appeal against the fine and ban and now an independent arbitrator will deal with the case,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi told AFP. Last month the PCB imposed heavy fines and penalties on seven top players following on- and off-field problems during tours of the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia. Malik, who wedded Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Monday in Hyderabad, was banned for one year and fined two million rupees (24,000 dollars) for violation of players’ code of conduct. All-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who appealed earlier this month, was handed the same fine and punishment, while former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were banned for an indefinite period for “infighting which let the team down”. Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal were also heavily fined. The penalties came after a month-long inquiry by a committee set up to investigate Pakistan’s dismal performance on

the tour of Australia, where they lost all three Tests, five one-day matches and a Twenty20 international. The Akmal brothers lodged appeals last week, while Afridi and Younus did so yesterday. With Malik’s move, six out of the seven penalised players have appealed, leaving Yousuf the only one not to have done so. The deadline to appeal is April 16. In protest at his treatment, Yousuf announced his retirement from international cricket last month. The PCB last month appointed two retired Supreme Court judges- Muneer Sheikh and Jamshed Ali Shah-and former high court judge Irfan Qadir to deal with the appeals. One of the judges will hear the appeals, said Rizvi. Commenting on a demand by Younus’ lawyer that the appeal process be held in public, Rizvi said that was a decision for the arbitrator. “Usually in-house tribunal proceedings are never held in public, but it will be up to the arbitrator to regulate the procedure, which will be decided after the deadline of the appeal.” Pakistan’s next assignment is to defend their World Twenty20 title in the West Indies, starting from April 30. Afridi will lead the team, which also includes the Akmal brothers. —AFP

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Lakers halt Kings march LOS ANGELES: Pau Gasol had 28 points and eight rebounds, Shannon Brown scored 24 points and Kobe Bryant rested as the Los Angeles Lakers finished their regular-season home schedule with a 106-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. Sasha Vujacic scored 13 points for the Lakers. Tyreke Evans scored 10 points for the Kings before his remarkable rookie season ended with a third-quarter ejection as Sacramento wrapped up its fourth straight losing season with an 11th defeat in 12 games. Bryant sat out to rest his litany of injuries, including a sprained ankle and a broken finger. Bulls 101, Celtics 93 At Chicago, Derrick Rose scored a careerhigh 39 points and Kirk Hinrich added a season-high 30 as Chicago helped its playoff chances with a victory over Boston. The eighth-place Bulls lead Toronto by a game in the Eastern Conference and will make the playoffs as long as they finish with a better record, meaning they need a win at Charlotte on Wednesday or a loss by the Raptors to New York. Fourth-place Boston, meanwhile, cannot catch Atlanta for the third seed after falling for the sixth time in nine games. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points, and Ray Allen scored 25. Kevin Garnett added 14 points and nine rebounds after sitting out the previous game to rest.

38-year-old Shannon Briggs.

Briggs stops Pedro in just 28 seconds HOLLYWOOD: Former world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs took only 28 seconds to knock out Rafael Pedro Tuesday night. With the only punch he threw, Briggs stunned Pedro with a right to the head. Pedro, a native of Cuba, fell to the canvas and was counted out by referee Sam Burgos. “That’s all I needed,” Briggs said. “It was a fast night for me but that’s how a lot of my fights end.” The 38-year-old Briggs (49-5-1, 43 KOs) has now stopped 28 opponents in the first round. Briggs, of New York, won the WBO crown with a 12th-round technical knockout over Sergei Liakovich in November 2006 but lost the title in his first defense against Sultan Ibragimov eight months later. In Perth, Australian Danny Green stopped Puerto Rican Manny Siaca in the third round to retain his International Boxing Organisation world cruiserweight title here yesterday. It was 37-year-old Green’s second IBO title defence in his home town after he scored a stunning first round TKO of

the American eight-time world champion Roy Jones Jr in Sydney in December. The physically stronger Green put Siaca down on his knees with a short right hand with 35 seconds left in round two. Siaca complained of a head clash midway through the third round which the referee ruled as accidental before Green unleashed a flurry of big right hands with Siaca wedged into a corner. Siaca slumped to the canvas and took the 10-count from referee Jack Rees, who stopped the fight with 50 seconds left in the third round. “Siaca felt the power, he was intimidated by it and he didn’t want to know about it,” Green said after decision. “All I can do is defeat the opponent before me and I wanted to punish Manny over 12 rounds.” The victory took Green’s record to 29-3 with 26 KOs, while Siaca suffered his seventh defeat in 29 fights. Green fought Siaca after being rebuffed in attempts to line up Americans Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver following his shock win over Jones. — AFP

Wladimir Klitschko calls out Haye for title fight LOS ANGELES: Wladimir Klitschko wants a heavyweight title unification fight with David Haye, and he doesn’t want to hear any more excuses. Klitschko is calling out Haye, the WBA champion, who has never followed through on repeated vows to take the title belts of Klitschko and his brother, Vitali Wladimir is the IBF and WBO champion, while Vitali holds the WBC belt. Although Wladimir Klitschko’s representatives initiated talks with Haye’s promoters Tuesday, Klitschko told The Associated Press he believes the British boxer will once again find a way to back out of the matchup. “I understand he’s scared, but just get yourself together, and maybe you’ll get a lucky punch or whatever,” Klitschko said over lunch at a Greek restaurant in the picturesque Larchmont Village section of Los Angeles. “I think he’s frightened and he won’t be willing to take the chance, but it’s important for me to say that nothing is in the way. There are no other fights. There will be enough money for everybody. He just has to do what he says he will.” The usually decorous Klitschko said Haye has built his career on unfulfilled promises of challenging the Klitschko brothers, who have reigned unbeaten atop the heavyweight division since 2004. “I just don’t like anything about the guy,” Klitschko said. “How he talks, how he walks, anything. He’s basically betraying the audience and the sport. Every division deserves a true champion, and how can he claim to be a champion if he won’t fight me?” Haye has been to the verge of fighting both Klitschko brothers, getting their attention with incendiary statements about what he planned to do in both words and pictures. He memorably attended a news conference wearing a T-shirt with a rendering of Haye holding the brothers’ severed heads. But Haye never got in the ring with either brother. A potential fight against Vitali Klitschko at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge arena was scrapped, and Haye pulled out of a June 20 fight with Wladimir Klitschko, citing a back injury, two weeks before they were scheduled to meet in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. “It’s obvious now that his back injury was just garbage, and he’s a liar,” Klitschko said. Haye eventually took on 7-foot-2 Russian Nikolai Valuev, claiming the WBA belt last year. Haye hasn’t stopped talking trash about the Klitschko brothers, who rarely deign to

Wladimir Klitschko say anything negative about any opponent. “This is the first time I’ve seen him this animated, this motivated, to fight just one guy,” said Tom Loeffler, the managing director of the Klitschko brothers’ K-2 Promotions. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who helps to promote Haye, said earlier this week he would discuss the possibility of a bout in England or in Germany, where the Klitschko brothers live and fight before enormous crowds. Haye defended his title earlier this month by stopping John Ruiz, the overachieving former champion. Immediately after the fight, Haye dismissed the notion of fighting Bernard Hopkins, but said he might have to make a title defense against Valuev. Nonsense, says Klitschko, adding that if he can get an exception to his mandatory IBF title defense against Alexander Povetkin, whose trainer says he isn’t yet skilled enough to face Klitschko, Haye could fight Klitschko if he really wanted the bout. “He says he’s going to fight Valuev, but everybody realizes I’m the most exciting fight right now,” Klitschko said. “He did create a lot of buzz with his nonsense, but he has to back up his words instead of (weaseling) out.” Klitschko referred to a bout with Haye, the former cruiserweight champion, as “a signature fight for me. My brother had a signature fight with Lennox Lewis. That’s what I want. I’ve fought a lot of guys, but no signature fights.” —AP

Jazz 103, Warriors 94 At Oakland, California, Mehmet Okur had 23 points and seven rebounds, and Paul Millsap grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds as Utah swept the three-game season series against Golden State despite losing leading scorer Carlos Boozer to an early injury. Boozer strained his right ribcage while playing all 12 minutes of the opening period. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays at the start of the second quarter but didn’t return. He had five points and four rebounds before departing. The Jazz wrap up the season Wednesday at home against Phoenix in a game that will determine both teams’ playoff seedings. Utah, riding a 10-game home winning streak, could be as high as the No. 2 seed or fall to fifth. Suns 123, Nuggets 101 At Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire scored 26 points, and Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists before sitting out the fourth quarter as Phoenix completed a rout of Denver to earn homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Suns made 14 of 24 3-pointers, 11 of 17 in the first three quarters. Phoenix jumped to an 18-2 lead and the Nuggets never cut it to single digits after the first quarter. The Suns can finish no worse than No. 4 in the West and would be No. 3 if they win at Utah on Wednesday. Denver, which finished its regular season, would get the No. 4 spot and a first-round homecourt edge if Phoenix beats the Jazz. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets. — AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Tuesday. Chicago 101, Boston 93; Utah 103, Golden State 94; LA Lakers 106, Sacramento 100; Phoenix 123, Denver 101. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Boston 50 31 .617 Toronto 39 42 .481 11 NY Knicks 29 52 .358 21 Philadelphia 27 54 .333 23 New Jersey 12 69 .148 38 Central Division Cleveland 61 20 .753 Milwaukee 45 36 .556 16 Chicago 40 41 .494 21 Indiana 32 49 .395 29 Detroit 26 55 .321 35 Southeast Division Orlando 58 23 .716 Atlanta 52 29 .642 6 Miami 46 35 .568 12 Charlotte 44 37 .543 14 Washington 25 56 .309 33 Western Conference Northw est Division Utah 53 28 .654 Denver 53 29 .646 0.5 Portland 50 31 .617 3 Oklahoma City 49 32 .605 4 Minnesota 15 66 .185 38 Pacific Division LA Lakers 57 24 .704 Phoenix 53 28 .654 4 LA Clippers 28 53 .346 29 Golden State 25 56 .309 32 Sacramento 25 57 .305 32.5 Southw est Division Dallas 54 27 .667 San Antonio 50 31 .617 4 Houston 42 39 .519 12 Memphis 40 41 .494 14 New Orleans 36 45 .444 18

LOS ANGELES: Lakers guard Shannon Brown (right) shoots over Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans (13) during a fast break in the first half of an NBA basketball game. — AP

Six Nations set for Friday opener DUBLIN: Next year’s Six Nations will start on a Friday for the first time when Wales host England in Cardiff, organisers of Europe’s leading international rugby union tournament said yesterday. The teams will kick-off the 2011 edition at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, February 4. It is two years since the Six Nations staged its first Friday match, which saw France beat Wales 21-16 in Paris. This season’s Friday clash also ended in victory for France, who beat Wales 26-20 in Cardiff. France, the reigning Grand Slam champions, will begin the defence of their title at home to Scotland on Saturday, February 5 -

the same day as Italy face Ireland in Rome. Friday evening fixtures have though been criticised for making it harder for away fans to attend matches and giving them less time to socialise before and after games. “We’ve had Friday night fixtures for a couple of years now but it’s still new for the tournament,” said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “As far as Friday nights are concerned, the players are used to them from the Magners (Celtic) League so it will make no different to us,” he added. “It may take some time to settle in as far as supporters are concerned but per-

sonally I would find it quite exciting as you can make an evening of it at your local rugby club, make it a real occasion then have the weekend to play games or do other things,” the New Zealander said. “People are still getting used to it and there will be some objections but I think it’s good for the tournament.” The 2011 Championship will also see Ireland return to a redeveloped Lansdowne Road after four seasons at their adopted Dublin home of Croke Park and will conclude with all six sides in action on Saturday, March 19, when France’s match against Wales in Paris will be the last to kick-off. — AFP

TURKEY: Italy’s Givanni Visconti (C-ISD-Ner-ITA) rides in the middle of the pack during the fourth stage of the 2010 Tour of Turkey cycling race run between Marmaris and Pamukkale. Italy’s Givanni Visconti won the race. — AFP



Thursday, April 15, 2010

F1 statistics WINS Sebastian Vettel’s win in Malaysia for Red Bull was the sixth victory of his career and made him, with Ralf Schumacher, the second most successful German driver in world championship history. The 22-year-old needs another 85 wins to equal compatriot Michael Schumacher’s record tally, however. Ferrari have won 211 times while McLaren are the second most successful team with 165. Williams have 113. CHAMPIONSHIP Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has made his best ever start to a championship, leading after three races. He last led the standings in 2008. POLE POSITION Red Bull have started all three races so far this season on pole position. Four of the six Chinese Grands Prix to date have been won from pole. However, no driver has won from pole position since Vettel’s triumph in Japan last October-a run of five races. The last team to take four poles in a row was Ferrari in 2007. Ferrari have not been on pole since the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2008. Last season was their first without a pole since 1993, which is also the last year that Formula One had no refuelling during races. World champion Jenson Button has not started on the front row since Turkey in June last year.

Red Bull ready to stamp dominance at Shanghai SHANGHAI: Red Bull will look to make the most of its technical advantage at this weekend’s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, with rival teams yet to implement new technology and another weather-affected race looming. Red Bull romped away to a 1-2 finish at the previous GP earlier this month in Malaysia, finally confirming its status as this season’s early benchmark after mechanical failures prevented wins that were otherwise there for the taking in Bahrain and Australia. Red Bull arrives in Shanghai with memories of another 1-2 finish here last season, and a repeat of that performance this weekend would have its rival teams playing catch up. That catching up must be done in the workshop, as the likes of McLaren and Ferrari seek to match Red Bull’s technical edge and cure their own shortcomings. Since Malaysia, McLaren has been working to develop a suspension ride adjustment

system like the one many suspect is fitted to the Red Bull cars, despite denials from the team. Such a system allows the car’s ride to be lowered for the low-fuel qualifying session and raised to accommodate the greater fuel load on race day. How this can be achieved, and has been achieved if the rumors about Red Bull are true, is unclear given that it is illegal to tinker with the cars between qualifying and race. There has been talk of a gas compression that dissipates naturally in the time between qualifying and race, allowing the car to essentially raise itself. McLaren said this week that it had abandoned efforts to design a new suspension system ahead of China because its understanding of a directive from world governing body FIA is that even a self-raising device would contravene regulations. Where that leaves Red Bull, and whether there will be any official protest remains to be seen. Ferrari, meanwhile, had been mak-

ing efforts to copy McLaren’s F-duct aerodynamic device, which is manually operated by the driver in the cockpit to adjust airflow and stall the rear wing to allow for greater speed on the straights. Of more immediate concern for the Italian team is reliability after Fernando Alonso’s powerplant engine gave way in a plume of smoke on the penultimate lap in Malaysia. With only eight engines per car allowed over 19 races this season before penalties kick in, Ferrari is already into conservation mode. This weekend it will use the engines it took to a 1-2 finish at Bahrain and subsequently changed, suggesting the team is less than confident about the ability of the engines from the last two races. Should one of the Ferrari engines give way this weekend, there will be serious questions asked at the team’s Maranello headquarters. It was ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix last year that Luca Baldisseri was replaced as

chief of on-track operations, paying the price for Ferrari’s poor start to 2009. This weekend looms as the third straight in which either qualifying or the race is affected by rain, with forecasts of showers and low temperatures in Shanghai. Last year’s wet Chinese GP started behind a safety car which didn’t pull in for eight laps. A wet weekend will put team strategy in the spotlight again, after both Ferrari and McLaren put too much faith in their weather radars during qualifying at Malaysia. They waited too late to go out for qualifying laps in the belief that better weather was on the way when in fact it only worsened, and as a result they started the race from the rear of the grid. Last year’s Shanghai race marked something of a turning point in the season, when the early dominance of Brawn GP came to an end as Red Bull made a significant stride to catch up.

The situation is reversed this year, as Red Bull has marked itself as the team to beat, even if it hasn’t fully translated its early season strength into championship points. One team under pressure to make a stride forward in Shanghai is Mercedes, and particularly Michael Schumacher. The seven-time world champion can be excused for his meager points haul so far this season — a forgivable humdrum performance in a pedestrian Bahrain GP, a first-corner collision in Australia that destroyed his race, and a wheel nut failure in Malaysia. But he has been out-driven in qualifying by teammate Nico Rosberg in each race. Mercedes, which raced as Brawn GP last season, was tipped to be a championship contender this year. Instead it has been a distinct fourth-best in general performance, behind Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, and is even looking like having to fend off Renault so as not to slip to fifth. —AP

QUALIFYING Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher has been out-qualified by Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in all three races so far. The only other drivers with a 3-0 score against them are Renault’s Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov, Force India’s Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso’s young Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari and Virgin’s Brazilian rookie Lucas di Grassi. The Malaysian Grand Prix was the first time without either a McLaren or a Ferrari in the third and final phase of qualifying since the format was introduced in 2006. CHINA Ferrari have won three of the six Chinese Grands Prix to date. McLaren, Renault and Red Bull have won the others. Button, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber are the only drivers to have finished every Chinese Grand Prix so far. Renault reserve Ho-Pin Tung is the only Chinese driver in a Formula One team. Red Bull took their first Formula One win in Shanghai last year. Michael Schumacher’s 91st and last win to date also came at the circuit in 2006. —Reuters

Jelena scrapes past Edina

MONACO: Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Netherland’s Thiemo De Bakker, during their second round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament.-AP

Nadal thrashes Dutch qualifier MONTE CARLO: Jeu Nadal. The familiar refrain at claycourt tournaments resounded time and again yesterday as Rafael Nadal demolished Dutch qualifier Thiemo De Bakker 6-1 6-0 in the Monte Carlo Masters second round. The world number three, gunning for an unprecedented sixth consecutive title in the glitzy principality, barely broke sweat in a 59-minute stroll on centre court. Nadal, wearing white and blue check shorts, showed he was fighting fit as he sprinted towards the baseline before the first ball was hit and it made an impression on De Bakker. The Dutchamn was no match for the Spaniard’s raw power and devilish accuracy and left the court looking dejected. Although Nadal has not won an ATP tournament in 11 months, the Spaniard showed he would not be easy prey in Monte Carlo. “He has been so dominant on this surface but everybody knew that the moment would come, sooner or later, where he would drop his level of performance a little

bit and where some other players would have a chance to win,” world number two Novak Djokovic said earlier this week referring to Nadal’s first defeat at the French Open last year. “That’s what has happened.” But not yesterday. The fluttering flags gave the Monte Carlo Country Club a leisurely feel on a bright day and the tranquility of the gentle breeze was matched only by the glittering of the Mediterranean sea in the seamless background as Nadal raced to a 4-0 lead. The hot sun made one want to recline and go to sleep-the kind of fuzzy feeling you get after three glasses of Champagne. The peaceful atmosphere was punctuated only by loud cheers when Nadal produced an exquisite counter lob or when De Bakker won his only game of the match. The four-times French Open champion saw off three break points in the fourth game and never looked back. After firing a ball into the stands, where excited fans tried to catch it, a smiling Nadal made a ball boy’s day by giving him

his headband. Top seed Djokovic also eased into the third round with a 6-2 6-3 win over France’s Florent Serra. The world number two, though, could have been more efficient in front of a capacity centre court crowd enjoying the event’s first cloudless day. Serbian Djokovic will next face Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded 13th, for a place in the quarter-finals after the Swiss beat Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-1 6-4. Djokovic got off to a flying start, mixing his game with cunning drop shots to open a 4-0 lead. Serra pulled a break back in a 12-minute fifth game as he started to play more aggressively. Djokovic then saw off another break point in the seventh game, following up on his serve to clinch the opening set. A long forehand by Serra gave Djokovic the early break in the second set but the Frenchman levelled for 2-2. Djokovic snatched the decisive break in the seventh game and wrapped up victory when his opponent sliced a backhand wide. —Reuters

CHARLESTON: Former champion Jelena Jankovic shook off a passive start to win her opening match of the Family Circle Cup over unseeded Edina Gallovits 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday. It was Jankovic’s first match on clay this season and she struggled. The Serbian, ranked seventh in the world, put five shots into the net in her first three games. But the No. 2-seeded Jankovic pulled herself together after the first set, breaking the Romanian in the second set. She wouldn’t trail on serve for the rest of the hardfought match, despite screaming at herself a couple of times after missing shots. She didn’t smile until Gallovits netted her shot during a long rally on match point. “I think it’s a good thing I played a tough match like that because it gives you confidence and you get fitter and fitter for the next rounds,” said Jankovic, the 2007 champion who gets a day off before her round of 16 match on Thursday. The two only played on clay once before — at the 2003 French Open. Jankovic didn’t remember that match, but said she won’t forget this one. “She didn’t have anything to lose. She can just play freely and go after her shots,” said Jankovic, who along with 2006 winner Nadia Petrova are the only former champions in the field. There were two upsets Tuesday: No. 11 Virginie Razzano of France became the first seeded player to lose, falling to Monique Adamczak 4-6, 6-0, 6-2; No. 15 Melinda Czink of Hungary lost to Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 7-6 (9), 6-3. No. 4 Samantha Stosur, No. 7 Vera Zvonareva, No. 10 Elena Vesnina and No. 14 Vera Dushevina all advanced in straight sets, while No. 12 seed Aleksandra Wozniak needed three sets to move on to the round of 16. In the featured match Tuesday night, American teen sensation No. 13 seed Melanie Oudin beat the tournament’s oldest player, 35year-old Jill Craybas, 6-3, 6-1. Last year, the 18-year-old Oudin had to win two matches just to qualify for the Charleston tournament, then won two matches in the draw to make the round of 16 and rise to No. 151 in the world. She would go on to make the round of 16 at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals of the US Open and enters this year’s Family Circle Cup as the world’s 36th ranked player. —AP

CHARLESTON: Jelena Jankovic of Serbia returns a shot to Edina Gallovits of Romania during a Family Circle Cup tennis match. —AP

Italy name Fed Cup team ROME: Fed Cup holders Italy yesterday named a four player team for their semi-final clash against the Czech Republic on April 24-25 at Rome’s Foro Italico. Italy will be led by world number 15 Flavia Pennetta and number 17 Francesca Schiavone with Sara Errani and doubles specialist Roberta Vinci also called up. Vinci has never lost a doubles tie in the Fed Cup even though

she hardly plays doubles on the regular tour. Italy, who whitewashed USA in last year’s final in Reggio Calabria, are looking to reach their fourth final in the last five years. The tie will begin at the same time as the men’s Rome International Open. Meanwhile, Svetlana Kuznetsova has pulled out of Russia’s Fed Cup semi-final with the United States, local media reported yesterday.

The world number five, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, plans to skip the April 2425 tie and target instead the WTA tournament in Stuttgart which starts on April 26. “I will have to miss the semifinal with the United States because my personal schedule this year is too tight,” Kuznetsova confirmed. She added: “It’s unreal to go to Stuttgart directly from the Unites States.” —AFP

Thursday, April 15, 2010



FIFA launches World Cup supermarket tickets sale JOHANNESBURG: South African fans will be able to snap up half a million unsold World Cup tickets in cash after FIFA agreed yesterday to drop a ruling that they could only be bought online or through a ballot. The final phase of sales for the monthlong tournament beginning in June will start today with ticket counters in shopping malls in the nine host cities plus a network of popular supermarkets. Tickets are available for all 64 matches, including the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg on July 11. FIFA previously said the final was sold out, but yesterday announced 300 late tickets would be released for the biggest match in world football. It will be the first time fans can buy 2010 finals tickets over the counter in cash-the preferred method of purchasing for South

African football fans, many of whom are on low incomes. FIFA had previously insisted on selling tickets through its website on the Internet or in a complicated ballot procedure at a local bank branch. Many South Africans complained the process excluded people without web access, credit cards or the disposable income to pay for their tickets months in advance. “For this last phase, we have made a big effort to assist football fans by introducing various additional means to purchase a ticket,” said Jerome Valcke, FIFA general secretary said. “We are committed to facilitating the process for all fans and giving them this last chance to attend the matches and experience the excitement of this first World Cup

in Africa.” Danny Jordaan, who heads the South African organising committee, was delighted with the change of heart. “We are excited about these new initiatives, which make the process much easier for everyone,” he said. “We have always said that it is important that we make this World Cup more accessible to the people and with the over-thecounter sales, we believe this measure is consistent with the needs of the fans.” Tickets are still well above normal prices for top-level football in South Africa. A special category of tickets for residents of South Africa sells at $20 but costs escalate drastically in higher categories for better seats and after the first-round group phase. Tickets for premier seats at the final costs $900.

TURKEY: Cameroon soccer legend Roger Milla poses with the FIFA World Cup Trophy during an event to promote the World Cup tournament in South Africa, in Istanbul. The trophy will be displayed in a shopping mall today before leaving for Kazakhstan. The 36.5 centimeter 18 carat solid gold trophy weighing 6kg (14lb) came to Istanbul Tuesday as part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. —AP

Red Knights meet to draw up United bid — reports LONDON: The Red Knights, a group of wealthy Manchester United fans, were meeting late yesterday to discuss plans for a possible takeover of the heavily-indebted club, according to British media reports. The group, which includes senior City of London figures such as Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, want to wrest control of the Premier League champions from the US-based Glazer family. But no bid is expected before the end of the season, with the group keen to avoid doing anything that might distract Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from retaining their title during the final few weeks of the campaign. It is understood late yesterday’s meeting was being held to determine exact sources of funding for any bid and the level of supporter involvement. Investment bank Nomura have been advising both the Red Knights and the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), who have voiced concerns about the Glazers and are broady supportive of a takeover proposal. The Glazers took control in 2005 and

the most recent accounts for United’s parent company, Red Football Joint Venture, showed it had debts of 719 million pounds. Supporters fear the cost of servicing that debt will act as a brake on investment in Ferguson’s team, if it is not already doing so. The scale of the debt also means that, for any takeover bid to succeed, the wouldbe purchasers would need in excess of one billion pounds to enable the Glazers to walk away with the kind of profit on their investment that would convince them to sell. United fans have, this season, begun wearing green and gold scarfs to matches as a symbolic protest against the Glazers. Those were the colours of Newton Heath, the club which changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 after going bankrupt. United, who are away to local rivals Manchester City on Saturday, are currently second in the Premier League and four points behind leaders Chelsea with four games left to play. —AFP

Deportivo, Universidad close in on last 16 QUITO: Luis Checa scored the winning goal as Ecuador’s Deportivo Quito moved closer to qualifying for the second stage of the Copa Libertadores with a 2-1 win over Cerro of Uruguay on Tuesday. Universidad de Chile also improved its chances of advancing to the Round of 16 with a 3-1 away win over Caracas of Venezuela. Deportivo Quito now has 10 points atop Group 8, two ahead of Internacional, which has a game in hand. Universidad moved to 11 points atop Group 5, a lead of four over Flamengo, which also has a game in hand. The eight group winners and six best placed runners-up qualify for the knockout round of 16, scheduled for next month. The Copa Libertadores is the top club competition in Latin America. The tournament takes a break after the quarterfinal stage to make way for the World Cup, with the semifinals and final held in July and August. Isaac Mina gave Deportivo the lead against Cerro, scoring from a low corner in the 20th minute. Claudio Dadomo equalized with a penalty in the 25th minute, but Checa headed the winner at the back post in the 86th to give Deportivo victory. Cerro dropped to third place after the loss, three points behind Deportivo with one group match remaining. Mauricio Victorino got Universidad started on its way to a comfortable win at Caracas, prodding the opening goal past goalkeeper Renny Vega following a left wing freekick in the 18th minute. Juan Olivera increased the lead with a 32nd-inute penalty and Matias Rodriguez made it 3-0 in the 35th. Alejandro Guerra was sent off for Caracas in the 66th minute, but Cesar Gonzalez still managed a consolation goal for the Venezuelan club in the 76th. The win guaranteed a top two finish for Universidad, while Caracas remained at the bottom of the group with two points. —AP

The statement followed a two-hour meeting between the chief organizer Danny Jordaan, South Africa’s Arts and Culture minister Lulu Xingwana and Mabutho Sithole of the Creative Workers Union. FIFA announced last month that international acts Alicia Keys, Shakira, Black Eyed Peas and John Legend would headline the World Cup concert, which will be staged the day before the tournament begins and is organized by the Los Angeles-based Control Room company. The announcement caused an outcry from the music industry in South Africa, which felt it was being ignored for the sake of the concert’s international appeal. They said there were not enough local acts despite the presence of South African folk singer Vusi Mahlasela and rock acts BLK JKS and The Parlotones.

Aware of its global audience, FIFA and the local organizers stressed last week that the concert must have an “international context.” “Yes, it’s an African World Cup played in South Africa,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said. “(But) it’s an international event where you have six African teams and 26 nonAfrican teams. It is a worldwide event. It has to be a concert with international singers, and that’s what we will do,” Valcke said. “I’m sorry, but that’s the definition you have to have.” Yesterday, Xingwana said she was satisfied with concessions made by the organizers, which allow the South African Music Promoters Association to work together with Control Room, which is run by Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall. —Agencies

Esteghlal, Gharafa ease into Champions League q-finals

Wembley call in experts to solve pitch problem LONDON: Wembley chiefs have called a meeting with pitch experts on Monday in a bid to solve the problems with the English national stadium’s playing surface. The pitch at the ground came in for fresh criticism after cutting up during last weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals. Now officials are to meet with the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) in a bid to find a long-term solution to a pitch that is in line to be relaid, for the 11th time since the redeveloped Wembley opened in 2007, ahead of next month’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Portsmouth. An IOG statement said yesterday: “The IOG is pleased to have been invited to a meeting with Wembley Stadium on Monday and hope it might be the start of finding a long-term solution to the problems of the playing surface at our national stadium.” Last weekend, players from Chelsea, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Portsmouth struggled to keep their feet on the Wembley pitch due to the wet grass and hard soil beneath it. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp labelled the pitch a “disgrace” after defender Michael Dawson slipped in extra-time against Portsmouth, allowing Frederic Piquionne to score the goal that sent Pompey on their way to a shock 2-0 win on Sunday. Many within English football are bewildered at how 757 million pounds (1.16 billion dollars) could be spent revamping a stadium which FA chiefs hope will host the 2018 World Cup Final, while seemingly neglecting the playing surface. But in order to help finance the ground’s redevelopment, Wembley authorities committed themselves to holding a number of events, aside from football and the Rugby League Challenge Cup final which had traditionally been staged there. This weekend, Premiership rugby union sides Saracens and Harlequins will be in action at Wembley, which has also hosted NFL games and even speedway as well as staging rock concerts. Previous attempts at relaying the turf do not appear to have solved the fundamental problem of how to provide a stable surface for players and, with England playing their penultimate World Cup warm-up match against Mexico at Wembley on May 24, there are fears a member of Fabio Capello’s squad might be injured. A decision on whether to relay the turf again will be taken after Monday’s meeting. —AFP

Demand in South Africa had initially been sluggish but the most recent phase saw locals snap up 85 percent of the 240,000 tickets sold between February and the beginning of this month. FIFA said last week 2.2 million tickets have been sold for the tournament, which kicks off on June 11. Meanwhile, World Cup organizers agreed to include more South African performers at the Kick-Off Concert following pressure from the country’s Ministry of Arts and Culture. The tournament’s local organizing committee, the ministry and the Creative Workers Union said in a joint statement yesterday “all three parties agreed on the need for the inclusion of additional South African artists in the line-up for the concert at Soweto’s Orlando Stadium on 10 June 2010.”

CARACAS: Chile’s Universidad de Chile’s Eduardo Vargas (left) fights for the ball against Venezuela’s Caracas FC’s Jaime Bustamante during a Copa Libertadores soccer match. —AP

TOKYO: Iranian side Esteghlal and Qatari champions Al Gharafa secured their places in the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League yesterday with wins in their Group A matches. Esteghlal maintained their lead of the group and a place in the last 16 with a 2-1 victory in front of almost 65,000 of their supporters over third-placed Al Ahli to become the first Iranian side to reach the second round of this year’s tournament. First-half goals by Mahi Salehi and Amir Sadeghi were sufficient to get them the three priceless points. Al Gharafa had an easier time of it with Clemerson Araujo scoring a hat-trick as they thumped bottom-placed Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates 4-2 in Doha. Zobahan could have joined their fellow Iranians in the next round also yesterday but whilst they stayed top of Group B they incredibly lost 1-0 to United Arab Emirates outfit Al Wahda, who suffered defeats in all four of their previous matches in this season’s tournament. Zobahan are two points clear of Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad, champions in 2004 and 2005, who were held 1-1 at home to the Luiz Felipe Scolari-coached Uzbek outfit Bunyodkor, who are third three points behind Zobahan. Zobahan and Al Ittihad face each other in Iran in the final round of group matches on April 28 where the Saudi side really need to win to progress as Bunyodkor host Al Wahda. Earlier Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan and Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale kept alive their hopes of reaching the knock-out round. Beijing dashed Melbourne Victory’s ambitions by holding them to a goalless draw, while Kawasaki whipped group leaders Seongnam Ilhwa 3-0. Seongnam have already qualified for the next round. With one more game each remaining in the group stage, Beijing have seven points, Kawasaki have six points ahead of Melbourne on four points in Group E. Beijing and Kawasaki will face each other in the final group round game on April 28 to decide who progresses. The Chinese champions looked clearly the better outfit against the Australian A-League champions, with 17 shots on goal to Victory’s six and dominating the corners 10-2. Beijing’s Australian striker Joel Griffiths was always dangerous and had a header go narrowly wide in the 62nd minute with Melbourne goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak rooted to the spot. Meanwhile in Kawasaki, Brazilian Renatinho collected a rebound and sent a cross for Hiroyuki Taniguchi’s opener in the third minute, before Yusuke Tasaka made it 2-0 in the 21st minute. Renatinho added one more in the 68th minute on a penalty. J-League champions Kashima Antlers and KLeague champions Jeonbuk Motors, who have already secured their places in the knock-out round, notched up another win each before their final encounter for top place in Group F. Japan international striker Shinzo Koroki beat a defender and won a one-on-one encounter against Changchun Yatai goalkeeper An Qi in the 37th minute to give Kashima a 1-0 win. Jeonbuk smashed Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia 8-0. — AFP

KAWASAKI: Fabricio Souza of South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa FC (right) and Takanobu Komiyama of Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale vie for the ball during their Group E soccer match of the AFC Champions League. —AP

DOHA: Al-Gharafa’s Brazilian midfielder Klemerson (left) is challenged by Al-Jazira’s Salem Massud during their AFC Champions League Group A football match at the Al-Gharafa Stadium in Doha. —AFP

Bid for Liverpool dropped LONDON: Liverpool’s owners have missed out on a major investment from a consortium including Goldman Sachs and owners of two US sports teams, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. The person said Goldman Sachs, which was putting together the bid to buy all or part of the Premier League club, conducted due diligence with the bankers for co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. but then decided not to make the offer. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the involvement of the parties was never announced. The group would have included Goldman Sachs as an investor, as well as British and American institutional investors and an Asian real estate developer. Hicks and Gillett are now preparing to announce the appointment this week of Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the bank that sponsors the Premier League, to find a buyer for the club,

which has debts of $364 million. To oversee the sale process, British Airways chairman Martin Broughton will be hired as interim non-executive chairman. For more than two years, Hicks and Gillett have been trying to attract investors to reduce the debt resulting from their leveraged takeover. Money raised also would finance a new stadium to replace Anfield. Preliminary work on a 60,000-seat stadium in Stanley Park, across from Anfield, began in June 2008 after government approval was granted. Work on the stadium, which could be expanded to 73,000, was stopped that October following the global economic crisis. Liverpool has been financially hamstrung by the economics of 45,000-capacity Anfield, where there is limited luxury suites and amenities to generate extra funding. The lack of funds to strengthen the squad has impacted Liverpool’s performance on the field this season.

Last season’s Premier League runners-up are languishing in sixth place, six points out of fourth place and the final English berth in next season’s Champions League. While Liverpool is in the semifinals of the Europa League, it is in Europe’s second-tier knockout competition because it was eliminated from the group stage of the Champions League, which it won in 2005. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Rothschild were appointed in September to find investors, but Hicks and Gillett didn’t receive an offer acceptable to them. An offer for 40 percent of the club by the New York-based private equity firm Rhone Group was not accepted earlier this month. Gillett sold the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, the Gillett Entertainment Group and the Bell Centre back to the Molson family for $580 million last year. Hicks has an agreement to sell baseball’s Texas Rangers to Chuck Greenberg, but that deal has been held up as creditors try to get more money as part of a sale. —AP

Spurs hammer blow ends Arsenal’s title bid Tottenham 2

Arsenal 1

LONDON: Aston Villa’s Stiliyan Petrov (top) competes for the ball with Everton’s Tim Cahill during the English Premier League soccer match.—AP

Jagielka gifts Villa point Aston Villa 2

Everton 2 BIRMINGHAM: Aston Villa rescued a dramatic 2-2 draw against Everton thanks to Phil Jagielka’s late own goal yesterday but their bid for a Champions League spot is all but over. Martin O’Neill’s team needed a win at Villa Park to have any chance of catching fourth placed Manchester City in the race to land a place in Europe’s elite club competition. Instead they were fortunate to salvage a point and are now seven points behind City with five games to play. Everton had taken the lead through Australia midfielder Tim Cahill in the first half. Gabriel Agbonlahor equalised for Villa after the interval, but Cahill struck again before Jagielka’s late mistake gifted the hosts a point. O’Neill kept faith with the same players who lost Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, while Moyes brought Nigerian striker Ayegbeni Yakubu back into the

Everton team in place of leading scorer Louis Saha. While the visitors were unbeaten in their last six league games, it was Villa who took control in the early stages as they tried to shake off their FA Cup hangover. Stewart Downing tested Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard with a snap-shot, then John Carew deflected a Downing corner just past the far post. When Howard did well to turn a first-time shot from James Milner around the post from Agbonlahor’s through ball, it looked like Everton would be in a tough time. But Leon Osman led the Toffee’ response as his ferocious drive was pushed away by Brad Friedel, who then reacted well to keep out a rising close-range effort from Dinyar Bilyaletdinov. Downing and Ashley Young were unable to hit the target as Villa tried to reestablish their grip on the game. But it was Everton who took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to Cahill’s eighth goal of the season. Villa left-back Stephen Warnock was adjudged to have brought down Osman and Leighton Baines floated the ball into the Villa area for

Cahill to head past Friedel. Villa’s leading scorer Carew showed tremendous strength and desire to hold off Jagielka but could only slice his shot into the side netting. Moyes’ men needed another fine save from Howard as the American pushed away a close-range header from Carlos Cuellar. Everton lost Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga to injury early in the second half and the visitors were briefly fazed by that setback. Carew created half a chance from nothing when surrounded by Everton defenders and his shot deflected wide. Villa’s pressure told as Agbonlahor brought the hosts level with his 50th goal for the club in the 72nd minute. Milner sent over a cross from the touchline and Agbonlahor directed a glancing header wide of Howard into the corner of the net. Just two minutes later Cahill restored Everton’s lead with another trademark header. Villa’s defending was poor as Cahill was presented with a free header to convert Bilyaletdinov’s corner. But in injury time Jagielka headed past his own goalkeeper from a Young centre to earn Villa a point. —AFP

Mallorca held, rue missed chance MADRID: Champions League hopefuls Real Mallorca moved a point above Sevilla into fourth with a 1-1 draw at Real Zaragoza yesterday although the islanders will see it as a missed opportunity to turn the screw on their rivals. Sevilla lost 2-1 at Valladolid on Tuesday but Mallorca, surprise challengers for the top four, could not punish the slip-up as their dismal away form continues to hinder their push for fourth. Defender Ruben Rocha put Mallorca into a 13th minute lead but Chilean Humberto Suazo equalised with a fine solo goal on 21 minutes. Mallorca have just two wins on their travels all season - the same as bottom side Xerez - compared to 13 victories from 15 games at home. Promoted Zaragoza are four points above the bottom three and are one of six teams trying to stay in the top-flight. Malaga are one of those and twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Osasuna yesterday as they hover three points above the drop zone. Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani put Osasuna ahead twice in the 10th and 48th minutes but Malaga fought back with Salvador Caicedo (32 min) and Nabil Baha (76) on target. Malaga lie three points above Tenerife and four ahead of Valladolid who both won on Tuesday to close in. Bottom side Xerez have clearly not waved the white flag in the relegation dog-fight stunning Atletico Madrid with a 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderon yesterday. Mario Bermejo headed Xerez into a surprise ninth minute lead but it lasted barely three minutes as Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan equalised with his 17th league goal of the season. However, Emiliano Armenteros had a free header to bag the winner on 72 minutes for only their second away win of the season. Xerez are six points from safety with six games left while Atletico are eight points off the top six although they have a Kings Cup final and Europa League semi-final to look forward to. Elsewhere Racing Santander took a giant stride towards safety with a 3-1 home victory over Espanyol to move six

Spanish League results/standings Atletico Madrid 1 (Forlan 12) Xerez 2 (Bermejo 9, Armenteros 72); Racing Santander 3 (Tchite 36pen, 50-pen, Arana 90) Espanyol 1 (Alonso 32); Osasuna 2 (Pandiani 10, 48) Malaga 2 (Caicedo 32, Baha 76); Real Zaragoza 1 (Suazo 21) Real Mallorca 1 (Ruben 13) Playing later Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna

Spanish League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona RealMadrid Valencia Mallorca Sevilla Bilbao Getafe Villarreal Deportivo Atletico Osasuna Sporting Almeria Espanyol Racing Zaragoza Malaga Tenerife Valladolid Xerez

31 31 31 32 32 31 32 32 31 32 32 32 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 32

25 25 16 1 15 14 14 13 12 11 10 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 5 6

5 2 8 7 6 6 5 7 7 7 8 10 10 10 11 9 11 8 13 8

1 4 7 10 11 11 13 12 12 14 14 13 12 13 13 15 14 17 14 18

77 83 50 50 46 45 46 46 33 48 30 33 33 26 34 38 37 31 32 28

19 28 35 37 38 42 40 44 39 50 37 41 43 40 46 56 42 61 54 54

80 77 56 52 51 48 47 46 43 40 38 37 37 37 35 33 32 29 28 26

points clear of the relegation zone. Espanyol went ahead through Ivan Alonso but two penalties from Mohamed Tchite (36 min, 50) helped Racing to a crucial win. Champions and league leaders Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna later on Wednesday looking to open up a six-point gap over Real Madrid at the summit. –AFP

LONDON: Danny Rose marked his Premier League debut with a stunning volley that set Tottenham on course for a 2-1 victory over Arsenal yesterday that ended their north London rivals’ title hopes. Rose, 19, fired Spurs ahead after nine minutes and Gareth Bale added a second immediately after the break before Nicklas Bendtner got one back five minutes from time. The Gunners now lie six points adrift of leaders Chelsea and effectively out of the title race. Tottenham, though, maintained their chances of claiming a place in next season’s Champions League and sit one point behind Manchester City who lie fourth. It was also Spurs’ first league win over their bitter rivals since November 1999 and only their second triumph over the old enemy in 28 league matches. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had insisted that the prospect of a derby meeting with the Gunners was the ideal fixture to help his side move on from the shock of losing to relegated Portsmouth in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final. It quickly became clear, however, that there would be no time to dwell on the painful trip to Wembley with Sol Campbell’s presence in the Arsenal line-up in particular ensuring an incendiary atmosphere. It is nine years since the defender left White Hart Lane, but the manner of his departure the former England centre-back allowed his contract to run down before switching to Arsenal on a free transfer - has clearly not been forgotten. This was Campbell’s first return to his former club since he rejoined Arsenal in January following his brief spell in League Two with Notts County and the way in which his first touch was jeered confirmed that nothing has changed. The defender would have been an even more unwelcome visitor had Benoit Assou-Ekotto not reacted smartly to hack the ball off the goal-line after Campbell’s knee deflected his side’s first corner beyond home keeper Heurelho Gomes. Stirred, they responded impressively with Rose working his way down the right hand flank in the eighth minute before pulling a low cross back towards Roman Pavlyuchenko, whose right foot shot appeared destined to beat Manuel Almunia before Gunners centre back Thomas Vermaelen stuck out a timely leg and deflected the ball to safety. Relief proved to be only temporary though, and the resulting corner produced Tottenham’s spectacular opening goal. The danger appeared to have passed when Almunia punched clear. The Arsenal keeper appeared to have got good distance on the clearance but the ball dropped perfectly for Rose who connected with a perfect left foot volley to beat Almunia from 25 yards. Campbell was growing in stature, especially when Vermaelen hobbled off injured after just 19 minutes and he prevented a second Spurs goal when he headed Luka Modric’s deflected shot to safety. The same could not be said for Campbell’s defensive colleagues, however, when the home side didi finally double their lead seconds after the restart. The move started with Jermain Defoe moving down the left before picking out Bale who was unmarked in the Arsenal area and played onside by Bacary Sagna. Bale calmly slotted the ball past Almunia and Arsenal’s title hopes appeared to be all but gone. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger quickly introduced Theo Walcott and then Robin van Persie in a bid to add to his side’s firepower. It was Van Persie’s first appearance since sustaining a serious knee injury whilst on international duty with Holland five months ago and he would have marked his return with a goal had Gomes not produced two outstanding saves to deny him. Gomes made another brilliant stop to deny Campbell’s header but Spurs had to hang on after Bendtner gave Arsenal hope with a close-range finish in the 85th minute.—AFP

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Roman Pavlyuchenko (center) battles Arsenal’s Mikael Silvestre (left) and Sol Campbell (right) for the ball during an English Premier League soccer match.—AP

Wigan remain in trouble after draw EPL results/standings Wigan 0

Portsmouth 0 WIGAN: Wigan remain in the relegation dogfight after being held to a 0-0 draw by alreadyrelegated FA Cup finalists Portsmouth at the DW Stadium yesterday. Roberto Martinez’s side are five points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three but still have tough fixtures to play and may live to regret failing to defeat under-strength Pompey. Just four days after securing a second FA Cup final appearance in three years, Pompey boss Avram Grant made eight changes to the team that beat Tottenham in the semi-final on Sunday and was only able to name four substitutes. The potential of having to make additional payments to certain first-team players for reaching a certain number of appearances meant Grant gave Premier League debuts to youngsters Joel Ward and Matt Ritchie. With Pompey’s relegation to the Championship already confirmed, there was also little reason for Grant to risk his senior stars ahead of the Cup final clash with Chelsea next month. Ritchie was in the thick of the action early on as he headed wide from Tommy Smith’s cross when he should at least have hit the target. Latics midfielder Paul Scharner wasted an even better chance from Charles N’Zogbia’s free-kick as he headed wide from close range. Jason Scotland should have put Wigan ahead in the 32nd minute when he met Diame’s cross at the near post but the striker somehow shot straight at Ashdown from four yards. Ashdown then did just enough to keep out Scotland’s drive from the edge of the penalty area after former Wigan midfielder Michael Brown’s poor back-pass played in the Trinidad and Tobago international. Wigan midfielder Scharner had the ball in the net just before half-time but his effort was ruled out for offside. Scharner carelessly sidefooted over from Maynor Figueroa’s cut-back soon after half-time and Latics boss Roberto Martinez responded by substituting the Austrian, to the delight of home fans who cheered the decision as he disappeared down the tunnel. Another chance went begging when Scotland’s glancing header from N’Zogbia’s cross flashed across the face of goal. Ashdown produced his best save of the night with nine minutes remaining when he tipped James McCarthy’s drive around a post. The hosts continued to push for a much-needed winner but Hugo Rodallega fired over late on.—AFP

Aston Villa 2 (Agbonlahor 72, Jagielka 90-og) Everton 2 (Cahill 23, 74); Tottenham 2 (Rose 10, Bale 47) Arsenal 1 (Bendtner 85); Wigan 0

Portsmouth 0 Played Tuesday Chelsea 1 (Anelka 43) Bolton 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

34 34 34 33 33 34 33 34 34 33 34

24 23 22 17 18 16 14 13 12 10 11

5 4 5 11 7 8 13 12 10 13 10

5 7 7 5 8 10 6 9 12 10 13

85 77 76 69 60 54 46 54 35 32 35

30 27 36 41 33 33 34 46 43 35 50

77 73 71 62 61 56 55 51 46 43 43

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

13 35 14 44 17 28 18 36 18 30 17 41 21 36 18 32 22 28 9 points

37 52 51 62 64 57 72 70 60 for

42 38 33 32 32 31 27 27 15 entering

FRANCE: Marseille’s Mamadou Niang (left) challenges for the ball with Sochaux’s Marvin Martin during their French Division One soccer match at the Bonal Stadium.—AP

Marseille extend title lead PARIS: A late goal by Stephane Mbia boosted Marseille’s hopes of a first French title since 1992 yesterday as they edged Sochaux 1-0. As Marseille could end up with two trophies this season, Bordeaux, the team they beat in the League Cup final, hopes of retaining their league crown were almost extinguished with a 2-1 defeat by relegationthreatened Le Mans. Marseille lead second-placed Auxerre by five points with four matches remaining, while Bordeaux - who only a month ago had the possibility of winning three trophies this season - are nine points adrift with a game in hand. It represents quite a turnaround in fortunes during the course of the season for Marseille coach Didier Deschamps and his Bordeaux counterpart Laurent Blanc - both of whom are seen as candidates to replace Raymond Domenech as national coach after the World Cup finals. Sochaux had rattled Marseille early on twice having efforts repelled in the seventh minute. First France Under-19 midfielder Ryad Boudebouz had a shot parried away by Marseille ‘keeper Steve Mandanda and Nigerian striker Ideye Brown having collected the rebound saw his shot cleared off the line by Laurent Bonnart. Brown wasted another opportunity in the 17th minute as the 21-year-old Nigerian got himself into a one on one with Mandanda but sent his shot wide of the post. Marseille too were wasteful with their chances as leading scorer Mamadou Niang saw a header clawed away for a corner by Sochaux ‘keeper Matthieu Dreyer, who was then grateful to Tunisian international defender Yassin Mikari, who headed off his line from Souleymane Diawara’s header. However, the League Cup winners wasted an

even better chance in the 56th minute through record signing Lucho, who put together a nicely worked move with Niang, but the former Porto star’s lob from inside the area came back off the bar into a grateful Dreyer’s hands. The lively Boudebouz, though, reminded Marseille that they were very much in a tough battle as seeing Mandanda come off his line he chipped over him from long range only to see it clip the bar. Mbia, though, struck late on getting a second bite of the cherry after his shot from Brandao’s downward header was blocked but he tapped home the rebound. “Is that the title clinching goal? No lets not get ahead of ourselves and calm down. There are four matches to go,” said Mbia. “We showed great mental strength to keep going for that goal.” Bordeaux seized the advantage early on as Brazilian defender Carlos Henrique rose to head home his first goal of the campaign from Czech Republic international midfielder Jaroslav Plasil’s freekick in the eighth minute. However, Henrique was involved in a less impressive fashion as Le Mans equalised nine minutes later colliding with goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso at a Le Mans corner which former Liverpool striker Anthony Le Taellec seized on and rifled home a fierce shot. Carraso was a little to blame too for Le Mans’ second just before half time as he reacted too slowly to an underhit backpass by Benoit Tremoulinas which Mathieu Dossevi seized on gratefully and slotted the ball home. Bordeaux could make little impact in the secondhalf but were given a glimmer of hope in the 83rd minute when Le Mans striker Fousseyni Cisse was sent-off for a second bookable offence.—AFP

Singapore roaring back from recession


Shares boosted by JPMorgan results


US lawmakers frustrated by foreclosures


Thursday, April 15, 2010

UAE’s airspace activity up 12% DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates saw a 12 percent jump in air traffic in the first quarter, its General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said yesterday. In March air movements rose nearly 13 percent to 53,750 from 47,800 in the same period a year ago. The figure covers all air activities and operations, including air safety, security and infrastructure, air transport, licensing, aeromedical and other related activity. Total air movements in the first three months of the year increased to 153,000, from 137,000 a year earlier, GCAA said in a statement. Air activity was predominantly in Dubai air space, accounting for 46 percent in the first quarter, while activity in Abu Dhabi represented 14.7 percent. The Gulf Arab country is home to Dubai’s Emirates airline, the largest customer for the Airbus A380 superjumbo, as well as Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Sharjah’s Air Arabia. “Air traffic is a strong indicator of the UAE’s ability to maintain its advantages ... (This) forms a strong ground for starting the development of policies that encourage manufacturing in civil aviation in the (UAE),” Saif Al-Suwaidi, director general of the aviation authority, said in a statement. In November Boeing and Abu Dhabi’s government-owned investment firm Mubadala signed an aerospace pact that will help the Gulf Arab emirate launch its fledgling aerospace industry. The agreement will see cooperation in high-tech activities, including composite manufacturing, engineering, research and development, training and maintenance, the firms had said. Mubadala has been investing progressively in aerospace deals to boost the Abu Dhabi economy. — Reuters

Industries Qatar profit drops 14% DUBAI: Petrochemicals and metals company Industries Qatar just missed analysts’ expectations with 14.3 percent drop in net profit for the first quarter. Industries Qatar (IQ), the second-largest Gulf chemical producer by market value, is one of many regional petrochemicals companies that have struggled through the downturn although market fundamentals have shown signs of recovery since late last year. The company said yesterday it had a net profit of 1.2 billion riyal ($329.8 million) in the first quarter compared with 1.4 billion riyals the previous year and below a mean estimate of 1.3 billion riyals in a Reuters poll Shares of Industries Qatar were down 2.09 percent to 117.30 Qatari riyals at 0816 GMT yesterday. The shares are not expected to see much volatility on the back of results, Shuaa analyst Laurent-Patrick Gally said in a note. “We believe the mar-

ket will await tangible signs of the positive contribution of new projects-that have just been launched or are about to be launched-to IQCD’s bottom line in order to push the shares materially higher.” Projects such as Ras Laffan and Qatofin could push up year-on-year earnings growth this year, Gally said. Analysts expect Industries Qatar’s fortunes to revive as fertilizer prices recover and the company launches a new project, Qafco 5, to boost fertilizer output. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s top chemical company by market value, which has not yet posted Q1 earnings for 2010, recorded a net loss of 974 million riyals in the first quarter of 2009. SABIC is predominantly a petrochemicals producer while Industries Qatar produces fertilizers and steel in addition to petrochemicals.— Reuters

Arabtec, Aabar call off acquisition deal DUBAI: Construction firm Arabtec and Aabar Investments have called off their $1.7 billion agreement for Aabar to take over Arabtec, with analysts saying Arabtec no longer needed it with Dubai’s debt repayment plan. The two firms, which issued identical statements, gave no reason for the cancellation of the deal. Officials at both companies could not be reached for comment. “The parties have agreed that they will continue to work together in good faith towards future cooperation and forming a strategic partnership in Abu Dhabi in the future,” the firms said in statements to the Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses. At 0842 GMT, Arabtec shares were up 3.0 percent at 2.73 dirhams, after hitting a three-month high of 2.83 dirhams a share in early trading. Aabar shares were down 2.1 percent at 2.32 dirhams. The deal, unveiled in January, had been for Abu Dhabi-based Aabar to take a 70 percent stake in Arabtec, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) largest listed contractor. Arabtec was among the property and construction-related creditors to conglomerate Dubai World hit by the group’s announcement in November that it needed to delay repaying its debts. Arabtec was heavily exposed to Nakheel, the Dubai World unit that developed of the artificial islands in the shape of palms and a map of world. However, Dubai’s $9.5 billion rescue plan for state-owned Dubai World last month, which includes some immediate funding for property unit Nakheel to help pay its bills, has taken the pressure off, analysts said. “The Dubai World agreement means Nakheel will be paying Arabtec in full,” said Roy Cherry, an analyst at Shuaa Capital. “It also implies that all government-related entities will follow suit and overtime pay back their dues to Arabtec in full.” FUNDING FREED UP Dubai, which shook global markets on Nov. 25 when it unveiled plans to delay repaying $26 billion in debt, last month offered trade creditors repayment through cash and a publicly tradeable security, likely an Islamic bond. “The visibility of future cash flows will free up their funding for projects outside the UAE,” said Robert McKinnon, chief investment officer at Asas Capital. Arabtec has been expanding overseas to diversify its portfolio away from Dubai’s once-booming property sector which has been hit hard by the global financial crisis as developers slow or cancel projects and jobs are slashed. “In the post Nov 25 era, Arabtec’s management could not ascertain the direction and the pace of how events would unfold in Dubai,” said Cherry. “Now they can.” The deal between Aabar and Arabtec, the largest listed contractor in the United Arab Emirates, would have been among the biggest in the UAE. “The deal falling through will affect Arabtec a lot,” said Vyas Jayabhanu, head of investments at Al Dhafra Financial Broker. “With a potential Aabar deal, financing would have been easy. The main concern now will be about how they will raise money for some of their projects. Arabtec’s Q1 numbers will be closely watched by investors.” The builder reported its first ever quarterly loss in the fourth quarter after a charge of about $80 million for bad debts.— Reuters

Greece suffers a new setback Greece hit by new debt doubts, string of strikes ATHENS: Greece suffered a new setback yesterday when its borrowing rate shot up again to above 7.0 percent, just as taxi drivers and lawyers began a new series of strikes against huge budget cuts. The Socialist government of Prime Minister George Papandreou faces renewed doubts on international markets about its ability to borrow, and opposition at home to how draconian economic reforms will affect specific sectors. About 15,000 taxi drivers were set to demonstrate in the centre of Athens in the afternoon. Greece has to borrow heavily to avoid default and pay current bills including some pension entitlements, and the interest rate or yield it has to offer has become critical to the nation’s future. Yesterday, the rate demanded on the market to buy 10-year government debt rose to 7.019 percent despite a eurozone agreement on Sunday on a stand-by rescue. The yield, which had fallen sharply in initial reaction to the agreement, was 6.815 percent on Tuesday, having hit a record of slightly more than 7.5 percent last Thursday. Greece has said that such a high cost of borrowing is unbearable, as it negates much of the saving expected from drastic economic reforms imposed by the European Union. For this reason Greece pressed the EU to come up with an EU-IMF safety net intended to raise Greece’s credibility on the markets, reduce risk and pull down the rate demanded. On Tuesday, in a first test of this credibility prop, Greece successfully issued short-term debt with a life of six and 12 months to raise 1.56 billion euros (2.12 billion dollars). The issue was well oversubscribed, but the rates offered were high at 4.55 and 4.85 percent from 1.38 and 2.20 percent in January. At French bank BNP Paribas, analysts noted that Greece needed to borrow about 6.5 billion euros by the end of May. They commented that the good news was that Greece “is further ahead with its financing program” but the bad news was that “its ability to raise medium and

ATHENS: A taxi driver gestures outside the Greek parliament during a 48hours strike in Athens yesterday. Greece suffered a new setback yesterday when its borrowing rate shot up again to above 7.0 percent, just as taxi drivers and lawyers began a new series of strikes against huge budget cuts. — AFP long-term funds is still questioned.” The government’s program to reduce the public deficit from about 12.9 percent of output last year by four percentage points this year includes cuts in the pay of public workers and an attack on tax fraud. On the home front, the taxi drivers and lawyers were protesting against a tax reform approved in parliament yesterday.

The federation of taxi and car rental companies POE.IATA which has 30,000 members and which has already staged two similar strikes, said: “Our demand is the same: the non-inclusion of our sector in the logic of the tax project.” Lawyers have called for a three-day strike, the second in a month, against the bill which reforms taxation of selfemployed professionals. Storeholders on

public markets were also on strike for 24 hours against being forced to use regulatory cash registers, and about 200 of them demonstrated outside the economy ministry in the city centre. Municipal workers stopped work for four hours to protest about the way their social security arrangements are managed and were to demonstrate outside the health ministry.

Today, public transport workers in Athens, excluding workers on the underground rail system, are to stop work for six hours and secondary school teachers for three hours. The federation of public sector workers ADEDY which has 300,000 members has announced a strike across the public sector for April 22, the fourth this year against the cutbacks and reforms. — AFP

Zain downgraded from ‘neutral to sell’ Goldman sees Nigeria, Russia, Egypt, most attractive KUWAIT: Goldman Sachs downgraded Kuwaiti telco Zain to “sell” from “neutral”, saying that the market had reacted “too positively” to the sale of Zain’s African assets to Bharti Airtel for $9 billion. The brokerage said Zain had one of the lowest real growth outlooks among its peers in Central Eastern Europe, Middle East

and Africa (CEEMEA) due to a deteriorating home market. “The completion of the deal with Bharti and dividend payment should remove the corporate event support that the stock currently enjoys,” Goldman analysts wrote in a note. Goldman also cut its rating on Qatar Telecom to “neutral” from

“buy” and said stiff competition and poor performance in the domestic market would hurt the shares. The brokerage expects Russia, Egypt and Nigeria to be the most attractive wireless telecom markets in the region over the next five years. It named Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems, VimpelCom and Egypt’s Mobinil as

its top picks as they consistently delivered superior returns compared to peers. Goldman upgraded Mobinil to “buy” from “neutral”, citing the company’s high real growth potential, capex efficiency and low taxation. “We expect Mobinil to keep generating superior returns on capi-

tal, which should help the stock to re-rate,” it said. The brokerage also raised South Africa’s MTN to “buy” from “neutral” and added it to its CEEMEA focus list, saying the company’s high and sustainable returns would eventually translate into a premium valuation for the stock. — Reuters



Thursday, April 15, 2010

EMC unveils data Domain Global Deduplication Array HOPKINTON: EMC Corporation, the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, yesterday announced the EMC Data Domain Global Deduplication Array (GDA), the industry’s fastest inline deduplication storage system for enterprise backup applications. The Global Deduplication Array provides up to 14.2 petabytes (PB) of logical backup capacity, driving new levels of simplicity for data center backup consolidation across workloads as diverse as very large databases, VMware(r) images, and unstructured data. EMC also announced that its flagship single controller system for large enterprises, the EMC Data Domain DD880, now doubles its maximum capacity, offering support for up to 7.1 petabytes of logical backup storage and introduced EMC Data Domain Encryption software, the industry’s first data at rest encryption solution for deduplication storage systems designed to protect enterprise data in the event of theft or loss of disks and systems. The expanded DD880 delivers up to 7.1 PB of logical storage, double its capacity at introduction in mid-2009, providing users greater backup and disaster recovery (DR) consolidation, further simplifying management and reducing operational expenses. Unlike most multi-controller deduplication systems, the inline Global Deduplication Array is tightly coupled with backup software, enabling industry leading inline deduplication performance, dynamic distribution of load and simplicity of operation. The Global Deduplication Array distributes parts of the deduplication process to the backup servers to reduce network load and increase

tion challenge that organizations face according to our research. With their Data Domain Global Deduplication Array, EMC has far exceeded the inline deduplication performance benchmark it set with its previous top-of-line Data Domain system, but more importantly, the company has given customers a way to protect more of their data in a shorter period of time. We expect more companies to evaluate integration between backup software and deduplication storage to maximize these performance levels and data reduction results while consolidating administrative tasks.” Executive Quote: “The EMC Data Domain Global Deduplication Array, while very sophisticated under the hood, builds on the mature foundation of the existing Data Domain platform and retains its appliance simplicity. Its deduplication is inline, it’s blistering fast, and it’s big enough for significant datacenter backup consolidation, but its dynamic load balancing, single deduplication storage pool and namespace and tight integration with backup software means the Global Deduplication Array is easier to operate than competitors who don’t have its scale. EMC has once again moved the dial on disk-based data protection.” Brian Biles, Vice President of Product Management, EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division Unequalled Replication Capabilities With the EMC Data Domain Replicator software option, the Global Deduplication Array can automate wide area network (WAN) vaulting for use in disaster recovery (DR), remote office backup, or multi-site tape

the throughput performance of the GDA controllers. It offers more than 3x faster backup throughput per controller than competitive deduplication configurations and is the fastest inline deduplication system available. The Global Deduplication Array presents a single inline deduplication storage pool to the backup application across two EMC Data Domain DD880 controllers. Large datacenter backup jobs are dynamically and transparently load balanced across the controllers, simplifying capacity management, performance management and backup administration. For backup environments with hundreds of terabytes to process, administrators can target their backup policies to a Global Deduplication Array and leverage a common deduplication storage environment for all data protected by those policies. The Global Deduplication Array accommodates up to 270 concurrent backup jobs and up to 12.8 TB/hour of throughout allowing more backups to finish sooner while putting less pressure on limited backup windows. Global namespace minimizes the need to reconfigure complex backup policies, while innovative global deduplication technology dynamically load balances policies for performance and capacity management. Consequently, very large data sets can be easily protected with administrative simplicity while maximizing overall deduplication efficiency and therefore minimizing physical storage footprint. Analyst Quote: “Figuring out how to get backups done within the allotted period of time in the face of data growth is still the biggest data protec-

consolidation. A single Global Deduplication Array can support a replication fan-in of up to 270 remote offices using smaller deduplication storage systems such as the Data Domain DD140 or the DD600 series appliances. Cross-site deduplication further minimizes the required bandwidth since only the first instance of data is transferred across any of the WAN segments between sites. Additionally, for fast offsite protection and consolidation of tape out operations, the Global Deduplication Array provides up to 54 TB/hour of replication throughput. Like all Data Domain systems, the new Global Deduplication Array is simple to install and flexible enough to be implemented into existing user environments without disruption. Backed by available EMC 24x7x365 enterprise class service, it seamlessly integrates into Symantec(tm) NetBackup and Backup Exec backup environments using the EMC Data Domain OpenStorage software option. Availability and Global Services The EMC Data Domain Global Duplication Array will be generally available in the 2nd quarter of 2010. For more information about Data Domain deduplication storage systems, please visit In addition, customers leveraging the new EMC Data Domain Global Deduplication Array can work with EMC Global Services to accelerate their backup and deduplication deployments and maximize the value of its capabilities through the use of EMC’s end-toend consulting, implementation, residency and education services.

Cannon issues warning KUWAIT: The Nassir Mohamed Al-Sayer Communications Co, the lone official sponsor for the Canon Mideast products (digital cameras, scanners, printers, copiers), as per a register number 826/2002 made with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, announce that they are not responsible for any Canon products that are imported and sold by any retailers other than the official sponsor. This announcement is made after the company noticed that several individuals and companies have been selling Canon products, in violation to the exclusive rights for Nassir Mohamed Al-Sayer Communications Co. as the sole distributor for these products in the Kuwait. The Nassir Mohamed Al-Sayer Communications Co hereby reiterate their right to take any legal actions against violations to their exclusive rights for distributing the Canon Mideast products in the country.

AUDI records strongest first quarter ever; 264,100 cars sold DUBAI: AUDI AG has recorded its strongest first quarter ever with about 264,100 cars delivered worldwide so far this year. The brand with the four rings recorded double-digit growth figures in all sales regions - Europe, North and South America, AsiaPacific, and Africa including the Middle East region. Audi sold some 110,400 cars worldwide in March alone - the best monthly result of all time for the Ingolstadt-based company. “With these sales results, we have even surpassed the comparative figures from our record year in 2008,” commented Peter Schwarzenbauer,

Middle East sales grow by 8.5% in 2010 162,500 units. In the United States, Audi sold 21,315 units in the first three months of this year, 34.8 percent more than in the first quarter of 2009. In South America, Audi sold 70.5 percent more cars than in the first quarter of 2009, with around 3,000 units sold. The strong growth in China (including Hong Kong) continued: Sales figures in the first quarter were 77.3 percent higher than in the first three months of 2009. Audi achieved 70.0 percent growth throughout the entire Asia-

Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “We expect continued growth compared to last year in the second quarter of 2010.” Drivers for the good sales growth in the first quarter, according to Schwarzenbauer, included the new Audi A5 Sportback and A5 Cabriolet models. He also emphasized the continued strong sales of the Audi Q5 and of the A4 and A6 models. In Europe sales in the first quarter increased by 12 percent to around

Pacific region, with some 64,450 customers taking delivery of their new cars. Sales figures also rose in the Middle East: with 1,579 cars sold, sales volume was 8.5 percent higher than in the previous year - a trend set to continue for the rest of 2010. In March alone sales increased by 30.8% compared to 2009. Jeff Mannering, Managing Director of Audi Middle East, adds “To become the most successful brand, our mission for the Middle East is to delight customers

with the best brand experience available.” The UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia remain Audi’s most important markets in terms of volume. With almost 500 units sold in 2010 so far, Audi’s 7seater SUV, the Q7, continues to be the best selling model for the brand with the four rings in the SUV-enthusiastic region. The Audi Q5, A5 and A5 Sportback have become the leaders of their respective segments among the German premium cars. New offers on the Audi A4 including the new 2.0T engine with 180 bhp also aim to push growth for the A4 model line.

Rima Maktabi

Rima Maktabi joins CNN KUWAIT: CNN International yesterday announced Rima Maktabi as the new host of its popular ‘Inside the Middle East’ program and a key addition to CNN’s roster of anchor/correspondents covering the Middle East. The appointment of Lebanon-born Maktabi, one of the Middle East’s most dynamic and well known prime time presenting talents, signals CNN’s deepening commitment to the region and continued investment in its Abu Dhabi production hub. The hiring of Maktabi - a prime time news anchor on Arabic news channel Al Arabiya who brings with her a wealth of experience in the region - follows the recent launch of CNN Abu Dhabi, the debut of the nightly primetime show ‘Prism’, and the decision to fully localize the production staffs of the high profile ‘Inside the Middle East ‘ and ‘CNN Marketplace Middle East’ shows. The expanded CNN output is further bolstered by an extensive regional newsgathering infrastructure which today includes bureaux in Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Islamabad, Jerusalem and Kabul. In a unique collaboration with Al Arabiya - for a two month period Maktabi will continue to present her Arabic prime time news show while filming throughout the region for CNN’s ‘Inside the Middle East’. Maktabi’s first appearance on CNN will be on the April 5th edition of ‘Inside the Middle East’, ahead of joining CNN full time in June. “CNN is delighted to announce the addition of Rima Maktabi to its lineup of Middle East based on-air talent as host of ‘Inside the Middle East”. She is a strong talent with an impressive track record and we’re pleased that this flexible partnership with Al Arabiya will allow our international viewers

to get to know Rima much better as she becomes an integral part of our reporting from the region,” said Tony Maddox, EVP and Managing Director, CNN International. “CNN’s appointment of Rima Maktabi is yet another acknowledgement by a highly-reputed global Newsmaker of the professional standards of Al Arabiya,” said Abdul Rahman Alrashed, General Manager of Dubaibased Al Arabiya News Channel. “The fact that Rima Maktabi will first appear simultaneously on both CNN and Al Arabiya also gives this joint arrangement a greater corporate meaning and provides various audiences with tremendous addedvalue and synergies,” Alrashed concluded. In addition to hosting ‘Inside the Middle East’, Rima also joins CNN’s regionally based Stan Grant, Paula Hancocks and Ben Wedeman as a roving anchor/correspondent, reporting as and where the network’s newsgathering needs require. About Rima Maktabi Rima Maktabi joined AlArabiya as a prime time news anchor and producer in 2005. Since then, she has covered notable regional stories such as the Iranian and Lebanese elections, the Palestinian Camp War in Nahr El Bared, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Arab summits in Doha and KSA. Rima has also covered international stories such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and The US Presidential Elections for Al-Arabiya. Her journalism credentials also include time as a reporter for Annahar newspaper and news and entertainment reporting/presenting roles at Future TV. She holds an MA in International Affairs and a BA in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University of Beirut.

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 .4410000 .390000 .2695000 .2830000 .2660000 .0045000 .0020000 .0778010 .7579950 .4020000 .0750000 .7430810 .0045000 .0500000

.2920000 .4490000 .3965000 .2777000 .2900000 .2720000 .0075000 .0035000 .0785830 .7656130 .4170000 .0790000 .7505500 .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 .2866000 .4436660 .3920980 .2714370 .2855850 .0526670 .0403050 .2677130 .0369390 .2065000 .0030780 .0065130 .0025250 .0034420 .0041990 .0780690 .7606000 .4053320 .0764660 .7447910 .0064400

.2887000 .4468000 .3948670 .2733600 .2876070 .0530400 .0405910 .2696040 .0372000 .2079620 .0031000 .0065590 .0025430 .0034670 .0042290 .0785670 .7654500 .4082030 .0769530 .7495410 .0064850

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2887000 .4468000 .2733600 .0769530

288.440 193.810 273.800 265.700 286.250 ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.119 6.467 3.435 2.527 4.044 207.300 37.142 4.159 6.429 8.915 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

76.880 79.210 748.930 765.640 78.513 ARAB COUNTRIES

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

55.000 52.280 1.284 208.430 407.100 193.400 6.309 35.574 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

225.000 115.000 60.000

Bahrain Exchange Company

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

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

288.150 393.040 446.040

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

SELL CASH 271.900 765.600 4.370 291.400 565.300 15.800 53.400 167.800 54.200 397.000

SELL DRAFT 270.400 765.600 4.155 289.900

210.500 52.289 395.500

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

37.800 6.790 0.035 0.293 0.257 3.180 408.670 0.194 91.800 47.000 4.250 208.700 2.183 50.000 747.830 3.500 6.590 79.620 76.870 210.480 42.190 2.728 448.000 40.800 277.400 6.400 9.270 217.900 78.550 288.300 1.380

37.650 6.480

406.940 0.193 91.800 4.070 207.200

275.900 9.110 78.550 287.900


Sterling Pound US Dollar

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 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 446.000 287.900

287.950 3.445 6.480 2.540 4.160 6.500 78.460 76.955 765.100 52.240 448.800 0.000032300 4.100 1.550 408.800 5.750 398.500 295.500

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

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

2.537 4.184 6.457 3.075 8.929 6.312 3.077

Currency 747.650 3.430 6.460 79.190 76.870 210.480 42.190 2.527 446.000

GOLD 10 Tola

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

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

US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

*Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 287.500 394.500 445.800 289.500 3.100 6.470 52.240 2.527 4.155 6.444 3.438 764.000 78.350 76.750


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Jazeera Airways announces 2010 Q1 operational results On-time performance 93%; Total sectors 4,549

TMC has taken 2010 Lexus GX 460 off the US market KUWAIT: Mubarak Al Sayer expressed that “Customer’s Safety” is not negotiable and shall await the results of the tests while hoping that this is fabricated news similar to the runaway Toyota Prius. TMC has officially announced that it will replicate the consumer report test as soon as possible, evaluate the results and determine what appropriate steps need to be taken. “For more than 20 years, Lexus has made customer safety and satisfaction

its highest priorities. We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified,” he said. Mubarak Al Sayer adds:” At this time we shall temporarily suspend sales of the 2010 GX 460. Lexus’ extensive vehicle testing provides a good indication of how our vehicles perform and we are confident that the GX meets our high safety standards”.

‘Together we labor, together we learn’ A new-age Gurukulam KUWAIT: Rajesh George Kulangara, Managing Director of Labor India Gurukulam School, is on a three-day visit to Kuwait and is available for academic consultation on a revolutionary new form of schooling in India. Labor India Gurukulam School, with its motto of “Together we Labor, Together we Learn,” offers students a unique learning environment based on the ancient Indian educational system of Gurukulam. The ancient gurukulam system offered a learning environment where ‘Shishyas,’ the students, lived alongside ‘gurus,’ the teachers, to serve them and in return imbibe from them knowledge in all its aspects. The present-day Labor India Gurukulam, is a coeducational residential school that combines the excellence of ancient Gurukulam system with modern world-class education. The school, which offers students many opportunities for effective learning and leadership, pursues a child-centered and activity-oriented education through individual attention, based on a harmonious blending of Gurukulam education adapted for current times. Kulangara, who has an MBA and Graduate Diploma in Teacher Education from Assumption University, Bangkok, joined Labor India Public School & Junior College as Executive Director in 2005.

Rajesh G Kulangara Since then, he has been instrumental in implementing several transformations in academic and management level. Among his accomplishments are the Gurukulam Leadership Academy - a self-sustainable management system for residential schools and Life School - a home schooling and deschooling project for children with learning disabilities. He also set up Life Skills - a training division for children of different age groups that successfully conducts training camps and parenting programs at schools. In addition, Kulangara founded the Augustya Adenture Academy for promoting adventure sports and LIGHTS - an institute that aims to help troubled teenagers as well as couples with marital problems. Kulangara is available for consultation in Kuwait on the 15, 16 and 17 April. For appointments, call: 66555468 or 99440328.

Toyota Motor Corporation commented: “Our engineers conducted similar tests during the development of the new GX460, and the model meets or exceeds all Federal Government regulations”. As always, we Al Sayer / MNSS and Lexus are committed to providing our customers with outstanding products and service. Customers who have any questions or concerns should contact MNSS Call Center on 1803 803

FREEDOM TOWN: Jazeera Airways, the largest operator at Kuwait Airport, yesterday announced it operated 4,549 sectors in Q1 2010, with an ontime performance of 93% making it the most punctual airline in Kuwait and one of the most punctual airlines in the world. With operations based in Kuwait Airport, Jazeera Airways flies to 22 destinations across the Middle East, West Asia, North Africa, Iran and Turkey, and operates a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s. Jazeera Airways CEO Stefan Pichler said, “Our on-time performance has been one of the main drivers behind our commercial success over the years. This has gained us a reputation for being the most punctual airline in Kuwait as more and more customers choose Jazeera Airways not only for our great value fares, but also for our reliability. And after five years of great reliability, everyone now knows that flying Jazeera Airways means arriving ontime.” Jazeera Airways has operated at an on-time performance above 90% for every year since it launched in late 2005. In 2009, the airline carried over 1.8 million passengers, capturing over 24% of the market share making it the largest operator at Kuwait Airport.

Crowne Plaza Kuwait gets Quality Excellence Awards KUWAIT: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) recognized its employees and hotels for their outstanding performance and contribution to the business and their local community in the annual Hotel Stars Awards. 91 winners across 20 award categories were selected from 686 IHG hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa as one of the best performing staff or hotels in 2009. Crowne Plaza Hotel - Kuwait is one of 39 hotels awarded the 2009 Quality Excellence Awards. The award was accepted by the General Manager of Crowne Plaza and the Director of Operations IHG Northern Gulf, Mr. Hani Kafafi. The Quality Excellence Award recognizes hotels that excel in guest experience and satisfaction. Hani Kafafi said, “This award recognizes all the hard work and team effort we’ve put in this year. We’re constantly striving to go the extra mile so guests can expect a consistently good service when visiting our hotel and we’ll continue to work together to keep delivering the same high quality hotel experience each year.” Kirk Kinsell, IHG’s President EMEA said, “IHG is committed to supporting and developing our staff, because our hotels are only as good as the people working in them. We strive to give them the right environment, support and inspiration they need to fulfill their capability and these awards are a reflection of the fantastic talent we have working in our hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa.”

China told to loosen grip on its currency ADB wants a more flexible yuan Stefan Pichler

Microsoft shares Technology Best Practices with Kuwait government KUWAIT: Furthering its commitment to promote good government practices through the use of technology, Microsoft Kuwait yesterday announced that it has completed a workshop for senior technology executives from the Kuwaiti government that took place at Movenpick Hotel Al Bida’a. A series of presentations was made by Microsoft that demonstrated how technology can help improve performance within the Kuwait eGovernment framework thereby leading to improved governance practices. The event was attended in cooperation with the Central Agency for Information Technology On attending the workshop, Qusai Alshatti, Deputy Director General for Central Agency for Information Technology said, “This workshop was very informative, it has helped us understand the future technology trends and the new technologies that Microsoft is working on. There are challenges, especially in the government sector, when it comes to technology readiness and the culture of change. This workshop has given us a view into the next generation of government services. This will help us plan ahead on how we can boost productivity and improve governance. We look forward to such events in the future as it’s a part of Government of State of Kuwait and Microsoft Strategic Partnership Agreement. (SPA). Through special training programs and workshops, Microsoft remains committed to

KUWAIT: (From Left to Right) Qusai Alshatti, Deputy Director General for Central Agency for Information Technology, Muwafaq Al Taki, Dr Salah Al Sharhan and Wassim Hamad. the development of a knowledge economy in Kuwait by equipping nationals with the ICT based skills they need to compete in today’s global economy. Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager of Microsoft Kuwait added, “The Kuwait Government has been a visionary in the development of the country’s technology infrastructure. Microsoft is committed to working with governments to promote innovation and growth through technology solutions and partnerships that create economic and social opportunities. The workshop held for the IT executives from

the Kuwaiti Government will empower them to use technology more efficiently in the delivery of enhanced e-services. We are honored to have had the opportunity to demonstrate the power of Microsoft technologies to the Kuwait government sector.” “Our strategy for the public sector is to provide a set of solutions to modernize the level of government services. This will help empower the government officials to quicken decision making process, make information more easily available and in turn offer more value-added services to its citi-

zen. Today, people are increasingly becoming more techsavvy, especially with the use of internet, facebook and social networking; which creates a perfect climate for government adoption to host different technology solutions,” said Naim Yazbeck, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Gulf. “Microsoft has launched a spectrum of cloud computing solutions for various sectors. We have been the only cloud provider to offer cloud based services like hotmail, Xbox live amongst others for a very long time. Now, we are offering our core technologies like Windows, Sharepoint and CRM to be hosted as a cloud. These cloud based services can now be offered to government sector to enhance their services.” Naim added that Microsoft offers dedicated cloud services with high level of protection and security for governments. Cloud based services helps the public sector to offer more value added services, benefits staff to effectively communicate and collaborate, while reducing costs and gaining a higher return on investment. The event also addressed key issues that face the government today including privacy, security, information management and client uptake. Group discussions were also held during the event to discuss the future direction of eGovernment and the provision of timely and accurate eGovernment services to citizens.

Giordano opens 4 new stores in the region DUBAI: International retailer Giordano had a robust first quarter, highlighted by the opening of four new stores in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India. The renowned brand continues to strengthen its position in the UAE and successfully broaden its horizon in the region. Amidst the difficult times of the world economic crisis, Giordano has been able to keep its roots strong by opening stores in existing and new markets. Capturing an untapped customer base and taking advantage of high foot traffic among shoppers in the UAE, Giordano recently opened their new concept store at Mirdif City Centre and Century Mall in Dubai. In Saudi Arabia, BSX and Giordano Junior opened at Al Jamaiya Plaza, Jeddah, additionally, two stores and three shop-inshop counters were opened in India. Apart from opening new stores, Giordano is also investing to refurbish existing stores to reflect its new store concepts. “At Giordano, we believe in reinventing ourselves and adapting to the changing times, consistently offering our customers choice, value and impeccable service. The key to Giordano’s long-term success has always been in maintaining our commitment to provide simple, clean and comfortable design; quality workmanship; mindful customer service and value for money.

Q1 performance shows continued strength and success

Our core value is the solid foundation of the brand that in turn has built a strong and loyal following for Giordano around the world,” said Ishwar Chugani, Executive Director, Giordano Fashions LLC. “In Saudi Arabia, Giordano is currently celebrating 15 years of successful presence and growth in the Kingdom and is reaching more customers via new store locations. As part of its celebration, Giordano launched a charity drive for the benefit of the Disabled Children Association in Jeddah and expects to raise over 100,000 Saudi Riyals towards this initiative. Expanding in the sub-continent and taking stock of its high potential as an evolving retail base, Giordano currently intensifies its presence in India with additional investments totaling US$10 million in line with their plans to operate 30 stores by 2012, demonstrating strong optimism in the market. This includes the launch of a 10,000 square feet distribution and operational facility in Chennai. This year, Giordano also opened two more stores in Armenia, a store in Syria and one more in Tbilisi, Georgia. Plans are currently being finalized to open stores in, Libya, Tunisia and Iraq. With a global presence of 2000 stores, Giordano has grown into one of the leading retailers in casual apparel and goes from strength to strength in the Middle East.

BEIJING: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has urged Beijing to loosen its grip on its currency, saying a more flexible exchange rate would benefit China as well as Asia-Pacific countries. The Manila-based lender entered the fray in the mounting debate over the value of the yuan as it released its 2010 development outlook, in which it said China needed to boost domestic consumption to curb its dependence on exports. International critics have accused China of keeping the yuan undervalued to give its exporters an advantage by making their products cheaper. Beijing counters that the policy is needed for its manufacturers’ survival. “Now as the global economy picks up it would be... in China’s interests but also in the interests of the economies in the region to gradually shift towards greater exchange rate flexibility,” ADB country director Robert Wihtol told reporters. Speculation is growing that Beijing may soon alter its exchange rate policy as international pressure intensified for a stronger yuaneffectively pegged at around 6.8 to the dollar since mid2008. The bank was backed by US President Barack Obama who said the yuan was “undervalued” and that a readjustment was in China’s own best interest. Obama said it was important that “currencies are tracking, roughly, the market and not giving any one country an advantage over another”. It is “very clear that in my estimation (the yuan) is undervalued,” he said. US Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, a key author of legislation to punish China for its alleged currency manipulation, said Tuesday Congress must keep up pressure on China to revalue its currency. Schumer had been asked whether US lawmakers should back off efforts to pile pressure on China over the yuan because of Beijing’s apparent readiness to drop its opposition to new sanctions on Iran over Tehran’s suspect nuclear program. “To me it shouldn’t, because to me, I mean, Iran is very, very important, but so are American jobs and American wealth, and because China manipulates its currency, we lose jobs, wealth flows out of the country daily,” he said. Obama told Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday to adopt a more “market-oriented”

exchange rate, but Hu said a policy shift would not help rebalance Sino-US trade. The ADB also urged Beijing to step up efforts to boost domestic consumption, as a means of steering the nation away from its heavy dependence on exports and investment. China should strengthen the social safety net and lift spending on education, healthcare and affordable housing to enable the country’s 1.3 billion people to spend more on clothes and gadgets, the bank said. “A greater emphasis on private consumption would promote economic growth and raise living standards,” said the bank, which provides financial assistance to developing countries in the Asia-Pacific. The ADB raised its 2010 growth forecast for China to 9.6 percent from its previous estimate in September for 8.9 percent growth. The world’s third-largest economy is likely to grow at a slightly slower pace of 9.1 percent in 2011 as the government phases out massive stimulus measures introduced to combat the global financial crisis, the ADB said. The more optimistic forecast follows a similar one from the World Bank after the rapid turnaround in China caught economists somewhat by surprise. The ADB growth outlook is markedly higher than the government’s own 2010 target of around 8.0 percent. China has powered out of the downturn-it grew 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 - on the back of 586 billion dollars in stimulus spending and massive statesanctioned lending. A weaker-than-expected global recovery from the crisis and further trade disputes were the main risks for the future, the bank said. China’s next five-year plan, an economic blueprint set to be unveiled in 2011, was an opportunity for Beijing to “add momentum to restructuring efforts” necessary to ensure sustained growth in the years ahead, the bank said. Policymakers-who have acknowledged the need to retool the economy-could establish new targets for boosting private consumption and set out the policy adjustments needed to achieve such a target, it said. Expanding the services sector-such as banking and insurance would “strengthen the domestic engine of growth, generate new sources of employment and raise living standards”, the ADB said. — AFP



Thursday, April 15, 2010

KSE ends trading on a negative note Global Daily Market Report KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s trading on a negative note with declines also witnessed in all market sectors. Affecting the market’s downturn was Goldman Sachs decision to downgrade Zain to sell from neutral rating and increases its target price to KD1.240 versus KD1.010 due to a new valuation methodology. This has created a massive sell-off in the scrip causing it to be the value leader and ended the day down 4.48 percent to close at KD1.280. Market Indices GGI shed 3.48 points (-1.64 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 208.18 points. In addition, the KSE Price Index decreased by 86.80 points (-1.16 percent) yesterday and closed at 7,400.40 points. Market capitalization was down KD574.43mn yesterday to reach KD34.35bn. During yesterday’s session, 137 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 87 equities retreated versus 23 that advanced. A total of 100 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Daily Trading Activity Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 23.12 percent to reach 461.29mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded gained by 39.48 percent to stand at KD115.75mn. The Services Sector was both the volume and value leader yesterday, accounting for 34.48 percent of total market volume and 47.94 percent of total traded value. Gulf Finance House was the volume leader yesterday, with a total traded volume of 42.88mn. Zain was the value leader with a total value of KD13.54. Top Gainers and Biggest Decliners In terms of top gainers, Oula Fuel Marketing Company took the top spot for the day, adding 8 percent and closed at KD0.540. On the other hand, Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment

TBWA\RAAD announces addition of new agency partner - Integer

Company shed 14.29 percent and closed at KD0.120, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors Wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they all ended the day on a negative note with Global Services Index being the top decliner. The index ended the day down 2.68 percent backed by heavyweight Zain ending the day with a loss of 4.48 percent and closed at KD1.280. Furthermore, Mubarrad Transport Company, the top decliner in the sector, ended the day down 7.35

percent to close at KD0.126. Global Investment Index was the second biggest decliner yesterday with a 1.94 percent loss backed by Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment Company being the top decliner in the sector and market. Furthermore, National Investment Company contributed to the index’s decline by ending yesterday’s trading session down 6.76 percent and closed at KD0.345. Regarding Global’s special indices, Global Large Cap Index was the top decliner. The index ended the day down 2.33 percent backed by heavy-

weights National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House ending down 1.61 percent and 3.45 percent, respectively. Oil News The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at US$81.52 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with US$82.20 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwaiti crude oil was down 51 cents and came to US$80.83 per barrel (pb) on Tuesday, according to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

DUBAI: TBWA\RAAD - the Middle Eastern arm of global advertising agency TBWA (Omnicom Group) - yesterday announced the formation and integration of a MENA office for sister Omnicom Group company, Integer. Established in 1993, headquartered in Denver, Colorado and with offices throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and AsiaPacific, the Integer Group, is one of the world’s largest Shopper marketing agencies and a key member of the TBWA global marketing services portfolio. The Integer Group resides at the intersection of branding and selling and creates strategic marketing solutions for clients in categories including; P&G, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, GlaxoSmithKline, Blackberry, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s. Integer will bring MENA clients a proven methodology that balances the needs of brands and retailers ensuring that all parties, especially the shopper, will derive value and benefit. TBWA\RAAD Group Managing Director, Reda Raad, said; “In line with our policy of service diversification, Integer adds a new layer of expertise and strategic capability to our regional offering and helps us deliver even greater ROI to our clients.” He continued “we are delighted that we are already working with Carrefour, the region’s leading Hypermarket retailer.” Leading Integer’s MENA office will be Managing Director Marcus Evans. Evans comes to Integer with 20 years of agency

experience and additional expertise in CRM and digital. Evans has a broad experience of international business having work in Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. In synchronization with the launch of Integer’s MENA office, the agency has conducted its first ‘MENA Checkout Study’, which surveyed 2,400 respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. “The results revealed some interesting insights”, explains Evans, “For example, when asked how their shopping behavior had changed in recent months, 61% of UAE respondents reported spending less whereas this figure was only 45% in Egypt”. “What was abundantly clear from all 3 countries. was that Shoppers are hungry for relevant information, continued Evans, “and Shoppers are very happy to give personal details in return for information on offers and promotions over 60% would provide their email address and nearly half would give their personal mobile number.” Evans commented, “We are in a great position to offer Integer’s global knowledge and expertise focused through a deep understanding of local markets. The MENA Checkout study shows that, a there are more similarities than differences in the behavioral trends in US and MENA shopper behavior. Crucially, what the study also identifies are the key differences in regional and local attitudes and behavior that allows us to adapt and configure our strategic and implementational approach”.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Intel inspires Asian stocks Yen dumped as risk appetite boosted by Intel forecasts

SINGAPORE: Container trucks move near cranes in a container port in Singapore yesterday. Singapore’s economy grew at its fastest rate in at least 35 years in the first three months of 2010. — AP

Singapore roaring back from recession GDP expands 13.1 percent SINGAPORE: Singapore roared back from recession in the first quarter, the government said yesterday, as it sharply raised its economic growth forecast and tightened monetary policy to check inflation. Preliminary estimates showed first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 13.1 percent from a year ago and 32.1 percent on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said. The strong results prompted the ministry to upgrade its growth forecast to 7.0-9.0 percent this year from the previous 4.5-6.5 percent. Tradereliant Singapore’s revised growth target comes amid signs that the global economy is continuing to recover from the financial and economic crisis that struck in late 2008 and extended well over into last year. Singapore’s economy, the first in Asia to slip into recession, contracted 2.0 percent last year as the crisis hammered demand for its exports. Banking giant DBS said the 32.1 percent quarter-on-quarter expansion “will go down in the history book as the strongest quarterly growth ever recorded” for the affluent city-state. The surge also marked a strong turnaround from the same period last year, when GDP shrank 9.4 percent annually and 7.1 percent from the previous three months. Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed 1.62 percent higher at 3,019.74 on Wednesday as the stock market cheered the news. “All cylinders were firing with all key sectors registering very strong growth,” DBS Bank said in a commentary. It also described the expansion as a “supernormal growth.” Manufacturing led the way with a 30-percent year-on-year expansion in the first quarter as external demand for information-technology-related products improved.

Construction grew 11.3 percent annually and services-producing industries surged 8.4 percent, the trade ministry said. “The outlook for the global economy has shown further signs of improvement,” the ministry said. “While downside risks remain, such as a sovereign debt crisis in Europe or a slowdown due to withdrawal of fiscal measures, these have been outweighed by stronger signs that global economic conditions are improving.” The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday announced it was adopting a tighter monetary policy stance to tame inflation as the economic recovery gains traction. Singapore’s monetary policy is conducted via the local currency, which is traded against a basket of currencies of its major trading partners within an undisclosed band known as the nominal effective exchange rate. MAS, the country’s central bank, revalued upward its targeted trading band for the Singapore dollar and said it would now allow a “modest and gradual appreciation” of its currency, shifting from “zero appreciation”. Analysts described the MAS’ policy move as “aggressive” but the central bank said it was necessary to curb inflationary pressures. With the strong first-quarter growth, Singapore “has now fully recovered the output lost during the recession, and economic activity in a broad range of industries has exceeded its pre-crisis peak,” MAS said. Along with economic growth, however, “inflationary pressures are likely to pick up, driven by rising global commodity prices as well as some domestic cost factors,” it added. Singapore uses the local currency, rather than interest rates, to conduct monetary policy because of the economy’s huge reliance on external trade. — AFP

China’s top oil firms sell gasoline to Iran Chinese firms fill void as other fuel suppliers pull back DUBAI: State-run Chinaoil has sold two gasoline cargoes for April delivery to Iran, industry sources said yesterday, stepping into a void left by fuel suppliers halting shipments under threat of US sanctions. Beijing, which has close economic ties with Tehran, has resisted sanctions proposed by Western powers on Iran’s energy sector that aim to press the Islamic Republic to curb its nuclear program. US politicians want to impose unilateral sanctions on fuel suppliers to Iran, and several of the world’s top oil companies and trading houses have already curbed sales to preempt potential penalization of their US operations in future. But while others back out, Chinaoil has sold a total of about 600,000 barrels worth around $55 million to the Islamic Republic. The cargoes were Chinaoil’s first direct sales to Iran since at least January 2009, according to Reuters data. Chinese firms have previously sold through intermediaries, traders said. “Prior to this there was some thirdparty trades going on, but this was a direct sell,” a trader said. Chinaoil is the trading unit for China’s top energy group China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which is the parent of US and Hong Konglisted PetroChina. A CNPC spokesman was unable to comment on the sales. HIATUS Another Chinese company, Sinopec Corp, was also poised to resume gasoline sales to Tehran following a hiatus of nearly six years, trade sources said. Sinopec is Asia’s largest refiner. Sinopec’s trading arm Unipec booked a vessel to load 250,000 barrels in Singapore on Tuesday, with options to dis-

charge in the Gulf. The cargo was likely to go to Iran, trade sources said. A Sinopec spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Unipec sold gasoline to Iran between 2001 and 2004. State-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the world’s largest single lifter of Iranian crude, also used to be a regular supplier to Iran. Despite tough talk from the United States and the West and a number of suppliers halting shipments, Iran has maintained robust imports of gasoline from the international market, also buying from Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas and France’s Total. In March, the OPEC member purchased around 128,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline, steady to imports made the previous month, traders said. “As long as there is money to be made, and economic benefits to be taken advantage off, Iran will always find ready sellers of gasoline from the international market,” a trader said. “The politicians don’t understand markets...sanctions are cosmetic.” Earlier this month, LUKOIL, Russia’s No 2 oil company, joined a growing list of international oil companies and trading firms who have stopped gasoline sales to Iran. In March Anglo-Dutch oil firm Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had stopped gasoline supplies to the Islamic republic joining two of the world’s largest independent trading companies Glencore and Vitol who had taken similar decisions. Iran, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, has been under mounting pressure by the United States and its allies to halt uranium enrichment. The West says that Tehran is using its atomic program to develop a nuclear bomb, while Iran insists it is for electricity.—Reuters

HONG KONG: The technology sector propelled Asian stocks yesterday after bellwether Intel Corp’s streetbeating earnings while Singapore’s aggressive monetary tightening lifted regional currencies on speculation it heralded a yuan revaluation. The tech-heavy markets in South Korea and Taiwan got a leg-up after the world’s top chipmaker Intel unveiled sales and margin forecasts that trounced Wall Street expectations. Taiwan’s TAIEX index was up 0.5 percent and the South Korean KOSPI rose 0.9 percent, off initial highs. In Tokyo, gains in the technology sector helped overcome the drag provided by telecoms firm KDDI Corp’s 1.5 percent drop. The Nikkei benchmark was up 0.2 percent, just above the 14-day moving average. “The results and guidance reinforce the markets’ belief that the global economy is recovering at a very fast pace and that is supportive of risk appetite trades across asset classes,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk chief investment strategist at SJS Markets. By mid-day the MSCI index of Asian shares outside Japan was up 0.9 percent with the technology index the biggest gainer rising 1.1 percent. A host of Asian currencies made early gains after Singapore’s central bank re-centered its dollar policy band upwards and switched to a policy of modest and gradual appreciation for the currency. The move, effectively a revaluation of the Singapore dollar, boosted the currency to a 20 month high of 1.3776 and triggered a rally in other Asian currencies amid widely held expectations that China will revalue the yuan. All Asian currencies, besides the yen and the yuan, rose posting gains of between 0.1 percent and 1 percent after the move which came on the heels of data that showed the citystate’s economy expanded at a record pace and faster than expected. “It’s not just a Singapore story. It’s Asia doing extremely well against the rest of the world. Singapore’s data today confirms it,” said Endre Pedersen, executive director of fixed income at MFC Global, who helps manage about $15 billion in Asian fixed income. That shift in central focus to inflation from growth in Singapore renewed expectations Beijing will allow its yuan to rise to contain inflationary pressures in an accelerating economy. Given the close links markets in Singapore have in relation to China, the Chinese central bank could take a cue from the MAS and move the currency to address rising prices as well, HSBC currency strategist Perry Kojodjojo said. “We think the initial stage of inflation is positive for Asian fx as it could mean central banks here will allow appr eciation to combat rising prices,” Kojodjojo said. This gave a leg-up especially to Asian currencies considered proxy trades for the yuan including the Malaysian ringgit and the South Korean won. The growth-linked Australian dollar rose 0.3 percent following the Singapore central bank’s move which came after data showed the economy expanded a strongerthan-expected 13.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from a year earlier. The low-yielding yen, however, suffered losses as demand for riskier assets picked up on hopes of better earnings from the tech sector. The currency fell most against the Aussie dollar which rose 0.4 percent against the yen. The euro, which is still enjoying a rebound stemming from short-covering after a rescue package for Greece at the weekend, rose 0.3 percent to $1.3654.— Reuters

NEW YORK: A trader Christopher Moire works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures rose yesterday after Intel Corp’s quarterly results showed companies are starting to spend again on technology. —AP

Shipbuilder Drydocks SE Asia eyes flat sales Bank financing holding back new industry orders SINGAPORE: Ship and rig builder Drydocks World is aiming to generate $800 million worth of sales from Southeast Asia this year, steady from 2009, signaling the offshore marine industry remains cautious after the financial crisis. Oil rig and shipbuilders such as Singapore’s Keppel Corp were hit last year by an absence of significant orders as plunging oil prices left major oil and gas explorers delaying or cancelling orders placed during previous boom years. Denis Welch, chief executive for Drydocks World Southeast Asia, said the firm’s orderbook stood at $1 billion, which is little changed from a year ago. He said limited bank financing after the financial crisis was a factor holding back new orders. “If you look at the world’s rigs and supply vessels, over half of them are over 20 years old and there has to be a replacement program that comes into effect,” Welch said in an interview yesterdaay.

“(Among) things that are holding us back now is bank financing,” he said, from his office at Singapore’s harbourfront. He said the company, the shipyard business of conglomerate Dubai World, is close to securing two deals with a total value of more than $150 million later this month, after signing a total of $200 million in contracts during the first quarter of this year. The Southeast Asian unit gets contracts from other regions such as the Middle East and Europe. Some analysts have turned positive on the sector, as oil prices have moved above $80 a barrel and there are hopes of big rig building contracts from Brazilian state energy firm Petrobras. But an overhang of ships, after heavy orders placed during the boom years before the financial crisis, and uncertainty about the sustainability of the economic recovery is limiting capital expenditure from the shipping and energy industries.

“While a recovery is clearly underway and with market expectations for new orders, we would caution against overexuberance as drilling contractors are likely to take a more measured approach,” said Rohan Suppiah, analyst at Kim Eng Research. “While Singapore shipyards are optimistic on new orders on firmer oil prices, enquiries remain muted,” Suppiah said. Drydocks World has one yard in Singapore and three yards located in the nearby Indonesian island of Batam, employing 27,000 workers. It competes in the region with the world’s top rigbuilders Keppel and Sembcorp Marine. Dubai’s government in March unveiled a $9.5 billion support plan for its flagship conglomerate Dubai World. Dubai World has said that Drydocks is not included in the restructuring program. Welch said the Southeast Asian operation had not been affected by the debt troubles of its parent firm. — Reuters

China’s property prices up BEIJING: Chinese property prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly five years in March, according to official data yesterday likely to add to concerns of a bubble developing in the real estate market. The news has increased speculation that the government will soon increase interest rates as it tries to rein in credit and put the brakes on the soaring economy. Analysts have forecast a rate hike as early as this month after massive bank lending in 2009 triggered fears that the cash flood has fed a spending spree by property speculators. Prices in major cities rose 11.7 percent year-on-year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website, marking the biggest year-on-year rise for a single month since the survey was widened to 70 cities in July 2005. That topped the 10.7 percent increase in residential and commercial property prices recorded in February and the 9.5 percent jump in January. The figures prompted senior leaders to renew an earlier pledge to step up efforts to rein in runaway prices amid growing complaints that apartment prices are out of reach for many people. The State Council, or cabinet, vowed to “firmly curb the fast-rising housing prices” to ensure the “healthy development of the real estate market”, according to statement issued after a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. New loans issued by Chinese banks in March fell to 510.7 billion yuan from the previous month, official figures show, suggesting the government’s efforts to curb lending were bearing fruit. But homebuyers and property developers were not getting the message and more drastic measures like interest rate hikes were needed to calm market activity, said Brian Jackson, senior strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong. “Today’s data affirms anecdotal reports that activity and sentiment remain robust,” said Jackson. “To convince homebuy-

FUZHOU: Migrant workers and their family eat a meal outside shipping containers converted for use as their home at the construction site of a high-end residential project in Fuzhou in southeast China’s Fujian province. — AP ers that it is fully committed to curbing overheating and reducing bubble risks, Beijing will need to use all of its policy tools, and that most obviously includes higher interest rates.” Prices of new homes rose by 15.9 percent yearon-year in March, the statistics bureau said. Haikou, a city on the tropical southern island of Hainan, recorded the biggest price jump, up 64.8 percent from a year ago. Sanya, another city on Hainan, saw prices soar 57.5 percent yearon-year. Property sales in the first three months of the year surged 57.7 percent to 797.7 billion yuan from the same period last year, it said. Investment in real estate development rose 35.1 percent to 659.4 billion yuan over that period. In an effort to rein in prices, Beijing has been restricting lending, requiring buyers of second homes to pay a deposit of at least 40 percent, and hiking interest rates on mortgage loans. “Clearly, these have had minimal impact,” said Alaistair Chan, associate economist at Moody’s in Sydney. —AFP

Bank Muscat net falls 49% DUBAI: Net profit at Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest bank by market value, nearly halved in the first quarter, as provisions against bad loans remained high and the year-ago comparison figure was boosted by a stake sale. The Oman bank posted a 49 percent drop in first-quarter net profit to 24.5 million Oman rials ($63.6 million) from 48.4 million in the same period in 2009, a statement on the bourse website said yesterday. The result falls below the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who estimated an average net profit for the first quarter of 30.2 million rials. Bank Muscat’s first-quarter result in 2009 included a 35.3 million gain on the sale of the bank’s stake in India’s HDFC

Bank. The bank said impairments for credit losses for the quarter rose to 11.8 million rials. Banks in Oman, as elsewhere in the Gulf region, have in the past year booked more provisions against bad debt, dampening profits and curtailing credit growth. However, lenders in Oman are regarded as well-capitalized and are expected to benefit from the sultanate’s economic growth in 2010. The non-OPEC member still relies heavily on oil revenue, which accounts for a large chunk of the sultanate’s gross domestic product. Omani officials in March said the country expects to post a budget surplus in 2010 on the back of high oil prices, while economic growth is forecast to be around 6 percent. — Reuters



Thursday, April 15, 2010

US lawmakers frustrated by slow progress on foreclosures WASHINGTON: The Obama administration’s plans to stabilize the housing market and stave off foreclosures is progressing too slowly, a congressional watchdog body said yesterday. “It now seems clear that Treasury’s programs, even when they are fully operational, will not reach the overwhelming majority of homeowners in trouble,” the Congressional Oversight Panel said in a report. At the center of the Treasury Department’s housing stabilization programs are incentives offered to lenders to restructure loans to more closely reflect the current market value of properties, with new debt obligations backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The Treasury Department had set a target to restructure loans for three to four million households, but only some

of the loan modifications convert to a final, five-year status, meaning many could simply re-default, COP said. The agency recognized in the fall that it faced difficulties in forcing banks to move forward with the program, but that the negligence of borrowers could also explain some of the project’s delays. Although Treasury has allocated 50 billion dollars to the loan modification program, it only effectively spent 90 million dollars by the end of March, according to its latest report, published Monday. The COP report came nearly three weeks after President Barack Obama’s administration unveiled revamped plans to help millions of US homeowners struggling to stay afloat amid high unemployment and slumping house prices.

The panel urged Treasury to get its new initiatives “up and running quickly,” while cautioning that “their impact will not be felt until early 2011.” That would “almost two years after the foreclosure mitigation program was first launched-and more than three years after the first foreclosure mitigation program was undertaken,” COP noted. In response to the COP report, Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said the agency’s programs “are not intended to help every homeowner in trouble.” “The administration’s programs were designed to help responsible, eligible families keep their homes, not for investors or speculators, and not to save million dollar houses or vacation homes,” she added. “We also must

recognize that we cannot help those who simply bought a home that they could not afford.” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a week ago that “we have yet to see evidence of a sustained recovery in the housing market.” He estimated earlier that the US economy would continue to see large numbers of foreclosures through 2011, which would hamper recovery from the worst recession in decades. The Obama administration has already spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to stabilize the housing market, with mixed results. But supporters hope the latest initiatives will target a growing trend of foreclosures caused by job loss. They also hope it will help spur the US economy as a whole. — AFP

FTSE index rises 0.7% European shares boosted by JPMorgan results LONDON: European shares rose yesterday to their highest level in more than 18 months, led by the banking sector after JPMorgan Chase & Co reported a jump in first-quarter earnings. By 1143 GMT, the panEuropean FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was up 0.7 percent at 1,105.92 points after earlier hitting a year high of 1,106.27. The index has rallied 71 percent since a record low in March 2009. Banks recovered from early falls to add the most points to the index after JPMorgan reported a quarterly profit of $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share, compared with $2.1 billion, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. UBS, Banco Santander, Standard Chartered and Intesa Sanpaolo gained 0.7 to 2.5 percent. “This is one bank we really wanted to have a look at as if JPMorgan was showing difficulties then others would be having problems,” said Stephen Pope, chief global equity strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. “We will see the bigger banks moving higher on this. It is a very good signal that the markets are on good track in these early stages of the earnings season.” In Frankfurt, JPMorgan shares were up 0.8 percent.

NEW YORK: Pedestrians walk past the JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York. JPMorgan Chase yesterday reported a hefty jump in earnings to $3.3 billion in the first quarter, as the massive US bank appeared to continue its journey back to health. — AFP Commodity stocks snapped two-days of losses and featured among the top performers. Energy stocks gained as oil rose above $84 a barrel on a weaker dollar, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total up 0.6 to 1.3 percent. Miners were in favor as

analysts said gold could challenge this week’s peak on hopes that healthy GDP data from China would further boost sentiment in commodities. Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Eurasian Natural Resources, Rio Tinto and

Xstrata rose 1 to 2.9 percent. TECH STOCKS SOAR The STOXX Europe 600 tech index gained 1.7 percent after Intel’s, the world’s biggest chip maker, sales and margin forecasts trounced Wall Street expectations late on Tuesday.

“Intel smashed market expectations-further evidence of a strong rebound in technology which has been boosted by capital expenditure from businesses and product launches at (the) retail level,” said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth. Infineon, Nokia, STMicroelectronics, Logitech and Aixtron climbed 1.8 to 2.8 percent. Intel shares in Frankfurt rose 4.4 percent. Dutch chip equipment maker ASML added to hopes for an acceleration in the tech sector’s recovery with first-quarter orders beating the most optimistic expectations. However, ASML fell 0.4 percent after earlier hovering around eight-year highs. “We have got some big companies reporting over the course of the next couple of days and that’s rally going to determine where markets go from here, but so far so good in terms of reporting season,” Potts said. Later in the week investors will eye results from Google, Bank of America and General Electric. Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was up 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 was 0.8 percent higher. — Reuters

OECD sees shortfall in 2010 aid targets PARIS: Aid for developing countries from major industrialized nations is expected to shrink this year from 2009 levels and miss an overall target for such assistance, the OECD said yesterday. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that Africa by the end of the year was likely to have received only 11 billion dollars of a 25-billion-dollar increase in aid promised at a 2005 Group of Eight summit, a pledge that was to be met in 2010. The organization forecast that official development assistance would come to 108 billion dollars in 2010 after 119.6 billion in 2009. Nevertheless OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria hailed a 0.7 percent hike in aid last year provided by the 23 members of the organization’s Development Assistance Committee, which he said came despite “fiscal challenges.” But he cautioned: “Aid is less than 1.0 percent of government spending on average in OECD countries while there is still much effort needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. “This is a vital investment with big returns for the world as a whole.” The UN Millennium Development Goals call for halving the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day by 2015. The projected 2010 overall development assistance level, 108 billion dollars, is based on 2004 prices, according to a baseline adopted by the G8 at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. The shortfall this year, according to the OECD, would be 18 billion dollars against the 2005 pledge, adjusted by the OECD to take account of the recent economic downturn. “While most countries have maintained their commitments for 2010, others, including some large donors, have reduced or postponed the pledges they made for 2010,” the OECD said. France, Germany and Italy are expected to miss their targets while the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States are likely to meet or surpass theirs, according to OECD estimates. The United Nations has recommended that rich countries commit 0.7 percent of their gross national income to development aid, a target Sweden is expected to surpass this year with a commitment of 1.01 percent, according to the OECD. Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, Finland, Ireland and Spain are also on track to meet the 0.7 percent goal. The United States in 2009, although the largest donor by volume at 28.7 billion dollars, committed just 0.20 percent of its gross national income to development assistance. Only four other countries, Greece, Italy, Japan and South Korea, had a weaker showing. Total development aid from world’s leading industrialized nations last year came to 119.6 billion dollars, a rise of 0.7 percent in real terms. Excluding volatile debt relief, the gain was 6.8 percent, the OECD said. Five countries, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden exceeded the target 0.7 percent of gross national income in 2009. — AFP

COLORADO: An eviction team removes belongings from an foreclosed home in Aurora, Colorado. — AFP

EU warns Portugal to make new cuts amid market fears BRUSSELS: Europe issued a stark warning yesterday that Portugal needs to cut its deficit this year, as finance chiefs steeled themselves for investors switching target from Greece. “The Portuguese stability program is ambitious and quite concrete for the years 2011 to 2013, but additional measures were discussed today and may be needed especially this year,” European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary affairs Olli Rehn told reporters in Brussels. The Portuguese government has said it wants to reduce the deficit from 9.4 percent of output last year-a rise of 6.6 percentage points from the 2008 figure-by 1.1 percentage points to 8.3 percent for 2010. “We have to take into account potential risks of macro-economic and fiscal developments,” Rehn said after talks on Portugal’s position within the European Commission, saying the “worse than anticipated” 2009 deficit made it imperative to take preventive action. The government in Lisbon had originally put the 2009 deficit at 9.3 percent. It has targeted

2013 for bringing its national budget shortfall back within euro area limits of three percent of output. European finance ministers on Sunday agreed a 30-billion-euro (41-billion dollars) backstop bailout for debt-stricken Greece, since when analysts have queried whether Portugal and Spain would hit market turbulence. Asked if flagging up Portugal’s problems so soon after attempting to draw a line under those in Athens would not simply inflame markets, Rehn replied that the EU has its “legal and institutional responsibilities.” He underlined: “We therefore have no other option than to make the correct and honest assessment of Portugal’s stability program. “Otherwise, we would not be credible and the situation would be even worse,” he said. While analysts have speculated whether the series of loans agreed by partners within the 16 countries that share the euro currency would also be available to other countries whose debts get the better of them, Rehn insisted that funding would not be made easy to obtain.

He said he would outline “disincentives” to those thinking of applying for the financial aid on May 3, when the commission next assesses Greek progress towards meeting its budgetary targets after savage cuts in public expenditure and a slew of tax raises there. It was a question of “how do we make this safety net of last resort so unattractive that no country voluntarily wants to end up in that situation,” he stressed. Portugal has entered a bout of political wrangling since Fitch Ratings agency downgraded Portugal’s standing at the end of March, in an echo of the triggers for Greece’s debt crisis. The finance chief for the euro countries, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said late on Tuesday that he did not envisage Portugal swimming in the same “choppy waters” as Greece. However, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates is struggling to obtain the consensus he has sought with opposition parties eyeing weakness ahead of the next presidential election in January next year. — AFP

As losses slow, US big banks eye big profits

MAINE: A school bus passes a gas station in Brunswick, Maine. — AP

Oil nears $85 as equities, dollar offsets stockpiles US gasoline inventories unexpectedly rise LONDON: Oil rose to trade near $85 a barrel yesterday, ending a five-day losing streak, as rising stock markets and a weaker dollar outweighed an industry report showing gains in US inventories. OPEC in its monthly report said economic optimism was driving prices and that it saw a “very comfortable outlook” for oil’s fundamentals. The group also nudged up its forecast for 2010 oil demand growth. European stocks traded higher while the dollar index was down 0.1 percent, making dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for other currency holders. Wall Street was set for a firmer opening. Gasoline stocks in top oil consumer the United States unexpectedly rose last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, while crude supplies posted their 11th consecutive increase. “The builds were more or less anticipated except for gasoline,” said Christopher Bellew, a broker at

Bache Commodities. “We’ve moved into a higher range with support at around $83,” he said, referring to Brent crude. US crude gained 84 cents to $84.89 a barrel by 1118 GMT, within sight of an 18-month high above $87 reached last week. Brent rose 60 cents to $85.32, trading at a premium to the US benchmark for a third straight day. “Inventories are showing a bearish fundamental picture, but as long as the US equity market is steady and economic indicators are showing good numbers, I don’t think prices will fall much,” said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Astmax Co Ltd, who sees oil between $83-$88 in coming weeks. Adding to hopes that economic recovery is gaining momentum, euro zone industrial output rose more than expected in February and posted its sharpest annual increase in almost two years, data showed yesterday. US crude stocks rose in line with expectations by 1.4 million barrels in

the week to April 9, the API said on Tuesday, while gasoline stocks increased 1.6 million barrels. The US government’s Energy Information Administration issues its own snapshot of supplies at 1430 GMT. While rising crude stocks in the United States are an indicator of tepid fuel demand, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday global demand will rebound sharply this year to record levels. Support for oil prices could come from China’s GDP data to be published on Thursday, Emori said, while a potential appreciation of the yuan would also boost values because it would increase the country’s purchasing power of dollar-denominated commodities. China’s economy will grow faster in 2010 and 2011 than previously forecast thanks to a better-thanexpected global recovery and strong investment momentum at home, a Reuters poll showed. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Being big could pay off for battered banks this earnings season. Five of the biggest US banks, including struggling Bank of America Corp, are expected to report profits for the January to March period. Analysts are split about a profit at Citigroup Inc - some say it might have eked out a small gain. All the big banks are finally seeing losses from credit cards, mortgages and other consumer loans slow. And the rallying stock market and interest rates holding near zero are allowing the companies to borrow cheaply and profit from higher-yielding investments. But these are just a handful of companies, the top tier of banks. Go down to the next few levels in the industry, and you’ll find regional and small banks losing more money on commercial real estate loans. Nearly 40 percent of all banks are expected to post first-quarter losses, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. And although the big banks starting with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday are expected to have good news, analysts say their continuing rebound is unlikely to boost lending. Banks are still conservative about loans, while consumers and business remain wary about adding to their debt burdens. A profitable quarter for all six banks has only happened once since the 2008 financial crisis, during the second quarter of last year. The big companies also include Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are focused on investment banking rather than the retail operations that have been hurt by millions of loan defaults. Analysts say the loan business is progressing as expected at this point in the economic recovery. Losses on residential real estate have slowed, but a wave of commercial real estate defaults is hammering small and midsize banks. Analysts forecast that trend will continue through 2010 and beyond. That’s forcing even big money-making banks to set aside billions of dollars, money that will protect against losses but that will also eat into profits. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup may have to allocate a combined $33.2 billion over the next two years just to cover home equity losses, according to CreditSights Inc. “Things aren’t as bad as they were six months ago, but that doesn’t mean everything is rosy,” said Paul Miller, a managing director for FBR Capital Markets. “We still think normalized (bank) earnings are still two years off at best.” Along that line, analysts don’t see lending picking until unemployment falls from its current level of 9.7 percent and small and midsize businesses start expanding. Delinquencies for consumer loans have slowed in the past year as people paid down debt and banks reduced credit lines. At US commercial banks, 4.8 percent of consumer loans not secured by real estate were delinquent in 2009, according to SNL Financial.

That’s only slightly higher that the 4.4 percent of delinquencies banks saw in 2008. Meanwhile, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans have soared. Eleven percent of commercial real estate loans made by commercial banks were delinquent in 2009, almost double the amount in 2008, SNL Financial data shows. That is the root of the growing problems at regional and smaller banks. And it has triggered a wave of failures among small banks, which were the biggest financiers of commercial properties and development before the recession. Forty-two banks have failed so far this year. The number is expected to peak this year and could surpass the total for 2009, when 140 banks failed - the highest annual tally since 1992, the height of the savings and loan crisis. Several regional banks, including Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Regions Bank, are winding down parts of their commercial real estate portfolios, according to CreditSights. Others, including US Bancorp and BB&T Corp, were aggressive early on in setting aside money to guard against losses, helping them weather the troubles, banking analyst Bert Ely said. “The stronger guys put the credit problems behind them, and they don’t have the earnings drag because of it,” Ely said. “The question is will this be the breakout quarter in terms of further separating the strong from the weak among the regionals.” At the biggest banks, profits from investment banking and trading operations will likely help offset loan losses, as they have done in past quarters. That means gains could be even bigger for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who already bet big and won on bonds, currencies and commodities in 2009. Analysts have warned, however, those profits could fall in 2010 because of uncertainty over the direction of interest rates. Banks have been taking advantage of low rates to borrow cheaply and plow the funds into higheryielding bonds and other securities, a practice known as “playing the spread.” If rates rise this year or next as some analysts predict, that revenue source could be threatened, Ely said. Others say a big challenge for banks and the wider economy will be how smoothly the government untethers itself from the financial system after pouring trillions of dollars into financial companies to stop them from collapsing. The Federal Reserve last month ended its $1.25 trillion program to buy up mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae. Some analysts fear that mortgage rates could rise when the government stops buying the securities. That, they say, could weaken the fragile recovery in housing and the overall economy. “We still have a very vulnerable housing market,” said Miller of FBR Capital Markets. “So the question for banks is how does the government pull itself out of all these programs without causing a major hiccup.” — AP


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Obama revives capsule from canceled moon program WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is reviving the NASA crew capsule concept that he had canceled with the rest of the moon program this year, in a move that will mean more jobs and less reliance on the Russians, officials said Tuesday. The space capsule, called Orion, still will not go to the moon. It will go unmanned to the International Space Station to stand by as an emergency vehicle to return astronauts home, officials said. Administration officials also said NASA will speed up development of a massive rocket. It would have the power to blast crew and cargo far from Earth, although no

destination has been chosen yet. The rocket would be ready to launch several years earlier than under the old moon plan. The two moves are being announced before a Thursday visit by Obama to Cape Canaveral, Florida. They are designed to counter criticism of the Obama administration’s space plans as being low on detail, physical hardware, and local jobs. The president killed President George W. Bush’s moon mission, called Constellation, as being unsustainable. In a major shift, the Obama space plan relies on private companies to fly to the space station. It also extends the space station’s life by five years and puts bil-

lions into research eventually to develop new government rocket ships for future missions to a nearby asteroid, the moon, Martian moons or other points in space. Those stops would be stepping stones on an eventual mission to Mars. First man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong, veteran Apollo astronauts and former senior NASA managers have been attacking the unrevised Obama plan as the death knell for US leadership in space. Armstrong said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that he had “substantial reservations” and more than two dozen Apollo era veterans signed a letter calling the plan a “misguided proposal

that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future.” Even with the revival of the Orion crew capsule, the overall moon return mission initiated by Bush, which involved establishment of a base camp, remains dead. The revived Orion, slimmed-down from earlier versions, will not be used as originally intended, to land on the moon. The capsule will be developed and launched, unmanned, on an existing rocket to the space station, said a senior NASA official who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to detract from the presidential announcement. The Orion would remain at

the space station and be used as an emergency escape ship back to Earth. That would mean NASA would not have to rely on the Russian Soyuz capsule to return astronauts to Earth. Launching Orion on unmanned existing rockets — such as Atlas or Delta — would save money and time. The Obama plan also will speed up development of a larger “heavy-lift” rocket that would take cargo and crew away from Earth orbit to the moon, asteroids and other places. Originally, Obama was proposing just spending billions of dollars on various research programs to eventually develop breakthroughs to make

such trips cheaper and faster. Critics said that plan was too vague. Now, the president is committed to choosing a single heavy-lift rocket design by 2015 and then starting its construction, officials said. This shift by Obama means NASA would launch a heavy rocket years before it was supposed to under the old Constellation plan, the NASA official said. However, it will be different from the Apollo-like Ares V rocket that the Constellation plan would have used. Instead it will incorporate newer concepts such as refueling in orbit or using inflatable habitats, officials said. — AP

Credit Suisse analysts estimate iPad sales of 4.8 million units this year

Apple delays worldwide release of iPad for a month NEW YORK: Apple said yesterday it was delaying the worldwide release of the iPad for a month, until the end of May, because of heavy US demand. “Faced with

AHMEDABAD: Sanjay Purohit, Founder and CEO of iProf Learning Solutions India, poses with an iProf tablet in Ahmedabad yesterday. The 7inch touchscreen tablet which runs on Google’s Android operating system is targeted towards the educational market with a retail cost of 14,900 rupees (335 USD). — AFP

Twitter finally feathers its nest with advertising SAN FRANCISCO: Is Twitter the next Google, the next, or something in between? It may have begun answering that question Tuesday, with its long-awaited first step into advertising. The startup is trying to make money without alienating the tens of millions of people who have gotten used to tweeting and following friends, celebrities and others without commercial interruptions. Just as it has through most of its fouryear existence, Twitter is treading cautiously. The new ads, called “Promoted Tweets,” will pop up only on searches at Twitter’s Web site, and the messages will be limited to a small group of test marketers including Virgin America, Best Buy Co., Sony Pictures and Starbucks Corp. Fewer than 10 percent of Twitter’s users were expected to see the ads Tuesday, but the messages should start appearing on all relevant searches within the next few days. The move heralds a turning point for Twitter, which has held off on selling ads even as its widening audience turned it into an obvious marketing magnet and investors poured $155 million into the San Francisco company. The last cash infusion seven months ago valued privately held Twitter at about $1 billion, even though its only significant revenue had come from giving Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. better access to its service. The technology powerhouses paid Twitter an undisclosed amount for that right. Twitter’s apparent ambivalence about making money reminded some Silicon Valley observers of the profitless Internet startups that wooed investors during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, only to crash and burn at the turn of 21st century. The new advertising system should give a better inkling about whether Twitter will be more like Google or, whose most valuable asset turned out to be a sock puppet. Google itself took several years after its 1998 inception before it began selling short ads next to its search results, spawning one of the world’s biggest marketing vehicles with ad revenue of nearly $23 billion last year. Twitter already is parroting Google in some respects. That’s not surprising given that

Stone and fellow co-founder, Twitter CEO Evan Williams, briefly worked at Google after Williams sold his blogging company to the Internet’s search leader in 2003. Twitter’s chief operating officer, Dick Costolo, also worked at Google after selling another advertising service, called FeedBurner, to the company in 2007. There’s a twist to the way Twitter is using its search engine as an advertising springboard. Instead of displaying commercial messages on the margins of the search results, Twitter will blend them with the rest of the tweets and label them as promotions. The ads will be confined to Twitter’s standard 140-character limit so they can be passed along, or “re-tweeted,” to other users. Twitter plans to pull Promoted Tweets that aren’t attracting attention. That will pressure advertisers to be pithy and creative, a priority that could make the marketing messages seem less intrusive, said Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff, co-author of “Groundswell,” a book on social media. “You want to create something that interests people rather than just screams at them,” Bernoff said. Michael Wilson, a Brigham Young University student who lives in Salt Lake City, is worried Twitter’s advertisers eventually will dominate the service. “I think it’s going to be harder and harder to have your voice heard,” he said. That’s also a concern for Michael Irizarry of New Rochelle, New York, who uses Twitter for personal musings and to promote his DJ business. “It’s more like Twitter is now here to advertise your product, instead of you actually tweeting what you’re doing,” he said. Many companies already use their own Twitter accounts to connect with customers and offer discounts to people who follow them. What remains to be seen is whether Twitter’s new advertising system will prove effective enough to persuade companies to pay for a featured spot in the search results instead of just trying to reach people through the free communications channel, said Gartner Inc. analyst Andrew Frank. “The jury is still out on whether this will work,” he said. There’s no doubt Twitter has turned into a mass medi-

um. The Web site’s worldwide audience has ballooned to 69 million people, up from 4 million people at the end of 2008, according to comScore Inc. Those figures don’t include the visitors who use their mobile phones or third-party programs to tweet. Twitter says it distributes about 50 million tweets per day, creating ample opportunities for more advertising once the company is comfortable enough to allow marketing messages beyond its search results. Twitter’s engine processes about 30 million monthly searches in the U.S., comScore said, a pittance compared to the 10 billion handled by Google. Eventually, Twitter hopes to insert advertisers into the “timelines” of messages that users see from the people they network with _ when the message seems appropriate, Costolo said Tuesday at an advertising conference in New York. For instance, postings about the Academy Awards might provoke a “Promoted Tweet” about a new movie or conversations about “American Idol” may spur ads about certain songs or recording artists. Twitter also recently introduced a feature that allows its users to specify their location, opening another advertising opportunity. The ability to interact more directly with consumers and solicit their feedback on how to improve their products and services is bound to appeal to advertisers, predicted Ian Wolfman, chief marketing officer at IMC2, a marketing agency whose clients include Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. It’s “something a TV ad doesn’t do,” he said. Promoted Tweets evidently won’t bring in much revenue either, for starters. Virgin America, one of the advertisers that Twitter invited to test the concept, isn’t paying for its first burst of promotional messages, according to Porter Gale, the airline’s vice president of marketing. Twitter declined to comment when asked whether it’s charging the test group of advertisers. But Costolo made it clear that making money still isn’t Twitter’s top priority. “Initially this is not about maximizing revenue,” he said. “It is about getting it right.” — AP

“Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks,” the California company said. “We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10,” Apple said. “We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason-the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.” The new tablet computer from the maker of the Macintosh computer, the iPod and the iPhone went on sale in the United States on April 3. Apple had planned to begin selling the touchscreen multimedia device in late April in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said last week that Apple was “making (iPads) as fast as we can.” “Evidently we can’t make enough of them yet so we are going to have to try harder,” Jobs said. Credit Suisse analysts have estimated iPad sales of 4.8 million units this year and 8.7 million units next year while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty forecast iPad sales of six million units this year. The iPad allows users to watch video, listen to music, play games, surf the Web or read electronic books. It runs most of the more than 185,000 applications made for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. The model that went on sale in the United States this month features Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, while a model offering both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity will be released in late April. The cheapest iPad model, with Wi-Fi connectivity and 16 gigabytes of memory, is 499 dollars while the most expensive-which includes 3G connectivity and 64GB of memory-costs 829 dollars. — AFP

this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month,” Apple said in a statement.

CONNECTICUT: Jason Saucier leaves after being the first customer to buy the iPad at the Apple Store at West Farms Mall in Farmington, Connecticut, on April 3, 2010. Apple said yesterday it was delaying the worldwide release of the iPad for a month because of heavy US demand. “Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May,” Apple said in a statement. — AFP

Three finalists in international technology prize HELSINKI: Three European scientists have been named as finalists in this year’s euro1.1 million ($1.5 million) international Millennium Technology Prize, the Finnish awarding organization said yesterday. The Technology Academy of Finland chose Richard Friend from Britain for inventions in optoelectronics that have enabled the production of electronic paper and illuminating wall papers; Stephen Furber, also British, for designing microprocessors found in most mobile phones; and Michael Graetzel from Switzerland for inventions of solar cells used in renewable energy technologies. The winner, to be announced at a ceremony in Helsinki on June 9, will be awarded euro 800,000 ($1.1 million). The two runners-up will each receive euro 150,000 ($204,000). The academy

chose the finalists from 55 people and 39 innovations. Friend, a professor of physics at Cambridge University, was cited for his work in plastic electronics “that has revolutionized the field of optoelectronics with far-reaching consequences for energy efficient applications in display devices, lighting, sensing and solar energy harvesting.” Professor Furber of the computer engineering department at the University of Manchester, Britain, was recognized for being the principal designer of the ARM 32 bit RISC microprocessor 25 years ago that “unlocked the world of consumer electronics ... benefiting hundreds of millions worldwide.” German-born chemist Graetzel, director of the photonics and interfaces laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, in Lausanne, Switzerland, was lauded for

inventing “dye-sensitized, low costhigh performance solar cells,” which led to the development of electricitygenerating windows and mobile solar panels. The biennial Millennium Technology Prize was launched by the Finnish government and industry in 2004. It is given for achievements in energy and the environment, communications and information, new materials and processes as well as health care and life sciences. The previous prize winner, in 2008, was American Professor Robert Langer from MIT for developing biomaterials used in combatting cancer and heart disease. Other winners include Japanese Professor Shuji Nakamura for inventions in laser technology and LED lighting, and Tim Berners-Lee, the MIT scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web. — AP

Facebook unveils revamped internal online safety site

In this photo released by Microsoft Corp., two phones unveiled April 12, 2010, that are meant for social networking-savvy teens and twenty-somethings, in an attempt to revitalize its mobile business and regain ground on iPhones and BlackBerrys, are shown. Microsoft said its new touch-screen phones, a short, square-shaped handset called Kin 1 and a longer, more rectangular one called Kin 2. Both will be sold exclusively in the US by Verizon Wireless. — AP

PALO ALTO: Facebook has launched a revamped internal site designed to help people stay safe and report threats while on the popular online hangout. Facebook’s “Safety Center,” which features new tools for parents, teachers, teens and law enforcement, is the first major endeavor from the social networking site and its four-month-old global safety advisory board. The company unveiled its Safety Center a day after meeting with child advocacy officials in the UK, who had been pushing the company to install a so-called “panic button” on the site for some time, following the kidnapping and murder there of a teenager by a man she encountered on Facebook. Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, or CEOP, had wanted Facebook to install a prominent link on UK users’ profile pages that would take them to CEOP’s own safety site designed to help children deal with online threats. In a statement Tuesday, the center called Facebook’s move “long overdue,” and

“nothing more than we would expect from any responsible social network provider.” But it added that “critical issues remain unresolved” since Facebook did not actually install a “panic button.” “We believe that without the deterrence provided by direct visible access to the CEOP button on each and every page children will not be appropriately empowered, parents cannot be reassured and the offender will not be deterred,” the center said on its Web site. Facebook’s board is composed of Internet safety groups Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute. Some new features of the safety center include more content on staying safe, such as dealing with bullying online, an interactive portal and a simpler design. The presence of sexual predators is a problem for social networking sites and their users. Facebook, based in Palo Alto, California, has helped identify, and has disabled accounts of, registered sex offenders. — AP



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Calorie labeling could lead to healthier fast food NEW YORK: Will a national requirement for chain restaurants to post calorie counts sound the death knell for bacon cheeseburgers and double chocolate doughnuts? The calorie-posting mandate, signed into law by President Barack Obama as part of the health care overhaul project, assumes diners will feel the culinary equivalent of sticker shock when confronted with calorie counts for greasy, sugary and fatty foods. Anti-obesity advocates also hope that forcing restaurants to reveal calorie counts will coax the fast food chains to offer healthier options. Early studies show some modest changes in consumer behavior in New York City, which enacted its pioneering calorieposting law in 2008. But whether the measure also is pushing healthier items onto menus is less clear. While chain restaurants have introduced scores of healthier menu

items in recent years, most say the changes are coincidental to calorie-posting laws, an effort to keep pace with consumer demand for healthier items. Not so for Le Pain Quotidien, a bakery and restaurant chain with more than a dozen locations in New York City. Olivier Arizzi, brand marketing manager, said the law definitely prompted changes, including making some pastries smaller to cut calories. “It forced us to innovate,” Arizzi said. “We would have had certain pastries that were very popular before, not being popular anymore because the calorie count would be so high.” Arizzi said they did not need to make changes to their sandwiches and salads. But other major restaurant chains contacted by The Associated Press cited other reasons for menu tweaks, chief among them the need to satisfy health-conscious cus-

tomers. “You hope the calorie posting is going to put pressure on the chain restaurants, because they have to post those calories, to reformulate and make small changes in what they offer,” said Cathy Nonas, who directs the New York City health department’s physical activity and nutrition programs. “And indeed, we’re seeing that. Obviously not with everything, but there are changes in almost every restaurant.” Nonas is looking at menu offerings by chain restaurants before and after the city law took effect. Among the changes she noticed since 2007: Dunkin’ Donuts launched its lowercalorie DDSmart options, KFC began selling grilled chicken, Starbucks switched to lower-fat milk for espresso-based drinks and McDonald’s cut its serving size for large french fries by 0.6 ounces (17 grams). Nonas does not claim a causal link between

the city law and healthier food items, she’s just happy they’re being offered. The federal legislation will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-throughs. The Food and Drug Administration will have a year to write the new rules, which will supersede local laws in places like New York, Philadelphia and California. Health policy analysts still are measuring the affect of the local laws, focusing mostly on how they influence consumer behavior. Researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California found that calorie postings in New York City Starbucks shops led to a 6 percent reduction in calories per transaction. Brian Elbel of New York University’s School of Medicine found about one in four New York City customers who noticed the calorie labels said it influenced

their choices, though his study did not detect people actually buying fewer calories. People eating fast-food lunches Tuesday at chain shops in Albany, New York, seemed indifferent to the calorie numbers now posted on menu boards. “I noticed it, but I ignored it,” said Stacy Rijssenbeek, who shared a 12-inch (30-centimeter) spicy Italian Subway sub with her mother. “It’s all a bit overwhelming. I’ll have to get used to it.” Over at McDonald’s, Sean Ryan said he did not even notice the calorie numbers as he ate his Chicken McNuggets. “I exercise,” he said. “It doesn’t really bother me. I only eat at McDonald’s when I’m too lazy to pack a lunch.” Research into restaurant reactions to posting laws is rare, with studies in New York City and Seattle, Washington, still under way. University of Washington epi-

demiologist Barbara Bruemmer, who is conducting the Seattle research, cautioned that it can take time for restaurants, particularly larger chains, to develop and introduce new items. The law for Seattle and surrounding King County was enacted in January 2009. Many public health researchers believe labeling laws will end up having at least some affect on fast-food formulations. One researcher noted that packaged food manufacturers reduced the amount of transfats in their products after being required to list the levels. But Elbel noted that restaurants change their menus all the time, and it can be hard to tease out the reasons for changes. “It’s maybe a fair bet to say that labeling likely has something to do with this,” Elbel said, “but we’re not at a point scientifically where we can say that with any kind of clarity right now.” — AP

Malpractice worries driving health costs ‘We need a way for docs to be less afraid of not ordering a test’ NEW YORK: A substantial number of US heart doctors — about one in four - say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued, according to a new study. Nearly 600 doctors were surveyed

for the study to determine how aggressively they treat their patients and whether non-medical issues have influenced their decisions to order invasive heart tests. Most said they weren’t swayed by such things as financial gain or a patient’s expectations. But about 24 percent of the doctors said they had recommended the test in the previous year because they were worried about malpractice lawsuits. About 27 percent said they did it because they thought their colleagues would do the test. Doctors who treated their patients aggressively were more likely to be influenced by malpractice worries or peer pressure than those who weren’t as aggressive, the study determined. The research was done to see whether doctors’ attitudes and practices might be contributing to the wide differences in health care use and spending across the country. “We have known for a long time that where you live has an influence on what kind of health care you get and how much health care you get,” said Lee Lucas, lead author of the study and associate director of the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Maine Medical Center. Some of the reasons are known: differences in disease rates, patient preferThis undated photo provided Monday by Italian aid group Emergency shows aid worker Marco Garatti, ences and the availability of right, assisting a child in a hospital at an unknown location in Afghanistan. —AP medical services or hospital beds. And more care isn’t necessarily better care, Lucas noted. For the study, the doctors were asked to recommend tests and treatment for three hypothetical heart patients. Their answers were used to score them on how aggresPARIS: Scientists said yesterday they had shrinkage, but the process is more complex SYDNEY: Swarms of locusts have sively they tend to treat uncovered a gene that causes a rare but dis- and not directly comparable to HHS, she said. infested a huge area of eastern patients. Even so, the new finding is “highly signifitressing form of childhood baldness, a finding Using Medicare records, Australia roughly the size of Spain cant” in terms of fundamental research, said that could help the quest to treat hair loss. the researchers found that after recent floods, ravaging farmland, Mutation in a gene called APCDD1 plays a Christiano. doctors with higher scores Among people with HSS, a flawed version key role in a disease called hereditary hypotria top official said yesterday. were more likely to be in the chosis simplex (HHS), which causes progres- of APCDD1 disrupts a signalling pathway in Chris Adriaansen, head of the areas with higher spending which genes instruct proteins to turn hair sive hair loss starting in childhood. Australian Plague Locust overall or higher rates for a Hair follicles start to shrink or narrow, growth on or off. Commission, said the quick-breeding heart test, although the differThis so-called Wnt pathway has been causing the thick hair on the scalp to be creatures had hit from Longreach in ences were small. The docextensively explored in lab mice, so finding replaced by “peach fuzz” of thin, fine hair. Queensland in the northeast to tors were also asked whether APCDD1, which is located on that it also exists among humans is an imporMelbourne and Adelaide-about other issues had led them to Chromosome 18, was found thanks to a trawl tant step forward in figuring out the causes of 500,000 square kilometres (190,000 recommend the heart test — through the genome of several families from baldness. square miles). called a cardiac catheteriza“Furthermore, these findings suggest that Pakistan and Italy where HHS goes back gen“What we’ve got certainly is a very tion — during which a thin manipulating the Wnt pathway may have an erations. large and widespread infestation,” he tube is threaded to the heart Lead author Angela Christiano, a professor effect on hair follicle growth-for the first time, told AFP. “It’s simply a reflection of to check how well it is workof dermatology at Columbia University in humans,” said Christiano. “And unlike comthe fact that we’ve had widespread ing and to look for disease. Medical Center, New York, dampened expec- monly available treatments for hair loss that rain across that entire area.” The researchers suggest tations for bald men hoping that a drug for hair involve blocking hormonal pathways, treatAdriaansen said some swarms covthat targeting malpractice ments involving the Wnt pathway would be regrowth now lies in sight. ered areas as large as 300 square kiloconcerns could help reduce Male pattern baldness also entails follicular non-hormonal.” — AFP metres, and with about 10 locusts per the regional differences. “We square metre, “that’s a lot of locusts.” need a way for docs to be less Local media said the insects had afraid of not ordering a test,” already wiped out thousands of said Lucas. hectares (acres) of crops and were Medical malpractice was also damaging grazing areas and garpart of the health care reform dens in the key agricultural area. debate, but didn’t make it into “One farmer has about 400 the recently approved legislahectares (1,000 acres) which will have tion. The new law does to be resown,” an agronomist in the include pilot programs for town of Forbes, Graham Falconer, states to explore alternatives told public broadcaster ABC. “The to lawsuits. locusts are doing considerable damThe study was released age.” Tuesday by the journal Adriaansen said the insects, which Circulation: Cardiovascular had destroyed some early planned Quality and Outcomes. The cereal crops but mostly fed on pasresults support moving ture, were set to multiply in coming toward more integrated health months as their offspring hatch. care, and away from fee-for“Come the middle of September service payments, and workthrough to October across that entire ing on malpractice reforms, inland area... we expect there to be said Kenneth Thorpe, a prosome very large infestations again,” fessor of health policy at he said. Emory University in Atlanta. Swarms are expected in southern Lucas said patients can help Queensland and northern New South by not pressuring their docWales, areas which last month were tors to do tests. flooded after heavy rains broke almost “If he says you don’t need a decade of drought. —AFP it, let it go,” she said. — AP

Scientists see gene trigger for rare childhood baldness

Locust plague hits eastern Australia

WASHINGTON: Dennis Quaid announces proposals to address the problem of dangerous medical mistakes, yesterday, during a luncheon address at the National Press Club in Washington. — AP

Politics of aid seen in clash over maternal deaths LONDON: The number of women dying worldwide in childbirth has dropped dramatically, according to a British medical journal that says it was pressured to delay its findings until after UN meetings this week on public health funding. A separate report by a group headed by the United Nations reached a very different conclusion on maternal mortality, saying the figure remains steady at about 500,000 deaths a year. The disagreement reveals the politics behind public health, where progress made in tackling a health problem can jeopardize funding. Public health officials are gearing up to ask for billions of dollars this week at UN meetings. The British medical journal Lancet rushed out a paper on Sunday that found the number of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth has dropped by more than 35 percent over 28 years. Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, wrote in an accompanying comment that he was pressured to delay publishing the report because of the potential political damage to maternal advocacy campaigns. Christopher Murray and colleagues at the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington found deaths have fallen from about 500,000 deaths in 1980 to about 343,000 in 2008. The study in the Lancet was based on more data than was previously available in addition to statistical modeling. It was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was a surprising finding for experts who have long assumed little progress has been made in maternal health. But on Tuesday, another report by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, a global alliance hosted by the World Health Organization, claimed progress in maternal health was at a standstill. According to

their “detailed analysis,” up to 500,000 women still die in childbirth every year. The authors did not explain where their data came from or what kind of analysis was used to obtain that figure. In that report, U.N. officials claimed they need $20 billion every year between 2011 and 2015 to save women and children in developing countries. In the world of public health, good news can paradoxically be bad news. The more people who are dying, the more money U.N. officials can raise, making some experts not keen to announce success or acknowledge that a problem is not as bad as they once thought. The UN is hosting a meeting on maternal and child health this week in New York, followed by another one in Washington in June. For years, UN AIDS officials threatened that the epidemic would spread among general populations in countries worldwide, and claimed more than 40 million people were infected. Money for projects fighting AIDS, meanwhile, grew exponentially. When UN officials finally admitted they had been overestimating the numbers for years and dramatically revised their figures — down to 33 million — donors began to rethink their financial commitments. Experts say public health figures need to be taken with a huge grain of salt, particularly when they come from people who are also soliciting funds for the campaign. “The UN has a track record of inflating disease figures to keep the aid money flowing, so I’d probably place more faith in the figures which show a lower disease burden,” said Philip Stevens, of International Policy Network, a London think tank. “This is yet more confirmation that whoever paints the most apocalyptic picture gets the most cash, even if they have to manipulate and spin the data.” — AP

Flu pandemic alert not winding down: Expert GENEVA: The head of a key panel advising the UN health agency on the swine flu pandemic said yesterday there was no reason to wind down the alert before an expected second wave in the southern hemisphere. Australian disease expert John Mackenzie, chairman of the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Committee, told an international inquiry that he was waiting to see the progress of A(H1N1) influenza in the south’s traditional autumn and winter flu seasons over the coming months. “We do have some concern,” he said in response to questions. The Emergency Committee of scientists played a crucial role in recommending an international emergency over the new virus and whether or not a pandemic

should be declared. “I don’t think that we will terminate at any stage yet the public health emergency,” Mackenzie said, underlining that he did not feel a pandemic could be declared over “until we see how it progresses in the southern hemisphere.” “Until we’re certain, we can’t lower our guard.” The inquiry panel set up by the WHO started this week to probe the international response to swine flu since it was uncovered in the United States and Mexico nearly a year ago. Its questions were prompted by evidence that A(H1N1) flu has died down with the end of the flu season in the northern hemisphere, as well as doubts about its severity in terms of death and illness. However Mackenzie said the virus was “certainly as severe” as those that sparked

flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968, with the unusual characteristic of being more dangerous for young people and pregnant women rather than the elderly. “This is quite crucial in our understanding of what severity is,” he added. He also pointed out that previous pandemics had sometimes been more severe during their second or third wave, and that A(H1N1) was still active in West Africa and parts of Asia. The Emergency Committee is a highly confidential body and Mackenzie’s testimony shed unprecedented light on decision-making on the pandemic since April 24, 2009. Mackenzie, a professor of tropical infectious diseases at Curtin University in Perth, is also a member of the 29-strong review panel assessing the international response. — AFP

Thursday, April 15, 2010



US state approves landmark abortion laws The law could lead to changes in state laws across the country if upheld by the courts, said Mary Spaulding Balch, legislative director for National Right to Life. LINCOLN: Two landmark measures putting new restrictions on abortion became law in the Midwestern state of Nebraska on Tuesday, including one that critics say breaks with court precedent by changing the legal rationale for a ban on later-term abortions. Republican Governor Dave Heineman signed both bills, one barring abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the other requiring women to be screened before having abortions for mental health and other problems. Both sides of the abortion debate say the laws are firsts of their kind in the USA national abortion rights group already appeared to be girding for a legal challenge, calling the ban after 20 weeks “flatly unconstitutional” because it is based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain, not on the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb. “It absolutely cannot survive a challenge with-

out a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Courts have been chipping away at abortion rights ... this would be like taking a huge hacksaw to the rights.” The law focusing on late-term abortions is designed to shut down one of the few doctors in the nation who performs them in Nebraska. Set to take effect in October, it is based on the claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. The current standard in abortion restrictions is viability, or when a fetus is able to survive outside the womb — generally at 22 to 24 weeks. The law could lead to changes in state laws across the country if upheld by the courts, said Mary Spaulding Balch, legislative director for National Right to Life. “It would broaden the interests of states in pro-

tecting the unborn child,” she said. “It says the state has an interest in the unborn child before viability.” Heineman also signed the other bill, approved by lawmakers on Monday, that requires the screening for mental health problems and other risk factors indicating if women might have problems after having abortions. The fetal-pain bill is partially meant to shut down Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who attracted attention after his friend and fellow late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death by an abortion foe in Kansas last year. Kansas, worried that he might move there, has passed a bill awaiting action from Gov. Mark Parkinson, an abortion-rights Democrat. It would require doctors to list an exact medical diagnosis justifying a late-term abortion and also adjust the definition of viability so a fetus would be considered viable if

there’s a “reasonable probability” it would survive outside the womb with life-sustaining measures such as an incubator. Also, it codifies a state rule that the required second opinion on whether late-term abortions are necessary come from doctors in Kansas. Abortion has been legal in the US after a 1973 ruling by the US Supreme Court in the case Roe v. Wade. Attempts to restrict abortion across the country aren’t unusual — in Oklahoma, for example, new laws on abortions have been approved this year including a ban on abortions based on the gender of the child and tighter restrictions on the use of the RU-486 abortion pill. South Dakota voters in 2006 and 2008 turned down proposals to ban abortion outright. Nebraska’s law barring abortions after 20 weeks is sure to be challenged in court. Carhart has suggested he might do so. In

January, he told The Associated Press, “they can pass any law they want to ... and spend millions of dollars to go to court and lose.” A spokesman for Carhart said this week that he has no plans to leave Nebraska, but is exploring his options and isn’t ruling out a move to Kansas. The switch from viability to fetal pain in justifying abortion limits raises fresh legal issues. Abortion opponents say a 2007 US Supreme Court ruling upholding a federal ban on certain late-term abortions opens the door for such legislation because it suggests states have an interest in protecting fetuses. They also say new studies and testimony from doctors prove fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks. “The Nebraska Legislature has taken a bold step which should ratchet up the abortion debate across the nation,” Nebraska Right to Life director Julie Schmit-Albin said.

“What we didn’t know in 1973 in Roe versus Wade ... we know now.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, says it knows of no legitimate evidence that fetuses experience pain at that stage. “There is certainly no solid scientific evidence establishing that a fetus can perceive pain at these earlier stages, so any court decisions to uphold such broader laws could only do so by disregarding the importance of good scientific evidence,” said Caitlin Borgmann, a law professor at The City University of New York. The US Supreme Court would have to overturn earlier abortion-related rulings to uphold the Nebraska law, Borgmann said, including a 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that upheld the right of women to have abortions before fetuses were viable. — AP



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Embassy information EMBASSY OF NEPAL On the auspicious occasion of happy New Year 2067 Bikram Sambat, the Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait shall remain closed today to celebrate the first day of the New Year. EMBASSY OF LAO The Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic will be closed today and April 18, 2010 on the occasion of Lao’s New Year and will reopen on 19th April 2010. EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of Sri Lanka will be closed for public today in lieu of “Sinhala & Tamil New Year of Sri Lanka. 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.

FAIPS KG celebrates Graduation Day again!!


he young hearts of happy and contented children are a universe of serenity, love and creativity. It was evident on the mornings of 17th and 18th March 2010 when the tiny tots of F.A.I.P.S. UKG were gearing up for their most prestigious Graduation Ceremony. The F.A.I.P.S. auditorium was rocking to the rhythm of music and dance against an emotional nostalgia. The backdrop was an undeniable amalgamation of the wide range of fanciful ideas of the kinder world. The solemn ceremony began with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the honorable principal Mrs. Anju Dheman followed by the recital of the Holy Quran. Then the magic began, the UKG choir began the show with the melodious “Rain Song” with their colorful umbrellas. The confident and poised movements of these

students got them a huge applause from the proud parents and then came the show stealers- the tiny tots tribute to the legends of Music World- Michael Jackson on the famous “Black or White”, The glamour was added by the Spice girls, and the crescendo was brought to an end by our own Oscar Winner A.R. Rahman on the tunes of the internationally acclaimed “Jai Ho”. The morning had just begun- the kindergardeners took everyone back to the timeless classical fairytale of Cinderella. The entire cast and troupe held the audience spellbound with their aesthetic and colorful presentation, the glamorous costumes. The detailed props, music and the narration, mesmerized everyone and Cinderella touched all hearts that day!! The standing ovation by the effervescent guests said it all.

Then came the Traditional Indian dance troupe to give an insight into the fisherman dance on the all time popular song ‘Aai Ke ta je baa....” Their well practiced / well rehearsed feet, their smiling faces and the foot tapping music moved in perfect harmony and swayed the audience yet again!! The Principal Ma’am applauded the efforts of the KG team who had worked with great zest and dedication achieving a quality that is unparalleled and she then called upon the UKG students to walk the aisle for receiving their graduation certificates. The students basking in the glory of their graduation gowns and adorning the graduation caps walked confidently and made a grand bow to their proud parents ..... It was indeed an emotional journey for all -the students, the parents and for the teachers. Salutations!!

Women top the rank list of KIG QSC Exam


oman candidates once again proved their high caliber by winning the first, second and third ranks of KIG QSC exam, when the results were published. Scoring 92% marks Mrs. Waheeda Faisal (Farwaniya) got the first rank, with just in a margin of 1% scoring 91% marks Shajeena Hashim (Riggae) satisfied with second rank, while the 3rd rank was equally shared by Soofiya Sajid (Abuhalifa) and Jasmine Shukoor (Abbasiya). The first QSC exam for the year 2010 conducted for men and women alike in an all Kuwait basis was based on chapter 59 Al-Hashr (The Gathering) and chapter 63 Al-Munafiqun (The Hypocrites). Participants were tested for their in depth knowledge in Quran, the rules on recitation etc. Exams were conducted in 30 different Quran Study Centers, located in different parts of Kuwait run by Kerala Islamic Group KIG. The winners got a golden opportunity to receive the cash awards from Janab M.I

Abdul Aziz, Asst. Ameer JIH Kerala who was on a short visit to Kuwait. The top ranks at area level in men’s category were gone to Muneer Madathil, E.K. Salahudeen, A.K. Sameer (Abbasiya) Dr. Ashraf, Noushad Moosa, Ashraf U. (Farwaniya) Engr. Muhammed Naseem, Muhammed Ali, M. H. Fazaludeen

UIS student wins ACER excellence award


nited Indian School student Josephine Crystal R. Mathew has won the renowned International Bench Mark Tests Award for Excellence by scoring the highest marks, in the Middle East Region, in English at grade 6 level. She has also aced in Maths and Science with Distinction. These accolades reflect the high standing of this student among the best in the world itself. A proficiency prize winner year after year, this unassuming student excels in art, music, elocution and essay writing and has won many prizes at competitions. The school congratulates Josephine on her remarkable achievements and wishes her every success.


n this auspicious day best wishes go to Suman Bhagat & Rajasree Bhagat as they celebrate their wedding anniversary today. All the wonderful things you both do and the love you both share may last your lifetime through. Warm wishes come from your beloved daughters Tanisha Bhagat and Sanya Bhagat from Dhanbad. Best wishes also come from Muneer & Rajesh from Kuwait.

(Abuhalifa) Abul Khair, Fouad Shaukath, T.C. Abdul Majeed (Salmiya) Aslam Panoor, Shanawaz, P.M. Abubacker (Fahaheel) Ahmed Kutty, Noufal K., Hidayathullah (Kuwait City) and in women’s category were gone to Jasmine Shukkur, Shameera Afzal, Sameera Muneer, (Abbasiya) Waheeda Faisal,

Asmina Noufal, Thwayyiba Arshad (Farwaniya) Soofiya Sajid, Shameena Abdulqader, Sumayya Najeeb (Abuhaleefa) Sujahath Rishdin, Abitha Sumi, K. Shareefa (Salmiya) Shajeena Hashim, Ashima Sahim, Subeena Shabeer (Riggae) Shahina Ashraf, Raziya Jamal, Bushaina (Fahaheel). The prizes for area

level winners will be distributed in separate function. M.I Abdul Aziz congratulated all the winners and stressed the need for spending time for learning Qur’an. KIG QSC Director V.P. Shaukath ali coordinated the prize distribution ceremony and Secretary Noufal proposed vote of thanks.

‘Helping every child learn with understanding’


n our city we witnessed an interesting event on education at Hilton Kuwait Resort, Mangaf, Kuwait on this Saturday, the 10th day of April 2010. It was conducted by Educational Initiatives, a well known research based organization working in the field of school education for past 9 years. It was addressed by their senior member, Bidhan Sarkar, Head International Operations & Ms. Sanghita Deb, Educational Advisor. The topic, Helping every child learn with understanding’ was quite an interesting one as was evident from a large gathering of educationists from well known Indian Schools in Kuwait & also members of their parent association who interacted quite informally & openly during the entire 3 hours duration of the seminar. It was attended by educators of distinguished Indian schools like “the entire group of “Indian Community School”, Indian Educational School, Fahaheel Al Watanieh Indian Private School (Delhi Public School), Indian International School & representatives of the parent body of Indian Community School. The seminar was aimed at sharing the ASSET team’s experience of

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

Information on Cuba he Government of Cuba decided last February 16, that all travelers, foreign and Cubans living abroad, coming to the island from May 1, 2010 and thereafter shall take out a medical insurance policy. To meet such requirement, travelers shall have a travel insurance which covers medical expenses or a policy for medical expenses with coverage in Cuba. For more information when planning your trip to Cuba please, visit our web site or any Cuba embassy or consulate next to you, or any Cuban Tourism Office. You can visit or at


working with over 3,000 private & over 20,000 public schools, all over India and abroad in the past 9 years. It was highly interactive with most of the delegates participating in meaningful discussions in the present educational system & how we can all contribute significantly towards improving the

learning standards amongst our children as early as in the formative years. Educational Initiatives (El) is a research based organization working in the realm of school education and learning assessment in India and abroad. The organization was founded and is

run by IIM Ahmedabad Alumni. El is today recognized as the leading organization working in the field of learning assessment and analysis to help children learn with understanding. More could be learnt about this organisation through their web site



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Announcement 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

Elizabeth Vetticad

Abishek Gopal

Keerthi Kumaran

Aditya Jaypal

Ayush Basker

Aishwarya Shaji

Amritha Pai

David Mohan

Sukanya Venkada

Sam Samuel

Himag Vaidya

Akhil Govind

Bicolanos meeting Attention Bicolanos please attend a ‘getting to know better’ meeting of the Bicolanos in Kuwait on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 4pm-5pm at Delights Restaurant & Bakery in front of Al-Muthanna Building in Kuwait City. For details please contact Milleth-65121830, Cora97650411, Julie-99530637, Tony-66476918, Lito-66399035 and Gerry-99489155. Friends of Kannur anniversary Friends of Kannur Kuwait expatriates association is all set to celebrate their 5th anniversary on Friday, April 16, 2010 at Daiya auditorium. The celebration will begin by 2:30 pm and Indian ambassador to Kuwait Ajai Malhotra will inaugurate the function. Third Golden FOKE award will be presented to famous theater artist Sri Ibrahim Vengaara for his great contributions for Drama. Golden Foke award has been given to famous personalities who excel in various socio cultural arena from Kannur district. The cultural events will begin after the inaugural function. Colorful events by FOKE family will be staged on the occasion. Television fame Comedy team ‘Rasika Raja’ will present an evening with full of comedy entertainments to the audience. A Stage Drama ‘Porul Mozhi’ will be staged for the first time in Kuwait by FOKE family members. For more information contact 97910261 (Abbasiya), 66086344 (Fahaheel), 99192494 (Jahara), 66577124(Kuwait City) and 99793558 (Farwaniya). Basil Arts A revival meeting of the Basil Arts will be held on Saturday 17 April 2010 7 pm at Hidine Auditorium Abbassiya. All duly registered members are requested to attend the meeting on time. Fun Day in KES Kuwait National English School (Hawally) will be holding its annual Fun Day on Saturday, April 17th from 10 am -8 pm to raise funds for Haiti and we would like to invite you to come! It promises to be a very exciting day with rides, swimming, games, and lots of entertainment for the whole family!

Malavika Menon

Natik Gandhi

Noella Philipose

Ijaz Aflah

IES shows its mettle once more


ix students securing the top ranks and gold medals have bought laurels to Indian Educational School (Bhavans), competing with participants from fifteen countries in the International Assessment for Schools, conducted by Educational Assessment Australia. The shining star, Natik Gandhi of Class 11 secured the highest grade

and is the regional topper in two subjects, Science and Mathematics. Ijaz Aflah of class 6 has topped in Computer Skills, Malavika Menon class 6 in Mathematics, Arjun Prabhu and Noelle Maria Philipose of class 8 and class 9 in English respectively. These toppers, the Pride of Indian Educational School, along with the guidance of our excellent aca-

demic team have steered ahead all other competitors proving that they are the best in the region. They have strived hard for this excellence and their success is the result of the efforts put in by our academic team in polishing the genius in them. Along with the regional toppers we have produced nineteen country toppers in various subjects.

Indian Educational School always targets to achieve the best in the students through constant guidance from our professional team and mould them to compete with anyone in the world of academics. The school is proud to congratulate all these top achievers for their best performance and wish them the best in the years to come.


Unveiling fxashions of the Middle-East Reflections of Who We Are: AWARE & Kuwaiti Youth Volunteers Present: Thursday, April 22 Reflections of Who We Are “Unveiling the Fashions of the Middle-East” A Middle-Eastern-Gulf Country Cultural Clothing Fashion Show & *Charity Event *(All proceeds will be donated to Animal Friends League) from 7-9 pm at PAAET College, Adaliya. Radiating confidence and reflecting on their cultural roots, Kuwaiti youth join hands with AWARE to model the culturally rich backgrounds of fashion from the Middle-Eastern Gulf Countries. Fashion is a prevailing custom or style of dress selected primarily on one’s national identity & religious beliefs. Nationals of Middle Eastern Gulf countries enjoy a style uniquely their own while sharing an element of modesty in their traditional dress. We invite you to join for a lively, traditional clothing fashion show as our models present, for the first time, costumes from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. For further details contact AWARE at 2-533-5280 or email:

Happy birthday to

King Vincent Lertido Wishes from Baba Roger Lertido, Mama Leonida Lertido and uncle Hassan.

Congratulations for the newborn

Hanz Nathaniel

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 Islamic 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.

Arjun Prabhu

(April 4, 2010) we wish you lots of love and happiness for the future, coming from grandparents Gerry & Lita, mommy Leah, Tita Lizette, Tita Lennie, and Tita Lc.

French Education Forum The First French Education forum will be held on 22nd April 2010 at the Radisson Blu hotel, from 4 to 8 pm. It is open for all students. This educational fair is organised by the Cultural service of the French Embassy and CampusFrance (, which is in charge of promoting French higher education abroad. This forum is part of a global regional tour which includes Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Doha. A total of 20 high profile French educational institutions will be represented for this occasion. Among them are the universities of Grenoble and Perpignan, a group of 115 institutes of technology (affiliated with universities throughout France), 6 engineering schools offering courses in different fields of engineering studies, 4 business schools, 3 language schools and 3 art schools will take part in this fair. A special website has been created for this event: for more information.

Aware programme

NPIS Hawally holds picnic for students


xtra-curricular activities are vital to develop a real interest in studies and are considered an integral part of an educational system. They help the students refresh their minds to study and utilize their potentials in the best way. New Pakistan International School (NPIS), Hawally arranged well-organized picnics for the Juniors and the Seniors. The students from class (1-8) visited Hawally Park and the senior students of IGCSE visited Ice Skating Rink. The students spent a memorable time there and enjoyed to the maximum.

AWARE & Kuwaiti Youth Volunteers present: Reflections of Who we are “unveiling the fashions of the Middle East” a Middle-Eastern-Gulf Show & Charity event. (All proceeds will be donated to Animal Friends League) Thursday, April 22, 2010, 7 - 9 pm. Venue: PAAET College, Adaliya. Tickets: 1 KD (available at AWARE) Radiating confidence and reflecting on their cultural roots, Kuwaiti youth join hands with AWARE to model the culturally rich backgrounds of fashion from the Middle-Eastern Gulf Countries. Fashion is a prevailing custom or style of’ dress selected primarily on one’s national identity & religious beliefs. Nationals of Middle Eastern Gulf countries enjoy a style uniquely their own while sharing an element of modesty in their traditional dress. We invite you to join for a lively, traditional clothing fashion show as our models present, for the first time, costumes from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. For further details contact AWARE at Tel: 2-5335280 or email: * All proceeds will go to Animal Friends League



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

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

00:00 House 01:00 Dawson’s Creek 02:00 Bones 03:00 One Tree Hill 04:00 Dawson’s Creek 05:00 Burn Notice 06:00 CSI 07:00 House 08:00 Lie to Me 09:00 Law & Order 10:00 Bones 11:00 One Tree Hill 12:00 CSI 13:00 Burn Notice 14:00 Bones 15:00 Dawson’s Creek 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 Big Love 19:00 CSI 20:00 Without a Trace 21:00 Ghost Whisperer 22:00 Sons of Anarchy 23:00 The Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency

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

Animal Cops Phoenix Untamed & Uncut The Animals’ Guide to Survival Animal Cops Houston Miami Animal Police Monkey Business Animal Battlegrounds E-Vets: The Interns SSPCA: On the Wildside Wildlife SOS Pet Rescue Crime Scene Wild Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous... Britain’s Worst Pet The Planet’s Funniest Animals Monkey Business SSPCA: On the Wildside Miami Animal Police E-Vets: The Interns Pet Rescue Animal Cops Houston Wildlife SOS SSPCA: On the Wildside Crime Scene Wild The Planet’s Funniest Animals The Planet’s Funniest Animals Beverly Hills Groomer Animal Battlegrounds Jungle Planet Earth Animal Cops Phoenix Untamed & Uncut

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

Days That Shook The World 2 Point 4 Children Jane Hall’s Big Bad Bus Ride Casualty Casualty Days That Shook The World Bargain Hunt Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Bargain Hunt Days That Shook The World 2 Point 4 Children 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic 2 Point 4 Children 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Casualty The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Hyperdrive

00:00 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 00:30 Come Dine With Me 00:55 Come Dine With Me 01:20 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 01:45 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 02:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 02:55 The Clothes Show 03:40 New British Kitchen 04:00 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 04:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:00 Cash In The Attic USA 05:20 Hidden Potential 05:40 The Clothes Show 06:25 New British Kitchen 06:50 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 07:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 08:05 Cash In The Attic USA 08:25 Bargain Hunt 09:10 Antiques Roadshow 10:00 Antiques Roadshow 10:50 Cash In The Attic USA 11:15 Hidden Potential 11:40 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 12:10 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico

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

Chasing Time Lonely Planet Jailed Abroad Jailed Abroad Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Jailed Abroad Jailed Abroad Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Wild Rides First Ascent Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Wild Rides First Ascent Bondi Rescue Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Surfer’s Journal

Flawless on Super Movies 12:35 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 13:20 The Clothes Show 14:10 Bargain Hunt 14:55 Bargain Hunt 15:40 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Cash In The Attic USA 16:55 Hidden Potential 17:20 Trish’s Mediterranean Kitchen 17:45 Gino D’Acampo - An Italian In Mexico 18:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 18:55 Antiques Roadshow 19:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:15 Come Dine With Me

00:00 02:00 04:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:15

Stories Of Lost Souls-PG15 The Basketball Diaries-18 Meet Joe Black-PG15 L’age Des Tenebres-PG15 A Walk In The Clouds-PG15 Napoleon Part 1-PG Under The Same Moon-PG Chariots Of Fire-PG Napoleon Part 2-PG A Few Good Men-PG15 Sexy Beast-18

00:00 Border Security 00:30 Destroyed in Seconds 01:00 Miami Ink 02:00 Street Customs 2008 02:55 Wheeler Dealers 03:20 Wheeler Dealers 03:50 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 04:20 Mean Machines: Transatlantic Challenge 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 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 Wheeler Dealers 11:35 Wheeler Dealers 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 LA Hard Hats 18:00 Border Security 18:30 Street Customs 2008 19:30 Destroyed in Seconds 20:00 How it’s Made 20:30 How It’s Made 21:00 Heartland Thunder 22:00 Half Ton Teen

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

Engineered Space Pioneer What’s That About? Beyond Tomorrow Ten Ways How Stuff’s Made Mean Green Machines Weird Connections Engineered The Kustomizer Ten Ways What’s That About? How Does That Work? Stunt Junkies Engineered Mean Green Machines Weird Connections Ten Ways What’s That About? Human Body: Ultimate Machine How Does That Work?

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

The Kustomizer Brainiac Mega World Science of the Movies Brainiac How It’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters Science of the Movies Brainiac Mega World

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

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 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

06:00 06:25 06:50 07:15 07:40 08:05 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:20 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00

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 I’M IN THE BAND Suite Life On Deck Aaron Stone Iron Man: Armoured Adventures

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

Food Network Challenge Great British Menu Grill It! with Bobby Flay Iron Chef America Grill It! with Bobby Flay Barefoot Contessa Iron Chef America Barefoot Contessa Chopped Food Network Challenge Everyday Italian Iron Chef America Great British Menu Iron Chef America Chopped Giada At Home 30 Minute Meals Kitchen Criminals 30 Minute Meals Best Thing I Ever Ate Barefoot Contessa Food Network Challenge Iron Chef America Barefoot Contessa Teleshopping Teleshopping Kitchen Criminals Teleshopping Grill It! with Bobby Flay Teleshopping Barefoot Contessa Teleshopping Barefoot Contessa Teleshopping Tyler’s Ultimate 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 09:30 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

A Haunting FBI Files Murder Shift Serial Killers Forensic Detectives Real Emergency Calls Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives FBI Files Royal Inquest Mystery ER Forensic Detectives FBI Files The Prosecutors Guilty Or Innocent? CSU Forensic Detectives FBI Files Royal Inquest Mystery ER Forensic Detectives FBI Files The Prosecutors Guilty Or Innocent? CSU On the Case with Paula Zahn Crimes That Shook the World Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:05 02:15 03:45 05:30 07:25 09:10 10:55 12:30 14:00 15:55 17:25 20:05 22:00 23:30

Coming Home Hi Mom The Silver Strand The Hunting Party Slamdance Prancer My American Cousin Far North Huckleberry Finn Vigilante Force Hawaii Alice’s Restaurant Outback The War At Home

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Reno 911 03:30 Weeds 04:00 Sauturday Night Live 05:00 Community 05:30 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 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 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 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 13:00 Rita Rocks 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 The Nanny 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Eight Simple Rules 18:30 Just Shoot me! 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 New adventures of old Christine 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 Hung 23:00 Sauturday Night Live

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

The Martha Stewart Show 10 Years Younger Look A Like The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Monique Show The Tonight show with Jay Leno GMA (repeat) GMA Health What’s the Buzz The Martha Stewart Show Look A Like 10 Years Younger Jimmy Kimmel Live! The View The Ellen DeGeneres Show What’s Good For You GMA Live GMA Health What’s the Buzz The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Look A Like 10 Years younger

00:30 02:45 04:30 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:30

Milk-18 Explicit IIIs-PG15 Space Chimps-PG Moondance Alexander-FAM Cassandra’s Dream-PG15 Motherhood-PG15 This Christmas-PG Son Of Rambow-PG Cassandra’s Dream-PG15 Hotel For Dogs-FAM The Dark Knight-PG15 Max Payne-PG15

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00

Conspiracy-18 Dead Water-PG15 The X Files-PG15 Charlie Valentine-PG15 Twin Daggers-PG15 Dead Water-PG15

13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 PG15 21:00

Street Fighter Alpha-PG Twin Daggers-PG15 Monster Ark-18 Merlin And The Book Of BeastsCloverfield-PG15

00:00 Splinterheads-PG15 02:00 I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry-PG15 04:00 Faintheart-PG15 06:00 The Onion Movie-PG15 08:00 Much Ado About Nothing-PG15 10:00 Girl’s Best Friend-PG15 12:00 The Other Half-PG15 14:00 Bridal Fever-PG 16:00 Splinterheads-PG15 18:00 Art School Confidential-PG15 20:00 Spring Breakdown-PG15 22:00 In The Loop-PG15

00:00 Barbie Magic Of The RainbowFAM 02:00 Kung Fu Panda-PG 04:00 D2: The Mighty Ducks-PG 06:00 Bugs Bunny 1001 Rabbit TalesFAM 08:00 Babar: King Of The ElephantsFAM 10:00 D2: The Mighty Ducks-PG 12:00 Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacati-FAM 14:00 Kung Fu Panda-PG 16:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 18:00 Hey Arnold! The Movie-PG 20:00 Dark Crystal-PG

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

Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Sex and the City Sex and the City Survivor : Samoa Every Body Loves Raymond Coach 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Criminal Minds Every Body Loves Raymond Coach Survivor : Samoa 24 Criminal Minds Emmerdale Coronation Street Every Body Loves Raymond Coach Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice 24 Beauty and the Geek Emmerdale Huey’s Cooking Adventure Wallender Dollhouse Cold Case Life on Mars Sex and the City

00:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 00:30 Barclays Premier League 02:30 Premier League Review Show 04:00 Premier League 06:00 Portugol 06:30 Brazil League Highlights 07:00 Barclays Premier League 09:00 Premier League Classics 09:30 Premier League Classics 10:00 Premier League 12:00 Premier League 14:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:30 Brazil League Highlights 15:00 Scottish Premier League 17:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 19:00 Premier League 21:00 Premier League World

Highlights 13:00 Futbol Mundial 13:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 14:00 NRL Premiership 16:00 ICC Cricket World 16:30 Super League 18:30 European Tour Weekly 19:00 PGA European Tour 23:30 World Sport

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

V8 Supercars Series Highlights V8 Supercars Series Highlights WWE NXT Bushido NCAA Basketball UFC Unleashed WWE Smackdown WWE Vintage Collection FIM World Cup Rat Race Bushido WWE Vintage Collection NCAA Basketball LG Action Sport FIM World Cup Rat Race WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Series Highlights V8 Supercars Series Highlights WWE NXT UFC - The Ultimate Fighter UFC 112

01:30 Flawless-18 03:30 Trucker-PG15 05:00 The Christmas Clause-PG 07:00 Hoot-PG 09:00 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!FAM 11:00 The Golden Compass-PG 13:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium-FAM 15:00 Centre Stage 2: Turn It Up-PG15 17:00 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!FAM 19:00 Iron Man-PG15 21:00 Vicky Cristina Barcelona-PG15 23:00 Underworld: The Rise Of The Lycans-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 07:00 08:45 10:25 12:05 13:45 15:30 16:55 18:25 20:00 22:00 23:50

Point Blank The Yellow Rolls-Royce Raintree County Sunday In New York Masquerade The Time Machine The Wizard Of Oz Sunday In New York The Mouse On The Moon Elvis On Tour Penelope Lust For Life The Executioner Victor/Victoria

00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 03:55 04:50 05:40 06:30 07:20 08:10 09:00 09:55 10:50 11:40 12:30 13:20

Lost Worlds UFO Files Conspiracy? Nostradamus Effect Lost Worlds Titanic’s Tragic Sister Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire Lost Worlds UFO Files Conspiracy? Nostradamus Effect Lost Worlds Titanic’s Tragic Sister Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire Lost Worlds UFO Files

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

Conspiracy? Nostradamus Effect Lost Worlds Titanic’s Tragic Sister Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire Lost Worlds UFO Files Conspiracy? Life After People Evolve Dinosaur Secrets Prehistoric Mega Storms

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

Dr 90210 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane Dallas Divas & Daughters How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane Area How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous My Celebrity Home Style Star Dress My Nest Peter Perfect Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? Ruby Giuliana & Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Dress My Nest What I Hate About Me Split Ends Dallas Divas & Daughters The Dish Running in Heels Split Ends Clean House Dress My Nest Style Her Famous Clean House Ruby Ruby

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Angry Planet 01:30 The Thirsty Traveler 02:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 03:00 Planet Food 04:00 Intrepid Journeys 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Planet Food 07:00 The Thirsty Traveler 07:30 Angry Planet 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Essential 09:30 Dream Destinations 10:00 Distant Shores 10:30 Distant Shores 11:00 Chef Abroad 11:30 Entrada 12:00 Planet Food 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Chef Abroad 14:30 The Thirsty Traveler 15:00 Sophie Grigson in the Souk 15:30 Entrada 16:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Essential 18:30 Journey Into Wine... 19:00 Chef Abroad 19:30 The Thirsty Traveler 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 How To Holiday Greener 21:30 Culture Shock 22:00 Distant Shores 22:30 Wild At Heart 23:00 Temples In The Clouds VH1 00:00 Vh1 Rocks 00:30 Smells Like The 90’s 01:00 Greatest Hits 02:00 Vh1 Music

00:30 European Tour Weekly 01:00 Premier League World 01:30 Goals On Monday 03:00 Premier League Darts 07:00 AFL Highlights 08:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 08:30 NRL Premiership 10:30 Futbol Mundial 11:00 Premier League World 11:30 Goals Goals Goals 12:00 FEI Equestrain World 12:30 AFL Highlights 13:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 14:30 ICC Cricket World 15:00 World Hocky 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 European Challenge Cup 18:00 Mobil 1 The Grid

00:00 02:00 02:30 04:30 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 12:00

NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership AFL Premiership Highlights Goals Goals Goals Mobil 1 The Grid ICC Cricket World Futbol Mundial European Tour Weekly Live PGA European Tour Barclays Premier League

Milk on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:05 Hackers 22:50 A Teacher’s Crime 00:25 Scary Movie 01:45 The Air Up There 03:35 7-10 Split 05:10 Hackers 06:55 VIP Access 07:25 Scary Movie 08:50 Mr Saturday Night 10:50 7-10 Split 12:25 Sea Beast 13:50 I Love Trouble 15:50 Sandlot 17:30 Volcano 19:15 Phone Booth STAR World 20:00 East West 20:50 Charlie’s Angels 21:00 Cops S19 21:25 Cops S19 21:50 Who’s The Boss? 22:00 Grey’s Anatomy 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven 03:00 Scrubs 03:30 The King Of Queens

04:00 05:00 06:00 06:50 07:00 08:00 08:50 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:00 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00

BOSTON LEGAL American Idol Grey’s Anatomy Charlie’s Angels American Idol EAST WEST 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 American Idol Scrubs The King Of Queens BOSTON LEGAL Samantha Who? Rules Of Engagement Desperate Housewives Private Practice Asia Uncut

Granada TV 20:00 Parkinson (Series 7) 21:00 Holiday Homes From Hell ** 22:00 Emmerdale 22:30 Coronation Street 23:00 Holiday Homes From Hell **

00:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 01:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 02:00 Action Thursday: The Vice (Series 2) (Double Bill) 04:00 The Inside Guide To (Series 3) 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 2) 07:00 Action Thursday: The Vice (Series 2) (Double Bill) 09:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:00 The Inside Guide To (Series 3) 11:00 Emmerdale 11:30 Coronation Street 12:00 Ballroom Bootcamp 13:00 Action Thursday: The Vice (Series 2) (Double Bill) 15:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 16:00 Emmerdale 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 Ballroom Bootcamp 18:00 Action Thursday: The Vice (Series 2) (Double Bill) Channel [V] 21:00 Keys To The VIP Double Bill 22:00 [V] Tunes 22:30 [V] Tunes 23:00 Backtracks 23:30 Double Shot

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

Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Keys To The VIP Double Bill [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes [V] Plug Loop Backtracks XO [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Videoscope [V] Tunes [V] Tunes Backtracks Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes

17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30

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

Fox News 00:00 Happening Now 01:00 The Live Desk 03:00 Studio B with Shepard Smith Live 04:00 Your World with Neil Cavuto 05:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 06:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 07:00 The FOX Report with Shepard Smith 08:00 The O’Reilly Factor 09:00 Hannity 10:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 11:00 The O’Reilly Factor 12:00 Hannity 13:00 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren 14:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 15:00 Fox Report 16:00 Special Report with Bret Baier 17:00 The O’Reilly Factor 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 Don’t Tell My Mother... -Don’t Tell My Mother : Iran S2 21:00 Wild Wednesday -Monkey Thieves : Searching For Sanctuary 16 21:30 Wild Wednesday -Monkey Thieves : Urban Exile 17 22:00 Wild Wednesday -Shark Men : Big Mama 23:00 Theme Week -Inside : Air Show 00:00 Seconds From Disaster -Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster S2-5 01:00 ABOUT ASIA -Megastructures : China’s Ultimate Port 02:00 Interpol Investigates -Fatal Compulsion 03:00 Monster Fish -Great White Sturgeon 04:00 Hunter Hunted -Return Of The Predator 05:00 ABOUT ASIA -Megastructures : China’s Ultimate Port 06:00 Don’t Tell My Mother... -Don’t Tell My Mother : Venezuela S2 07:00 Street Monkeys -New Order 08:00 Interpol Investigates -Fatal Compulsion 09:00 Monkey Thieves -The Great Escape 9 09:30 Hayden Turner’s Wildlife Chall -Crabs 6 10:00 Theme Week -Inside : Kung Fu Inc. 11:00 Seconds From Disaster -Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster S2-5 12:00 ABOUT ASIA -Megastructures : China’s

Thursday, April 15, 2010


ACCOMMODATION One room available for 2 executive bachelors (Indian) share with Mangalorean family in a CAC 2B/R flat in Salmiya behind Apollo hospital. Tel: 25610431/ 97821037. (C 2133) 15-4-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for visiting family or two working ladies or couples in new CAC fully furnished two bedroom two bathroom (attached) flat from 6th June 2010. Contact: 66013882. (C 2127) Sharing room available for rent in CAC flat opp. Farwaniya bridge on airport road Khaitan just one minute to all bus routes for family/couple. Contact: 97468551. (C 2126) 14-4-2010 Single room accommodation available for bachelor (1 or 2) in Abbassiya opposite to Choice restaurant from 01.05.2010. Tel: 60630829. (C 2124) Accommodation available for family or working ladies in Abbassiya opp German clinic in front of bus stop. Contact: 66455687. (C 2118) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya behind Caesers bakery with Keralite family in two bedroom flat only for Christian Keralite bachelor. Call: 99153497. (C 2119) Accommodation available bachelor Manglorean or Goan with food opp Jabriya bridge, near Al Bahar complex. Contact: 22662734. (C 2120) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya working ladies or small couples near Neethi store. Contact: 97501647. (C 2122) 13-4-2010

FOR SALE Nissan Jeep, first owner, model 2002, black, excellent condition. Tel: 99649749. (C 2132) 15-4-2010 SITUATION WANTED

Indian male, M.Com, well experienced in accounts and finance, seeks suitable position. Should have transferable residency. Please contact: 99158323. (C 2130) 15-4-2010

MATRIMONIAL Wanted groom for 26 years, young, slim, normal complexion girl, from KK district, (Tamil Nadu) CSI Christian Nadar, working in Kuwait MOH. Vacation: May - June. Contact: (C 2123) 14-4-2010 Christian Jacobite girl 27 years, 160cms, Perumbavoor, Ernakulam dist, going on leave April 23 June 3 seeking proposal from parents of suitable boys . Email: (C 2125) RC, SC, 168 cm, M.Tech hailing from financially sound family working in Kuwait as sales engineer looking for professionally qualified girls. Email: (C 2114) 13-4-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Kuwaiti decent family looking for live-in maid, any nationality. Tel: 66104141. (C 2131) 15-4-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Alfred Fernandes, R/o H.No.1103 Socorro Zosvaddo, P.O. Porvorim BartzesGoa, S/O late Matias Fernandes, would like to correct my name on my passport no.:F-7953723, issued in Kuwait, from Alfredo Fernandes to Alfred Fernandes. (C 2129) I, Sebastiana Sousa, R/o Katem Baina, Vasco-DaGama Marmagoa, D/o Late Antonio Sousa, would like to correct my surname on my passport no F-0508935 issued in Kuwait from Sebastiana D始sousa to Sebastiana Sousa. (C 2129) I, Ana Rita Sousa, R/o 343, next to M.P.T. Hospital Vasco-Da-Gama Goa, D/o Late Antonio Sousa, would like to correct my surname on my passport no. F-1471318, issued in Kuwait, from Ana Rita Godinho to Ana Rita Sousa. (C 2129) 14-4-2010

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Thursday 15/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Royal Jordanian 802 Amman Bangladesh 045 Dhaka/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 188 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 306 Cairo Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Turkish A/L 772 Istanbul Jazeera 435 Mashad Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Jazeera 513 Sharm El Sheikh DHL 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 138 Doha Cargolux 794 Luxembourg Kuwait 802 Cairo 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 Iran A1r 605 Isfahan Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Fly Dubai 053 Dubai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 121 Sharjah Qatari 132 Doha Etihad 301 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 425 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 182 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 102 Dubai Jazeera 165 Dubai Jazeera 447 Doha Jazeera 113 Abu Dhabi Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Jazeera 171 Dubai Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 457 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai Kuwait 772 Riyadh Royal Jordanian 800 Amman United A/L 982 Washington Dc Dulles Wataniya Airways 432 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Jazeera 257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 422 Amman Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Qatari 134 Doha

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

Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Mihin Lanka Etihad Emirates Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Iran Air Jazeera Srilankan Kuwait Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Bahrain Air Kuwait Singapore A/L Jazeera Rovos Fly Dubai Oman Air Middle East Jet A/W Egypt Air KLM Wataniya Airways Jazeera DHL Gulf Air Emirates Qatari Kuwait Indian Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Lufthansa Egypt Air Bangladesh Jazeera India Express Pakistan Wataniya Airways

546 678 173 118 403 303 857 215 402 510 493 562 239 625 125 617 343 227 104 304 106 502 542 202 786 618 177 459 674 614 344 774 458 433 093 061 647 402 572 618 0445 404 183 372 217 859 136 178 981 429 117 449 636 612 043 185 389 205 108

Alexandria Muscat/Abu Dhabi Dubai New York Colombo/Dubai Abu Dhabi Dubai Bahrain Beirut Riyadh Jeddah Amman Amman Alexandria Sharjah Ahwaz Sanaa/Bahrain Colombo/Dubai London Cairo Dubai Beirut Cairo Jeddah Jeddah Doha Dubai Damascus Dubai Bahrain Bahrain Riyadh Singapore/Abu Dhabi Mashad Kandahar/Dubai Dubai Muscat Beirut Mumbai Alexandria Amsterdam Beirut Dubai Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Doha Geneva/Frankfurt Chennai/Ahmedabad Bahrain Abu Dhabi Doha Frankfurt Cairo Dhaka Dubai Kozhikode/Mangalore Lahore Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Thursday 15/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode KLM 0447 Amsterdam Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Pakistan 216 Karachi Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Royal Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 112 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 422 Bahrain Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Jazeera 456 Damascus Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 256 Beirut Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Iran Air 606 Mashad Kuwait 671 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Kuwait 671 Dubai Jazeera 170 Dubai Jazeera 342 Bahrain/Sanaa Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Kuwait 771 Riyadh Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Cargolux 794 Singapore Jazeera 524 Alexandria Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Jazeera 172 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 561 Amman Jazeera 238 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Kuwait 785 Jeddah Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jazeera 458 Damascus


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

Jazeera Wataniya Airways Royal Jordanian Egypt Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Nas Air Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Qatari Jazeera Etihad Mihen Lanka Emirates Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Arabia Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Iran Air Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Srilankan Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Bahrain Air Jazeera Kuwait Singapore A/L Ply Duba1 Kuwait Oman Air M1ddle East Jet A/W Egypt Air Wataniya Airways KLM Jazeera Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Emirates Falcon Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait United A/L Kuwait Egypt Air

432 105 801 622 176 403 673 617 746 505 773 613 135 182 304 404 858 216 305 543 126 511 116 616 285 448 184 428 228 407 107 321 283 266 343 512 361 457 062 351 648 403 571 619 187 0445 240 218 373 675 860 102 137 301 205 480 526 502 411 981 415 613

Mashad Dubai Amman Assiut Dubai Beirut Dubai Doha Jeddah Jeddah Riyadh Bahrain Doha Dubai Abu Dhabi Dubai/Colombo Dubai Bahrain Cairo Cairo Sharjah Riyadh Abu Dhabi Ahwaz Chittagong Doha Dubai Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Beirut Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Dhaka Beirut Bahrain Sharm El Sheikh Colombo Abu Dhabi/Singapore Dubai Cochin Muscat Beirut Mumbai Alexandria Bahrain Bahrain/Amsterdam Amman Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Dubai Bahrain Doha Mumbai Islamabad Sabiha Alexandria Luxor Bangkok/Manila Washington Dc Dulles Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Cairo

14:05 14:30 14:30 14:50 14:55 15:10 15:10 15:35 15:45 16:00 16:05 16:20 16:20 16:50 17:35 17:40 18:05 1805 18:05 18:10 18:20 18:35 18:40 18:40 18:45 18:55 19:00 19:10 19:10 19:25 19:40 19:45 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:20 20:45 20:50 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:35 21:40 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:05 23:20 23:30 23:40 23:40 23:50 23:55



Thursday, April 15, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) It is easy for you to get your message across to others today. You can demonstrate your abilities to compromise and may need to do so before the afternoon is over. Your ideas can change things for the better in the work place but others may not be ready to merge their ideas with yours. You are constantly in pursuit of the new and different ways to improve moneymaking abilities. This may be a good time to consider a business of your own—perhaps an antique store. Your charm and outgoing personality will draw others to your viewpoint. The feeling of being hemmed-in this evening may find you eating dinner out. An irritating neighbor will become more considerate if you build a better relationship through common communication. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You are hopeful concerning money matters today. There is a desire to excel in the work place. When you work with others, you can be very effective. You develop a knack for being in the right place at the right time—and that can win you the admiration of others. Noon time may find you at a library, researching ways in which to beautify or update the furniture in your home. Be prepared for unexpected changes in the home this afternoon. With self-confidence you are able to create good luck all around you. You rule over your own territory this evening and there is much pleasure to be enjoyed with the ways in which your ideas have taken shape. Combined interests between you and your partner may find you both planning a trip.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A widely distributed system of free and fixed macrophages derived from bone marrow. 4. In bed. 8. The compass point that is one point south of due east. 11. Take in solid food. 12. A low heavy horsecart without sides. 13. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 14. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 15. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 16. Type genus of the family Myacidae. 17. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 20. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 22. An open sore on the back of a horse caused by ill-fitting or badly adjusted saddle. 25. Deciduous South African tree having large odd-pinnate leaves and profuse fragrant orange-yellow flowers. 28. Consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous. 31. Large lipoproteins rich in triglycerides. 33. Of or related to the amnion or characterized by developing an amnion. 34. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 35. A piece of furniture that provides a place to sleep. 36. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 42. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 43. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 47. The cry made by sheep. 49. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 50. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 51. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 52. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 53. Showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair. DOWN 1. Flat tableland with steep edges. 2. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 3. Indicating the most important performer or role. 4. A public promotion of some product or service. 5. (informal) Exceptionally good. 6. Animal food for browsing or grazing. 7. A usually soluble substance for staining or coloring e.g. fabrics or hair. 8. Any of various trees of the genus Ulmus. 9. Common Indian weaverbird. 10. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 18. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body. 19. A narrow gorge with a stream running through it. 21. A deep bow. 23. Jordan's port. 24. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on land. 26. Being nine more than forty. 27. Chief port of Yemen. 29. A light strong gray lustrous corrosion-resistant metallic element used in strong light-weight alloys (as for airplane parts). 30. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 32. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 37. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 38. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 39. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 40. A small cake leavened with yeast. 41. Massive plantigrade carnivorous or omnivorous mammals with long shaggy coats and strong claws. 44. A master's degree in business. 45. Enlarged prostate. 46. Of or relating to a member of the Buddhist people inhabiting the Mekong river in Laos and Thailand. 48. A radioactive element of the actinide series.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Changes could occur in your environment this day. You could find yourself working to make contacts with city officials to change things to a more positive—others will help if you ask. Working with—rather than against—the flow should be easy this afternoon. You are moved by high achievers and may learn some new technical procedure through some of your high achiever friends. Others are impressed by your productivity today. Your nature may be stoical this evening, as you take a serious attitude to just about all aspects of your life. Balance your activities between your sense of duty to the world and your sense of duty to yourself. This is an excellent time to sit down alone and get many personal projects accomplished.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) New ways to share with others make conversations and interactions go well today. You may find yourself more talkative and easy going than at other times. A light-hearted dialogue with an older person may take place this morning. A connection with people on a grand scale; lectures, convention activities and business travel, begin to play a bigger part in your life—there is much activity and involvement now. Your communication with others has a way of outlining new directions in your life. This is a time when you should enjoy a professional success. Being in the spotlight is common to you during this time and you should realize that it is also a good time to be humble and help others. This is truly a mentally and socially active period. Leo (July 23-August 22) Your boss wants action and you are the one to make things happen. Your ideas and thoughts will impress others; especially if you have the power to mold your ideas into a firm plan. Very productive conference calls will draw out the adjustments that need to be made on budgeting or advertising or some other important matter at this time. Fresh challenges and initiatives light your enthusiasm now, as a new cycle begins in your life—a powerful urge to be first or to come out on top. Away with the old and on to the new— let no one and nothing stand between you and your objective! Headstrong impulses and rash courage may create mistakes so pay attention to your motivation. You and your family may talk about a summer vacation.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Self-confidence is increased and so is your capacity for leadership. You have increased concentration and perception into the motives of others in your work place. This period is favorable for any research or for revealing hidden factors and inhibitions. If there are secret manipulations, or conspiracies, they can surface where you can gain control. Older people and those in positions of power tend to give you their approval and trust. Your status in the working world is very important. You want to achieve as much as possible. Your chance of winning in competitions is good; you may find yourself involved in some competitive game this afternoon. Taking a little time to relax before you get into bed this evening will help you sleep well.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Making and keeping appointments has you busy much of this week. You find that you can really use your mind to make clear choices. Career decisions are easy to make. You make your way through ideas, concepts and your ability to communicate and be expressive to others. You draw emotional sustenance and you have a good sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement. There is a need for change, a desire to break with outmoded patterns from the past, and a longing for the new, the different and the unique. A business venture with a friend looks to be profitable at this time—especially if a legal advisor is consulted. The beauty and scent of freshly cut flowers, in your home or office, can be enjoyed today—to the max!

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Today has much to do about money—how you feel about it and how you protect and use it. Taxes, investments and other financial ties or obligations grab your attention. Put your mind to work and take care of any details that you may have, for mental discipline should come easily. Problems and obstacles that were previously a problem should find easy explanations under your keen examination. Your attitude to life and the way you live is in the process of changing for the better. You have been more relaxed and less frustrated by outside circumstances than most. Sympathy and understanding are emotional qualities that take on greater importance now. It’s wisdom, not knowledge that counts at this time. Relax this evening. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Today is a great time to work with others. Have faith in yourself and your talents. Working for the pleasure of a job well done is a good motivation, but aiming for the highest success and prosperity is better. Your management abilities are in high focus. There are intensely favorable conditions for professional progress all the way through this month. You may be inclined to overdo your physical activities and work stress may increase as well. It should be easy to relieve work tension with a little humor. A friend from the past has found you and is looking forward to a visit. Communicating feelings and showing appreciation for this friendship is important for the two of you. Satisfaction and appreciation rules.

Yesterday’s Solution


Yesterday’s Solution


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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) There is a great deal of progress in the work place today. Continue to tie up unfinished work this morning. There may be some recognition surrounding your work. Be quick to compliment your co-workers when you see accomplishments worthy of compliments. You will be pleased with the long-term effects. You can improve your relationship with co-workers by taking at least one day out of the week to communicate during the noon meal or visit with those that work near you. This afternoon an acquaintance will ask you for money. Your generosity is commendable, however, some people need to learn how to handle money and a loan from you might not help—think first—things may not be as they seem. If asked, you could do some excellent counseling.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) In-depth discussions and probing conversations in the work place finds you at your mental best. Get some good business ideas from coworkers. A moneymaking idea has merit. It will not happen overnight—be patient. Don’t over stress yourself with imaginings. Someone may remind you of what you thought humanity was doing to improve life on the planet Earth. You may be reassessing the goals of your country and wondering how we got to where we are now. You may feel we have moved away from the respect of life and land and want to do something to help guide the world in a more positive direction. The clock will only hold so many minutes, similar to you only being able to exert so much effort . . . one thing at a time. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You will receive compliments today, not only from a loved one, but from someone at work. You may have a special glow about you today that just elicits compliments. You find yourself lunching with co-workers and enjoying conversations about past love relationships and lessons learned. You enjoy and value your own life situation today. Planning a move may be the next activity in your life. Many people find themselves pushed into moving, like a job transfer, but you choose to move in order to enjoy a different scene for a while. You hate boredom. Landscape and wildlife is the most important factor that creates in you a desire for a move. Taking care of animals and rehabilitating them may be of great interest to you in the future.


THURSday, April 15, 2010

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

Ministry of Interior website:

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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


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













Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb














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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


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


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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



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

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

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

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


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

he ‘Charlie’s Angels’ actress has reportedly embarked on a low-key romance with the baseball star - who is nicknamed ‘A-Rod’ - after they met at a Creative Artists Agency Super Bowl party in February. A source told Life and Style magazine: “‘A-Rod’ is with Cameron. They’ve been keeping it quiet, but they’re totally together.” The relationship is still in its early stages and is said to be “casual” with neither the sportsman or Cameron looking for a serious commitment. It was previously reported that the 37year-old actress had been dancing and “grinding” with Alex, 34, at the Super Bowl party. The New York Yankees player was sitting on a couch beside Cameron as she “was dancing by herself” before moving her gyrating body towards him. At one point the blonde beauty who was “tipsy” and being very “fun and flirty” - began “grinding on ‘A-Rod’”. Alex has been single since splitting from actress Kate Hudson in December. Cameron has previously dated a host of famous men including Maroon 5 star Adam Levine, musician John Mayer and British model Paul Sculfor.


aggressive? clothes


oe Saldana has a “harsh” and “aggressive” wardrobe. The ‘Avatar’ actress admits to being a bit of a tomboy and her clothing choices veers toward that side of her. She told Self magazine: “I’ve never really been that feminine. Look in my closet and you’ll see things that are elegant, sexy, tomboyish, sophisticated, beautiful, aggressive. “It’s harsh. It’s a lot of black. Pretty is the last word you would think of.” Zoe - who also starred in ‘Star Trek’ - said her take on fashion stood out against the bright Caribbean fashions of her native Dominican Republic. She said: “The Caribbean is the most floral-happy culture in the world, and my sisters and I were like three little Jackie O’s with big sunglasses, reading all these sophisticated magazines and dressed in black at all times.” Zoe does, however, occasionally wear bright colours and on a recent shoot picked out a floral dress which brought back fond memories for her. She explained: “These florals tell a story. I was channelling that South Beachlooking-for-a-millionaire-husband-from-Switzerland kind of thing. I live in constant storytelling mode. “Sometimes, I have to give myself permission to be pretty.”

Pink burns leg on husband’s motorcycle ink has burned her leg on her husband’s motorcycle. The ‘So What’ singer was riding pillion on her motocross racer husband Carey Hart’s bike and her leg slipped and touched the red hot exhaust. She tweeted: “To answer the leg question: I burnt my leg on hubbys pipes. Burns are no fun. Hot pipes aren’t either. At least not that kind lol. (sic)” Pink spent most of yesterday working on bikes with Carey and hanging out with her friend, American musician Butch Walker. She revealed in another twitter post: “Hangin with the boys. Workin on bikes while @butchwalker tunes my drums. That sounds weird. (sic)” Despite her leg


injury, Pink went to yoga yesterday, but admits the session took a lot of her - because it was so hard. Pink revealed on twitter: “Bikram yoga tried to kill me today. That would be such a silly way to die.” This is not the first time Pink has suffered difficulties on a motorcycle. The couple were recently enjoying a romantic day out on their bikes but the singer experienced a problem as they left the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas, California. A source said: “After they got on their separate bikes, Pink noticed that one of her tires needed air.” Carey then helped his wife to a nearby gas station and filled up her tires.

Blunt to marry next month


mily Blunt is reportedly planning to marry next month. The ‘Devil Wears Prada’ actress is busy finalising her nuptials to actor John Krasinski who stars in the US TV version of ‘The Office’ - with the big day set to take place in either London or Los Angeles. A source said: “They’ll get married in about a month. “She is planning the wedding right now and is down to the last-minute details. They picked up their wedding bands . “It will be a big wedding... probably in London or Los Angeles.” However, the


British beauty is yet to decide on her wedding dress and has tried on several designer gowns. The source added to E! Online: “She looked at Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang. She is definitely considering Monique Lhuillier.” Emily and John - who began dating in November 2008 announced their engagement last August but didn’t give any details about the proposal. The couple have been extremely tight-lipped about their romance, even arriving at the Screen Actors Guild Awards separately last January.

he ‘Brothers’ actor - who recently split from his girlfriend Reese Witherspoon - doesn’t mind being on his own but still believes it’s important to settle down with “the right woman” eventually. Discussing being on his own, he told America’s GQ magazine: “It’s... it’s okay. “It goes in either direction. I think it’s important for every man to find the right woman and every woman to find the right man.” Jake previously described being with the perfect partner as “the most important” thing a man can do in life. However, since his break up from Reese, the 29-year-old hunk is unsure what to give precedence to. He said: “Who am I to say what the most important thing in life is? The best answer I could give to any of those things is that I really don’t know, particularly right now in my life.” Jake, the younger brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, had another setback recently when their father Stephen Gyllenhaal and mother Naomi Foner divorced after 29


years. Jake admits part of their separation has been “relieving” and has taught him to accept that any romance can become “messy”. He said: “It can bring out the truth and honesty in a relationship, and that’s greatly relieving to everyone - that people can kind of move and change and grow. And so in some ways, as much pain as there is, there’s also a positive outlook on it. And thinking, you know, some relationships last a lifetime, and some relationships don’t. “Like I said, I think it takes a lot of courage for my parents to make the decision that they made, and I trust both of them and their outlook on life. They’re wonderful parents to me and my sister Maggie. “I think any successful marriage, even if it hasn’t lasted for a lifetime, will create a sense of an ideal. But I don’t have a fantasy. There’s not a fantasy. I know it’s messy, is what I want to say. “Family... my family, you know... I love them. Whatever they do, whatever they are... I love them.”

Keira K nightley acts for free eira Knightley agreed to appear in her latest film for free. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star appears as Elizabethan lover Constance in 10-minute short film ‘Maze’, the debut of painter Stuart Pearson Wright, for free because she is so in tune with his ideas. The short features the actress and her lover - played by the artist - in full period costume, lost in a maze trying to find each other and was shot in one day for just £15,000. Speaking about her decision to appear in ‘Maze’, Keira told The Independent newspaper: “I loved the idea of doing something that was purely creative, weird and wonderful and not a commercial venture. “Ideas were emailed and then developed at Stuart’s studio over cupcakes and tea, and under the skeleton of his dog, and a film piece was decided


on: a collision of our worlds.” The director admits it was a nervewracking experience for him to work with such a high-profile actress on his very first film, but insists Keira instantly put him at ease. Stuart said: “I was impressed Keira agreed to do the film straight away. She had the humility to take direction from somebody who lacked experience. “She was as un-diva like as anybody could be, because she is so down to earth. She is not into playing the whole star game. She genuinely loves acting and I think she gives a great performance, in this film, in a very uncomfortable dress.” ‘Maze’ will be premiered alongside Stuart’s latest exhibition, ‘I Remember You’ at London’s Riflemaker Gallery between May 5 and June 6. — BangShowbiz

Drew Barrymore won’t change for a man he ‘Whip It’ star - who is rumored to be engaged to actor Justin Long - says she could never pretend to be someone she’s not and needs a man to accept her for who she really is. She told Britain’s OK! magazine: “On the first date, don’t not be yourself. Don’t sell them what you’re not really about it’s exhausting. “I’m never not myself and I don’t give a s**t if it’s to my detriment or not. This is who I am. What you see is what you get. I learnt that lesson when I was 13 - my entire life was out there and I didn’t have a choice. I thought, let me just ride with this wave.” As well as not changing for a man, Drew recently claimed she isn’t bothered about getting older. The 34-year-old actress - who shot to fame aged six in ‘ET’ - said: “It’s the best time of my life it’s not traumatic at all. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. It’s like the older I get, the better I get. Gravity and wrinkles are fine with me. They’re a small price to pay for the new wisdom inside my head and my heart. “If my breasts fall down to the floor and everything starts to sag and becomes hideous and gross, I won’t worry. I’ll just stop appearing in front of the camera. That’s fine with me because I love producing and directing.”



Thursday, April 15, 2010


Music & Movies

1913 Lincoln film found in US barn cleanup n a tale celebrating the romance of movies, a contractor cleaning out an old New Hampshire barn destined for demolition found seven reels of nitrate film inside, including the only known copy of a 1913 silent film about Abraham Lincoln. “When Lincoln Paid,” a 30-minute film about the mother of a dead Union soldier asking Lincoln to pardon a Confederate soldier whom she had initially turned in, stars the brother of John Ford, director of “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Quiet Man,” and other classics. “I was up in the attic space, and shoved away over in a corner was the film and a silent movie projector, as well,” Peter Massie, a movie buff, said of his discovery in the western New Hampshire town of Nelson. “I thought it was really cool.” It was the summer of 2006, and the film canisters sat in his basement for a while before Massie thought of contacting nearby Keene State College, where film professor Larry Benaquist thought it was a rare find. After working with the George Eastman House film preservation museum in Rochester, New York, the college determined that the film, directed by and starring Francis Ford, did not exist in film archives. In fact, it was one of eight silent films starring Ford as Lincoln; there are no known surviving copies of the others. “The vast majority of silent films, particularly from the early period-the first decade of the 20th century-are gone,” said Caroline Frick Page,


In this handout photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences director and film star Francis Ford is seen in the role of Abraham Lincoln in a 1913 film that had been lost for 97 years. — AP curator of motion pictures at George Eastman House. “That’s what makes these stories so incredibly special.” The college, which plans an April 20 film screening, received a grant from the National Film

Whitney Houston returns to stage, critics divided S singer Whitney Houston kicked off the British leg of her tour late on Tuesday after cancelling a string of gigs due to illness, but some critics were less than impressed with her performance. “Houston, we still have a problem” was the conclusion of the bestselling tabloid the Sun yesterday in a brief review of the 46-year-old’s concert in Birmingham. “It was not the performance fans were hoping for.” The BBC’s Colin Paterson said there were “great moments” during the show, highlighting “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK” and “How Will I Know.” “But ‘I Will Always Love You’ will live long in the memory, and not for the right reasons,” he wrote, adding that Houston appeared short of breath throughout the show which she blamed on a cold and the air conditioning. “Those going to see Whitney tonight in Nottingham will hope things are alright. If they are even OK, it will be an improvement on last night,” he wrote. Alison Dayani of the Birmingham Post also said the singer appeared breathless, and broke up the set with water breaks and chats with the audience apparently to give her time to recover. “The straw that finally broke the crowd’s back” came as Houston took a 15 minute break, and when a video of “One Moment In Time” was played there were boos in the arena, she added. The Independent’s Elisa Bray was more positive, saying that Houston, hospitalized in Paris this month after suffering a respiratory infection, had learned to pace her set better than in Australia where she was panned by fans and critics. “If tonight was the first to attempt to recreate her early zest, she did not quite make it. But it’s still an impressive voice-and you feel lucky to hear Houston live,” Bray said. “Tonight was definitely a spectacle-and for the most part in a good way.” Houston, one of the top-selling female artists of all time, launched a comeback last year after battling drug addiction and released her first studio album in seven years which topped the US and other charts. She has dismissed as “ridiculous” recent speculation in some media that she had relapsed into drug use. “At this point, I just don’t respond,” she told People magazine. “I don’t even read it.” The singer was due to travel to Nottingham on


Preservation Foundation to restore it. It took a Colorado lab a year to complete the task. Benaquist said the images themselves were well preserved, likely because they

endured decades of New England winters in the barn, which also was well sheltered by trees. Nitrate film, which was phased out in Hollywood in the 1950s, is highly flammable. The 35 mm film itself had shrunk and the sprocket holes used on projectors were shredded. “What the laboratory had to do was remanufacture the sprocket holes to a new dimension, make it in strips, adhere it to the image, and then run it through a printing process where they would print it, frame by frame,” Benaquist said. Benaquist thinks the film was discovered in Nelson because the town is on Granite Lake, the site of many summer camps through the years. He said there was a boys’ camp in the area of the barn and believes the films were shown to entertain the children, then put away and forgotten. Helping the restoration was Mark Reinhart of Columbus, Ohio, author of “Abraham Lincoln on Screen.” He had a crude video copy of the film that had been made from an 8-mm copy and included a few scenes that were missing from the film found in the barn. The college combined a DVD of the restored film with a DVD taken of Reinhart’s film for its final version. Back in 1913, the film was praised by “Moving Picture World,” a weekly trade publication sent to film distributors, as “a great war drama” with vivid battle scenes. Francis Ford, who died in 1953 at age 72,

is better known for small, mostly comic roles in at least 30 of his younger brother’s films, “often playing a coonskin drunk who can spit across the room,” said Tag Gallagher, author of the book “John Ford.” “If you’re into these things you quickly recognize him and it becomes a kind of cult thing to finding him, and he’s quite delightful,” said Gallagher, who lives near Boston. “But if you go back to the teens, he was a very big and important director.” The Fords were from Portland, Maine. Francis Ford, who introduced John Ford to the business, was quite famous as a director and star, acting in numerous silent films up until World War I, Gallagher said. When John Ford started directing, his fame overshadowed his brother’s. Old movie buffs might remember Francis Ford in such scenes as a drunken juror in 1939’s “Young Mr. Lincoln” starring Henry Fonda, and an elderly man who miraculously rises from his deathbed to see a climactic fistfight in 1952’s “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne. During the silent film era, Francis Ford was one of many actors who portrayed Lincoln, Reinhart said. “He’s not a particularly good Lincoln, he’s kind of short and stocky,” he said. Lincoln was better depicted by others in that era, such as Frank McGlynn and Benjamin Chapin, Reinhart said. Massie is looking forward to seeing the restored film. “I can’t wait to see what’s on their myself.”—AP

This picture shows a short clip of film from director and film star Francis Ford. —AP

Wainwright opera explores domain of the diva pera is the new rock ‘n’ roll, intoned a program note for the London premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s ground-breaking musical drama, “Prima Donna”. Enjoying a short run at Sadler’s Wells theatre this week, his marathon composition combined the buzz of a rock concert and the glamour of a classical event. However, this was no rock opera in the manner of Pete Townshend’s “Tommy” or Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”. The multi-talented Mr W has applied himself diligently to creating a work using many of the elements of classical opera. It seems natural that an avowed opera fan, whose own persona as a pop performer verges on the operatic, should have a crack at one of the most difficult genres in the classical repertoire. The ambitious work tells the story of Regine Saint Laurent, an opera diva contemplating a career comeback after six years away from the stage, which she fled after her voice failed during the most important performance of her life. Set in her grand but decaying Paris apartment during Bastille Day 1970, the opera follows her struggle with the demons that led to her very public breakdown. Outside, France is still in the grip of social upheaval unleashed by the 1968 students riots.


Inside, a Pandora’s box of emotions is ripped open. Her loyal manservant turns out to be motivated as much by hate as by love and the young journalist who comes to interview her becomes an object of erotic fantasy. Regine herself demonstrates the qualities of the archetypal diva: she is self-centred, childish and high-maintenance. The only sympathetic character is her young maid, who tries to provide some emotional support for her fragile employer, only to be shown the door herself at the end. Simultaneous translation Sung in French, “Prima Donna” was originally due to have premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, but Wainwright declined the opportunity, saying he had had no wish to comply with the company’s insistence on an English-language performance. It had its world premiere at Manchester International Festival last year and will make its North American debut at Toronto’s Luminato arts festival in June. A simultaneous English translation displayed on large screens either side of the stage provided a neat solution to the language barrier for the London audience. For those who are looking, there are discreet hints of Wainwright’s own life

experiences: cynicism about the press, a fall from grace, the desire to recreate the successes of the past. There is even the briefest reference to his Quebec upbringing. The music and orchestration were by Wainwright himself and he collaborated with French-born lyricist Bernadette Colomine on the libretto. The set, designed by Antony McDonald, and superb lighting by Thomas Hase created the claustrophobic conditions for the high-octane emotional drama to unfold. The production was dedicated to his mother, the Canadian singersongwriter Kate McGarrigle, who died in January. Wainwright has said he wrote much of it while he spent time with her during her long illness. Beautifully orchestrated and with some stunning vocal performances by its small cast especially Scottish soprano Janis Kelly in the lead role-the work has divided critics. Is it a composition of imagination and originality by a unique musical talent, or merely an overblown pastiche of a well-worn musical form, a victory of style over substance? The dedicated Rufus fan can see traces of his characteristic vocal style in some of the music, but as one audience member nearby asked, where are the tunes? Rock ‘n’ roll it ain’t. — Reuters

Recent picture of Canadian-US singer and songwriter Rufus Wainwright posing in Paris, on March 31, 2010. —AFP

News agencies boycott Cannes conference over dispute ajor international news agencies yesterday announced a boycott of a key Cannes film festival press conference due to a dispute over planned restrictions by the festival on video news-gathering. Agence France-Presse, Reuters, AP and Getty TV will not provide coverage of the festival’s yearly press conference in Paris today to announce the movies selected for this year’s event, taking place in Cannes May 12-23. “We have decided to boycott this conference due to these restrictions,” said AFP’s global news director Philippe Massonnet. The boycott follows a decision by festival organizers to put severe restrictions on video news-gathering, limiting the agencies’ coverage of red carpet events and news conferences. The new limitations are linked to a contract signed by the Cannes film festival with French broadcaster Canal Plus and pay-TV service Orange. “If these restrictions, which we have not been informed of offi-


cially, were upheld they would be unacceptable. They would penalize many media subscribers of the agencies the world over,” Massonnet said. This year’s festival is to open with Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” and US director Tim Burton is to head the jury which will award the best film prize. The news agencies told clients in an advisory this month that the proposed restrictions “would dramatically reduce the agencies’ ability to provide subscribers with an adequate audiovisual record of public events at the festival.” Talks have been held with festival organizers since February, with the agencies stating that the festival is “clearly an event of public interest” that focuses not only on film but on celebrities whose “actions and opinions have an enormous influence on public life”. The festival, which has been held since 1946, says it is “modernizing its corporate identity”.—AFP

New York District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the creator of a two-part pornographic remake of Frederico Fellini’s classic film, “La Dolce Vita.” In the process he’s raised questions about whether anybody controls the legendary original. In 2007, International Media Films sued Lucas Entertainment over “Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita,” an adult remake that garnered 14 awards at the gay porn industry’s equivalent of the Oscars (honors included best picture, best actor and best threesome). IMF alleged copyright and trademark infringement. Fellini’s classic is famous for popularizing the orgy, so it would have been interesting to see a court examine the derivative nature of a porn film. Alas, the case took an unexpected direction that’s just as steamy. Both parties disputed the chain of title on Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” According to IMF, the original producers of the film assigned the rights in 1962 to Cinemat, SA, which transferred rights in 1980 to Hor A.G., which transferred rights the following year to Oriental Films, which transferred rights in 1998 to Cinestampa, which then transferred rights in 2001 to IMF. A year later, IMF filed a registration with the US Copyright Office on a restoration copy of the Fellini film. The defendant argued for an alternative chain of custody that resulted in the picture being controlled by Paramount Pictures. Questions were also raised about the authenticity of the Cinemat-Hor, Hor-Oriental, and Oriental-Cinestampa agreements, pointing to inaccuracies in dates and signatures. Experts on Italian copyright law were meticulous in examining the details. Interestingly, the film was briefly in the public domain in the mid-1990s and may still be there today. IMF claims it was restored to copyright protection thanks to legislation enacted as part of an international treaty, but the court is dubious. “In fact, it is possible for the Fellini film to be in the public domain,” writes Judge John Koeltl in his opinion, issued March 31. “It is the plaintiff who bears the burden of proving that its chain of title is valid.” Judge Koeltl says IMF has failed to show sufficient admissible evidence that it is in fact the copyright owner of the Fellini film. Naturally, the question becomes whether anybody can show indisputable evidence now.—Reuters


This photo taken on May 21, 2008 shows a photographer shooting Czech model Eva Herzigova as she arrives at the 61st Cannes International Film Festival on May 21, 2008 in Cannes, southern France. — AFP

cclaimed Polish film director Andrzej Wajda yesterday waded into a row over plans to lay president Lech Kaczynski to rest in a cathedral alongside monarchs and national icons. In an open letter published on the website of the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Wajda slammed the decision to bury Kaczynski Sunday in the cathedral crypt of the hilltop Wawel castle in the southern city of Krakow. “President Lech Kaczynski was an ordinary and good man, but there is no reason for him to lie in the Wawel among the kings of Poland and Marshal Jozef Pilsudski,” founding father of the modernday nation in 1918, Wajda wrote. He dubbed the decision “misplaced” and hastily made as emotions run high. The powerfully symbolic site was chosen by the Kaczynski family and church leaders, officials said earlier. Kaczynski’s identical twin Jaroslaw is leader of Poland’s conservative opposition. “This decision will spark protests and could cause the deepest splits in Polish society since 1989,” wrote Wajda. The conservative, nationalist and


In this photo released by Lady Gaga The Monster Ball Tour, Lady Gaga performs with dancers during ‘The Monster Ball Tour’ concert in Kobe, western Japan, yesterday. — AP

Does anybody own Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’?

A file photo taken on April 14, 2003 shows Polish film director Andrzej Wajda gesturing during a masterclass at the Russian Institute of Cinematography, in Moscow.—AFP deeply Catholic Kaczynski is the first head of state to die since Poland’s communist regime fell in 1989. Most previous leaders were laid to rest in the capital Warsaw, and increasingly vocal critics charge that a burial in the Wawel cathedral is excessive. Kaczynski had been a deeply divisive

figure since he won office in 2005, and was widely expected to lose a re-election bid later this year. He perished along with his wife Maria and 94 others, including senior Polish politicians and military figures, when their plane crashed in fog in the Russian city of Smolensk. —AFP



Thursday, April 15, 2010


Desk-bound men target of new male wonder pants usinessmen who vowed to hit the gym daily in 2010 but are yet to leave the desk are the target of a new, fast-growing line of high-tech underwear which boasts to trim the torso while also benefitting your health. Just ask Gavin Jones, cofounder of Australia-based company Equmen which has pioneered “fitwear” for men who spend the week hunched over desks in high-stress jobs and weekends chasing their children. Jones said compression wear was well researched and accepted among elite athletes as was shapewear for women that trims and smoothes those stubborn bulges, but when he stood in front of

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week


the mirror he had one question-what about me? “I was just beginning to show the signs of wear and tear. I had a pretty active 20s and 30s and maintained a great social life and played sport but I was just starting to turn the corner into middle age,” Jones, 43, a former journalist, told Reuters. While women have quickly snapped into the increasing lines of shapewear, trebling sales in the past decade according to the market research NPD Group, Jones realized men wanted more than a male girdle or “mirdle” to trim the beer gut if they were to upgrade from their boxers or cotton briefs with fancy waistband. In partnership with an American

friend and former investment banker Corie Chung, Jones spent about a year and about $1.4 million of his own money researching and developing a new product line that was more mainstream than the compression wear around and came with health benefits. They found a manufacturer in Israel who could produce a high-elasticity blend of fabrics which was seamless and flexible. This led to Equmen’s range of undershirts and underpants hitting the market a year ago, boasting to help back support, better posture, and improved blood circulation as well as a better shape-and maybe even a lower golf score.

The line is sold in Australia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan with plans to move this year into Scandinavia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand. The company is introducing socks to its collection. “Sales have outstripped our expectations and we are in very good shape,” said Jones, forecasting sales for 2010/11 rising to about $12 million and turnover of 200,000 units from about $7 million and 95,000 units in 2009/10. Chung, 30, said they were even working on a range of women’s fit wear, Equfem, which they hoped to hit the market early 2012.

Models display creations by Mexican designer Elena Gomez Toussaint during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Mexico City. — AFP

Hindus in ritual tongue-piercing in east India ow-caste Hindus thronged temples in eastern India yesterday to take part in a festival that sees believers drive metal rods through their tongues to purify their souls. In one temple in Beinon village, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Kolkata in the state of West Bengal, 1,000 spectators jostled for a glimpse of the ritual despite opposition from the authorities to the gory practice. “There has been attempts to stop this festival but we will not be deterred,” said Shashti Bhushan Chakraborty, head priest of a temple to Hindu god Shiva, where an AFP reporter saw 60 people have spikes driven through their tongues. The iron rod is removed once the believer makes a round of the village collecting alms, which usu-


Other companies are now also starting to produce fashionable, shapewear for men such as Calvin Klein’s X line and Marks & Spencer’s Bodymax range but Chung said men will remain Equmen’s key focus, with professional men the main target. “Our primary consumer is between 30 and 55. It is the slightly middle to older demographic because those health benefits become more powerful the older you get,” said Chung, whose experience also includes working as a product and marketing manager at Revlon and L’Oreal. “We are focusing mainly on metropolitan and urban areas where people are under the most pressure and stress.”— Reuters

ally takes about an hour. “This is an ancient practice and we have been conducting it every year,” Chakraborty said in Beinon, one of the many West Bengal villages where the popular ritual, called Shiber Gajon, has been underway since Tuesday. Only low castes volunteer for the practicewhich starts on the eve of the Bengali New Year-in the hope the searing pain will cleanse their soul and grant them higher status. Low-caste Hindus still face severe discrimination despite efforts to reduce the grip of the hierarchical system on Indian society. They have restricted access to education, employment and housing and are often reduced to performing menial tasks such as cleaning

sewers and collecting garbage. Organizers rejected official fears that the tonguepiercings could cause serious injuries or life-threatening infections. “We have attained this knowledge from our forefathers and so far there has been no infections among these people,” said Kalipada Bhattacharya, one of those responsible for the piercings. The regional ritual also includes the insertion of iron hooks into the skin, free-falling from high platforms and hanging upside down over fiery pots to frenzied drum beats. Millions of Hindu pilgrims and hundreds of ash-covered ascetics were bathing yesterday in holy Hindu river of the Ganges to wash away their sins in a three-yearly event called the Kumbh Mela (Pitcher Fair). — AFP

An Indian Hindu devotee reacts as a priest pierces his tongue with a metal rod during the ritual of Shiva Gajan at a village in Beinon, some 80 kms south of Kolkatayester day. — AFP



Thursday, April 15, 2010


As the testosterone turns: The new retrosexual gets strong and gallant eo Mulvihill looks the classic man’s man. The hat is one clue. Displaying an old-school flair for style, the 25-year-old law student at Drexel University walks around campus sporting a vintage Brooks Brothers three-piecer and authentic 1960s Florsheims, his trilby cocked just so. The elegant look from another era makes a suave statement and exudes a certain authority-evoking equal parts image and lifestyle that a growing number of young men are hungry to adopt. “I think it’s important to recognize that clothes don’t make the man,” said Mulvihill, who lives in Philadelphia’s East Kensington with his wife. “But a man of character and integrity who embodies traditional principles of etiquette will never be hurt by dressing well.” Gentlemen, a “menaissance,” as one blogger describes it, is under way, and the classically clad “retrosexual” is leading the charge. Think of him as the anti-metrosexual, the opposite of that guy who emerged in the 1990s in all his pedicured, moussedup, skinny-jeans glory. That man-boy was searching for his inner girl, it was argued. The retrosexual, however, wants to put the man back into manhood. In other words, the boy wants to grow up, trading adolescent behaviors-working in a coffee shop, hanging with girls instead of dating them, and worrying about his hair-for a man who can take care of business, according to Josh Weil, cofounder of Youth Trends in Ramsey, NJ, who has tweeted about the macho-man look. “I’m a strong guy, I’m very comfortable with who I am, I’m carrying around a little attitude,” he said, describing the philosophy. Say goodbye to the sensitive guy who cries at the drop of a pink tee, or the slacker living with his mother, playing video games. This new man has ambition and aplomb, brawn and brains. Think Cary Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, or Ernest Hemingway. “For thousands of years, being a man meant being honorable, having courage, having competence,” said Brett McKay, 27, a law school graduate turned blogger who writes “The Art of Manliness” from Tulsa, Okla. “Till the 1950s, manliness meant action and a force for good.” Then, feminism disturbed that order. “We created this new world where men and women were equal,” McKay said. “A lot of men were confused. What was my role now?” The result was that some men thought “feminism ... made them wusses,” said Katherine Anderson, a doctoral student in cultural studies at George Mason University who has written about shifting male gender roles. The manly-man creed is a way to regain man’s position in society. “Retrosexual is all about ‘I am Man. Hear me roar!’” Anderson said. It’s sensitive territory, certainly. The movement’s love affair with a time that was not always kind to women or minorities, and that rigidly defined men-as the hard-drinking, womanizing “Mad Men” character Don Draper, for all his dapperness, showcases-has some social observers concerned. “It’s nostalgia for a past that never was,” said Gordon Coonfield, director of media studies at Villanova University who teaches about gender and media culture. “It’s a convenient oversimplification of


Barber Joe McMenamin, not pictured, uses a razor on the back of the neck of long-time client Chad Thompson.

Barber Joe McMenamin’s barber tools sit ready for use at Groom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. a past with which, arguably, we were probably well done.” McKay and other retro sexual adherents, however, are quick to insist that they have no desire to reset the clocks to a time when women were largely excluded from the workforce and expected to stay

Stella Isabel Toledo creates shoe G line for Payless sabel Toledo was an underground fashion insider when first lady Michelle Obama chose to wear some of her creations, including the yellow and lime dress and jacket that she wore on the day her husband was inaugurated. Now that she has name recognition, the Cuban-American designer will launch a line of women’s shoes at the end of the year for mass-market Payless ShoeSource. For that, she knows she has the first lady to thank. “The two opportunities are connected,” added the 48-year-old designer, who has lived in the US since she was 8. “It was a visionary decision by Payless to take advantage of the moment and contact Isabel Toledo. I think it was very brave of them.” Toledo said her relationship with Mrs. Obama began when the first lady bought her garments in a store without her knowledge. Toledo was invited along with two other designers to a fundraising event, and to her great surprise, the first lady arrived wearing one of her creations. “That was great for me,” said Toledo. “She had chosen to wear something of mine to a party where there were all these designers, the power houses. That was a statement that was really amazing. She is willing to look into the background of what hasn’t been discovered and give voice to it.” Toledo calls her Payless collection modern, sophisticated and chic. The collection, which debuts in September with seven styles, includes flats, with mediumheight and tall heels, most of which are black, added the designer, who previously created footwear for Anne Klein in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. “I’m going to wear them!” she said. “The samples will be my size. And it’s going to be a really affordable shoe, something incredible. A person like me is going to be able to buy it in multiples.” Toledo started designing in 1984. She had studied painting, ceramics and fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology and at Parsons The New School of Design in New York. She was inclined more toward fine arts, but an internship with the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art helped change her career path. “Being around all those masterpieces by Balenciaga, Madame Gres ... I fell in love with the technique of designing,” she said. “I thought, ‘I have an identity in this art.”‘ She says that one day her husband and collaborator, Ruben Toledo, took her clothes from the closet to a store and sold them all. “We needed to make a living,” she recalled. “He took orders and said, ‘We are in business.’ I began to sew and sew.” Now, Toledo lives the dream of any designer: “To reach as many people as possible.”—AP


home with the babies. Instead, they want to hold doors open and pay for dates without worries of chauvinism, even as they split the kitchen duties. “It’s a man who looks to the past for inspiration about what it means to be a man, taking the best from that time and leaving the cultural garbage, like sexism, racism, and homophobia, behind,” said McKay, who, with his wife, Kate, wrote the 2009 book “The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man.” His wife agreed. “I’m tired of babying these manboys,” she said. “I want a man who has it together.” Nancy Powell, 24, wife of the Drexel student, echoed the sentiment in favor of values from an earlier time. “I appreciate it as a countermovement to the Abercrombie frat-boy trend,” said the paralegal, who is attending Temple University. “I feel proud to walk down the street on my husband’s arm.” As evidence of the retrosexual’s arrival, Brett McKay points to the resurgence among his peers of smoking tobacco pipes, shaving with a brush and razor, and joining fraternal societies such as the Freemasons. “I’ve learned how to change the oil in my car, how to rotate the tires ... how to shoot a gun,” McKay said. “This is a manly thing to do.” At Groom in Center City Philadelphia, younger men have ditched the unisex salons for a classic haircut or straight-razor shave in this barbershop that evokes the 1920s. Soft notes of jazz play as background to the short, textured cuts owner and barber Joe McMenamin offers for a reasonable $25 within the white and slate-gray walls of the shop. “Joe’s a barber. He gives a real haircut,” said banker Chad Thompson, 35, of Center City, as McMenamin trimmed his hair and straight-razored the back of his neck. A salon’s “a little too prissy for me.” Even though the retrosexual philosophy shuns

Dockers print ads from their “Wear the Pants” campaign, emphasizing the resurgence of the manly man. — MCT photos excessive consumption (a metrosexual hallmark) as weak and soft, a man still has plenty of products to choose from-now with the promise to make him more manly. Old Spice-this is your grandfather’s scent-has hopped the man train with its “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign. “Don’t smell like sunsets and baby

powder,” urges one ad for, ironically, body wash. “Smell like jet fighters and punching.” During the Super Bowl, Dodge tapped modern man’s plight for its “Man’s Last Stand” commercial. Blank-faced, beaten-down guys lament their emasculated state: “I will shave. I will clean the sink after I shave. ... I will put the seat down. ... I will carry your lip balm.” But a man, the ad concludes, still gets to pick his ride, in this case a Dodge Charger that zooms off into the hills. “‘Man’s Last Stand’ is a reflection of contemporary social frustrations, be it at home or at the office,” said Saad Chehab, head of group advertising for Chrysler Group. It defines masculinity as a “sense of power and resurgence of confidence.” Of course, real men eat beef, probably at one of those big steak houses popping up on every corner; do the dirty jobs (or at least watch Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs); and wear the pants, as Dockers’ new tagline reminds. “It celebrates men who can change a tire and a diaper,” said Jennifer Sey, vice president of global marketing at Dockers in San Francisco. Sey, a Philadelphia native, said her own life reflects the varied functions of the genders. “I work, and my husband stays home with our kids,” she said. This modern dynamic “does impact men’s roles.” Many are left asking, “What is a man, if the woman can do all the same things that a man can do?” said Justin Sitron, a clinical assistant professor of education and human sexuality at Widener University. “Masculinity has been in a period of exploration in the last 20 to 25 years.” The 1950s man who never showed his emotions was one option, he said. Then the pendulum swung in the other direction and the metrosexual evolved, he said. Neither is ideal. “Just as we need masculine, rugged men,” Sitron said, “we need men who are caretakers and providers in other ways, and everything in between.” Some think the retrosexual fulfills all those roles-with confidence. — MCT

McCartney for GapKids and babyGap

ap is proud to announce the second collection of Stella McCartney for GapKids and babyGap Spring Summer 2010. Launching in stores from the beginning of April 2010, Stella’s second collection captures the essence of a perfect childhood summer wardrobe. Paired-down essentials are set against playful, distinctive pieces to create an eclectic design mix that allows kids to create their own unique style statement. The delicate ‘Stella’ zig-zag hemmed dress in embroidered cotton sets the tone, evoking the romance of simple summer dressing. Softly crumpled linens and cottons in signature

muted hues are the foundations for timeless styles for all ages. For girls, the ‘Lily’ eyelet drop-waist dress and soft-pink ‘Anna’ ruffle blouse. For boys, a striped voile collar-less shirt or grey roll-up short. For babies, a grey linen collared romper suit or cotton smocked blouse with matching bloomer. Crochet details compliment the neutral palette, as a cuff on a linen tunic top for babies, and as a girl’s cotton/cashmere ‘Mercy’ shift dress with butterfly design. Classic summer stripes and indigo shades reiterate a sense of modern nostalgia. For babies, the ‘Moses’ merino onesie comes in navy and cream sailor stripe whilst the girls

‘Bea’ navy cotton ruffle blouse is effortless, worn with a cream skinny jean. For toddler boys, the ‘Beckett’, a summer jacket in mix-matched blue and white stripes and table-cloth check. An oversized anchor motif offers a signature Stella touch, printed on sweaters for babies and boys and on a girl’s knitted cotton sleeveless dress. Bright block colours and pop prints provide contrast, creating playful summer moments. Bright ginger and rainforest green infuse kicks of colour in a boy’s slim jean and girl’s ‘Olivia’ hooded beach cover-up. Tropical fish decorate the boys ‘Elliot’ swim trunks and the girls ‘Bailey’ cotton sundress. A glow in the dark cloud print becomes

the basis of a toddler boys pyjama set and Stella’s iconic horse print is placed on a girl’s envelope tee. Favourites from Stella’s debut Gap collection are updated in bold shades, including the unisex pacamac, superhero ‘Fitz’ tee and hi-top trainer. Stella’s recognisable aesthetic is found in the essential denim and organic jersey separates that complete the collection. The ‘Lula’ girls denim shirt and boys denim roll-up short are wear-with-all styles, understated and versatile, combined with key accessories like a ribbon espadrille or boys denim ‘Arthur’ pump, they offer the perfect capsule wardrobe for kids to dress up as themselves.

Available in store from the beginning of April, in select GapKids and babyGap stores in the United States, Canada, UK, France, Ireland and Japan. In addition the collection will be available in selected stores in Russia, Turkey, Greece, Asia and the Middle East. The collection will also be available online from the beginning of April in the US. Stella McCartney comments, “For this second collection I wanted to design pieces that ensure your child looks like an individual with their own style statement, a mixture of simple minimal styles and more detailed pieces to create a summer wardrobe for all your kids’ needs.”

IX International Festival of Hairdresser Art

A model displays a makeup creation during the opening of IX International Festival of Hairdresser Art. A model displays a make-up creation during the opening of the IX International Festival of Hairdresser Art.

A make-up artist paints a model’s face during the opening of ninth International Festival of Hairdresser Art ‘Cristal Angel’ in Kiev yesterday. — AFP photos

Where do three-star chefs go shopping? ver tasted a pea-flower or beetroot sprout?” said Didier Pil, a chubby French vegetable farmer in overalls whose annual harvest of 120 different varieties largely winds up in the kitchens of the country’s top chefs. Butchers, dairy-farmers, fruit-growers and fishermen-star chef Alain Ducasse this week gathered together the creme de la creme of the country’s producers for a show held in one of Paris’ most exclusive hotels, decked out for the occasion with walls of lettuce. “The quality of a dish,” said Ducasse, who runs an empire of gourmet kitchens the world over, “is 80 percent produce, 15 percent technique and five percent talent.” Star Paris butcher Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec matures his ribs of beef for 60 days “to evacuate the water and give the fat the time to infuse” and then scrapes away the thick layer of rot formed as a result. “I start with a 15-kilo piece and wind up with a 5-kilo one.” Another of his techniques to provide succulent fare is to wrap ribs in a cloth soaked in Japanese Nikka whisky for weeks on end. Excellence is the only thing that counts,” said Ducasse. From their farm in the Loire valley, Pil and his wife Sandrine supply the likes of Ducasse, Joel Robuchon or Pierre Gagnaire with starflowers, violets and pansies for the plate, as well as humdrum leeks and artichokes, or rare curly mustard


French chef Alain Ducasse poses on April 13, 2010 at the Plaza Athenee hotel in Paris. —AFP

Pastry chefs, rising stars of the culinary world ot too long ago, the pastry chef was a bit of an afterthought. Sure, there was tiramisu and molten lava chocolate cake. But, for the most part, kitchen celebrity was measured by thrills at the grill, not by teaspoonfuls of baking soda. That has changed. Artisan cupcakes are everywhere, Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” is spinning off a show “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” and TLC has “Cake Boss.” Then there’s Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” following the adventures of Duff Goldman as he and his crew whip up such concoctions as Viking ship wedding cakes,


roon bloggers. “There’s just been a lot more news about what’s going on in the sweet world.” Meanwhile, baking books like “Hello, Cupcake!” and “What’s New, Cupcake?”, in which authors Karen Tack and Alan Richardson instruct home bakers on how to concoct everything from corn on the cob to rubber duckies from simple cupcakes are making a splash. “There’s a real excitement,” says Greenspan. On the dining side, restaurant pastry chefs even are winning their own followings, people like Johnny Iuzzini, executive pastry chef at Restaurant Jean Georges in New York, and

Shown is a Brazil nut coffee cake with malted cinnamon ice cream at the Absinthe restaurant in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. These days, pastry chefs are the rising stars of the culinary world.— AP detailed right down to the breaking waves. Pastry chefs are the rising stars of the culinary world. “There’s definitely a lot of interest,” says Peter Reinhart, baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University and author of five books on bread baking, including “The Bread Bakers Apprentice.” At Johnson & Wales, one of America’s leading culinary schools, “we sell out our baking and pastry program faster than any other program, and that tells us a lot.” Dorie Greenspan, author of “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” thinks blogging has helped shine a spotlight on sweets. There are cake bloggers, cookie bloggers, maca-

Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef at Spago in Beverly Hills, California. And as a result, some pastry chefs are striking out on their own, taking flour power to the streets. “Pastry chefs are leaving the restaurant kitchen for whatever reason-family, burnout, becoming entrepreneurs-and many of them are opening their own small businesses,” says Kara Nielsen, a “trendologist” at the San Francisco-based Center for Culinary Development. With America having a comfort food momenthas there been a time when sticking your face in a bowl of pudding seemed more attractive? —the new businesses are get-

ting a lot of attention. For instance, “tweets” broadcast the location of cupcake trucks. “Finally, some of these pastry chefs have moved into the spotlight,” says Nielsen. Paying more attention to dessert is a welcome trend to Maura Kilpatrick, pastry chef and co-owner of Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She gets frustrated sometimes with restaurants that serve up great entrees, then fall apart at dessert. “It’s like, ‘Why don’t you pay attention to pastry?’ I think they are focusing a little more.” Kilpatrick also is pastry chef at the Oleana restaurant in Cambridge, which specializes in Middle Eastern food. Customers are there “for a completely different dining experience,” and signature dishes include frozen nougat and cremolata-frozen almond milk churned into ice cream with a warm chocolate sandwich. What’s tempting the American sweet tooth these days? A recent survey of chefs by the market research company Packaged Facts and the Culinary Development Center found that nostalgia is big but consumers also want something a bit adventurous, like desserts made with olive oil sea salt or savory herbs. Adam Busby, director of the education department at the California campus of the Culinary Institute of America, sees a couple of things inspiring pastry chefs to raise their game. People are more interested in food and they expect more from every course. And with the economy encouraging cost-cutting in every area, dessert has to fight for attention. “The pastry chef today has to be more creative than the pastry chef of 10 years ago to be able to capture and entice the diners of today,” says Busby. “They’re more knowledgeable and they’re more demanding and they’re looking for new creations.” Greenspan is pleased to see bakers getting their desserts. “I love baking. I feel like a baking evangelist,” she says. “I want everybody out there baking. It feels good. It’s a great craft. There’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction that you get.” You eat to live, but dessert’s a treat, she says. “It is kind of a gift, because it is special. You can get by without it, but it wouldn’t be as much fun.”—AP

and red cabbage sprouts. “We farm as naturally as possible to ensure our produce keeps its original taste,” he said. “Try a radish sprout!” he added. Japanese super-cook Keiko Nagae, the pastry chef at Gagnaire’s three-star eatery, buys her yuzu-a prized Japanese citrus fruit hard to find in France-from a southern citrus and olive farm run by Benedicte and Michel Baches. “They’re the only ones who do it,” she said. In Paris, the couple displayed an amazing 50 varieties of oranges, lemons and grapefruits grown on their farm. Yet Benedicte Baches said they currently have 800 different citrus varieties-including Buddha’s Hand, or Fingered citron, the big tentacular-looking fragrant yellow citrus fruit from Asia. “We only supply 150 varieties to the restaurants,” she said. “But we enjoy working with top chefs because they explain how they use the different varieties, what they need. We aren’t cooks and they have the language to describe what we grow.” Upcoming dairy farmer Pascal Beillevaire, busy slapping seaweed and truffle butter on bits of bread, has built an empire in 20 years making butter from raw milk drawn from cows on his own farm. “We use hot unpasteurized milk 10 minutes after the cows are milked,” said Beillevaire, who has 13 shops in Paris, three in the provinces, is about to open a store in London, and supplies fivestar palaces such as the Meurice. — AFP

French butchers, dairy-farmers, fruit-growers and fishermen gather on April 13, 2010, for a show held by star chef Alain Ducasse in one of the most exclusive hotels, the Plaza Athenee hotel, in Paris.—AFP

The best of the latest books on Latin cuis he bold flavors and fresh tastes of Latin cuisines make them an exciting way to perk up the palate in the heat of summer. Cooks from Mexico to Rio de Janeiro have long known the powers of cumin, peppers, chocolate and the delicate balancing of sweet and acid. All are used liberally in several new cookbooks that reveal the secrets of Latin cuisines, and explore the diverse cultural influences that have shaped them. “Nirmala’s Edible Diary” tumbles through South America’s 14 countries with gorgeous, colorsaturated photos and more than 70 recipes that illuminate the influence of African slaves, native Arawak Indians, Chinese, Javanese, Portuguese and other colonial powers on the continent. A woman of Asian-Indian descent raised in Guyana, Nirmala offers engaging reminiscences of her childhood, travels and lessons of her grandfather-an Ayurvedic doctor and Hindu priest-in a book that is part travelogue, part cookbook. Organized by country, the book allows readers to eat their way around the continent. Start with a bracing Brazilian caipirinha cocktail then continue on to an appetizer of chicken and plantain tamales from Colombia. A cardamom-


scented taro-and-coconut milk vichyssoise from French Guiana will cool off a hot day, and Peruvian potato salad spiked with fruity yellow chili would make a good summer side dish. “The Brazilian Kitchen” by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz focuses on the little-known but increasingly popular cuisine of Brazil, where colonists, immigrants and native influences have created a food that is as diverse as it is unique. The author is a native of Rio, and she offers myriad croquettes, empanadas and fritters stuffed with beans, meat or fish as crispy, hot, salty bar food. Dishes like salted and peppered melon-seared melon, offset by mango-and-yellow pepper sauceand grilled fresh cheese with Brazil nut and cilantro pesto promise refreshing summer meals. In “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night,” Food Network host Daisy Martinez offers recipes such as chili-spiked hot chocolate, arepas and breakfast tamales to remind us that Latin food is not just for dinner. But if you are thinking dinner, black bean and fresh cheese tostadas and spicy gazpacho shooters laced with tequila promise unusual cocktail party

fare, while shrimp tacos with tomato and avocado salsa suggest a hearty weeknight dinner. Many people consider Spanish food the mother cuisine of Latin America, and chef Jose Pizarro’s “Seasonal Spanish Food” outlines its basics. Sultry photos on matte paper and anecdote-rich sidebars about tapas, cheese curdled with wild thistle, and customs like stringing fresh peppers over smoldering oak fires to make smoked paprika, conjure up the deeply sensual experience of eating in Spain. Organized by season, the book offers recipes for vibrant dishes like an artichoke and sheep cheese salad that contrasts vinegar and arugula with toasted pine nuts. In summer, tomatoes take center stage with refreshing tomato-and-melon gazpacho and cinnamon-laced tomato jam. • “Nirmala’s Edible Diary” by Nirmala Narine (Chronicle Books, 2009) • “The Brazilian Kitchen” by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Books, 2010) • “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night” by Daisy Martinez (Atria Books, 2010) • “Seasonal Spanish Food” by Jose Pizarro (Kyle Books, 2010). — AP

ooking to put a little pep in that mint julep? Add zing to your martini? A growing number of bartenders are playing with fire and ice, looking to Latin flavors for some hot new cocktails. “Spicy cocktails are good-why not?” says Camber Lay, who serves up drinks using fresh peppers such as fresnos and poblanos at San Francisco’s Epic Roasthouse bar. After all, she points out, “You can only do so many citrus cocktails.” As with so many other things in cocktail trends, the spice surge is related to the rise of fresh, local herbs and other ingredients in mixed drinks. It also dovetails with a general interest in Latin flavors, which account for more than half of the ethnic food market, says Maria Caranfa, an analyst with market research firm Mintel. In fact, restaurant menu items with a Latin or Southwestern touch increased 17 percent from 2007 to 2009, Caranfa says. “A lot of bars have really embraced it because of the Wow!factor,” says Kara Newman, author of “Spice & Ice: 60 Tongue-tingling Cocktails.” She says these cocktails have become particularly popular at bars during the past two years. Recipes in Newman’s book include a mint


jalapeno julep — “It’s equal parts refreshing and hot at the same time.” —and a lemon pepper martini. As with so many trends, drinks with bite are something that have to be done right. “Balance is so critical to having a successful drink,” she says. “You still need to want to have that second sip.” No one could be happier about the trend than Mike Hultquist, a Web site developer from Illinois, who in his spare time runs the site Hultquist, who makes a jalapeno spiced simple syrup that he uses as a base for a margarita, isn’t surprised to see peppers getting their star turn. “Everyone loves them.” Or almost everyone. “I’m still trying to get my wife to love spicy food,” Hultquist says with a laugh. The approach of Cinco de Mayo, the May 5 celebration of Mexico’s victory over French forces in the 19th century, had some bartenders on their mettle. Tad Carducci, a partner in the New York-based bar consulting business Tippling Bros., has come up with a Cinco de Mayo drink he is calling the world’s hottest cocktail. The exact formulation is a secret but it’s going to contain six different chilies ranging from somewhat mild to incendiary. —AP

15 April  

First English Daily in Arabian Gulf

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